Atari 2600 – Room of Doom


You will never looks this cool while getting shot.

This is an interesting developer.
CommaVid are (in)famous for their rare games.
They’ve only released nine titles and all of them are hard to find today.
Heck, MagiCard (a simple programming software) and Video Life are probably the rarest games on the system.
I couldn’t even find any eBay listing. Some say these games might go for like 20k $!!!
This little arcade shooter called Room of Doom is somewhat easier to buy and usually goes on sale for 60 bucks.
But should you even care?

Room of Doom has no real story.
The box and the manual just state what you do rather than why you do it.
That’s fine but I usually like the corny backstories some developers come up with.
Anyhow, here’s the gist:

You are trapped in a room with a monster.
You can’t kill it but you can stun it for a few moments to gain some distance.
Outside the room are evil gunman or robots.
They will open a door, shoot at you and then close it.
You only have a few seconds to blast them. After they’re all defeated you move on to the next room with another monster, more gunman, and a few traps.
Rinse and repeat until you’ve beaten the 16th room and escape this hellish nightmare.

One thing I like about this game is that you can actually beat it.
This really pushes you in trying over and over again until you’ve finally managed to escape. A rare feat for an arcade game of its time.
Another great thing are the many gameplay variations. There 64. I repeat sixty-four!
Doors that are always open, guided bullets, diagonal fire, normal speed, high speed and countless combinations of these.
I love it.
Seven rooms feature different monsters and they’re all…cute.
That’s the good stuff.

The controls work fine and you can fire in every direction, but your character is a tad too slow.
That works for the early stages but can be frustrating later in the game with many enemies that fire several bullets at once.
Manageable but could be better.
Graphics are bland and lack color and your character looks like a hooded man who’s holding a cane very awkwardly.

These are just some minor issues and while Room of Doom isn’t as exciting as its title it’s still a challenging shooter with lots of replayability.
Play it!





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