The best selling game for the Atari 2600 sees you piloting a bug-like vessel in attempt to break through a shield and destroy an enemy called the Qotile. Yar’s Revenge is a truly unique single-screen shooter that utilizes several gameplay mechanics.
You can destroy the shield of the Qotile by shooting it, or by having the Yar eat it for extra points. Eating the shield will activate the powerful Zorlon Cannon needed to destroy the Qotile. You can also activate the Zorlon Cannon by running over the Qotile itself, though you must be careful not to touch it while it is spinning.
The Qotile will launch itself across the screen intermittently. If you can destroy it while it is flying, you will receive a hefty score bonus. Players can fly vertically through the screen to perform evasive manoeuvres. The Yar can fly and shoot in eight directions and can stop and start instantly, making for precise control.
While battling the Qotile, you will be relentlessly pursued by a Destroyer Missile that will get faster as you advance. The missle can be taken out with a blast from the Zorlon Cannon. There is also a large neutral zone in which the Yar is impervious to the Destroyer Missile, however the Yar cannot fire in this zone and is still vulnerable to the spinning Qotile.
The graphics are rudimentary, but appear crisp on modern displays and the game utilizes a large colour pallete. There are distinct sound effects to signify weapons fire and a spinning or flying Qotile in addition to the constant hum of the neutral zone.
Yar’s Revenge is a classic game that must be played to be truly appreciated. Its main downfall is that there are only two enemy shield patterns to destroy at the default difficulty.
+ Addictive, Balanced Shooting Experience
+ Unique Mechanics
+ Fun Risk versus Reward Gameplay
+ Good Graphics and Sound
– Limited Enemy Shield Patterns