Atari 2600 Game
Produced by: 20th Century Fox
Atari Rarity Guide:
Lead Programmer: David Lubar
Year of Release: 1982
This particular title is a vertical scrolling shooter., it doesn't exactly break any new ground in the area of gameplay, but it is fun enough to be worth playing once or twice. You pilot a small ship that can move from side to side at the bottom of the screen (this probably seems familiar if you have ever played Galaga, Space Invaders, or any other older space game). Your ship moves forward constantly, but you can effect the speed of your flight by pushing forward or pulling back on the Atari joystick. Your enemies are large worms which slowly crawl back and forth in front of you, but they never actually touch the side of the screen, so you can hide there to avoid being hit (which is a nice feature). More worms will warp in after you kill each screen full of them (the warping graphics are truly horrible and look like huge random squares of noise). Besides blasting worms you have to keep an eye on your fuel level, which constantly decreases. Luckily you can refill at the large fuel pagodas that appear frequently, but it is easy to accidently shoot them causing them to explode, and keeping you from getting any fuel from them.
From the back of the box.
Worm War I has begun. Hordes of giant worms are descending upon the city of Teriyaki! It's up to you to skillfully navigate through the ruins and blow away these destructive invaders.
From the manual:
To avoid being totally clobbered by hordes of Worms, pull back on the stick whenever a new group is appearing.
If a fuel Pagoda appears on top of a block, carefully shoot away the block, or try just to nick the Pagoda.
When you are refueling, you are safe from collisions. Use this to move over inconvenient Blocks.
The far left and right sides of the screen are safe spots, but don't hang there too long. If you don't shoot Worms, you won't bring on any Pagodas.
Have a good time and show those Worms who's boss.
This game is valued at around $8 USD. Games with boxes and manuals are worth more. This particular game had a red cartridge and came with a box that showed a bunch of giant worms inside a Japanese city), the whole scene reminded me more than a little of David Gerrold's The War Against the Chtorr series of novels (which had just come out the year before this game was released).