Atari 2600 Game
Produced by: Atari
Model Number: CX2610
Rarity: 1 Common
Year of Release: n/a
Programmer: Carla Meninsky

Once long ago in a distant land lived a king named Frederick. He took very good care of his subjects and pretty much let the kingdom run itself. One day King Frederick and his wife, Queen Christina, decided to start a family. To their surprise, Queen Christina soon gave birth to quadruplets. Four healthy sons, all at once. The King and Queen were overwhelmed.

The years passed quickly and Frederick's sons(Dominick, Marcus, Felipe, and Restivo) grew to be strong young men. But they were nothing like their kind and peaceful father. They were just the opposite. The four sons of King Frederick fought constantly over anything and everything. Their fighting was so fierce that even the normally unconcerned Frederick became concerned. Left to his violent and competitive sons, his peaceful kingdom could very well be destroyed after he was gone, or perhaps even sooner.

The solution King Frederick decided upon was drastic, but he knew it had to be. Dominick, Marcus, Felipe, and Restivo were banished from their homeland and sent far away to a forbidden land. There they became warlords, dividing their newly acquired territory into four equal sectors, which incidentally, was the first and last thing they ever agreed upon. They then took to building their own castles, after which the battling resumed and never ended. They stopped catapulting fireballs and lightning balls at one another only long enough to rebuild their damaged and war torn castles. After repairs were made, the fighting always began again with renewed ferocity.

So King Frederick's warlords have been battling for many centuries and now it's up to you to carry on their long-standing feud. Dominick, Marcus, Felipe, and Restivo have been locked inside this Game Program.(tm) They've stored enough fireballs and lightning balls so that they'll never run out, and neither will you. They can hardly wait to do battle. So good luck, you're in for some fierce competition.

The game is very simple. In each corner of the screen is a "castle" - an 'L' shaped wall, and inside the L is your "warlord" - a simple figure. Each wall is made of bricks, like the barrier in "Breakout", and just on the outside is a shield, which you control via paddles.

The object is to use your shield to deflect the ball that bounces around so that it hits your opponents' walls and kills their warlord, while keeping yours from suffering the same fate. But with four players, that's a lot harder than it sounds.

There are three main options for the game type, and together create 20 selections (chosen via the 'game select' switch).

  • # of Players - choose from 1 to 4 players, with the remainder being taken up by computer opponents. Or choose "doubles", a special two-player mode where each player controls the shields for two castles.

  • ball speed - choose from either "fireball", a slower ball, or "lightning ball", which is much faster.

  • Shield type - either choose "ricochet", where the ball always bounces off the shield, or "catch", where you can hold the paddle button to catch the ball, releasing it at will.
An interesting thing to remember is that after a player has been eliminated from the current round, she can still move her shield - the flash on the screen that appears when a block is hit will show a "shadow" of that shield. Should the ball hit the shadow, it will be slightly deflected from its path - so even eliminated players can affect the game.

4 player Warlords with the lightning ball and catch creates some of the best 4 player game action ever found in a home console - this is definitely a party game!

A little note of danger to watch for in a heated game - when the shield is moved very quickly, occasionally it can be seen appearing somewhere else on the screen - such as behind the wall near your Warlord. This is likely due to a bug influenced by the hardware in the console, but it does have a serious effect should it happen. If a player lets go of the ball at that exact moment, you can instantly kill yourself, and you just sit in amazement as the ball pounds away at the inside of your castle to get out. This happens much more often in a heated game than you might expect.