Sunday, March 5, 2017

Frank Cohen's "Scooter" - Level 2

...oh, I guess all the levels are the same size.  Not that the preview over your head will help much.  Or does it?  It's about 40% of the next level above your head, really, when you get right down to it!  I don't think Cohen was good enough, however, to have the next level baddies in play up there.  Okay, maybe he was, as he also seems to have mastered the art of having multiple player/missiles on different vertical stripes of the game board, as did Atari and Activision.  More Display Listus Interruptus, I'm afear'd.  But you gotta leave SOMETHING to the imagination, right?
Anyway, the baddies.  They're some kind of floating Roombas from hell here.  Sure, you got the power pills and all, but they're quite ineffective against these new threats to further game play.  And sure, you can duck under them... unless they fire lightning bolts out of their bottom.  Seriously, though, they do that.  Borrowing the lightning from his "Brewbiz," it's been re-born here as a disincentive to duck under the floating room-bots.  Reminds me of the flying saucers in Gubble 1.  Love those things.  They seem to be flying far above you, and then in the next instant WHAM!  Right on ol' Gubble's alien noggin.
Oh, and DON'T even get me started on those groups of four tubes.  They're kind of like the vacuum cleaners that suck up the marble in Atari's classic "Marble Madness," but without the personality.  These tubes in "Scooter" fire slow, pulsating bullets at you, one after the other, and they make a diagonal line.  It's an art to learn how to not touch them.  So far, I think they can brush you on your right side, but not on the left.  Anything bad touches you, and you make the Ollie's Follies / Ghost Chaser sound effect, but unlike those two where you fall completely off the screen, in "Scooter" you only get sucked down into the floor.  Strangely anti-climactic.  I should probably point out that they're not always in groups of four, but... I think that's it for this level in terms of surprises and features.  Each of these affairs seems to be a 16 long by 5 wide grid, wouldn't you say?  Well, you gotta remember... this is a 16 to 32K machine we're talking about here.  Every bit counts.  Quite literally.

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