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Acid Drop (Atari 2600) artwork

Acid Drop (Atari 2600) review


"Today’s topic in the wide world of Atari 2600 reviewing is a true oddity. Salu’s 1992... yes 1992... release, Acid Drop. Apparently, the Atari 2600 still had a following in Europe in the early 90s, and Salu released several titles during this period. Acid Drop was a clone of the1990 Genesis release, Columns. How well did the classic puzzler transfer to the limited hardware of the Atari 2600? Well, to be sure, Acid Drop is a mixed bag. The gameplay itself ..."



Today’s topic in the wide world of Atari 2600 reviewing is a true oddity. Salu’s 1992... yes 1992... release, Acid Drop. Apparently, the Atari 2600 still had a following in Europe in the early 90s, and Salu released several titles during this period. Acid Drop was a clone of the1990 Genesis release, Columns. How well did the classic puzzler transfer to the limited hardware of the Atari 2600? Well, to be sure, Acid Drop is a mixed bag. The gameplay itself is passable, but a horrible decision regarding the in-game music makes the game virtually unplayable with sound enabled.

If you are at all familiar with Columns, you’ll be able to dive right into Acid Drop. Blocks consisting of three vertical colored bars drop from the top of the playfield, and you can arrange these via use of the fire button. Align three like-colored bars, and they vanish from the field. As you get better, the game gets harder. There is one major limitation that isn’t present in other versions of this game, that is found here thanks to the limited hardware of the 2600. There are no combos! You can have three like-colored bars fall together, and they will just stay there. The speed needed to process combos just isn’t available on the 2600.

Then again, maybe they could have borrowed some resources from the “soundtrack”. Ostensibly, the soundtrack is Für Elise by Beethoven. Ludwig’s soul is tortured every time someone powers up Acid Drop. But, Ludwig’s ethereal torture is minute compared to the seven levels of audio hell anyone in the same room as Acid Drop being played will experience. The first fifteen notes (three off-key, apparently the 2600 can’t handle flats) of Für Elise are repeatedly endlessly. It’s not even enjoyable the first time, and in an endless loop, it’s a game killer. I strongly advise muting this game if you ever consider playing it. Think of the children! Won’t somebody please think of the children?!

It really is a shame about the music, because, otherwise, this game would be playable. The lack of combos actually provides a new twist on the Columns concept, and makes the game a little more challenging. The graphics are passable. But, this is just one of those games with a flaw so monstrously horrible, there’s no getting around it.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this game to anyone other than hearing impaired people who can’t afford a Sega Genesis and a copy of Columns. If you find yourself in that category, please contact me care of this site, and I will secure both a Genesis and a copy of Columns for you. Acid Drop is a bad game made by bad people. Steer clear.

Rating: 3/10

ddsilver's avatar
Community review by ddsilver (January 01, 2004)

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