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The A-Team (Atari 2600) artwork

The A-Team (Atari 2600) review


"There is nothing spectacular or remarkable about Atari's un-released prototype "A-Team". Nothing I can say about it that would recommend it as a superior game. In no way does it stand out or distinguish itself from countless other titles that were in development over at Atari HQ at the time. "



There is nothing spectacular or remarkable about Atari's un-released prototype "A-Team". Nothing I can say about it that would recommend it as a superior game. In no way does it stand out or distinguish itself from countless other titles that were in development over at Atari HQ at the time.

Well, there is one thing.

YOU CONTROL THE FLYING, SHOOTING HEAD OF MR. T!

If you know anything at all about Mr. T, you'll know the veracity achieved by programmer Howard Scott Warshaw (both the genius behind "Yar's Revenge"...and the moron behind "E.T."). On many an episode of the television series "A-Team", Mr. T's head would detatch from his body and begin to fire projectiles. Oh, how we waited for those moments as kids. Then, finally, his head would rejoin his body, and Hannibal would remove his cigar from his mouth and say, "I love it when Mr. T's head and body come together."

Ok, I think I've got all the Mr. T jokes out of my system, let's take a serious look at "A-Team". It's not really horrible. There are 3 stages of game play. In the first, you attempt to stop terrorists from building a rocket. In the second stage, you face off against the main terrorist. In the third stage, Mr. T's head engages the General Lee (of Dukes of Hazard fame) in a fight to be the king of ratings. Or something. I really can't tell what's going on in the third stage.

That's the real problem here. It took a lot of staring at the screen to figure out what was going on. The graphics here aren't very good. I'm not being harsh on outmoded technology, either. This was a last-gen Atari 2600 game. Take a look at some other titles from that era, "Mario Bros.", "Kung Fu Master", or "Pitfall II". That's what quality graphics looked like in 1984. This looks pretty smeared and unattractive. Conversely, it is a prototype and might have been cleaned up for release. But, I have to review what I have here.

Sound is there. It's not going to drive you nuts, but it's not something you're going to remember either. I'm not sure whether to be upset or relieved that Warshaw failed to include a snippet of the A-Team theme music. That could have been very cool, or very painful. Outside of that omission, the sound is your standard blips and beeps. Exactly what year was it when people began to realize that sound was a valid means of expression in the gaming world?

Of course, any collector would jump at the chance to own an "A-Team" prototype. Any retrogamer would jump at the chance to play it...once. The "A-Team" game will appeal only to those ironic retro-hipsters who buy those Konami Code t-shirts at the mall. No one else will get much of a charge out of it, short of the brief novelty of controlling the FLYING, SHOOTING HEAD OF MR. T!

Rating: 3/10

ddsilver's avatar
Community review by ddsilver (October 26, 2004)

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