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Sea Monster (Atari 2600) artwork

Sea Monster (Atari 2600) review


"Sea Monster is another obscure Atari 2600 game lost in the depths. The name might stir the imagination and prompt a lover of esoterica to search it out. You might think the game sets you up as the eponymous beast devouring snack after snack--sharks, whales, unwary swimmer--and racking up points."



Sea Monster is another obscure Atari 2600 game lost in the depths. The name might stir the imagination and prompt a lover of esoterica to search it out. You might think the game sets you up as the eponymous beast devouring snack after snack--sharks, whales, unwary swimmer--and racking up points.

Hell, I would have loved a retro gaming bloodbath. One must learn to not expect much from obscure titles.

Turns out Sea Monster is yet another of the Space Invaders rip-offs, one formated a bit like Demon Attack. You don't play a sea monster, but sit in a boat and drop depth charges on one of three leviathans scrolling across the screen below you. All three move at different speeds and you don't get the luxury of rapid fire. Timing is the name of the game. These beasties will remain docile for a short while, but they'll eventually send projectile back up at you. Suffer a blow to the hull and down into the depths you go.

It'll take fast motions to keep from getting hit, and thank Poseidon for the tight controls. Without them the game is dead in the water. It packs the kick the game needs to be instantly engaging. If you're an old schooler, you'll probably lose yourself within thirty seconds.

...and lose interest after four minutes. It's an instantly engaging experience, but that siren's spell wears off fast.

Post-Space Invaders Atari shooters had a means of changing up gameplay, usually at the start of a new level, to keep the experience from going sour. Demon Attack introduced new enemies with different types of projectiles and moving patterns, and Phoenix had something similar to a boss battle. Thing is Sea Monster doesn't have levels. You sit on the same screen for ages, blasting the same random splatters of pixel that somewhat resemble beasts and racking up points. The creatures endlessly respawn, the screen never changes, and the game only becomes slightly more difficult.

Your stay out at sea might be cut short by your failing interesting. Even experimenting with the other variations to boost the game's speed doesn't kill the monotony. Liopleurodons aren't suitable replacements for space demons. All they do is swim right to left and lob missiles at you. As awesome as missile-shooting Liopleurodons might sound, you're better off sticking with the devil you know when it comes to Atari 2600. Just leave the sunken treasure at the bottom of the sea and move on.

Rating: 3/10

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Community review by JoeTheDestroyer (April 30, 2011)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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EmP posted April 30, 2011:

Hey Joe -- I changed the front page header for this. It made Marc very angry and I had to talkhim down. The things that anger that man.

Just throw the link for this review up in the tourney topic, and that's link enough. I'll lay off feedback on the epice by now as it's for said tourney.
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JoeTheDestroyer posted April 30, 2011:

D'oh. I didn't know if that was legal or not. :P
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True posted April 30, 2011:

What'd he do?!
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EmP posted April 30, 2011:

You'll never know.
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True posted April 30, 2011:

He'll tell me. Joe's my friend.
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JoeTheDestroyer posted April 30, 2011:

I put something other than excerpts in the header.
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True posted April 30, 2011:

Oh...Nudie pictures?
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JoeTheDestroyer posted April 30, 2011:

Of me with Tyra Banks and a donkey, slathered in marmalade.
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True posted April 30, 2011:

And I missed it...

I will cry tonight.

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