Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Data Age's Encounter At L5 -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewData Age's Encounter At L5 for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Encounter At L5
Manufacturer: Data Age
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1982
Part #: DA1001
Rating: 3 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Data Age's Encounter At L5 Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Data Age's Encounter At L5 Screenshot:
Data Age's Encounter At L5 for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

I hadn't seen this little gem in my 80's Atari days. It takes the bottom-shooter (similar to Space Invaders) and adds a few nice twists that make it more unique. For one, it uses the paddle controllers with a unique scenario for aiming and shooting enemies. It has a nice fast pace and takes a bit of time to master. Visually, one might liken it to Demon Attack and Space Invaders as a mash-up.

You're able to move your ship as well as aim, so this definitely isn't you standard shooter. Enemies descend and fire on you. Occasionally a larger, red Death Ship comes in low and you must maneuver and aim before he reaches the bottom of the screen. The paddle controller seems very sensitive, but I'm sure that one will adjust to it with more game play.

Encounter At L5 Story Arc

Beyond the orbit of the moon, a defenseless space colony is under heavy attack from the ruthless Megalytes. You are their only hope. Armed with packets of antimatter, you take control of an Antimatter Launcher. Suddenly the sky is ablaze with Megalyte war ships. You must destroy them before their formidable particle beams destroy you and the peace-loving colonists of L-5. It will take every ounce of skill and cunning at your disposal to blast the evil ones out of orbit.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Data Age's Encounter At L5 alters the standard
way we usually play a horizontal shooter. It aslo uses the Paddle Controllers in a unique combo of positioning your cannon and aiming your anti-matter launcher.

This 2-player game has 26 game options (odd game #'s = single, even = 2-player) available via the Select Switch. The Difficulty Switches are also used, but in unison - meaning both players have the same difficulty setting.

Keep the Paddle Controller's fire button depressed. While depressed, your paddle controls a cursor at the top of the screen which directs a stream of anti-matter packets at your enemies. As you turn the knob, your stream of anti-matter moves across the screen in an arc. Your ship is invisible during this time. However, you need to release the fire button to move your ship (cannon) so you can fire vertically at the Death Ship - you'll hear a warning screech on arrival. If it reaches the bottom of the screen, you lose a life. When you release the fire button our cannon instantly lines up with the cursor atop the screen.

This control scheme sounds harder than it really is. You get used to it quite fast. The real challenge comes when you release the button and your ship jumps to the cursor's position. Start firing immediately!

Encounter At L5 Difficulty Switches

You can adjust to 3 levels of play with combos of the difficulty switches. These settings determine the approach speed of the enemy Megalyte ships.
Left B & Right B = Easy
Left A & Right B = Moderate
Left B & Right A = Fast

Part of the fun is the fast pace. It goes so fast, you may not even know when you've been hit. There isn't much of an indicator. I've had the game end, not even realizing I'd been hit. I dig this game - give it a play and get those paddle controllers going!

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Data Age's Encounter At L5

is a horizontal bottom shooter that adds more than enough features to set itself apart from other games in this genre. It takes some getting used to the controls, but in the end it delivers a frantic (and often short) game experience. Good fun with the paddle controllers.

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