Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Activision's Kaboom! -Atari 5200
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewActivision's Kaboom! for Atari 5200 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Kaboom!
Manufacturer: Activision
Platform: Atari 5200
Release Date: 1983
Part #: FZ-001
Rating: 3 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Activision's Kaboom! Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Activision's Kaboom! Screenshot:
Activision's Kaboom! for Atari 5200 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

I was never a huge fan of Kaboom. I understand the build-up and how manic it got, but it seemed like a one-trick pony to me - there was something that simply didn't click with me and Kaboom's game play. I liked the Atari 2600 version, but much of that was due to the paddle controllers that gave it an edge.

Atari's 5200 version didn't seem to be much of an upgrade visually. They added a cityscape background, but the bombs and buckets seemed much the same as the 2600 game. From an auditory perspective, as you catch bombs, you hear Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. I'm no fan of the 5200's controllers, so for me this wasn't a very enjoyable game.

Kaboom's Story Arc

The Mad Bomber is up to his old tricks. He's dropping bombs from rooftops. You have 3 water buckets to catch his bombs before they explode. The more you catch, the faster he will drop them. If you miss a bomb - KABOOM!

Kaboom's Game Play

The Atari 5200 version of this popular game added a few changes, but nothing to really set it apart from previous versions. The standard 1 or 2-player versions are presented with an added co-play game (Pitch and Catch) in which you take turns controlling the buckets and then the bomber. These options are selectable from the keypad using the Kaboom! Overlay.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Kaboom! is considered to be a "classic" Atari 2600 game and has been released for several Atari consoles and was included on the Activision Anthology compilation.
Tiger Electronics even converted Kaboom! into one of their tiny LCD keychain-sized games. There was a rumored 16-bit version coming to the SNES, but it never came to market.

The overlay also contains a "Bucket" button that changes the bucket size between small and large. You can start the flow of bombs with either lower fire button. The bombs will begin by dropping in groups. Every 1000 points you score, a new bucket.

If you score 1800 or more points in game variation 1 or 2, and sent a picture of your TV screen to Activision, they would enroll you in the Bucket Brigade club and send you the official Bucket Brigade patch.

The reality is that the paddle controllers on the 2600 deliver better game play. Coupled with the scant amount of added features for the 5200, it doesn't offer the stellar game it really should.

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Activision's Kaboom

on the 5200 isn't much of an upgrade from the 2600 version. That isn't to say they simply rushed out a clone for new hardware, but it didn't deliver the same manic play as the 2600 did with it's preferable paddle controllers.

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