Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Atari Yar's Revenge -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewAtari Yar's Revenge for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Yar's Revenge
Manufacturer: Atari
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1981
Part #: CX2655
Rating: 5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Atari Yar's Revenge Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Atari Yar's Revenge Screenshot:
Atari Yar's Revenge for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Yar's Revenge was one of the oddest games to win over a lot of Atari 2600 owners. You play as a galactic insect whose goal is to chip away at the enemy (The Qotile) while dodging both Destroyer Missiles (an annoying missile that follows you around) and his swirling pinwheels. Your only safe haven is the Neutral Zone, a colorful rainbow-ish mess in the center of the screen. Your weaponry comes in the form of a lackluster cannon that fires Energy Missiles and your ability to "chew" at the Qotile's shield (each bite devours a cell) in an effort to open up a direct line of fire. You can then use your Zorlon Cannon to blast the Qotile.

Like Pac-Man, one saving grace is the ability to fly off the top or bottom of the screen and reappear on the opposite side. This can be very useful once you see the pattern of the Qotile's color changes that signal when a Swirl will be launched.

Yar's Revenge is an insanely great game that's a ton of fun with high replay value. But you have to wonder how it became such an iconic game for the 2600. The average consumer browsing titles in a store isn't likely to know what a "Yar" is and the box isn't too descriptive. It sort of leaves you with a WTF sort of feeling. The fly-creature's name is an ode to Atari executive Ray Kassar (Yar backwards). Mystery solved.

Difficulty Switch Settings for Yar's Revenge

Your Yar shoots Energy Missiles by default but switches modes to fire the Zorlon Cannon when it appears on screen - don't shoot yourself by accident! To up the ante, set the Difficulty Switch to "A" for expert mode which makes the Qotile's Swirl to travel faster and the Destroyer Missile can destroy the Zorlon Cannon by touching it.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Yars' Revenge, designed by Howard Scott Warshaw, was Atari's best selling original title for the 2600 and began as a licensed port of the Cinematronics arcade game Star Castle.
The final product had very little resemblance to Star Castle. In addition to the mini comic book, Atari also released an album, under the Kid Stuff Records label, with a theme song and a reading of the comic book story.

Game Variations for Yar's Revenge

The 8 game variations adds some nice touches even though the game itself offeres plenty of variation all on its own. there is a "Simple" mode and a "Normal" mode, each of which has 1 and 2 player versions. As the challenges mount you can have the Zorlon Cannon bounce off the Qotile's shield as well as change the energy level (measured in TRONS) to enable firing of your Zorlon Cannon.

Scoring began with 69 point increments (an odd choice) for both shooting or chewing one of the Qotile's cells. Destroying the Qotile garnered 1,000 points, while destroying a swirl in place was worth 2,000 versus destroying it in motion which added 6,000 points to your score. Just when you think you're the ar Master (you're not) the Swirls triple in frequency at 70,000 points and can fire instantly with the changing color of the shield. Good luck with that!

From the graphics and sound to the intensity and unique thrill it brings, Yar's Revenge is one of those games you have to play to really get it and once you've played it, you're likely to play it again and again. Put down the beer (and get off the babysitter) and play Yar's Revenge!

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

Atari Yar's Revenge

is one of the few games that is truly bizarre while still garnering mass appeal from players. The whole premise is odd, but it's a ton of fun to play.

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