Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Bomb's Z-Tack -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewBomb's Z-Tack for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Z-Tack
Manufacturer: Bomb
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983
Part #: CA283
Rating: 2 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Bomb's Z-Tack Screenshot:
Bomb's Z-Tack for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review Z-Tack Screenshot 2

Z-Tack is a shooter, but it's turned on it's head. At first glance, it isn't obvious tat you are playing as the large ship at the top of the screen. This is a top-shooter... if such a category exists. You shoot down at the enemies who are somewhat obstructed by ground clutter.

The manual seems as though it was translated by someone who wasn't fluent in English. It contains no story arc or info about the game aside from a few specs about variations and levels.

Z-Tack Game Play

You bigin this 1 or 2-player game with 3 lives. Your ship can maneuver and fire in any of 4 directions. At the outset you'll be positioning yourself to fire on the enemies below. You are restricted to single-fire and must wait for each missile to make contact. They will randomly fire at you - and you're quite a big target!

The game consists of 6 levels that will repeat in faster intervals. There are 4 variations, but 2 of them are simply to select single or 2-player modes. Each of these has a Beginner and Advanced level.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Z-Tack is another rare game from Bomb that didn't do very well. As a top-shooter, it seems like an upside down
shooter. While it tries to offer varying features, it generally relies on a boost in level speed. This adds to the interest, but the overall game is not as engaging as I'd hoped.

Initially, I found this game dull. As the action speeds up, it gets more interesting, but even the varying visuals - some of which are taller and creep into your available area - don't spic it up too much. Since you can fire in 4 directions, you may wonder when this will come into play. Missiles fired from the ground sometimes turn into a ball that must be destroyed. If the ball isn't destroyed quickly enough, it turns into a jet that hones in on you very quickly.

Apparently some folks found the large size of the ship to be too large a target and opt for a homebrew hack (2002 by Steve Engelhardt) of Z-Tack called Lunar Attack. The large ship makes early levels more interesting, but as the game speeds up in later levels, the ship's size is a detraction.

Tack homebrew hack for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Check out this homebrew tweak and see if it makes the game play less frustrating in the higher levels. As I understand it, the only change is to your ship's size. This may make it too easy at early levels, making you less likely to want to play on. Either way, I'm not entirely sold on Z-Tack. Sometimes it's fun and other times irritating.

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

Bomb's Z-Tack

tries to be original with it's top-shooter model and 4-way firing, but the overall premise of the game doesn't allow these elements to culminate in an enjoyable game.

Read about our Spaceship video game review rating system

« Return to Retro Video Game Reviews