Review by Psycho Penguin

"It really wasn't all that bad at all.."

When it comes to sports, I have always been a big fan. I have enjoyed many sports over the years. However, I have never really been a huge hockey fan. Needless to say, I still played hockey and watched hockey on television from time to time. My all time favorite sports team (Pittsburgh Penguins) is a hockey team. But, I just have not gotten into the sport of hockey as much as I expected.

So, when I fished out under my bed and re-hooked my old Atari up in my room, I did not really think much when I put Ice Hockey in the console and fired it up. I was not expecting to be blown away by the game or anything. After all, it was just another hockey game. I had played enough of them, and most of them were actually kind of boring.

However, this is far from just another boring hockey game. In fact, this is one of my all time favorite sports games now. You may take a look at this game and ask ''what the hell is this guy smoking?'' but let me explain myself first, and why I think this game is so much fun to play, and superior to a lot of the hockey games out there.

It is really not that complicated at all. One of the major problems I have with sports games nowadays is the fact that they all seem to be way too complicated and jammed with statistics and numbers and such. I think that developers of sports games nowadays are generally guilty of making the game too stat-intensive, without worrying about the actual game and how fun it is to play. And that is why I like this game, there are no statistics or anything to even worry about.

It is just so much fun to play. There really is not that much to do in this game, but for some reason it is strangely addictive and fun to play. It is especially enjoyable when played on multiplayer mode, as you will have a blast trying to move your guys around against your friend, trying to score goals. It really is fun to play.

Now onto my quick rundown of the game.

Graphics (8.2/10): For an Atari 2600 game, these graphics are actually kind of impressive. Now, granted, you will not see NHL 2001 like graphics, but the graphics here get the job done. Basically there is a black screen, with a white box, and in the box are your players and the goals. The goals look like crap, and the players animate rather poorly, but at least everything can be made out clearly. The graphics are perfectly acceptable for an Atari 2600 game.

Music and Sound Effects (3.8/10): As in most Atari 2600 games, there is no music featured in the game. Sound effects are barely there, as all you really hear is the sound of the puck moving around the ''rink''.

Gameplay and Control (8.3/10): This is where most Atari 2600 games, and Ice Hockey, becomes fun to play and a good game. Control in the game is solid, as it is really not that complicated at all. You use your directional pad to move the players around, and you push the red button to shoot the puck. Yep, that is it. No fancy passing and variations of shots in this game.

The actual game itself is not like other hockey games, in the simple fact that it is not really that deep. All you get is two teams, two goals, two players per team, and that's pretty much it. However, there is something strangely fun about this game. I cannot really say what it is, but let me just assure you that this game is a blast to play. I spent about fourty five minutes playing this game last night when I couldn't fall asleep, and I loved every minute of it.

Replay Value (Medium): The replay value is not up to par with some other Atari 2600 games, but this is still an addictive and fun game to play. I would spend many hours playing this game if I didn't have better things to do. Hell, I played the game for 45 minutes, so that alone should tell you that the game has some decent replay value.

Challenge (Not Available): I cannot really comment on the challenge level of this game, mainly because it is a pretty challenging game, but the quality of the players on the other team varies from game to game, so there is no set challenge.

Overall (8.2/10): It is a blast to play, and is one of the better hockey games I have ever played. Some people may be turned away by the simple fact that it is an Atari 2600 game, but stick with it and you will discover one of the finer hockey games that ever was created.

Good Points
-The fun factor of the game is extremely high.
-Simple controls really lend themselves well.
-No statistics to worry about.
-The game has some good replay value.

Not So Good Points
-The graphics are VERY basic and outdated.
-Stat happy fans will not be pleased.
-No real players or teams.
-Challenge varies from game to game for some reason.

I Run Down the Ratings... Da Ladies Man Style!
Storyline - Not Available
Graphics - 8.2
Music - Not Available
Sound Effects - 3.8
Control - 9.4
Gameplay - 8.2
Replay Value - A Little Above Average
Challenge - Varies from Game to Game
Overall - 8.2/10

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Three Questions and The Last Line
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Q: Is this game worth buying?
A: If you can find it, definitely.

Q: Where can I go to buy it?
A: Try flea markets, pawn shops, and thrift stores.

Q: But it's an Atari 2600 game!
A: And this is a bad thing?

The Last Line
This game is one of the best hockey games ever, despite the relative lack of depth, and is well worth a purchase.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/17/00, Updated 07/16/01


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