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Atari 2600 Game Reviews

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 Keystone Capers - Activision (1984)

Keystone Capers for the Atari 2600 was one of the most playable games for the system in my opinion. In a time when most games consisted of minimal gameplay taking place on just one game screen Keystone Capers had you scrolling left and right amongst 8 full game screens and each screen had 4 levels connected by escalators and elevators. A really nice break from Pacman and Frogger.

Story wise, since this is an Atari 2600 game there isn't much story to speak of. You play the role of a policeman trying to apprehend a criminal (in the classic black and white prison outfit) who is trying to lose the policeman in a shopping mall. Some story huh? Of course stories are just backdrops for the gameplay and for it's time the gameplay is decent.

Both you and the criminal start in the lower right hand of the screen with the criminal having almost a screen lead on you. As you chase him you have to dodge different obstacles the criminal throws in your way like shopping carts, balls, radios and radio controlled airplanes.  If you hit any of these items you lose some time on the ticker.  That's right, you have a time limit to complete each board.  The countdown starts at 50 seconds and the game is over when you run out of time or catch the criminal.  There are also different items you can collect for points (remember most games of this time were aiming for points not completion of the game) like gold, presents etc.

What really made this game stand out were the escalators and elevators. With these you could attempt to get ahead of the criminal. If you timed it just right you could get the elevator to drop you off just as the criminal was passing you. Just a word of advice, don't jump on the elevator too soon because once you get in the elevator and it just starts to go up the criminal will change direction and head down. He must have physic senses or something.

Overall I found this game to be quit enjoyable and if I had my way I would release a Game Boy Advance version because games like this are great for those times when you just have 10 minutes to kill.

Reviewed by Game Guru





Cheats & Strategy



The Top 10 Atari 2600 Games

Keystone Capers
Yar's Revenge
Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
Defender II
Donkey Kong Jr.



Technical Specs

CPU type: 6507, 1.19 MHz
RAM memory: RAM: 128 Bytes, in VLSI
ROM: 4K max
Video RAM: Stella, a custom graphics chip that controlled the synchronization to the TV and all other video processing tasks
Graphics Clock: 1.19 MHz
Picture resolution: 320 x 200 pixels
Colors Available: 128 Colors
Sound: None



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