36575 Mudge Ranch Road
Coarsegold, CA 93614
40K disk (no cassette); ?
Reviewed by Beth Kaplan
If you're for a challenging "shoot-'em-up" space game, try Threshold. The excellent graphics and animation combine for an exciting, yet frustrating time.
Your ship, the Threshold, has the job of defending the trade routes from wave and after of enemy ships. The action is smooth and fast, and the shapes and colors ate imaginative and very weli executed.
There are 24 different types of enemy spacecraft to be eliminated, each with a unique attack pattern. Some are "kami kazie" pilots that dive down suddenly and destroy your gun! Other ships will disappear off the play field only to re appear someplace else, sorhetimes right on top of the Threshold. The enemy has six groups of four different ships. so far, I've only been able to reach the fourth group.
If you survived four waves of assail ants, a reward of fuel is offered. Fighting stops, the Threshold is automatically moved to the center of the screen, and a mother ship docks. Lasers are cooled and fuel is refilled.
Your mission is completed with the destruction of the last group of aliens. The last group has special character istics, which the authors refuse to reveal. Their only comment is that when players get there, they'll know!
Four levels of play are available; fast or slow speed, with or without a star background. The stars make the gate more difficult because some stars are the same color as the alien bombs. The player gets five ships per game. A bonus ship is awarded at 50,000 points, and another for every 100,000 points after that.
The screen display is relatively simple. On the left is the play field. On the right side are two columns. One column measures fuel consumption. If you run out of fuel, the game is over. The other column indicates the temperature of the laser weapon. When it overheats, the player cannot shoot until it cools sufficiently.
Threshold features two types of defense, lasers and the hyper-warp drive. By pulling back on the joystick, enemy movement and firing rate is slowed, while the Threshold retains its normal powers.
Threshold is one of the better arcade games available for the ATARI Care has been taken to provide an entertaining and well-developed program. Threshold is the type of game about which you say, "Just one more game and then I'll shut it offu', but never do. It's that addicting!
WORDRACEDon't Ask Computer Software
2265 Westwood Blvd. B-150
Los Angeles, CA 90064
$00.00 from dealer or direct from publisher
Reviewed by Ron Mitchel
The wordsmiths at Don't Ask have divided a dictionary of 2000 words into a word game of three levels. The Beginner's level contains words that should be moderately difficult for grade school age. The Regular level has words that are seldom used and should be known by high school students. The Challenge level would be difficult for even the most devoted crossword puzzle fan.
As many as four players can compete in each game. Each player has a menu of six definitions of a given word. A "clock" starts counting backwards from 600 points as soon as the word appears on the television screen. If the word is defined correctly, the number of points on the "clock" is added to the player's score. If the word is incorrectly defined, then the points are subtracted from the score and the player continues until the word is defined or the clock runs out.
WORORACE, according to Don't Ask, will increase the players' vocabulary skills. I must agree. Without WORDRACE I never would have learned the meaning of rimrose or pottle. I also found myself checking the dictionary quite often to see if their definition was correct. Except for one word, my dictionary always agreed with theirs.
Don't Ask Software are the folks that created Abuse, the tricky little program that allows you and your ATARI Home Computer to trade insults. WORDRACE is up to the standards that Don't Ask set with Abuse. The graphics could have been better done perhaps, but then this is a word game.
When my daughters, ages 11 and 12, tried WORDRACE they were frustrated searching for the correct keyboard keys to press to define each word. Perhaps a choice of six definitions is too many for younger players.
Don't Ask plans a series of diskettes, including an additional dictionary of words and a "Famous Names". All will use WORDRACE as the "boot up" program.