Colony 7Buy this gameThe Game: You’re in charge of defenses at Colony 7. Even though a shield protects the settlement’s power generators, weapons and populated buildings, the onslaught of alien intruders gradually and inevitably wears that shield down. Once holes have been bored through the shield, the aliens have a clear shot at Colony 7 – and you’re toast. You’re the colony’s last hope, aiming your crosshairs at anything that threatens the surface. (Taito, 1981)

Memories: Does Colony 7 look a little familiar? If so, think of another game from roughly the same era. Not a translation of the arcade game, but an Atari 2600 cartridge with roughly the same style of game play.

Colony 7Do you give up? Taito’s immensely obscure Colony 7 was the inspiration for the Imagic Atlantis cartridge. Take a good close look at the screens of both games. Now, sure, Atlantis was vastly simplified. The alien ships attacking Atlantis move inexorably downward in a neat progression, as opposed to the randomly-attacking marauders of Colony 7. Atlantis is, in fact, much easier than its arcade counterpart.

It’s an interesting study in how one game can survive in the home video game market, while another stumbles in the arcades…and yet, essentially, they’re both the same game.

4 quartersWhile not really a licensed home version of Colony 7, Imagic’s Atlantis was manufactured for the Atari 2600, Intellivision, and even the Odyssey 2, and was the closest thing one could find to Colony 7 at home.