The Game: You’re trapped in a multi-story building with hostile forces all around. Your infiltration mission has gone from mere espionage to a battle for survival – a battle you’re probably not going to win. Board elevators to reach the opposite level of the screen to retrieve enemy secrets, all while avoiding enemy agents and trying to shoot them down. (This spy business would be a lot easier if the enemy couldn’t shoot back, but generally they’re better shots than you are.) Then a new prize appears at the opposite end of the screen, sending you on yet another dangerous mission. (Games By Apollo, 1981)
Memories: A simple Atari 2600 port of the popular computer game Spy’s Demise, Infiltrate simplifies things a bit more than the computer version and keeps players constantly running for their lives. There’s really no win condition – just a grim countdown to the point at which the player is worn down.
With colorful and flicker-free graphics, Infiltrate is an easy game to look at, but the large, blocky graphics – while they don’t share the exasperating sprite flicker of many Atari 2600 titles released at roughly the same time – don’t make this one of the most immersive games in the 2600 library. It’s a fun little game until sheer fatigue sets in.
It’s also an indication that Games By Apollo was working toward shedding the image of “the company that brought you Skeet Shoot.” While the company’s first offering may have been lackluster in every important respect, Apollo’s next several games were clearly aimed at regaining lost ground and respect. In that respect, Infiltrate is light-years ahead of its predecessor.