The Game: You’re commanding a submarine roaming the depths of the Atari 2600, attempting to rescue divers while also battling off sharks and enemy subs. Once you’ve gotten six of those defenseless divers aboard, you’ll need to surface to offload them. If either the sharks or subs collide with you, you lose a sub and one diver (I haven’t quite figured out how the rest of the divers manage to survive the collision, but then again they are wearing scuba gear…but still, how do they wind up aboard the next sub?) – and you’re equally dead if your oxygen meter runs empty, but you can prevent that by surfacing and replenishing it before returning to the deep. (Activision, 1983)
Memories: This nifty little gem from Activision is one of those games which is incredibly easy to pick up, and hard to put down once you get the hang of it. And the ease of the first few levels is deceptive – this game hustles you big time by softening you up before it starts to throw rows of sharks or subs at you.
Nowhere in this game do Roy Scheider or a talking dolphin appear. You may safely put any such thoughts out of your mind.
SeaQuest actually managed to draw one of the weirdest lawsuits ever in the video game industry. Not for infringing on another game, but for inadvertently swiping the name of an aquatic salvage firm that was in operation around the same time. The suit was settled, however, and the game went on to be featured in Activision’s collected relics for every modern platform since the mid-1990s. I can also authoritatively tell you that Seaquest is much more fun than anything bearing the title SwordQuest.