The Game: The aliens are taking their complaints to the home office! As the pilot of an agile space fighter, you have to blast your way through the alien forces from Pluto all the way back to Earth. Occasionally you can boost your ship’s firepower, but that’s the only help you’re going to get. The rest is up to your speed, your strategy, and your ability to nail those suckers in mid-dive. (Parker Brothers, 1984)
Memories: A valiant attempt by Parker Bros. to translate Konami’s smash hit shooter to the 2600, Gyruss wins points for effort and attention to detail, but still manages to lose something in the translation. And yet so much is actually there – even a decent swipe, for the 2600’s sound hardware, at Bach’s “Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor” (the arcade game’s signature tune). The dreaded flicker factor comes into play here too, especially when a whole new wave of ships is enterting the screen – though that’s such an essential element of the game that we’d be crying foul if the programmers erred in favor of fewer sprites.
Not a dead-center hit, but not a total miss either. And the fact of the matter is, back in the day, I did enjoy playing 2600 Gyruss – a lot.