I must admit, I do not really remember when Apollo’s Guardian made it into my Atari 2600 collection. Heck, I don’t even remember playing the game before last week (alcohol is not to blame I take it? – Ed) when I was going through a box of Atari stuff and I found this cartridge. As it turns out it is a fairly rare cartridge. After sorting them out, I began playing them all and as I made my way through the various games in that box, Guardian was at the bottom of my list because to be honest, I do not enjoy playing too many games using my current Atari Paddles, but for this review I dug them out and fixed them up, just so I could play Guardian.
Its actually a pretty decent game. A shooter in the style of Space Invaders with some interesting twists. You are in a ship that moves back and fourth over a shield guarding multiple earths. A mothership then begins dropping all manner of bullets and other “things” down upon your shield, trying to take out the Earths that lay below. If your paddle is in good shape, it is not too difficult, but I still don’t understand why I need to use a paddle, except that the game might have been too easy with a joystick, since it would made it very easy to get under the things the mothership is dropping. I hope that is not the reason it’s a paddle game, but that’s the only explanation I can give. It would be like the NES making you use an impossible robot peripheral to play games that would be way too easy to play otherwise, oh wait.
The game is good for about 30 minutes of play before you get tired, but the graphics look pretty nice. The mothership and earth look like what they are and the changing shape of the objects dropping from the mothership makes the game a bit more interesting. It is a solid, middle of the road Atari game so I am giving it 3 out 5 stars.