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Monday, 25 January 2010

Man Goes Down (Atari 2600)

I read about Man Goes Down ages ago, and it's another game that was lost in the back of my mind somewhere. Christ knows what else I'll find there if I dig about!

Anyway, it's an indie game, and it was posted on the AtariAge forums by its author, Alex Herbert, back in 2004.

The best Atari games were usually very simple, as they had to be when the programmers had so little room to work with. Man Goes Down is kind of the opposite of PapiJump+,which I played almost a year ago. Or is it the other way You're a little fella falling down a world of platforms and gaps. If you fall off the bottom of the screen, it's game over. If you get stuck and the screen scrolls down without you, it's game over. So you have to stay in a controlled spell of falling to stay in the game.


No, the man in the game is not called Roderick...

Thankfully, you can have some help in the game, in the form of bonus pick-up items. A helicopter backpack will keep you from the drop (while it lasts), as will a bubble, and a skateboard will speed you across the platforms in time to avoid getting squashed at the top of the screen. Stop signs, umm, stop the scrolling, and arrows increase its speed. Fruits increase your scoring multiplier, although if you miss one the multiplier resets. And there are magic mushrooms, which can have more than one effect...

Man Goes Down is a really nice little game. It looks great for a 2600 game, plays really well and has that important "just one more go" factor. Sadly, though, it's not finished. The author (who also wrote the much-loved homebrew Protector on the Vectrex) posted in May 2005 that he had been unwell, and doesn't seem to have said anything after August 2005. We can only hope he's doing OK... I certainly wish him all the best.

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