Also available on Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance; Xbox 360 and Windows via Game Room; and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 via Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1
Yars' Revenge is one of the most famous and most beloved games on Atari's six switch behemoth (or, I guess, the four switch version works, too, but it's lame). If you don't know what you're doing, it can be a rather vexing game. Once you get the hang of it, however, it's a bizarrely addicting game.
You play as a Yar, a little insect looking ship, on your quest to get revenge for something against some swirly death ship hiding behind a barrier. I don't know what the enemy ship is called or why you're trying to get revenge, so in my natural fashion, I'll fill in a story for the game. The Yars were a peaceful insectoid species, just minding their own business on their homeworld of Yartopia, giving equal rights and anti-discrimination to all Yars regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation, when the dread Trump attacked their peace loving planet. The Trump, being a naturally cowardly space creature, immediately erected a massive wall to keep the Yars out of his territory and protect himself from the pesky Yars. Unwilling to let the slaughter of innocents to unpunished, you must lead the Yars in their counter-attack, breaking down the barrier protecting the Trump and firing their Freedom Cannon to destroy the Trump and bring liberty back to the galaxy.
Anyway, the gameplay involves shooting the barrier around the bad guy ship to expose it. You can also nibble away at the shield with your ship. There's a missile that's constantly tracking you and will destroy you if it comes into contact with you. There's a "safe zone" in the middle of the screen where you're protected from the missile. It'll still stalk you, but it can't destroy you. The bad guy ship will, however, periodically turn into a spinning death thing and fly at you hella fast to ruin your day. The goal is to shoot the bad guy with your big bad giga cannon that you can arm by eating part of the shield or touching the big enemy. Once your cannon is armed, pressing the button on the controller will fire that instead of your regular weapon. It will go wherever your ship is when you press the button, but you need to make sure that you immediately get out of the way; if your own missile hits you, you'll explode. If you hit the enemy with it, you pass the level; if you miss, you have to re-arm it and fire again.
Yars' Revenge is an extremely simple game in concept, but it's oddly addicting. Once you figure out what you're supposed to do, it's a very rewarding and entertaining game. The 2600 controller is a bit stiffer than I would like, personally, for this game, but if you're playing on 7800, that controller's great, and the Sega Genesis controller is always a good bet for 2600 games. Regardless of how you're playing, Yars' Revenge is a gaming classic that has earned its reputation and legacy. It may not be the kind of game you'll want to marathon for 12 hours, but it's definitely good for a solid 30 or 45 minutes, especially if you're competing with friends for a high score.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.