DARK MAGE / Greg Troutman / Atari 2600

Dark Mage proves that a text adventure is possible on the Atari 2600 ... and that's about it.

I mean, good on an indie designer for being creative and making something work and all that, but ... seriously ... does the world need Atari 2600 text adventures? I'm inclined to say "no", given that the only way to interact with the system is to use the stick to scroll through a list of commands (Go, Take, Look, etc.), click the button to highlight one, then move the stick in various directions to scroll through available possibilities. You can see where this format allows only very limited possibilities in terms of gameplay, and it isn't helped by the fact that it's a little confusing and it's not always clear exactly what you're doing at any given time. The huge font (I assume text had to be drawn out somehow instead of actually using a set font, since I don't recall the 2600 ever displaying text outside of maybe numerals for a score tally on the top/bottom of the screen) also doesn't leave much room for descriptiveness, and the purple-on-red color scheme isn't really very appealing either.

I'm sorry to dog on an indie dude who probably just did this to see if it could be done, but it just really isn't any fun to play.