Atari 2600: Mind Maze - Description of a game

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Game Mind Maze (Atari 2600 - a2600)

Mind Maze (Atari 2600 - a2600)

Game based on the ESP? Yes you heard me right, this is not the Labyrinth is the first (and only) the Atari game based on the unproven (but still popular) theory of ESP (extrasensory perception). It seems that Atari tried to develop a kind of "mind-reading" - games for the new controller Mindlink. So maybe 2600 really read your mind? Read on to find out ...

Mind Maze played somewhat like the old experiments of mind reading, where the scientist took the card and ask someone to tell him what was on the other side. Depending on the game, there are two to four cards on the screen every round. Then the player must try to guess the "correct" the card by selecting it (with a joystick) and press the fire button. Unfortunately, this is where the game starts to fall apart. As you've probably guessed theory CPR is pretty far-fetched, and the chances that the player can constantly be guessing the correct card is thin. So the player has to just sit and random selection of cards until it randomly selects the right. As expected, it gets boring very quickly ...

After selecting a card, any card images will disappear, and the computer then select the "right" map on the screen. If a player plays a "race" option, the game will show a solid blue screen and wait for the player to press a button before moving on to the next round. This blue screen (which would have been more careful in the final release) was probably there to allow other players to get ready for his turn. However, since no two player option in this version, it does not serve any time. The player can also "pass" for the current set of maps by pressing the button without selecting a card. This will cause a new set of maps to appear, but it will still be players turn. There seems to be no limit to the number of times you can go through, but the game will not move until the player chooses a card.

The current account is displayed at the bottom of the screen. The left figure is apparently evaluation of players, while the right digit counts the number of rounds played. When a player reaches 20 points, they win the game and return to the main screen. By setting the correct switching difficulty to B, the player can activate the "cheat" mode. When the cheat mode is activated by selecting any card pick up points (making the game makes no sense). When the switch returns to the expense of returning to normal (as normal as scoring gets in any case in this game). Cheat mode was probably put in a programmer to help debug ESP contested game.

In contrast to the more advanced games such as Motorodeo, the player can not change the game settings directly. Instead, the player must have the choice of numbers game to a combination of rules that he wants to find. Since there are four different ways (one of three options), has as many as 24 different game variations in the prototype (3 * 2 * 2 * 2). Not too shabby for a game since 1984.

If you have not noticed from the screenshots, the graphics are absolutely gorgeous in the Maze mind. Each painting is large and well detailed (a rarity at 2600). The graphics are also very cool 'fade' effect, which adds a bit of eye candy in the otherwise gray looking game. Excellent graphics in the game, so at the beginning of the development cycle are rare, since programmers usually put graphics Bland 'placeholder' until the game was over. One has to wonder what other little surprises programmer has in store for us.

Although the mind Labyrinth constantly come into play Mindlink, this prototype does not use or require a strange controller. However, according to developers, mind Labyrinth probably meant to be a game Mindlink. Presumably, the headband was read players alpha and beta waves in an attempt to help predict their actions. However Mindlink was just a sensor detecting movement of the muscles of the forehead players, this is nonsense. The whole idea of ​​mind reading was just another angle came up with Atari's marketing department.

Although the theory behind the mind maze was quite far away, it shows just how far Atari was ready to go to develop games for the new controller Mindlink. Mind Maze was finally rejected because of the limited treatment of "game" (or perhaps the marketing department finally stopped smoking those funny cigarettes). But mind Labyrinth will not be the last game, to dabble in the paranormal, a few years later, mind-reading game called "Taboo: The Sixth Sense" was released for the NES. Unfortunately, this game was pretty much laughed with shelves and faded into obscurity. It seems that Atari made the right decision after all.