Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bio-Attack - Maybe not fantastic, but it's a voyage

The sci-fi classic Fantastic Voyage was on TV last night - in case you are unfamiliar with it a group of scientists and their super-scientific surgery ship are miniaturized and injected into a comatose VIP to perform life-saving surgery while being attacked by the host's immune system (and an on-board traitor). Well, except for the traitor, that is the same theme of Bio-Attack - an arcade vertical shooter released in 1983 by Taito. I'm pretty sure no one has ever seen this obscure game so - why not talk about it?

You pilot a miniaturized ship making your way through a man's bloostream with the goal of shooting the bacteria, viruses, and other little baddies that are screwing with this guy's innards - and apparently he's filthy sick because no matter how much shit you shoot you never quite cure this poor bastard. You work you way to his heart, then stomach, then eventually to escape out of his right eye (just like in Fantastic Voyage) to - that's right - start all over again (poor bastard). The different areas in the body also offer different types of obstacles to overcome and your progress is tracked on a map of the guy's body in the lower right corner of the screen.

All the while your oxygen supply is depleting at the bottom of the screen - but this is never really a factor anyway except that you get bonus points for oxygen left over after each level.

To me Bio-Attack is like Vanguard mixed with Venture. Definitely a lower-tier version of those guys but still not a bad little game. The sound effects are OK for the day but the constant music definitely tends to get rather annoying after a while.

The bigger problem with the game though is that the hit-detection is a little flaky - there were several times where I thought I glided safely by a bad guy only to blow up and even more times when I shot directly through one of the little bastards with no effect. If that occasional glitch were improved then it would have gotten a little more credit in my book - but as it is I give it a 6.1. Now that I've gone back to it and escaped out the eye I probably won't hit it much but who knows, I still occasionally watch Fantastic Voyage and that flick came out way back in 1966!

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Fallguy40 said...

Reminds me of an Intellivision game from 1982 called Microsurgeon.

Check it out. Microsurgeon was made by 3rd party developer Imagic who created Intellivision and Atari games with generally better graphics than the 1st party games.

Other titles of theirs were Demon Attack and Beauty and the Beast.

MadPlanet said...

I never played much Intellivision since I never owned one but I do recall seeing Microsurgeon for sale. Thanks for the suggestion - I'll check it out. I have played a few Imagic games on Atari including Demon Attack (good game) and Atlantis (cool looking but meh).

Fallguy40 said...

As I remember, Microsurgeon was a cool-looking game that was never all that much fun to play. The idea was better than the execution.

I don't think I ever played Atlantis. It looked cool on the promo ads though. Demon Attack was kind of like Phoenix think.