Monday, January 10, 2011

Game of the Week: Night Stalker for Intellivision

Night StalkerNight Stalker was a shooter game. You ran around a maze shooting at robots before they shoot you, all the while trying to avoid spiders and bats (because they can freeze you temporarily on screen) and grabbing more bullets for your gun.

Simple enough. Right?

Admittedly, Night Stalker for the Intellivision home video game system was pretty easy. But only in the lower levels. The higher your score went, the tougher the robots became. And the last thing you wanted was to face off with a bunch of robots when your gun is out of ammo.

So, simple game. Lots of fun. It was the early '80s, so what more could you ask for?

How about being creeped out? Night Stalker by no means is the scariest or creepiest game ever made, but for the early 1980s, it was pretty spooky. How? I mean, come on, it was just a bunch of blips on the screen, right? Well, yeah, but there was that spooky heartbeat sound that was always playing in the background. No matter what happened, that heartbeat kept beating and beating and beating. It was enough to drive you bats. Or shatter your nerves.

But you had to keep a cool head. There were robots to kill, after all.

Night Stalker was always one of my favorite games on the Intellivision, and it proved popular enough that it was ported to several other home gaming systems and computer of the day, including the famous Atari 2600. Here's a piece of trivia for you: The version of this game for the Atari 2600 was not called Night Stalker, but was labeled Dark Caverns. However, in 1989, some years after the golden age of the Intellivision, a PAL version of Dark Caverns was released and it was called ... you guessed it, Night Stalker.

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