Monday, January 9, 2012

Video game of the week: Killer Bees! for Odyssey 2

The Odyssey 2 home video game console, also known as the Videopac outside the U.S., had a decent following in the early 1980s, but it was never the most popular system. A large part of that had to do with the system's lack of strong graphics and sound, but that meant the creators for the Odyssey 2 games had to work all that much harder to make stronger gameplay.

To that end, such unique games as Killer Bees! came about.

The player controls a swarm of bees in an arena. The bees attack robots, which slows down and eventually can destroy the robots, leaving behind a tombstone where the robots died. The most dangerous enemy? Another swarm of bees, and they fly around quickly trying to attack the player's bees. One by one, the player's bees are picked away, and once there are no more bees for the player, the game ends.

For today's gamers, this might sound a little silly and overly simplistic, but for the early 1980s it was actually a pretty decent game. Unfortunately, the Odyssey 2 was never shown a lot of love by consumers and collectors, and such games as Killer Bees! never caught on big time.

While the graphics for the Odyssey 2 were never great, here they are quite sharp, bright with no blurring. The sound is simplistic, as well, but it's appropriate for the system and the time period. The controls are excellent.

The game speeds up slowly, adding to the tension, and while Killer Bees! might not be a game you would want to play for hours and hours, it is a nice little game that can give you a short break.

Killer Bees! was truly a different game for its time period, and deserves to get a little notice for its uniqueness. Collectors of retro video game systems could do far worse than to pick up a copy of Killer Bees!

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