Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Atic Atac'

Rating:4 User: The Dean of Games

1983 Ultimate (UK)
by Tim and Chris Stamper

Its no surprise to anyone that today Atic Atac is considered one of the Spectrum icons. Fortunately there are many iconic games on our beloved machine, all deserving of a place in the sun.
But if you asked me about my top 10 gamelist, Atic Atac wouldn't be on it. I am not in any way reducing the qualities of the game.

Atic Atac deserves all respect, like all Ultimate games do. But honestly I think all their games are overly overrated.
The game is incredible addictive, it's true, it looks nice, sounds nice and it even smelled nice back when I got my copy in Christmas of '84, wrapped next to my first Old Spice (I was hoping to get some girls with it, but didn't get me any).

The plot is simple and straightforward and even with no instructions its fairly easy to understand what is happening.
Personally I had problems with the keys. Never understood why Ultimate had that awkward keyboard configuration, exactly the same as the Sinclair keys, but located in a different keyboard position. That really spoiled things. Another thingy is the pick/drop system, which is very annoying to use, specially when you have a gap between two objects in your scroll.

Another minor complaint I have is with the rooms, they are pretty simple and look much alike and after awhile it gets boring, even with those magic-looking wells and stairs. It's also incredible easy to get lost or even plan a route. Ultimate later redeemed themselves by making a more diverse and exciting game called Underwurlde, although not so fun to play. But hey, this was just 1983, and it was hard to imagine a similar game so good as Atic Atac was.