Atari's 1990 Rampart

Build castles, arm yourself to the teeth, and keep the hoards from overrunning your territory.

You're taking over an island, one castle at a time. First, you choose the castle you want to use as your starting point, then walls are built up around it. Once you place your cannons, the mayhem begins!

Enemy ships are trying to get ashore. You have to blow them out of the water to keep them from landing their troops, and advancing on your positions.

After each battle, you have some time to reconstruct any walls the enemy destroyed. You're given Tetris-like pieces, and it's up to you to make them fit. But it's not always an easy task. If you fail to completely enclose a castle in the allotted time, your game is over. Once your construction time is up, you're given more cannons to place, and the fighting starts up again. The more territory you can claim as you build - the more cannons you'll have room for. Of course, while you've been building, the enemy has brought in more ships too. Have at 'em!

Missing Ingredient

Rampart is a first-rate game, but being so strategy-focused, it seems more suited to a computer game than something for the arcades. Longer battles would have helped bring up the action a notch. I find myself disappointed that just about the time I home in on the enemies - the battle is over.

The main drawback with Rampart is that the castle pieces you're given to use often don't fit, causing you to lose valuable time. While this is meant to be part of the strategy, this should have been a little more forgiving, and a bit less frustrating.

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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