The Atari 2600 certainly sees a lot of new interesting releases for a console that is several decades old. One such game, simply titled Cannonhead Clash, is another interesting title I think you need to know more about. I am sure you will instantly see similarities with other titles in this genre.
Familiarity is the Atari way
Think about any random Atari 2600 game. Odds are, it is simple and familiar the moment you started playing. That is just something VCS games offered as a feature.
Call it great game design or lack of computing power for anything very complicated. The point is, offering complicated games was not what the console about. Unless your game was titled E.T. or Raiders of the Lost Ark.
What is unique about Cannonhead Clash
Our friends over at Mechanism.fr see a strong Scorched Earth vibe in Cannonhead Clash. I must agree with them. For me my experience with this style of game goes back to the mid 80’s.
I was in computer class and we had Apple IIe computers to work with. During “free play” time we could load games up and play them. It was usually a race to be first to get this game that was like Scorched Earth. You had to type in variables for power and angle and fire your artillery at the enemy.
Cannonhead Clash is bringing that to the Atari 2600 in all its simplicity.
How Cannonhead Clash made it simple
First, the terrain can be procedurally created, or you can pick from 10 maps. This is interesting, playing procedurally created levels means no two games will be the same. Next, holding down the fire button will shoot your bomb further. This is an interesting use of the limited availability of buttons here.
There are also user selectable win counts. Choose between best of 3 or best of 5 matches.
Finally, the terrain is destructible.
Just check out the video above and see the little tidbits you can see. There is a lot of charm here and that is something most Atari 2600 games are missing.