Data East has thrown a twist on side-view, horizontally scrolling action. They've come up with a knockout Genesis cart that will turn gamers upside down (or at least backwards!)
An ancient alien race wants to reclaim its old 'hood from the people of Earth. You are Max, Earth's last hope. You get an atomic suit left by the aliens and pretty soon you're atomizing the bad guys.
- Just before each boss there should be two power-ups (one high jump and one weapon enhancer). You'll need them both to defeat the boss.
- Bounce off the heads of the Sho-fe's (aliens with the thorny shields). If you shoot them, their shields fly off too fast to avoid.
Atomic Runner features some cool fire power and moves. You begin with a laser, a cool jumping move and four-way or six-way directional firing. In addition to the laser, you can collect an apocalyptic array of weapons, including Light Rings, Morning Stars, and Homing Missiles.
Your gonna need weapons, power-ups, and skill to take on automized aardvarks, armored armadillos and even rabid robot rabbits! For maximum damage and an extra boost of jumping power, you can also destroy the enemies by hopping on their heads. You'll need to keep some enemies alive for just that purpose.
On the downside, with only one hit Max is hero history! Another sore spot is the nonstop screen scrolling. If a power-up or weapon falls far enough behind you, forget it. There's no way to go back to get it.
Jump backwards as soon as you see that you've missed a power-up or weapon. There's a slim chance that you can recover it.
The seven levels of thumb-popping action go beyond intense! You travel through an Aztec temple on to the streets New York City. The stages contain the toughest, most heinous-looking, end-level bosses to ever grace a game. There are even some mid-level nasties thrown in to keep you busy.
As the levels increase, so do the skills and toughness of your opponents. There is a certain amount of planning and strategy involved in the later levels, and it will take more than a shoot-and-destroy plan to get you through. You'll need all the power-ups, continues, extra men, and luck available to end this alien scourge.
You'll need to use Hover Shields as springboards. DON'T SHOOT when they appear. Just boogie across the tops of them to safety.
The graphics are the real strength of this game. The scenes are some of the coolest and most imaginative to come along for the Genesis in a long time. Check out the mechanical body showing through the Sphinx in the pyramid level!
Even though Atomic Runner is graphically superior overall to other shoot-'em-ups, it has a few flaws. Your atom man is so small that he sometimes gets lost in the busy background. Since the background moves constantly, it sometimes serves as a camouflage for Atomic's enemies. It's a good idea to keep jumping and shooting at all times on the off chance that you may hit things you can't see.
Here's the trick to defeating the Terradactyl. Stand at the fifth ring on the floor. You should be out of range of his deadly barrage of rocks. When Terra appears, hit him in the chest twice, then run back to the left comer and avoid his plunge. Four or five assaults like this should baste this turkey!
Warm up your trigger fingers for this one! You'll burn more than a few molecules getting to and past the final battle. This cart is a cross between Strider and Sonic the Hedgehog. If that mutant pairing makes your Geigers count, you'll love Atomic Runner.