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Revector

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Revector

Revec

Developer Craig Aker
Publishers Classic Game Creations
Freeware
Packrat Video Games, LLC
Vectrex carts
Release Dates 2004
2015 (re-release)
Genres Simulation
Shooter
Modes Single player
1-2 players simultaneous
Media Cartridge
ROM file

OverviewEdit

Revector is a seven minute timed match between two players that must score higher than their opponent by shooting their vehicle. Energy and health is limited and power-ups can be collected and used to a player’s advantage.

GameplayEdit

Each game lasts seven minutes. Player one’s vehicle always starts off a round on the right side of the screen whereas player two’s vehicle always starts off on the left. Players can accelerate their vehicles all over the playfield unless they hit a screen edge, which will bounce them in the opposite direction. Players can also bounce off of their opponent without taking any damage.

With each time a player fires, they will use up some of their energy. Energy gets replenished over time as long as a player does not shoot. Five projectiles can be fired at a time (with energy permitting), which, if they do not make contact with a vehicle, will bounce off the playfield’s walls up to three times before self-destructing upon hitting a fourth wall and that player can begin firing again (as long as they have reserve energy).

In game one (see Game variations section below), two firing options are available: the semi-automatic weapon (using button four on the controller) and the automatic weapon (button three). The automatic weapon only fires one projectile at a time whereas the semi-automatic weapon will fire off as many shots as allowed per energy remaining. If a player has picked up the smart bullet power-up, then those are fired with button four.

Once a vehicle takes a hit from a projectile, their energy will start depleting; once they are out of energy then they will lose that vehicle, the other player will be awarded points and the next round will begin. Players’ health is automatically fully recharged with each new round but their energy takes time to do the same. The game timer, players’ health and energy bars appear at the top of the screen (the latter two will appear for each player on the top corners of the screen).

Power-up items (available in game one) appear randomly on the playfield to be picked up by players, having various effects and lasting either a certain time or with a set amount of uses. If neither player picks up an item after several seconds they will disappear.

Once a game’s seven minutes have run out, the game will end once one or both players have destroyed the others’ vehicle (or they destroy each other at the same time).

Power-up itemsEdit

  • Health Recharge–fully charges a player’s vehicle’s health to maximum
  • Energy Recharge–fully charges a player’s vehicle’s energy reserve to maximum
  • Money–gives player 1000 points
  • Freeze–freezes a player’s vehicle for several seconds, although that player can still fire (note: this is an arrow that changes direction. If it is collected when it is facing left, player two is frozen. If it is collected when facing right, player one is frozen. A player can also freeze themselves)
  • Invisible–makes player’s vehicle invisible for a short time, although it will briefly become visible when hit by a projectile
  • Smart Bullets–adds 10 Smart Bullets to a player’s cache. These bounce off walls towards the opponent’s vehicle

Game variationsEdit

  • Game one–regular game with power-up items
  • Game two–no power-up items
  • Game three–same as game two, but with no automatic weapon
  • For either one player against the computer or two players simultaneously

ScoringEdit

  • Shoot opponent–100 points
  • Player shoots themself–100 points awarded to opponent
  • Destroy opponent–1500 points
  • Collect Health Recharge power-up item: 25 points
  • Collect Energy Recharge–75 points
  • Collect Money–1000 points
  • Collect Freeze–125 points
  • Collect Invisible–200 points
  • Collect Smart Bullets–150 points

ControlsEdit

Game options screenEdit

  • Choose number of players–button one
  • Choose game variation–buttons two and three
  • Start game–button four

(in-game)Edit

  • Turn vehicle–left/right on joystick or D-pad
  • Move forward–up on joystick or D-pad
  • Move backwards–back on joystick or D-pad
  • Fire automatic weapon (when applicable)–button three
  • Fire semi-automatic weapon/Smart Bullets (when applicable)–button four

TriviaEdit

  • The final game actually started off with a different concept, as players’ vehicles originally were going to be outfitted with laser cannons that could fire continuous beams. "You would try to hit various rotating targets and objects that would all have different effects on your laser beam to try and damage your opponent. Obviously there was no laser beam in the game or moving objects, but one artefact of the original code design remained: the vehicles can bounce off the walls and each other", as creator Craig Aker stated in an interview. The game was written in about a month.
  • Smart Bullets are not fooled by an Invisible power-up item. A player receives 100 points for shooting their opponent, but the opponent is awarded 100 points if a player is hit by their own projectile.
  • Originally the game was sold through Vectrex carts, which its distribution was picked up by Classic Game Creations several years later when owner Mark Shaker could no longer produce cartridges. Classic Game Creations had to shut down once owner John Dondzila did not have the time to continue producing cartridges in 2013 along with working his regular job. Packrat Video Games, LLC resumed producing the cartridge once more in 2015.
  • As of 2017, the only other game programmer Craig Aker has released is Nebula Commander, which also has the options of the player going against the computer and two players can engage in a simultaneous match, plus energy is needed to help succeed in the game.

LinksEdit

ReviewEdit

Nebula Commander is not only one of my top favorite homebrews for the Vectrex, it’s also one of my favorite games for it PERIOD. A different game for the console with a pain in the butt A.I. opponent and also for two players simultaneous as well, not to mention replay value and quite original for the Vectrex. So of course I’d want to get this game too if N. Commander went over so well for myself (although note this game came out first, but I had gotten N. Commander first though).

Although totally different, this game also has a pretty difficult A. I. of an enemy to deal with in this timed match where you destroy your opponent as many times as possible while gathering power-ups in the process to help you out. However, this is one of THE most intense Vectrex games I’ve ever played, due to the computer constantly being on the move to the point where you can barely breathe. It’s so intense I couldn’t really see coming home from a bad day at work and firing this up for an hour; I can only play like two games as it is in a row and that’s it. I’ll have to see how this fares with another player once I get another controller (mine are mostly shot as I’m writing this); right now I can only get about half the score of the computer opponent, although I was able to beat it on game 2 due to the computer not getting hefty score boosts from taking a lot of the power-ups as well as not scoring as many kills on me, plus it makes the game simpler without having to know what power-ups do what and whether you should grab one or not depending on the situation. Game 3 was back to game 1 though, as I only got about half the computer’s score without the semi-automatic weapon to quickly blow it away with.

Even though the controls work well, grabbing power-ups can be difficult to do since the controls are pretty sensitive and you can miss them, plus you’re pressured into grabbing them as soon as possible since the computer’s so precise and can scoop them up without having to worry about missing them due to blinking (since the Vectrex has no eyes!). The graphics are small and simple although the sound effects fare a little better.

I think what would’ve made better game variations would be shorter games, like for five or maybe even three and a half minutes. That, or a selectable A. I. skill level would help, as the computer’s too damn good and annoying that way. I’m sure playing it with another person is better but I’ll have to check that out later with additional controllers.

As I said, I got Nebula Commander first, so this one is disappointing to me. Still not a bad game though, just a bit too intense for my tastes. 6.5/10

(Review by Darrylb500)

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