Back in the early 1980s, when the game machines of the day were the Atari VCS, the Intellivison, the VIC-20 and the like, a small video game studio known as Imagic was formed by several ex-Intel and -Mattel employees to create games for the game machines of the day. The studio, which many who were gaming at the time might liken to Activision in its early days, released around 20 titles in its five-year existence, but were probably best known for Demon Attack, Microsurgeon, and Atlantis. The last, we're happy to report, has been faithfully recreated by Nemo Games as the Universal release Atlantis Invaders [link] for the iPhone and iPad and is currently available in the App Store.
In Atlantis Invaders, the underwater city of Atlantis is under aerial attack by the deadly Gordon fleet. It's your job to save the day by manning three, fixed defense turrets in a bid to knock the enemy fighters out of the sky before they can lay waste to your city with their horrible deathray.
In the game, the leftmost turret is aimed at a fixed point toward the top-right of the screen, while the rightmost turret is aimed at a fixed point toward the top-left of the screen. Between the two is a mid-screen turret aimed directly upwards. Each turret can be fired by tapping on it, and the trick is to use the three in concert -- where timing is key -- to blow up every ship that buzzes the city. If an enemy ship makes it across the screen intact, it will reemerge at a lower altitude again and again until it's low enough to bring the deathray. It sounds extremely simple, and it is. But somewhere in there is an addictiveness that makes the rather basic gameplay pretty engaging.
Regarding the iOS adaptation, Mojtaba of Nemo Games said,
We tried to make the exact clone of this fantastic game with its marvellous atmosphere in every possible aspects of the original game (sounds, graphics, gameplay, scoring, etc.) and added few touches here and there, like adding OpenFeint for online scores. We took pictures of the original game and placed all parts of the city with high accuracy, we also recorded videos of the original game on emulators to calculate the speed changes of enemies and missiles one by one and used the results in the clone. We also thought about adding features like combos, more enemies, etc. but we realized that they'll change the original feel of the game and its fantastic gameplay atmosphere, so we changed our minds and tried to do a perfect clone instead.
See a video of the Atari 2600 version of Atlantis running in an emulator.
Atlantis Invaders, like the original Atlantis, is basically a re-jiggered take on the Missile Command formula that, to today's gamers, will exude a retro feel. I was a big fan of most of the Imagic releases I encountered and, as such, have enjoyed spending time with this one, but gamers without a particular retro bent may want to try the free, lite version [link] before making the jump.
Right now Atlantis Invaders is on a 50% off sale at $0.99 [link].