Rare Review: Atic Atac

Atic Atac was inspiration for the TV game Knightmare.

A maze-like dungeon crawler, Atic Atac starts off with letting you pick your class (each have a slightly different attack and use different shortcuts). You then start right by the exit: except the door is locked. The ultimate goal: find three pieces of the golden key, hidden somewhere in the dungeon.

You explore a room at a time. Rooms will consist of normal doors, trap doors and locked doors. Normal and trap doors open and close at random, so you will need to survive in the room until the door you want opens and you can move on. Locked doors will need one of the four coloured keys to unlock, but once unlocked will remain open. You can only hold three items at a time, so once you locate the four keys you will have to juggle them, make sure to remember where you dropped them.

Initially, moving around is extremely confusing as a lot of rooms look similar. Over time, you’ll be able to form a rough image in your head of the layout. Atic Atac is not overly large, and the map is the same each time you play. You will also pick up on certain elements to recognise different rooms and ways around the map. The keys, however (the three of the colour ones and the three parts of the golden key), will appear in different locations, so you’ll have to work out a different route each time you play. One key is always in the same place, which gives you something to try and work to (but may not be accessible without other keys)

The biggest flaw I think this game has is the health meter. It’s visualised by a cooked chicken (representing hunger) and will drain at a fairly quick rate, and touching an enemy will drain it at a high speed. Eating food that randomly spawns in certain rooms will replenish this. The big flaw is that you can search one area only to find nothing useful, and lots of time can be wasted waiting for doors to randomly open. I do wish there was a “no hunger drain” cheat for something lesser than just “infinite lives” as I feel like it would still be a good challenge (and a fairer one).

That said, the core gameplay is good fun, and the visuals are surprisingly nice for its era.

For completion, I completed the suggested task of beating the game with all three classes. I also completed the snapshots, which are fun challenges that require you to have learnt the rough layout of the map.

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