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by THQ

atl02-01.jpg (7014 bytes)Atlantis: The Lost Empire is not a bad game. That may be damning it with faint praise, but most movie based Game Boy Color games are, simply put, bad games. If I had a nickel for every crappy movie/TV tie-in game that I’ve played on the Game Boy, well, I’d have a lot of nickels. When Atlantis showed up, I honestly didn’t look forward to swimming and spelunking my way through this title. Everything about it screamed derivative side scrolling platformer, and I for one have had my fill of them. Although Atlantis cribs.

atl12-01.jpg (9951 bytes)Instead of playing as one character with a few tools at his disposal, you get to radio for help when you come to an impasse. Each of the characters has a special talent, whether it be fixing broken down equipment, digging holes, or simply blowing things up. There is enough variety throughout the game to keep things from getting too old. You don’t use every character with every level, so you don’t get sick of anyone, and I hate it when I tire of the protagonist before the story ends.

atl13-01.jpg (10767 bytes)I was particularly impressed with the detail character design. I’ve only seen the McDonald’s commercials, but these guys look like they’re supposed to. The detail in the backgrounds is really quite nice, but the level design is a little repetitive. You are pretty much looking at the same set of stairs again and again. Atlantis has some of the nicer graphics that I’ve seen on a regular Game Boy Color title, which is a good thing with the Gameboy Advance looming over its shoulder.

atl10-01.jpg (11500 bytes)The controls are fairly straightforward: the basic run and jump setup. There’s also some swimming, climbing and moving boxes around. Figuring out how to get through each level is actually pretty entertaining. I actually enjoyed trying to pair the right guy with the right obstacle and working my way around the maze-like structures. None of the levels are so hard that you get really frustrated, yet they should be challenging enough for younger players to feel a real sense of accomplishment when making it through a level. The controls are a little sluggish especially when being shot at, but they respond well for jumps and moving about.

atl25-01.jpg (12420 bytes)I usually feel at a disadvantage when reviewing games for movies that I haven’t seen, but this game stands quite nicely on its own. It is not a game that will go down in history for forging new ground, but it is a solid little platformer in its own right. Like with most Game Boy Color games, it’s over too soon, but it’s fun while it lasts. This is a game aimed at kids, and I would imagine that fans of the film might really enjoy this game. THQ is publishing an Atlantis Game for the Game Boy Advance in the fall, and I have to admit that I’m just a little curious about how it’s going to turn out.

Jason Frank   (07/24/2001)


Ups: Nice graphics; innovative gameplay.

Downs: Too short; controls a bit sluggish.

Game Boy Color


GamesFirst! Magazine