Keystone Kapers Review by: iN008Running around a MallKeystone Kapers : Atari 2600
A review by iN008. Thief!
Keystone Kapers was a game developed by Activision and released in 1983 for the Atari 2600, the game was one of the many games in the Atari 2600 library to be ported and changed for other Atari consoles, by now we know being ported literally means nothing, so let's go a into a bit more detail, the general idea of Keystone Kapers is for you, Keystone Kelly, to catch a criminal, Harry Hooligan, within a building of some sort, the game-play is rather normal and isn't anything ground breaking. So how is the game overall I hear you ask? Well let me tell you.
Graphics and Design : 8/10
For an Atari 2600, I'm honestly shocked at some of the detail that went into the design and it was quite surprising for it to be so detailed, many of the Atari 2600 titles that I have already reviewed had never met quite the same surprise. Starting off, you have really only two characters in the game, these being Officer Keystone Kelly (You) and the NPC Harry hooligan. The designs are much like cops and robbers, the criminal wearing the iconic black and white clothing and the officer being based off the British Police Force. The designs are plane as they are small to allow all of the floors to be shown on the screen. This sizing choice is smart in my opinion as it allows for them to have a much better presentation. As for obstacles, they are many weird oddities within the building, starting off with the red bouncy ball and the... electric beacon? Many of these seem out of place and are generally quite odd, however some do fit in, such as the shopping carts these are generally okay to be honest. Other details that I did like were the fact that the escalators moved and the elevators were further back when compared to the walls adding some much appreciated depth in detail. The other things to take note of are the fact the collectables, or point boosts are very generic, being a brief-case and money bags, now due to the location, most likely a mall or shopping center these don't seem all that out of place so I'll give them props for that. Overall some parts of the graphics impressed me whilst others felt lack-luster. Sound : 1/10
Within the Atari 2600 library, the sound has never been know for being anything fantastic, spare a few games, this game is by far no exception to this common rule. As usual the game features no music what so ever and the sound effects are pretty bad even by Atari 2600 standards, the running sound is just bad and the jumping sound is no better. Being hit sounds somewhat normal however collect an item such as money bags produces a high-pitched noise. Catching the criminal plays the generic score going up sounds you here everywhere and over the sound is just bad altogether. Addictiveness and replay-ability : 4/10
The game rather split me on whether to play it or not, on one hand it was enjoyable enough to play for about 10 minutes however when it came to anything longer than that it just didn't work all that well. Most of the time I could see this being played for a short time killer as to be honest it doesn't offer much on addictiveness nor replay-ability, which is sad since the game-play is mostly solid. Addictiveness just isn't there for me and the game doesn't offer any form of replay-ability limiting you to play the exact thing over and over. This is quite bad as the game did have potential, however the sound seriously ruined it in the long run. As I said I could only really bare the game for about 10 minutes, there really wasn't anything exciting happening and once you catch the criminal a few times the game really doesn't offer you much more. Depth : 7/10
This category is probably the strongest aspect of this game spare graphics, not only does the game give you some choice it allows you to react differently. The game itself is pretty much a loop, just the same level redone over and over slightly harder each time up until the limit. However within this the game does offer a bit of choice. You see you can run through all the obstacles or you can time it right and use the elevator to cut of the criminal, this offers a different way to play and is probably the only real choice in the game. My experience of this game was rather mixed, nothing to out-standing, but mostly normal for my expectations. The game offered some form of choice and some splendid depth graphically, thus it turned out okay in this department.
Story : N/A
What do you know the story is on the box, who would have guessed! So it basically goes along the lines of this simple story, thief in this case Harry Hooligan steals something and Officer Keystone Kelly catches him and .... basically that's it, for the game-play aspect this covers what you have to do, however that is all it does, it adds nothing story wise as the characters are just as blunt as anything else.
Difficulty : 4/10
The difficulty in the game does get surprisingly difficult later in the game, throwing more obstacles in your way, however once you understand how to get past each then it really doesn't make the game all that more difficult, perhaps you may have to do some timing but that really doesn't make it all the more difficult. The more interesting part is that you can choose paths, being the normal chase him all the way up, or you can choose to use elevators to get a close shot at him. This actually never occurred to me to try until I noticed it being mentioned on the box. This opened a whole new level of strategy to the game which to be honest is welcome as overall the game-play is rather plain. The level design really doesn't get harder, they just put more obstacles onto the stage which aren't really all that hard to avoid thus the difficulty remains rather low. Overall I would say the difficulty is so-so. Overall : 4.8/10
In conclusion the game is pretty good, an average game for the Atari 2600, it has it's charm yet does suffer from that thing with the sound. But if you turn the sound off then the game remains pretty good. I think you'd be best to check out a different game than play this one however as there is better games that are quite similar such as Pitfall II Lost Caverns.