"In the Irata solar system lies the planet Stella. It is surrounded by an energy belt. In this belt there live space oysters. They make good food, so there are other outer space creatures living among them, that eat the oysters..."
Oystron started life as an exercise in Atari 2600 programming regarding how to reuse a sprite to put more objects on the screen. It eventually morphed into a game that borrows elements of Sinistar, Defender, and Rip-Off. Your objective in Oystron is to shoot the Space Oysters and convert them to pearls, collecting the pearls and then depositing them into the Pearls Zone. Enemies will attempt to steal the pearls once they reach the left edge of the screen, so you must act quickly!
Near the end of each level the Oystron Phase begins, where the Oystron enters the screen and you must kill him by dropping bombs, trying not to let him get away. The game also includes a Warp Phase, where you travel at high speed between Space Oysters and enemies.
Supports both NTSC and PAL television formats. Includes cartridge and manual.
|Number of Players||1|
|Label Design||Piero Cavina|
The tectures/colors are well done for the 2600 TIA chip. And it is challenging. It's not a top favorite but easily in the top 30 of all 2600 games I own.
There are three difficulty settings:
GAME 1: Beginner
GAME 2: Intermediate
GAME 3: Expert
There are enemies that can steal all of the 'Pearls' in a row. READ THE MANUAL. Be very careful of the enemies that resemble a Roman numeral 3. They can and do change lanes. They will even skip over one or more lanes in order to collide with you. When they reach the far left of the screen they will reverse course. Destroy them if you can, but be advised that if you do so it will anger them and they will return quickly and come for you.
Highly Recommended for shooter fans!
WARNING!: Wave 3 features extreme flashing throughout the wave. This may trigger a seizure in epileptics.
The game consists of three waves. The waves all look the same, but different things occur in them. Once done with the third wave you'll go back to the first, but at a higher difficulty.
In the first wave you shoot down the enemies and Space Oysters as they appear on the right. Each enemy has a different way of moving, making for some nice variety, and on top of that as you progress to higher levels the enemies can take on new abilities that will catch you off guard. When destroyed, the enemies will usually release a pearl which you need to collect and drop off in the Collection Zone on the left side of the screen. You'll be rewarded with a bomb(up to 6) for each filled row of pearls. Some of the enemies will try to destroy and/or steal your pearls, thus making the completion of rows more challenging than it first appears.
In the second wave the Oystron appears, and the only thing that can destroy it are the bombs you acquired in the first wave. The bombs are more like land mines in that instead of shooting them at the Oystron you are attempting to place them in the Oystron's erratic path.
The third wave takes place while warping back to the first wave. This wave plays like the first but is more difficult because it's faster and the colors of the screen flash so much that it's distracting. It's tempting to stay put in a a single row to minimize risk of death, but the points are worth more so it's to your advantage to keep moving.
The graphics are a little blockier than current homebrews, more on par with the initial Atari games(which makes sense as this is one of the earlier homebrew games). While they're certainly more than adequate, a little more detail in your ship would have been nice. The sound effects are great, and I really liked the background sounds which made me feel like I was playing in an arcade!
Label art was also done by Piero Carvina, and just like the game it also would have fit in perfectly back in the day.
I'm really surprised this game is not in the top 10 sales, it deserves to be.
Note: If you suffer epilepsy then this game is not for you because of the flashing in the third wave.
I didn't understand the hype surrounding Oystron when it was first released. While the game certainly wasn't ugly, it still seemed like yet another space shooter with nothing really new to add to the genre... that is until I read the manual.
Yeah, you heard me right. This is a game for our beloved VCS where it is highly suggested that you read the manual before playing. That's not to say that the gameplay is overly complicated. On the contrary. It's just not at all what one might expect at a glance.
This game has provided me so many hours of blissful entertainment I cannot even begin to tell you! I'm not going to go into detail about the plot nor am I going to explain how to play the game. READ THE MANUAL for yourself (I can't stress it enough) - it has everything you need to know to get started. So what are you waiting for? You'll thank me later.
During the Oystron phase, you plant bombs around the screen in an attempt to get the Oystron to run into one and blow itself up. The more bombs you accumulate in the first phase, the more you have to use here. Following that is the Warp phase, which is basically a faster version of the first phase (albeit with psychedelic colors), after which you return to the first phase, but at a higher difficulty level.
Oystron is packed with frenetic action, top-notch graphics, excellent sounds, and unique and addictive gameplay. There's a good variety of enemies, each with different characteristics, and enough challenge to keep you coming back for more. Although the manual is a little lacking in information (such as what the different game variations are), at only $20, the only remaining question about this game is - why haven't you bought a copy of it yet? Oystron should really be on the AtariAge Bestsellers list by now. If you're looking for an outstanding action game, whether you're in the habit of buying homebrews or not, pick up Oystron.