Graphics: 3
Sound: 4
Control: 4
Depth: 4
Overall: 4


By: Atari, Inc
Original Arcade Game By: Wiliams
Released: 1983

Joust is one of the better arcade ports on the Atari 2600. Sure the player and enemy sprites are a single color and the board has been simplified, but the cartridge plays a solid game of Joust, nonetheless. In the game, you ride a flying steed. Your goal is to dismount the enemy riders by jousting at a higher elevation than your opponent. The physics engine has a nice sense of gravity and inertia. All the different levels with their varied goals are included. The sound effects are memorable and a good fit to the console’s limitations, and they even kept the innovative two player mode where you and a buddy can try to cooperate, or… you can aim to knock each other off your birds, if that’s how you want to play.

As a welcome bonus, this version has slightly toned back gravity compared to the arcade, making it less of a chore to constantly mash the ‘Flap’ button to stay in the air. This makes the difficulty level better suited to home play.

The best home port (unless you crave the true arcade challenge, you masochist!) is on the Atari 7800, which keeps the home play difficulty, but is much closer to capturing the graphic detail and added bells and whistles that are missing on the 2600. Still, this is a fine version and I have no problems giving it a high recommendation.

- Ben Langberg