Snoopy and the Red Baron

Graphics: 4
Sound: 2
Control: 3
Depth: 3
Overall: 3

Snoopy and the Red Baron

By: Atari, Inc.
Released: 1983

As a kid, I remember pouring over the 1983 Atari Stars catalog and looking at all the different titles for the Atari 2600 and the Atari 5200.  Snoopy and the Red Baron always caught my eye, as Snoopy’s WWI adventures seemed a natural fit for a game.  Years later I found a copy.

In the game you control Snoopy the Flying Ace on his trusty, flying doghouse, engaging in one-on-one combat with the infamous Red Baron and his red triplane.  The play field consists of clouds above, ground below, and blue sky in between. Everything has a nice level of detail – particularly Snoopy and his “plane”, and with the exception of the Red Baron and a few items, everything is multicolored.

Your goal is to lure the Red Baron out of the clouds while avoiding his machine gun fire.  I’m not sure if the Red Baron reacts to your movements or if he just follows an elaborate pattern, but his behavior in flight is sophisticated for an old Atari game.  The Baron will occasionally drop various food stuffs (dog biscuits, hamburgers, root beer, etc.) and if you can grab them before they hit the ground, they add to your tally at the end of each round.  Once you have collected three of each type, you’ll receive an extra life.  The tally screen also keeps track of how many planes you’ve shot down.  If you wait on this screen and avoid hitting the fire button to go to the next round, a bit of music will eventually begin to play – something I hadn’t discovered until recently.

Game one – the default – is too easy to be a challenge, yet still too tricky for little kids – they will want to try game four.  Game three is sufficiently fast enough to be fun for the rest of us.  Still, this is a kid’s game at heart.  Once you get a feel for the Baron’s maneuvers, it’s hard to lose a life.  You’ll probably become bored after earning a few extra Snoopys or shooting down enough Red Barons to earn a few gold tally marks.  Easy or not, Snoopy and the Red Baron is still fun, and is probably the best title in the Atari kids game library.

- Ben Langberg


Game Variations

Press GAME SELECT to choose the skill level you want: 1-medium, 2-advanced, or 3-expert. Game 4 is an easy version for young children and beginners. The number to the right of the game number indicates the number of Red Barons in each round.