Duck Attack! is an action-adventure video game developed for the Atari 2600 video game console. It was created by Will Nicholes and released by AtariAge in July 2010 at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.
A mad scientist has created mutant, fire-breathing ducks that lay radioactive plutonium eggs. The player must collect the eggs to prevent the scientist from using them to build a doomsday device, while avoiding the ducks and other obstacles.
The player uses the joystick to control a robot that explores the scientist's lair, picking up eggs, weapons, and other useful objects. When two eggs are found and brought to the appropriate exit, the player advances to the next level.
The player starts with three lives (robots) and loses a life when eaten by a duck or hit by the ducks' fire or another deadly object. Additional lives and various power-ups can be earned by picking up colored balloons. The player can choose to play with all objects either in a predetermined location, or randomly distributed throughout the rooms in the game.
Duck Attack! was originally conceived as a ROM hack of the Atari 2600 game Adventure, but was then rewritten as an original title. Like most Atari 2600 games, Duck Attack! uses 128 bytes of RAM to hold all game variables and program call stack. The game uses an unusual 3-line kernel technique to produce sprites that are larger and more detailed than those usually seen in Atari 2600 games.
French retrogaming magazine Pix'n Love offered a positive review in a July 2010 issue, complimenting the game's originality and depth. The Video Game Critic gave the game a "C" rating and a mixed review, calling the game "a really weird homage to Adventure." The Video Game Critic praised the game's depth, "sense of discovery" and support for the AtariVox peripheral, but criticized the game's "confusing" mazes and "arbitrary rules."
Blistered Thumbs reviewer Justin Carmical ranked Duck Attack! number 4 in the December 2010 roundup "Top 5 New Games for Old Consoles", saying that "the graphics are pretty smooth, and it looks like a pseudo-clone of Adventure, but don't let that fool you. The gameplay is quick, and that darn duck just follows you everywhere." In April 2011 1UP.com included Duck Attack! as one of "31 Homebrew Games Worth Playing", saying "It's like someone took Adventure and mixed it with Resident Evil 3. Only with more ducks."
- McGinnis, Jeff (2010-08-04). "Tech-savvy fans programming, developing on classic console". Toledo Free Press. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Gray, Frank (2010-07-25). "Ducks roam new game for old Atari". The Journal Gazette. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Nicholes, Will. "Duck Attack! online manual". Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Nicholes, Will. "Duck Attack! technical specifications". Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- "Interview: Will Nicholes". Kittysneezes.com. August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
- Denis, Cyril (July 4, 2010). "Duck Attack! review". Pix'n Love (in French) (13): 14.
- "Atari 2600 Reviews D-E: Duck Attack". The Video Game Critic. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- Carmical, Justin (December 21, 2010). "The Pipeline – Top 5 New Games For Old Consoles". Blistered Thumbs. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
- Winterhalter, Ryan (April 29, 2011). "31 Homebrew Games Worth Playing". 1UP.com. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
- Agnello, Anthony John (November 19, 2013). "Back from the dead: 9 modern games for obsolete consoles". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Caylor, Bob (August 18, 2010). "Atari revival". The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana). Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- Jurack, Lindy (December 15, 2010). "Introducing Duck Attack!". Sidney Daily News (Sidney, Ohio).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Duck Attack!.|
- Official Duck Attack! site: play online, download ROM
- Duck Attack! at AtariAge: announcement and development history
- Racketboy Podcast Interview with Will Nicholes