So for the last few days I’ve been playing a lot of Zybex on the Atari 8-bit, having mentioned it previously. Zybex is a horizontally scrolling shoot ’em up from budget publishers Zeppelin which was originally developed on the C64 and converted to the Atari.
As shooters go it’s cheap but still quite cheerful stuff; one or two players can head into battle, there are five weapon systems to collect and power up and the movement patterns are busy. It does suffer from some cheap deaths from attack waves that barrel in without any warning, bullets being spewed out at inopportune moments and much needed power-ups can occasionally become embedded within the landscape.
It also suffers a little on the graphics front since everything in the main playfield has literally dropped half of its pixels during the journey from C64 to Atari 8-bit and the sprite colours have also taken a hit since everything apart from the two players is now drawn to a four colour bitmapped mode.
But despite those issues, Zybex looks pretty decent, has a good Adam Gilmore soundtrack and is probably one of the best examples of the horizontally scrolling shoot ’em up genre released for the Atari 8-bit. It’s also a little easier to play than the original C64 release to the point where I can sometimes complete it!