Game Name: Ince Hockey
Developer: Alan Miller (Activision)
Release Date: 1981
Playforms: Atari 2600
A while back I wrote a review about the Evolution of Hockey Video Games and I showed how hockey games have evolved over time. This one is the first ever hockey video game that I was able to play. I had played this on my ColecoVision with the Atari Adapter (Module 1). Let us see if this game has held up through the years.
This is the equivalent of the NHL looking at old pictures of how games were played on the pond. It has a sense a nostalgia but you tell yourself, wow, have made some great strides in hockey simulation games.
The gameplay itself it very simple. You have 2 players (two on each side) and you try to score on the other player. This is similar to the way street hockey is played when you are a kid. The controls were simple as you would expect. The joystick would control the player, while the button would shoot the puck.
The graphics for this game are an improvement over some older games at the time, but they look very dated by today's standards. There are no boards and fans. Just the 4 players and the game at its purest form.
As you can see, the gameplay can be pretty boring by itself. This is where our imagination had to take over. Since the games themselves were not really exciting, my brother and I would create a playoff tree with various teams. Then we would pretend that it was the playoffs and the winner won the make shift Stanley Cup that we had.
Many would say that this is a good game but I say that it is a product of its time. It may have been good at the time but this game does not hold up at all today. Forget the stats and the internet connections, the game itself gets boring fast. The AI is very weak and not much of a challenge. You have a better challenge playing other people but that does not make it a good game.
I do understand that this was released in 1981 and the system was not super powerful. However, this feels like a pong with a crooked stick. It did bring some aspects that we still use in today's hockey video games. For example, the top, down style of play would be used by EA and still used till this day.
So as much as this may have been fun at the time it does not hold up very well today. I know that many people will not agree with me but I stand by my assessment.
Rating: 5 hockey pucks out of 10
Do you agree with me or am I nuts? Let me know what you think?
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