AGH Atari 8-Bit Computer Review:

by Hayden Software

Go isn't what you think. It's not a racing or any other kind of action game. As a matter of fact, Go has nothing to do with the verb "go". Go is the oldest strategy game in the world. It was invented in the Far East and predates chess by several centuries. It's weird that this game didn't come from Atari itself; after all, both Atari and Sente were named after moves in Go, and Nolan Bushnell's passion for the game is well chronicled in history books. But the game is courtesy of Hayden Software, the folks who brought us another terrific table game, Sargon III

The object of Go is to control as much area as you can, while eliminating as many of the opponent's pieces as possible. This game is somewhat akin to Othello. Go can be played by two players, one with white pieces, the other black, or you can play against the computer. If you decide to take on the computer, you will be allowed to choose which side you want to take, as well as what kind of handicap you want to give the computer -- that's the number of pieces (0-9) that the computer is allowed to place on the board before the game starts. If you know how to play the computer should provide a pretty good, though somewhat easily surmountable, opposition. On the other hand, if you don't know how to play it should be very easy to learn, considering that tehre is an excellent rules booklet provided. The rules are really very simple.

The graphics aren't anything special but are more than serviceable for the purposes of a board game -- the field is sharply detailed, and the playing pieces are well drawn. There are no spectacular video or sound effects to reward you for eliminating a particularly pesky group of enemy pieces. As a matter of fact, the best you can hope for is a small blinking sign at the bottom of the screen saying "Atari" (check), which means that one of your stones is about to be spirited away to never-never land.

As with all great strategy games, Go is easy to learn but difficult to master. And if you're still not convinced about its addictive nature, go ask Mr. Bushnell about the merits of Go. 'Nuff said.

Title Go
Publisher Hayden Software
System Atari 400/800/XL/XE
Graphics 5
Sound 5
Gameplay 8
Overall 8
Reviewer Keita Iida

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