1987 – Gauntlet (+Deeper Dungeons)


Typical Gauntlet scene, including treasure, mo...
Developer(s) Atari Games
Publisher(s) Atari Games, U.S. Gold
Designer(s) Ed Logg
Platform(s) Arcade, Various
Release date(s) 1985
Genre(s) Hack and slash
Mode(s) Up to four players simultaneously
Cabinet Custom upright
Display Raster, standard resolution (Used: 336 × 240)

Liam:  Another golden joystick winner!

One of the really sad constraints upon this challenge was that we decided very early on to avoid using PC games. The reason being that the overhead of installing and running a PC game over a network (or even just on modern operating systems) would involve a disproportionate amount of our time and could jeopardise the tight timescales we have in place. This meant we would be losing some games from the challenge that we really wanted to have in place; the first one that would have been on both of our lists was Diablo which we have both put insane amounts of time into.

Gauntlet was the inspiration for Diablo and allowed 2p co-op so seemed a no brainer for early on in the process. I have never played it though so this could either be a very enjoyable hour playing a classic from video game past, or a bewildering clusterfuck. It looks like a pretty standard top down RPG dungeon crawler and it can’t be more difficult than nethack so I’m not worried.

Joel:  This is another one I already owned but had not gotten around to having a serious go at yet. Gauntlet: Deeper Dungeons is an add-on pack, a collection of additional maps for use with the original Gauntlet tape. It’s one of the earliest games I have played with after market DLC, well SBC (Store Bought Content) would be nearer the mark I suppose. These maps are, according to the inlay, all designed by random folks around the world and were picked from many submissions. Apparently each of the lucky designers also received a free t-shirt and a copy of the game. Anyway, the game itself is pretty good, you start off selecting your dude from a choice of 4 – Wizard, Elf, Warrior and er, something else, each with attributes you would expect from such classes. Then you are plonked directly into the perilous dungeon from which your objective is to escape. Besieged by perpetual monster generating machines, mind boggling teleporters and poisoned food your hero must search out keys, destroy walls and do whatever it takes to get out of the maze in one piece. It also has a nifty co-op mode too which is nice for a game of this age, though I’m sure Liam and I will find a way to not co-operate. 🙂


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