Atari A to Z (Pete Davison) - 04/07/2022
Paul Woakes' Encounter is a first-person shooter for the Atari 8-Bit family that I always enjoyed more than Battlezone, the game it clearly drew some inspiration from. Let's Play! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87D6LIMA568
A non-water-marked copy of the manual:
Richard Noakes - 04/10/2016
Absolutely loved this game! Spent hours playing it, and especially loved the different colours associated with different levels. Glorious dusk colours at one stage. Never manged to finish the game, because I kept colliding with one of the large asteroids in the penultimate warp sequence! Anyone know what happens at the end of the game?
Encounter the best BattleZone clone rather in brilliant colors not vectorized. Each of the first 20 thereabouts levels has its own most beautiful color patterns. These Novagen tape versions are the neatest. It's actually one tape with a 32K ver on one side and a 16K ver on the other side, I never knew Encounter could squeeze down to 16K RAM, it's missing Demo play and has a barebones title screen - all else looks legit on level one so far. Cassettes require PAL. The 16K tape appears to stop loading halfway but it's an illusion from being the flipside of the 32K ver. Standard 128 byte blocks aren't in use.
Disk and file versions are such a mess. This 32K tape has a better looking little screen than all of them, with letters spelling Encounter! standing 2x taller. Iirc the disk version here is VAPI and not more convenient to load than the Novagen PAL cassette, probably the OEM disk is encrypted too which prevents the following:
CHEAT MODE unlimited lives, 32K cassette version. Checksumming prevents the changing of byte values, but bytes can instead be swapped in Encounter's case, edit 6 bytes total:
offset $40BE change $CE to $4C
offset $40BF change $13 to $0A
offset $40C0 change $2B to $32
offset $40C1 change $4C to $CE
offset $40C2 change $0A to $13
offset $40C3 change $32 to $2B
CHEAT MODE unlimited lives, 16K cassette version:
offset $1169 change $CE to $4C
offset $116A change $C3 to $E8
offset $116B change $20 to $27
offset $116C change $4C to $CE
offset $116D change $E8 to $C3
offset $116E change $27 to $20
Paul Woakes, what a genius!!!
The graphics are so fast and smooth, absolutely outstanding.
The higher levels were hard to master and the tunnel sequence was definitely a nightmare.
Way ahead of it's time and technically groundbreaking!
Paul Westphal - 22/01/2010
I just played E's older brother, backlash, on the ST. It does'nt even come close to encounter as far as intensity and gameplay. More horsepower does not = a better game. This should be in the top 20.
Wow! I also had this on the 800XL, on a homemade compilation tape....this was one of my favorites! I loved the sound effects too, they really enhanced the tense atmosphere...ahhhhh.
Everything that Battlezone, erm, wasn't! Smooth graphics and tense gameplay - way ahead of it's time, looking back. This was the one you loaded up in the mid-80s to show off your machine. Those 'black hole' warp sections were EVIL, though!
Muffy St. Bernard - 27/03/2008
Oh yes, this was SO much fun! I particularly loved the different types of ships you'd start seeing on later levels, each with their own AI. Ships that constant shot out a stream of missiles, others that ticked and suddenly exploded. I was never a fan of the "fly through the void" stage, but the tank portion was great.
Michael Gardner - 26/04/2007
This is one of the best games of its time, i remember sitting for hours playing this game on my atari 800xl in the 1980s. the graphics moved smoothly and quickly and the whole game was a joy to play.
i still have my atari 800xl and every 6 months or so i dust it down and see if it still works by loading encounter.(not bad for a 25 year old computer).
Paul Westphal - 22/04/2007
This is one of the best first person shooters for it's time.The graphics may not be flashy by todays standards, but it more than makes up for it with clever AI and a smooth engine.Sometimes the enemies can be downright frustrating to defeat! great fun!
Andrew Bernstein - 26/09/2006
Published three years before the official Battlezone port by Atari US, Encounter puts Atari's latter efforts to shame (no offence to Ken Rose who did quite a good job with Desert Falcon later on). What Paul Woakes did with Encounter was nothing less than groundbreaking at the time. Sure, there were 3D apps before (Sirius' Capture The Flag is a great exemple) but Encounter presented non only a super smooth engine (animation and game controls were second to none) but especially broke away from linearity. In comparison, Dimension X published the same year didn't even do this ! No surprise that the US publisher of Dimension X (Synapse) eventually bought out the US distribution rights for Encounter. Bullseye !