Game of the Week (11/20/16) – Fortress of Narzod

Fortress of Narzod is one of my favorite games for the Vectrex and I’m happy to highlight it as my game of the week. The gameplay requires you maneuver a hovercraft at the base of a mountain with the goal of ascending to the summit and defeat the Mystic Hurler who defends the fortress at the top. Along the way, you will battle waves of enemies descending down the jagged roadway. There are several different kids of enemies offering their own unique challenges that you must identify and master. The roadways on each screen include angular walls that allow you to duck behind for defense while simultaneously using them to fire ricocheting shots that hit your enemies without getting you in harms way. These angular walls can also ricochet your own shots back at you providing an added challenge of watching out for your own shots if you’re not careful. Once you clear the road of enemies, you ascend upwards and move onto the next screen until you finally make it to the top to battle the previously mentioned Mystic Hurler. Once you defeat the Mystic Hurler, you start back at the base of the mountain and start the ascension process all over again.

The controls are very simplistic, using the joystick to move back and forth as well as up and down the roads and then using the #4-button to fire. The overlay is primarily the color green to represent the terrain of the mountain while the top section is blue to represent sky. The overlay is also framed with purple with artwork similar to what’s on the box and cartridge. From a collectability standpoint, Fortress of Narzod is one of the more expensive games to own for the Vectrex. I’m not sure if its highly sought after due to it being considered one of the best games for the system or if it’s just inherently rarer than most of the other Vectrex games. For myself, the strategy you can employ to fire and hit as many enemies using the ricocheting method before you have to put your hovercraft in the way of enemy fire plus the variety of enemies makes Fortress of Narzod unique and addictive.

Rating: A

Currently in my collection: game, manual, overly and box.

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