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7  |  A Version That WON'T Make You Loopy
Darryl B. , 10/27/2005 9:25:59 AM
Looping was one of the more different arcade games out there. Even though it wasn't a flight simulator, nor presented in a cockpit-viewed perspective, it still had the flipped flight controls (meaning when you pressed up on the joystick, your plane would head down, and vice versa). You flew around, dodging and/or shooting balloons (nay, fear those evil hot-hair balloons with loathsome pilots that don't shoot back!) while shooting away at a building to destroy the missiles residing inside of it (making this the first anti-nuke game EVER?). This also sort of combined a shooting, flying game with Breakout, what with having to chip away at the building, brick by brick, as you would have to keep on turning around and around to shoot away at the building, then change course so you wouldn't smash into it, then try again and again....

Once you destroyed the missiles, an opening would appear to the right, and once you entered it, you then had to carefully navigate through a maze of plumbing, blobs and other denizens, shoot away another entry point, and then dock with The End, and then you would start all over again. The game was pretty tough (especially with having non-remappable, flipped flight controls not helping) and fast, and not a really big arcade hit (I had only seen it at one game room ever myself), due to Venture Line not exactly being a video game powerhouse of a company, making less than 10 games total before disappearing into oblivion.

A friend of mine got this for his Colecovision, which played pretty much like the original, but luckily, as in most ported Coleco games, it was easier, and like the also too fast Space Panic, was SLOWED THE HECK DOWN. Thank God, it's actually playable now! This made it a bit more enjoyable -- hell, actually enjoyable, let's put it that way! -- as you could actually appreciate the decent graphics for back then, and the unusual, original design of the game, and the usually bleh controllers didn't hamper the action too much (although some people might have had problems shooting with one button and using the speed throttle with the other one, due to the wide Colecovision controllers).

Even though I think the game was improved on with slowing down the action, it had a high difficulty level, was kind of strange, and isn't a classic you'll immediately reach for over the years when you feel like firing up the ol' Coleco, as it doesn't have really addicting gameplay or anything, I'll admit. But if you want something different that is more playable than the original (which is pretty rare for a home port) then you might want to give this one a try, as my fairly high score is in regards to it's faithful, yet easier gameplay than the original. 7/10

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