Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Matter of Import 44: Kaitei Takara Sagashi [Namco 1980]

 Kaitei Takara Sagashi is a 1980 Namco release that translates to Underwater Treasure Hunting. The player's goal is to lower a diver through shark infested waters to the seabed where a number of pots await. Controls are simple while diving – you descend automatically unless you hold the button, and pushing left or right allows you to fire your speargun in that direction.

Shooting the sharks is difficult, however, as both they and your spears are very narrow – it's easy to miss by a mere matter of pixels.

Once you hit the bottom, the controls become pressing left or right to walk over one of the pots. Once you've done so, your rope drops down again to push you into it – and here you discover whether the pot contains points or a sad death under the sea.

Once you find a treasure pot the boat begins to pull you back up, with the same controls as your descent. Make it up and you get the points; fail and they return to the pot so you can try again.

Once all non-trap pots have been collected you advance to the next stage, with a new pattern of sharks and treasure pots.

The game is, unfortunately, monochrome with screen overlays to provide color. It's simple in design, and not too difficult to grasp. Trying to get a handle on the sharks' speed and overall pattern does provide a bit of challenge, as does the difficulty in hitting them with your spear.

Are the pots containing death traps unfair? Absolutely. As far as I can tell they shuffle every stage and show no hints as to which will kill you.

I give Kaitei Takara Sagashi a C rating.




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