I had invented a game for the Atari 2600. I was considering either “Cauldron” or “Parabola” for the title. The game was a top down shooter. The player would control a small fighter that hovered over the top of a bubbling cauldron which took up most of the bottom of the screen. All kinds of strange herbs and talismans would rain down from the top of the screen, falling into the cauldron. The player had to try and dodge these items as well as try to shoot them before they fell into the cauldron. If enough of these items fell in, the cauldron would start bubbling over, turning from green to red and emitting more and more gaseous, pixilated stars that could come up and hit the player’s ship from underneath where they were the most defenseless. Thus, the player would be constantly be caught between the ingredients raining down from above and the noxious stars bubbling up from beneath.
The major innovation of the game was that, unlike most top down shooters where the player simply glides from side to side, here the player’s ship would swing out in a wide parabolic arc above the cauldron. This would create an interesting maneuvering dynamic since the player would often have to swing off to one side in order to get a good angle to shoot something across to the other. This would keep the game play fast-paced, fluid, and of course, fun for the whole family.