In “China Syndrome” for the Atari 2600, you’re tasked with averting a nuclear disaster on Spectra Island. Following an earthquake, the island’s reactor has been compromised, leaking radioactive particles. Your mission is to control a robotic arm to secure these particles before the radiation escalates to a critical meltdown.
The game screen is divided into three colored sections: red at the top, blue in the middle, and yellow at the bottom. Each section initially contains one radioactive particle. You must navigate the robotic arm to catch these particles by pressing the fire button precisely when they align with the arm.
As time progresses without capturing the particles, they begin to split and multiply due to their erratic movement, significantly increasing the radiation level. Excessive radiation will result in the loss of a robotic arm. Advanced levels introduce an additional challenge: avoiding collision with moving fans, which can also result in the loss of the robotic arm.
The game concludes successfully when you navigate through all nine levels, preventing the meltdown and thereby saving millions of lives. Alternatively, the game ends in failure if all robotic arms are lost, leading to a reactor meltdown.