Release Date: 1982
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Shoot’em Up – Scrolling
Alternate Title: N/A
Model #: 11002
Programmer: Grady Ward
This odd title leaves a lot to be desired.
Even by Atari 2600 standards, this is a strange game. You are in control of what looks like a giant purple eye that shoots a stun ray at severed heads wearing beanies while navigating a constantly moving maze and occasionally catching falling planes and parachute men. It’s almost like the designers ran through a round of Mad Libs to come up with the concept.
When you begin your quest there are two slow moving Beanies that make their way down from the top of the screen. Depending on which game mode you selected they will either bounce off of every surface or they will pass right through them. Regardless of what you pick, your goal is still the same, shoot them with your stun ray and capture them. Every time you round one up an item will fall from the sky that will grant you bonus points if it is caught before hitting the ground. The airplanes and parachute men will come down on either side of the screen or right down the middle, and they can be shot to hold them in place to give you time to make it to them. The bonus point bounty will continue until you miss one, which will cause another evil Beany to appear. If you happen to secure four Beanies in a row, everything (including Beanies) will turn into giant orange eyes that are worth even more bonus points. These will move just as fast as the Beanies, and will turn into them if they hit the ground, so make every effort to capture them.
The other reward for capturing four Beanies in a row without dying is an extra life, although you can only have three in reserve at any given time. While this sounds like it would make the game go on forever, it really doesn’t impact gameplay that much since the Beanies begin to move at lightening speed once you rack up a decent score. When you combine their insane speed with the fact you not only move slow but can’t really aim that well, your floating purple eye will be disintegrating at an alarming rate.
Outside of the complete and total randomness that is present with the characters and items, there really isn’t much else of note here. The action is slow and repetitive, and frankly there are much better options for this genre on the Atari 2600.