Publisher: Atari
Release: 1983
Controller: Joystick
Players: 1-2
Genre: Arcade
Alternate Title: N/A
Model: # CX2697
Rarity: 4
Programmer: Dan Hitchens

This port of the arcade classic
does a great job capturing the
spirit of the original.

Here is your chance to control Mario and his brother Luigi before they were famous!  Before they became plumbers, the brothers were carpenters who were trapped in a house with busted water pipes.  Instead of water the only thing coming out of them were creatures with one goal in mind, eliminating you.

Mario begins at the bottom of a four-level screen, and before long an assortment of enemies will slowly begin emerging from the pipes at the top.  In order to defeat the threat, Mario must get to the level beneath them and hit the ceiling with such force that it causes the floor above to knock the creature over.  When they are on their backs Mario must run and kick them offscreen, which triggers the release of a “bonus wafer”.  Why anybody would want a wafer that came from the sewer is beyond me, but points are points.

The pests begin easy with turtles called Shellcreepers, but quickly ramp up in difficulty with the Sidesteppers.  These crab creatures require two hits to flip over, which is a lot more difficult in this version than the original arcade game.  In the arcade when you hit an enemy they fly backwards, which in the case of the crabs gives you a chance to land two hits without moving from your position.  In the 2600 version they simply fly upwards, forcing you to move over to hit them twice.  This also makes dealing with the final enemy much more difficult since he moves at twice the speed of the regular enemies.

Pests aren’t the only thing posing a threat to your wellbeing, as there is a constant fireball patrolling the levels.  It appears randomly on the edge of the screen before rapidly moving across, giving you little time to react.  If you should miss an enemy as a result of dodging and begin to get overwhelmed, never fear because there is a POW button near the bottom.  One hit of this and everything that is currently touching the ground will flip.

This is an admirable port of the arcade game and is worth checking out if you have your heart set on playing it on the 2600.

More in the Atari 2600 Encyclopedia on great games like this!  Plus subscribe to Old School Gamer for FREE by clicking here!


Derek Slaton Derek Slaton (61 Posts)

Derek began playing video games in the early 80s, cutting his teeth on every Atari 2600 game he could get his hands on. This kickstarted a lifelong love of games, which continues to this day. No matter how advanced the systems and games become, the love for Atari remains supreme, which is why the Atari 2600 Encyclopedia project was done. With this massive project completed, Derek looks to begin work on another system encyclopedia, hoping to pay tribute to the games that shaped his childhood.