In and of itself, the game Buzz Bombers was not that unusual. The title was Intellivision’s answer to the mega-popular game Centipede. In fact, the concept behind Buzz Bomber might be slightly less ridiculous. In Centipede, you play the part of a garden gnome with a magic wand fighting off a variety of insects. In Buzz Bombers, you played a can of bug spray and your mission was to protect the garden from bees.

Like Centipede, the bees moved from left to right across the screen. Once they reached the edge of the screen, they would move one row lower. When you hit a bee with bug spray, they turned into a piece of honeycomb. In later levels, killer bees were added. They moved faster than the standard bees and transformed into red honeycomb when killed. A hummingbird also appeared on screen occasionally, eating the honeycomb and giving the player points. If bees reached the bottom of the screen, flowers sprouted, which gave the player less room to maneuver. Although, now that I think about it, that is a bit odd. You were tasked with protecting the garden from the bees because they would pollinate the flowers. Your goal was apparently a barren garden.

What makes Buzz Bombers such an oddity is the game box. The game was designed for a single player, but for some reason the box indicated that two players were possible. By the time Intellivision realized the mistake, the games were ready for distribution. Rather than recreate the boxes, the ever inventive folks at Intellivision came up with a better solution: they took a magic marker and simply crossed out the offending line by hand on every single box.

It’s hard to imagine a company implementing such a slap dash solution today, but it’s sort of charming to know that there was a time when it constituted a quality fix.

Until next time, I remain…

Just Another Geek in the Geek Kingdom

Shaun Jex Shaun Jex (0 Posts)

Shaun Jex is a lifelong gamer, a journalist, and pop culture historian.His love of video games began with a Commodore 64 he played growing up, late night sessions on his NES, Game Boy and Sega Genesis, and frequent trips to the local Tilt arcade. He edits the Citizens' Advocate newspaper in Coppell, Texas and writes about Disney and Walt Disney World history for Celebrations Magazine and the Celebrations Magazine blog. He runs a weekly vlog called "The MCP" dedicated to retro video games, and a channel with his wife Kara called "The Marceline Depot," dedicated to Disney, amusement parks, and travel.