One of the most recognizable games for the Atari 2600 had been labeled as one of the worst. It was known as E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial based off the movie of the same name. It was a symbol and was used as a face of what caused the Video Game Crash of 1983.
Its story is pretty simple to understand. E.T. must find all the pieces of a phone and have it ready to call up so he can be picked up and leave Earth. Along the way, he has to avoid the FBI agent or the Scientist, though it does depend on the level of difficulty that’s set. The main theme is that you have to get E.T. to phone home. Once that’s done, the game is over.
The most impressive screen was the title screen. It was perhaps the best look in terms of the graphics. It did have that at the very least so it does have a positive to say the least.
As far as the game itself with the graphics, there isn’t much to say. It gets a pass considering that it was the Atari 2600 and didn’t have the power to put up better graphics. Keep in mind that technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today with video games.
The gameplay is probably where there is frustration. The health meter starts at 9999. It goes down if you’re walking or growling. At least, it looks like growling. You have different commands that have to be used in order to perform certain actions. There is one command that involves showing where there is a piece of the phone. Fall into the pit and then grab it.
There are some other pit falls. Depending upon the level of difficulty, there is an FBI agent for one level of difficulty. There is one that has the scientist only. Another version has both of them together, which is probably the highest level of difficulty. There is of course the one that has neither of them involved. You can pick up Resse’s Pieces and give them to Elliot by calling for him.
One tip you want to do is once you have all the phone pieces, look for the spot to call the Mother Ship and also look for the landing spot. It is the best tip to be given for this game.
The final thoughts on this game are that it was one that was rushed and didn’t seem like a complete game. It was done in six weeks, which is a very short amount of time to complete a game. It shows that it was probably not thought out all the way or was simply rushed. While it was not a good game by any stretch of the imagination, it did show that it could be worked on and somewhat working. Had it been a demo, it probably would be better and if more time had been put into it, it is unknown how well it could have been.