Someone Hand Me a Gun! These Crazy Varmits Want me Eggs!
Unique game with several levels and bonus stages
Wrestling the controls proves to be tedious and not much fun
Eggs are Never Safe... Even Underwater. Now you know.
Overview: Crack'ed? Crack'ed? Somebody was smoking the crack when they made this game. In this shooting title, not compatible with the Atari XE light gun (!!!), you take the role of somebody protecting 2 dozen precious commodities: eggs. Instead of hiding these eggs from the cruel, thieving eyes of the world, you proudly lay them
out in 5 nests all across the cosmos, and then sit back and try to lay waste to anything that opposes your freedom to display eggs in weird places without harm or theft. This cracked mission of yours might take you to a lovely tree, a haunted house, the city sewer, even to the depths of the ocean or to another planet. While this might sound goofy enough, let's not forget our apparent favorite pastime of the protagonist...heading down to the Rooster Ranch and throwing eggs at some lunatic rooster. Yes, this might sound weird, but it's actually stranger to see it in person. One might think this was a strange hobby for a protector of eggs, to hurl them at a rooster...but quickly you will learn not to ask many questions concerning the crowning achievement of oddball menagerie: Crack'ed for the Atari 7800.
Graphics: Altough the backgrounds are large and nicely done, the graphics overall are pretty weak in this game, and most of the evil egg snatchers are poorly drawn. But, who really can draw when they are smoking crack, anyway? Bad guys might take the role of birds, bubbles, three skulls in a row, squids, crazy animals that wave their arms and slide on their butts, rats, aliens, ghosts, or anything else you might have seen while undergoing an acid trip. This my friends, is why we should not do drugs...the game: Crack'ed.
Sound: Audio is disturbingly void again in this game, but if the 7800 could have handled it, I bet the game designers would have programmed some sort of Pink Floyd or Tangerine Dream trippy music loop into the background audio. The sound of the eggs splattering against the ground is impressive, though.
Gameplay: The potential for a fun and unique game is here, but overall gameplay is pretty stinky in this game. It all comes down to how stiff the controls feel. The sights on the screen are hard to control, and I always feel like I am fighting against them when trying to gun down an egg snatcher. Gameplay is simple, but very demanding of your joystick's health. You shoot on screen egg-nabbers with the fire button, and if that bastard has captured an egg of yours, it drops to the ground. Then you have to catch it by pointing at it and clicking the the right button. NEXT you have to gently return it to a nest, hover it over the nest, and then drop it... and hopefully you don't miss the nest, or you have to catch it again. All of this surgeon-like care is taking place while bastards of all sorts are stealing your eggs in the background... mocking you. Does that sound fun, kids? No? You are correct... its tedious as hell. Then there is the issue of "Rooster Ranch". I have never understood this part of the game. It looks cool, it could be cool... but its not cool. Instead using our gun sights to shoot bullets at that butthole, the rooster, we use two sliding pointers to aim at his weird head and throw our precious eggs at him as he pops his head out of various windows. There is a slider at the right of the screen, and one at the bottom. This is probably as difficult as flying a space shuttle, and it is not as fun. If you play this game long, you will probably feel like me. I hate that #@%@ rooster and I don't know why the game revolves around throwing eggs at him. Are we racist against poultry? Did he beat us in an election? Is this a metaphor against Stalin's style of extreme communism? (Animal Farm reference... did you like that?)
Originality: This game is original, but also stupid. When a bad guy is shot, it briefly turns into something else. If you shoot a bird, it turns into what vaguely looks like a cooked turkey. If you shoot one of the crazed animals that slide on it's butt, it turns into a toilet. Hmmmmmm...how refreshingly odd. The Rooster Ranch bonus stage is wacky, and it could have been fun if controls were easier to use. Alas, everything unique and fun looking in Crack'ed has been destroyed by the bad controls of the game.
Value: There are plenty of different boards for you to witness, but alas the controls will hurt any type of longevity this game could of had. Playing the game once or twice for a laugh is a possibility, but I would imagine most people would quickly yank Crack'ed out of the Pro System to play one of the better shooters for the 7800: Alien Brigade, Crossbow, or Meltdown.
Overall: It's a rumor, but this video game was what started Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign. Ok, that might be a lie, but Crack'ed is really a goofy game. Difficult controls simply destroy it. If the game designers did a better job at making this game easier to control, this could have been a cart that could have competed with the 7800's strong library of shooting games. Alas, all you can say is.............hmmmmmmmmmmm....how should I put this....oh yeah, CRACKED IS WHACKED!
The Atari Times: 6 out of 10
The Video Game Critic: D-
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: 2.5 out of 5.0 (Weak)
Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Mitch Orman, owner of The Atari 7800 Page for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.