Thursday, April 23, 2015
Atari: Game Over
Much of the doc concerns game designer and programmer Howard Scott Warshaw, who not only designed the E.T. game, but also the equally lackluster Raiders of the Lost Ark game. His real claim to fame is of course one of my favorite Atari games, Yar's Revenge, which in turn was based on my favorite coin op videogame, Star Castle. For no other reason, the man is a legend.
There's much talk in the documentary about the game being too hard, too complicated, and most of all, just plain unfair. Much is made of the game both being the worst one in history and being a miracle of engineering, having been designed in just five weeks.
This is a pretty cool doc, with lots of insight to the early days of Atari, and what eventually toppled the videogame titan. Bonus - look for Ready Player One author Ernest Cline driving to the landfill site in George R.R. Martin's Back to the Future DeLorean. It doesn't get much more quirky cool surreal than that.