Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Crypts of Chaos", Atari 2600, 1982.

Not enough spare time nor two brain cells to rub together to get a post out! It's a pity when there's such great game ad artwork just gathering dust in my back archives. This is from an early issue of Dragon Magazine -- I wouldn't have figured it for a great fit advertising Atari 2600 games, but maybe they figured: if the dragon fits, wear it. (This particular dragon appears to be still suffering from a bit of '70s psychedelia: diamond-shaped pupils, check, horizontal steam jets from nostrils, check, snake fangs, check, Jabberwock whiskers, check!)

IF STRATEGY ISN'T YOUR GAME,
CRYPTS OF CHAOS WILL EAT YOU ALIVE.

It took the master at Fox video games to create Crypts of Chaos -- the new strategy game that would challenge the mind of a sorcerer. It's a dark fantasy world of wondrous wizards and terrible trolls. There is treasure there. But to win it you will have to be very very clever. For it's guarded by dragons. And they have had their fill of witless players. FOR YOUR ATARI VCS.

Strategy, really? As best as I can tell, it's just about being armed with the right weapon to combat the particular foe you're facing. And just who is this master at Fox video games? Their top-ranked title is "Beany Bopper", which hardly stands out as a titan in its field. The alliteration is clever, evoking a certain fantasy property owned by the publisher of Dragon Magazine without explicitly naming it. The sentence fragments toward the end are less clever.

The first-person perspective the game offered on the VCS was impressive in the sense of a dog walking on its hind legs: that it is done at all, if not necessarily well. This game does not fare well in the rankings on Mobygames, which probably explains why you have never heard of it nor ever seen this ad before.