Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Atari Crazy Climber -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewAtari Crazy Climber for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Crazy Climber
Manufacturer: Atari
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1982
Part #: CX2683
Rating: 3 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Atari Crazy Climber Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Atari Crazy Climber Screenshot:
Atari Crazy Climber for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Crazy Climber originated in arcades and was ported to a few home consoles including the Atari 2600. Few Atari gamers have had the opportunity to play this game via cartridge. It wasn't an official Atari release, but was distributed through an Atari Fan Club. This makes it a very rare cartridge, but one worth seeking since it's a pretty good game - certainly better than most rare titles.

Almost as rare is finding a gamer who's familiar with the Crazy Climber arcade game. Allegedly having a cult following, I must not have been a part of this cult. As an arcade game Crazy Climber's controls were fairly unique with dual joysticks used to mimic a climbing motion up 4 buildings. Moving the Atari 2600 joystick forward enables an upward grab and the downward motion pulls the climber up. The only other thing you need to know is that your climber wears pink pants and there isn't anything you can do about it!

Atari Crazy Climber for Atari 2600 start up screen screenshot

Crazy Climber Story Arc

Apartment residents have been complaining to police about a "Crazy Climber" scaling their building. This climber crosses their windows, knocks things over and is a general nuisance. They also claim the climber has been barraged with flower pots, buckets of water, and baskets of fruit by a madman known only as the "Mad Doctor."

"It's impossible to get any sleep around here," said one red-eyed resident. "Flower pots keep breaking against the side of the building, a lunatic keeps climbing past my living room window, and to make matters worse - a crazy bird keeps flapping back and forth outside. I am going batty!"

The Crazy Climber is determined to reach the top of the building. Police have blocked off the street and a 24-hour watch on the climber has been posted. A helicopter is waiting at the top of the building to pick him up - if he makes it.

Crazy Climber Game Play

Holy shit! Check this out...
Crazy Climber, produced by Nichibutsu in 1980, was released in North American arcades by Taito America Corp. It was the first game revolving around climbing. Crazy Climber is one of the few video games to use two joysticks and no buttons.
Crazy Climber 2000 was released for the Japanese PlayStation. This is more of a remake of the original arcade game using 3D graphics featuring the ability to turn corners and access different sides of the buildings

To assist your death-defying climbs, you start with 5 lives (the final 3 are shown atop the screen) and the ability to climb up & sideways. There's no going down unless you fall - all climbing is up or lateral. You'll have objects to avoid and problematic windows that slide shut, mashing your fingers. The faster and farther you climb, the more points you score, but watch out for obstacles. anything that hits you will send you falling to the pavement below. Ouch!

Crazy Climber offers 10 game variations including five 1-player and five 2-player games each with a novice option. As you progress from building to building the challenges increase with windows opening faster, more falling debris and enemies get ruthless. If a window closes on both hands, you're toast. If a window crushes only one hand, you'll survive, but stay still. If you move you'll lose your grip. With a glaring smile, the Mad Doctor will throw a variety of crap at you. His arsenal includes a flowerpot, a basket of fruit, and a bucket of water. Keep a tight grip (both hans on the ledge) or the debris will cause you to fall. If you hold tight the stuff will bounce off your head, but you'll lose 100 points.

Another odd enemy is a Condor that will pelt you with eggs. Similar to the Mad Doctor, if you hold tight the eggs won't cause a fall - just another 100 points lost. As you can imagine falling girders are bad and should be avoided. Nothing good happens if you're struck by a girder. if you encounter a neon sign with some faulty wiring, climb fast. The shocks won't kill you, but electroshock is not a good thing.

Once you've conquered a building, a helicopter will bring you to the next building... if you grab onto it and hitch a ride. The chopper won't wait forever and you'll lose points if you dawdle. Grab hold and move on!

Crazy Climber Difficulty Switches

If you set your Difficulty Switch to the A position, your climber moves slowly and will have a hard time grasping ledges. If you set your difficulty switch to the B position, your climber moves faster. The LEFT Difficulty Switch affects the climber controlled by the left Joystick; the RIGHT Difficulty Switch affects the climber controlled by the right Joystick.

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Atari Crazy Climber

is unique with it's climbing theme and joystick-rocking to simulate his climbing motion is pretty slick. Its purpose seems fairly singular, but there are enough elements to keep the game play interesting. From the Mad Doctor throwing things at you to watching for closing windows and helicopter rendezvous, its a fun game, but lose the pink pants, Dude!

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