Saturday, July 21, 2012

C64 - Crazy Kong (1983, Interceptor Software)

I’m gonna go ahead and get down to brass tacks. This clone is completely awful. Being one of the C64’s earliest releases, I wasn’t expecting gameplay, graphics, or sound on the level of Mayhem in Monsterland. However, this is just outright horrible. This makes the official Apple II/MS-DOS version of Donkey Kong seem like it’s arcade perfect in comparison. I’d rather play 2600 E.T. than this garbage.

Whoever “I. Gray” is, I have to wonder if they’ve ever looked back on this project in disgust. The game is basically nothing like DK except in concept. The first level seen here only vaguely resembles the first level of DK. Sure, you have barrels, hammers, ladders, girders, and what appears to be a mutant version of Grover. For one thing, you also have these little “diamonds” that you can collect for points, which I guess substitute for Pauline’s hat, parasol, and bag. However, they never show up on the first level – not that this game is even trying to be accurate at all.
The second level diverges pretty bad, being a wholly original creation that doesn’t really excel in the area of quality or playability. Controls are horrible as well – the game allows you to jump normally while walking by simply pressing the fire button, but if you’re standing still, you have to press and hold Up before you press the fire button or your player will just stand there, blissfully unaware. The game does kind of throw you a bone, but not without caveats. You are allowed to jump and even climb ladders while holding a hammer (although to climb ladders you have to be positioned just right – one pixel off and he’ll just stand there again). However, sometimes the game just fails to remember that you have a hammer when you get hit by a barrel, making the whole thing kind of pointless.
If you foolishly decide to play this game, you’ll be seeing that screen a lot, being that it serves as the game over screen. I ran the game on an emulated PAL 64, but I see no reason it shouldn’t run on an NTSC 64 as well – this game is so early that it doesn’t use any timing-sensitive code. For the brave amongst you, you can find the game at GameBase 64, it’s a single-file .PRG contained within a .T64 that’s compressed as a .ZIP.

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