FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER / Data Age / Atari 2600

Frankenstein's Monster is a cute and creative take on Pitfall. You play as some generic baseball cap dood who decided to take a wander in Frankenstein's castle for whatever reason. The good doctor doesn't seem to be about, but he's left his monster strapped up to lightning rods, and when enough lightning strikes he'll be animated and then there's going to be some epic stomping and destroying. So baseball cap dood, good Samaritan that he is, decides to build a wall around the monster by hauling stones up from Frank's basement. Unfortunately, the path to and from the basement is laden with traps and malicious critters.

The critters tend to just freeze you for a second and steal some points, what you really have to watch out for is falling into the water in the basement. This will expend one of your three lives, which is a much more likely way for the game to end than for Franky to be revived on his own, since his revival takes forever. Each time you successfully return with a brick, the pit locations and the moving log that ferries you safely over the basement water get reshuffled a bit. They start out a fair challenge but eventually become downright diabolical, with the log being split into small pieces, or flashing out of existence outright for seconds at a time.

The game is one of the aesthetically more impressive on the 2600, with a lot of deep, menacing sound effects, and both a rather effective lightning flash and crash periodically to indicate Franky Monster has been juiced up a bit more and time is running short. The graphics are fairly colorful as well, and the game has probably the best "Game Over" screen ever on the 2600 - Franky breaks free of his constraints and marches toward the screen, gradually scaling up in size to give the appearance of stomping toward the player. Eventually the screen fills with flashing green, indicating that the monster is teabagging you in victory. I guess.

The game gets frustrating in the later stages and on a more advanced platform, it'd probably be considered mediocre to bad. This is the 2600 from A-tar-i we're talking about though, I mean, it doesn't get a whole lot better than this on this system. Worth at least a look to see how it grabs you.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video

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