The Game: You control a daredevil stunt climber on his trip up the side of the Nichubutsu building, using no ropes, no nets, and nothing but his hands and his feet. Obstacles such as a large stork with (apparently flaming) droppings and a large gorilla (perhaps on loan from the Nintendo building) can cause you to plunge to your death several stories below, and even minor things such as annoyed building tenants dropping potted plants at you from above can have the same disastrous effect. When you reach the top – if you reach the top, that is – a helicopter lifts you away to your next challenge. (Taito [under license from Nichibutstu], 1980)
Memories: A bit of a cult favorite that never achieved a major following, Crazy Climber was a staple of many arcades and game rooms in the early 80s. The two-joystick control scheme took a little bit of practice, but once players got used to it, it was a major and unique part of the game’s appeal.
Nichibutsu continued Crazy Climber’s exploits in a later, more graphically detailed arcade sequel (which had the virtue of not being the ripoff Rock Climber, a miserable clone the Playstation games Hyper Crazy Climber and Crazy Climber 2000. Let it never be said that this climber didn’t get around.
Atari managed to get the rights to Crazy Climber, but released the game in limited quantities just before the shakedown of the video game industry in 1984. The Atari 2600 edition of Crazy Climber is considered an extremely rare find. Also a desirable spinoff is the double-joystick tabletop LED adaptation from Entex.