The Game: You control a daredevil stunt climber on his trip up the side of a steep mountain, using no ropes, no nets, and nothing but his hands and his feet. Obstacles such as a large purple bear, pesky monkeys and waterfalls can cause you to plunge to your death several hundred feet below. (Taito, 1981)
Memories: Imagine, for a moment, Crazy Climber, only with less fun and more frustration. That, in a nutshell, is a fairly accurate description of Taito’s Rock Climber, obviously an offshoot of Crazy Climber, which they had licensed from Nitsibushu. Instead of climbing a building, now your climber – still guided with two joysticks – is now trying to scale a mountain, plagued by annoying monkeys and deadly purple bears. (The bears probably wouldn’t be all that mean, except that they’re overcompensating for being what must seem to a bear to be an embarrassing shade of purple.)
Add to this mix random waterfalls that can literally open up underneath you with less warning than Crazy Climber‘s opening windows, as well as types of terrain that look exactly like the rest of the terrain except for being impassible, and you have a game that’s likely to convince you that even the original Crazy Climber wasn’t that fun. (Hint: it was a heck of a lot more fun than this.)
In short, Rock Climber seems to be right up there with Pirate Pete – an exercise in “we’ve got the rights/license to this, so let’s mess around with it some more and make yet another game out of it.” (Come to think of it, didn’t Taito do Pirate Pete as well?) Only this was one trip too many to the well – and it wound up breaking the game. I give Rock Climber a dime because it’s not even worth a single quarter. For those looking for the legitimate heirs to Crazy Climber, look for Crazy Climber 2 and the Playstation sequels Hyper Crazy Climber and Crazy Climber 2000.