The Game: As an intrepid, pith-helmeted explorer, you’re exploring King Tut’s catacombs, which are populated by a variety of killer bugs, birds, and other nasties. You’re capable of firing left and right, but not vertically – so any oncoming threats from above or below must be outrun or avoided. Warp portals will instantly whisk you away to other parts of the maze (though this doesn’t necessarily mean safer). Gathering all of the treasures and keys will allow you to open the vault at the end of each level…which leads to the next, and even more difficult level. It’s like The Mummy, only much more entertaining. (Stern, 1982)
Memories: Konami/Stern’s 1982 maze shooter was about as different from its antecedents (Berzerk and Frenzy) as possible, and was still fun. The one thing that always got people in the arcades, especially on their first attempt at playing the game, was the fact that it was impossible to shoot vertically – firing could be controlled by a second joystick limited to left-right movement.
Parker Brothers discovered the real secret to King Tut’s tomb: license the video game and make one for every platform under the sun. Atari 2600, ColecoVision and Intellivision cartridges of Tutankham were made, and since I first wrote this page, a couple of readers have informed me that an Atari 5200 edition was indeed made, but in small numbers. Even an Odyssey2 version was prepped, but never released, sporting over 100 “rooms”, an unprecedented scale for a game on that system. The completed prototype was later found and released.