The Game: You are Potsy, a flowerpot-chucking tenant in a building being overrun by spiders. As they come up the walls, hurl potted plants at ’em to squish them before they can climb into the windows; if too many spiders make it through, they eat away at the building from the ground up until game is over. Black spiders follow a straightforward, no-nonsense path to the windows, while blue spiders zig-zag a bit. Red and green spiders follow more unpredictable paths, forcing you to try to nail them as they crawl the walls diagonally. Super powers will not be granted to you if you get bitten. (Activision, 1983)
Memories: Sort of like a slide-and-shoot game in reverse, Crackpots! is a fun little number with some cute graphics and game play speed that gradually (but inevtiably) goes off the scale. Still, it’s incredibly simple and loads of fun too – and not surprisingly, it’s been revived for more modern consoles as part of Activision’s classic game compilations.
Crackpots! is essentially a slide-and-shoot game turned upside-down – instead of the dastardly alien invaders descending toward you in straight lines or strafing runs, they’re darting upward to meet you (with the same end result in mind). Maybe not the most original game play premise, but certainly a novel execution.