The Game: Love in an elevator, it’s not. As a daring spy, you break into a top secret enemy facility, trying to grab vital secrets and evade or kill as many enemy agents as you can. Your only means of getting from floor to floor through most of the game is via the elevator – which gives you an advantage and also makes you vulnerable. (Taito, 1983)
Memories: This neat little entry from Taito wound up eating a lot of my allowance money back when I was eleven years old. There was a genuine sense of trying to reach a goal (though, to this day, even with emulation and official retro collections, I have no idea what lies below, say, the 20th level of the enemy compound). Elevator Action is also a real test of one’s mental multitasking abilities: agents closing in on all sides, elevator going down…do you jump? Duck? Shoot the agents? Shoot out the overhead lights? Some combination of the above? Whew.
Sadly, Elevator Action hit the arcades at roughly the same time as the video game industry underwent a cataclysmic slump. An Atari 2600 version was planned, but never hit the shelves (though it did later surface in prototype form at the 2001 Classic Gaming Expo). Later, however, Game Boy and NES versions of Elevator Action were released once the crash’s dust had settled, and both were decent translations. The Game Boy version is especially interesting, as it replaces the arcade game’s multiple “lives” with a life-bar, and adds some weapons not featured in the original, but is otherwise a very faithful port. The original can once again be played in Taito Legends.