The Game: Popeye the sailor man gets his own video game. On level one, you’re trying to catch Olive Oyl’s falling hearts before they descend to sea level and are lost, while ducking Bluto’s punches at the same time. A can of spinach appears every so often, giving you the opportunity to read the big bully the riot act (comic strip-style, of course). On level two, the falling hearts are replaced by falling musical notes, and you’ll need Wimpy’s hefty help to keep Swee’Pea from drifting away on a balloon. (Parker Brothers, 1983)
Memories: After you’ve seen a few of Parker Brothers’ 2600 games, a bit of a style begins to emerge: simple characters that dispense with trying to be too graphically elaborate, and instead settle for being a decent light-and-shadow silhouette of what they’re representing. Such was the case with Parker Brothers’ version of Q*Bert, and it’s also the case here.
And it’s not a bad approach – given the 2600’s limitations, the graphics in Popeye aren’t bad; the characters actually manage to look like their inspiration.
I have to count a few points off for a bit of flicker, but at the time, Popeye was a great deal of fun, and if you’re not being an absolute stickler for detail, it still is.