The Game: You control a daredevil stunt climber on his trip up the side of a building, using no ropes, no nets, and nothing but his hands and his feet. Obstacles such as a large stork with (apparently flaming) droppings can cause you to plunge to your death several stories below, and even minor things such as annoyed building tenants dropping potted plants at you from above can have the same disastrous effect. When you reach the top – if you reach the top, that is – a helicopter lifts you away to your next challenge. (Atari, 1984 – fan club exclusive)
Memories: Crazy Climber for the 2600 is one of the rarest cartridges manufactured by Atari, having been released only through the company’s Atari Age fan club newsletter rather than at retail. On the basis of its scarcity alone, the Crazy Climber cartridge auctions for – appropriately – crazy amounts of money.
Is it worth it? Well, Crazy Climber comes within throwing distance of being one of the great 2600 arcade ports, but the cryptically-simplified control scheme – obviously paring the two-joystick arrangement down to one – loses something in the translation. Some elements are missing – such as the giant gorilla waiting to knock you off the building – didn’t make it home from the arcade. Visually, it’s not bad at all for a 2600 port.
In another time and other circumstances, Crazy Climber could’ve gotten a wide release and would’ve been hailed as a good-but-not-perfect arcade port – up there with Crystal Castles and Kangaroo – not bad company, really. But this was after the crash, and Atari was finally becoming choosier about what hit the stores, just a bit too late.