The Game: One of the great dental scare games (also see Tooth Protectors and Jawbreaker), Plaque Attack pits you against tooth decay itself! Wave after wave of burgers, hot dogs, fries ‘n’ fruit assault a mouth with eight teeth in it (only eight? Something tells me this patient’s beyond help already), and you pilot a tube of toothpaste packing enough fluoride to blast them all into sparkly white oblivion – if you can keep up with all of them. (Activision, 1983)
Memories: It’s a weird topic for a game, but truth be told, that’s one of the many things I loved about the early era of video games: it wasn’t all fighting, driving, first-person shooter, RPG, flight sim or dancing. Anything was game (to coin a phrase). Now, in all honesty, Plaque Attack is little more than a rehash of Megamania (right down to the killer burgers) with a dash of Missile Command thrown in for good measure (if you’re doing well and survive a wave where you’ve lost teeth, you’ll actually get a tooth back).
Plaque Attack is also a throwback to that era where video game manufacturers were trying to add wholesome educational games to their catalogues in an attempt to buffer the industry against the backlash of parents complaining about the games’ lack of any redeeming values. What did I learn from Plaque Attack? I learned that a flying mini-tube of toothpaste was hard at work in my mouth at all times, fighting plaque and relieving me of any obligation to brush. I subsequently had quite a few of my teeth replaced with an attractive but durable slab of aluminum and porcelain when I was 26 years old. (Actually, only part of that statement is a joke.)