Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 20: Sammy Lightfoot

Originality is for suckers. Why go through all the time and effort of coming up with a new idea when it's so much easier to repackage someone else's and sell it as your own? If everyone tried to be original all the time, we'd be living in a world without Captain Marvel, the Monkees or Mr. Pibb and I, for one, find that positively unthinkable.

Sammy Lightfoot, the rooster-haired hero of the game Sammy Lightfoot, needs to reach the top of a series of platforms. If that doesn't sound familiar to you, what I need you to do is stop playing Halo 3 for a second and enter the words "donkey" and "kong," in that order, into your search engine of choice. Go ahead and do it now. I can wait.

There are three screens for Sammy to conquer, each one filled with dangers like bouncing balls, waving streamers and the 7-Up spot. Not the most intimidating collection of baddies, but the video game world was still a couple of years away from the introduction of that most terrifying creature: the walking mushroom.

Once Sammy reaches the end of the third screen, he dutifully returns to the first to repeat the cycle ad infinitum. Sure, that gets tedious after a while, but wouldn't you much rather play a video game forever than have it stop after just a few hours and force you to read the names of the Japanese guys that made it?

Sammy Lightfoot makes up for its lack of originality with its overwhelming badness. The levels are sparse and unimaginative. Gameplay is slow and forced. And the hero looks like a chicken, with his big hair, beak nose and flipper arms. It's no wonder someone made a game called "Kill Sammy."

No comments: