Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 59: Cabbage Patch Kids - Adventures in the Park

Yea verily, I stand today on the very forefront of the retro gaming scene, having played the long rumored but only recently discovered Atari 2600 game, Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures in the Park. Yes, thanks to this fortuitous discovery made by Alex Handy, gamers can play a graphically inferior version of a game they haven't been playing on their Colecovisions for the last 25 years.

As far as I can tell, Adventures in the Park is complete. It play almost identically to its Colecovision counterpart although, especially for a game aimed at young children, it's very unforgiving. Misjudging a leap by the tiniest amount leads to the loss of a life, as does contact with pretty much anything other than the ground. Perhaps it was awaiting a few last tweaks in that department before commercial release.

Essentially, Adventure in the Park is Pitfall for little kids. The player controls what was obviously a Cabbage Patch Kid in the Colecovision version, though here it's not so obvious, through a series of screens, each with an obstacle to overcome. This being a game for children, those obstacles mostly come in the largely harmless forms of bouncing balls and blocks to jump over.

Despite being, technically, a prototype, this game plays very well and makes impressive use of the Atari 2600 hardware. Most screens are colorful and packed with objects to interact with and there's enough variation to the challenges to keep the game entertaining for at least a little while. Definitely a very nice discovery.

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