Impossible Mission isn't just a clever name. Thanks to a programming error, the Atari 7800 version of the game actually is impossible to complete. And with the possibility of winning off the table, that leaves a lot more time for making fun of stuff.
The goal is to find all of the pieces of a key card that gains access to the lair of the evil Elvin Atombender. The pieces are hidden behind the furniture of Atombender's vast complex, so you'll have to search each piece while avoiding a bunch of robots that don't want you messing with their stuff.
Expect the vast majority of your searches to come up empty.
But occasionally you will turn up something useful, like one of those key card pieces or a password that allows to to temporarily disable that room's robots. Maybe a punch card that will come in handy if you ever want to play tic tac toe against UNIVAC.
Impossible Mission could be a really great game. In fact, it is in Europe. The programming glitch isn't present in the PAL version of the game. It's a great combination of action, puzzle solving and falling into bottomless pits after misjudging jumps. There's just that one little problem that can't be avoided.
In the North American version, that programming bug means some of the pieces you need to beat the game are hidden behind computer terminals, and computer terminals can't be searched. That devious Dr. Atombender, somehow he knew I would be too distracted by the flashing screen of his Apple IIGS to look behind it! Curse him!
Actually, I was joking about the tic tac toe thing. Oh well, since it's here...