Now the real terror begins, in the third part of our database of every horror game released for the Atari 2600. First we start with the most frightening, unstoppable of monsters, the lawsuit, namely the one over Donkey Kong and King Kong, then we continue our nightmare filled journey though questionable legality with a blatant rip-off of a no-budget horror comedy.
It's all in the weird Atari 2600 horror games K through R
This is part 3 of our database of Horror Themed Atari 2600 Games.
Although this game is based on the greatest giant monster movie of all time, the real horror was all the legal battles surrounding it.
When Shigeru Miyamoto's masterpiece Donkey Kong released in 1981, Universal Studios sued Nintendo claiming it was a rip-off King Kong. The lawsuit didn't last very long, especially after the court discovered that Universal didn't actually own the trademark to King Kong.
After their case was thrown out of court, Universal turned right around and licensed the video game rights of King Kong to Tiger Electronics. Tiger, who made both this Atari 2600 classic as well as a handheld LCD game, built an obvious rip off of Donkey Kong not only in theme, but in design and gameplay.
When Universal found out what Tiger did, they tried to recall the license but Tiger refused, stating that since Universal didn't own the rights to King Kong in the first place, so the movie studio had no claim on the video game Tiger put out.
Trapped in an unending nightmare, you have to dodge snakes, bats and ghouls as you climb your way up a series of moving ropes, trying to make your way up to the helicopter that will carry you out of this bad dream.
Each level of Nightmare has a different set of goals. At first all you need to do is make your way though the creatures, jumping from broken moving ropes until you reach the helicopter, in another level you have to change all of the flying ghouls into bats, then head towards the helicopter. With each level there is more to do, all making it more and more difficult to escape this endless dream of Atari terror.
Only released in Europe, this Dig Dug rip-off has you burrowing your way though an underground Egyptian tomb in an attempt to collect treasure and shoot (or squish) an evil snake and the mummy of the Pharaoh. You've never seen a more heroic grave robber.
What would you do if you could turn into a giant ape, lizard or werewolf? Destroy a small city and eat everyone in sight. That's the concept behind the ultimate giant monsters run amok game, Rampage. It's amazing how Activision was able to transition the rich graphics and gameplay into a simplified, yet still effective version for the Atari 2600 while maintaining the same feel. Never before has destroying homes and eating innocent people felt so satisfying on the Atari 2600.
What's a multi-billion dollar movie studio like 20th Century Fox suppose to do when they want to release a game based on the horror-comedy cult movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, but don't want to shell out any money to officially license it? Simple, title the game Revenge of the Beefsteak Tomatoes.
While it may sound like a weirdly cheesy concept, Revenge is actually quite a good, combining shooting and puzzle game elements as you try and build a wall to capture the tomatoes plants that are spawning the evil produce, while dodging tomato bombs and killer Beefsteak Tomatoes.