Saw a documentary called "Game Over" based around the Urban legend that this game was so bad that they dumped a million of them into a landfill and covered them with concrete. Well, it wasn't a million, but they did find the land fill with 728,000 various title in it. The programmer worked magic for only having not more than a month to knock out the game, due to a developer overpromising on a Christmas release date. He literally slept in the same room as the programing equipment and worked 7 days a weak, non stop. This game isn't great but it does have surprising depth, making you put together a transmitter to "phone home." The main complaint is you fall into pits and when you get to the top you fall right back in, over and over. Well, it was even in the manual, just go left or right not up or down and you can get out the first time. I had the attention span of a gnat and I was fine with this game as kid. Try it. It's really not that bad, just didn't live up to the hype.
In 1982, Atari was still dominating the home video game market with (mostly) hit-after-hit of arcade conversions, and E.T. was a highly popular movie that had broken all the box office records at the time. Surely the two combined forces would have created an all-time best seller, right?
Everything has been said of what a disaster the game was, and perhaps rightly or wrongly so depending on your POV. I couldn't get into the game back then and still can't get into the game today, even with the benefit of an emulator to save the progress as I go along. (Too frustrating!)
This game is much better than it's reputation. People would have you believe it was such a bad game it destroyed the entire videogame market. Nonsense! There are many many far worse 2600 games. If rushed, bad movie tie in games could really damage the industry, it would have died 1000 deaths by now. The real problem was the glut of low-quality software that meant games could not be sold anywhere near retail that caused the market crash.
The problem with ET was only that it was over-hyped and over-produced. It's playable and winable. Is it annoying that you fall in pits too often? Yeah, but that can be avoided if you're careful.
|Other versions with the same title: |
Other versions with a different title:
Collect all the phone pieces and give Elliot 7 pieces of candy. Then revive the flower. It will change into a Yar and fly away. Repeat this for the next round and the flower will change into Indy. Repeat this a third time and the initials HSW3 (for Howard Scott Warshaw – the 3 denotes this is his 3rd game) will appear. Actually, you don’t have to get all of the phone pieces for the trick to work. You only need to collect the H piece for the YAR, the S piece for Indy, and the W piece for the initials.
The phone pieces (while in the pit) are in fact the letters H, S, and W.
The initials of the graphic artist, Jerome M. Domurat, are hidden in the game as well. On game #1, give Elliot 1 candy. Then, whenever you both are on the 8-pit screen, the letters JD will appear on the top status bar.
A promo box exists that was used as a prop for the commercial (see scans below). The E.T. picture in the middle of the box is glued on and the back of the box is completely blank, just plain silver. The rainbow bordering that wraps around the box is also glued on and the box is completely sealed shut but has something of weight in it, most probably a wooden block.