The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Atari 2600)

Wow. This is just special.

b_TexasChainsawMassacre_frontAs far as horror movies go, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of my all-time favorites. It’s gritty, realistic, and unsettling, despite very little gore being shown on-screen. This is due in part to the low-budget nature of the production, as well as the genius of director Tobe Hooper. Of course, the film was a huge hit, spawning several sequels, as well as… a video game?

Ohh nooooooo.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_15 2Yes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre had a video game, of all things… on the Atari 2600 no less. The game was highly controversial at the time, and many stores refused to stock it due to its violent content. Those that did stock it usual kept it hidden out of public view, and it needed to be requested specially, much like the infamous Atari porn games.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre would be hard to translate to game form as is, but on the Atari? Geeze. Well, let’s take a look.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_18 2Oh my god.

leatherfaceYes, this… thing is indeed supposed to be Leatherface, and is in fact the character you control. That blue tendril protruding from his chest is his chainsaw, and the pixels rotate around it as you rev it up. This would be pretty cool if it wasn’t the same color as his outfit. Christ, he looks like a sad muppet.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_3 2Being an Atari game, the gameplay is very simple. You run around with the joystick, and try to murder girls. Sounds like family entertainment to me. When you find a girl, a high-pitched beep plays, which I’m assuming is supposed to be them screaming.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_6 2Pressing the button revs up the chainsaw, which of course kills the girl if it touches her. However, this is easier said than done, as the girl will “teleport” behind Leatherface several times. I’m assuming this is her narrowly evading him or something. You’ll also notice that you have a fuel meter on the top of the screen. This is, essentially, Leatherface’s life meter. It drops slowly as you walk around, but goes down faster if you rev up your chainsaw. So obviously, it’s best to avoid using your chainsaw until the time is right.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_8 2However, there’s all sorts of obstacles along the way, from cow skulls to fences to wheelchairs. If you bump into one of these, you get stuck and have no choice but to chainsaw your way through, costing you precious fuel. Don’t know how the hell Leatherface can get stuck on a bale of hay, but he never was very bright.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_10 2And really, that’s the gist of the game. Avoid obstacles and murder girls. You’re given three lives, and the only real point of the game is to get as high of a score as possible.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_22 2 Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_23 2When you run out of lives, you’re greeted with a rather humorous game-over screen: one of the girls runs up behind Leatherface and punts him right in the ass. ‘Cause y’know, gritty and realistic.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_17 2Also, let’s take a look at that background for a second. First of all, check out the size of that truck relative to the house. Second, check out the size of those trees relative to both of them! Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be nitpicking this game, of all things.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1983) (Wizard Video)_12 2And that’s really all I have to say about it. To tell you the truth, I’ve played FAR worse games. I mean sure, this sucks. But it’s the Atari, so you’ve got to give it at least a little leeway. I don’t particularly reccomend playing it, but hey, your call.

And believe it or not, this wasn’t the only horror franchise made into an Atari game…



About Dinosaur Pirate

Is he a dinosaur? Or a pirate. Neither. BOTH.
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3 Responses to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Atari 2600)

  1. Pingback: Halloween (Atari 2600) | Dinosaur Pirate Entertainment System

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