What are some great, scary, classic games to play for Halloween? Castlevania? Splatterhouse? Resident Evil? Haunted House? Clock Tower? Silent Hill? Hello Kitty Cube Frenzy? Yes, all terrifying games in their own ways. But this year, I’m going to talk about an Atari 2600 game that really fits the Halloween bill: Frankenstein’s Monster by Data Age!
Released in 1983, Frankenstein’s Monster is a single-screen platformer in which your character must prevent the monster from coming to life and breaking loose from the top of Frankenstein’s castle. To do this, you must make your way to the basement, overcoming obstacles like pits and floating logs and avoiding ghosts and creepy crawlies, grab a brick, and bring it back up to the top of the castle. At the top, you must enter the field below the monster, which takes you to another screen where you must make your way to the top while avoiding hordes of vampire bats that try to push you back. If you make it to the top, you must touch one of the partially-built walls to add your brick. If you’re successful, the barrier will be a little taller, and you start the process over again. Each time you start over, the obstacles and enemies change a little. Also, whenever there’s a crash of lightning, the monster fills up with a little more green color. Lose three lives, or let the monster turn all the way green, and the monster breaks loose and stomps right out of your TV screen to smother you with his green-ness!
The play mechanics of the game are similar to a single-screen Pitfall. You run, climb up and down ropes, jump over holes in the ground and over the water onto floating logs. The control isn’t bad once you get the hang of it, and the graphics are actually pretty impressive — especially when you lose the game, and the monster comes stomping at you, getting bigger and bigger, eventually filling the screen!
I actually have yet to complete the barricade and save the day, so this is definitely a personal gaming goal for me.
Frankenstein’s Monster is a semi-rare game and usually fetches at least $20 or more loose, and upwards of $60-70 complete in box, the last time I checked ebay for it. But it’s definitely a unique and fun experience for Atari players and monster fans alike, and depending on your level of Atari or Frankenstein fandom, possibly worth the price to add to your collection. (Or you can play it on your Flashback Portable once you load it up with games!)
Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!