As is often the case with video games released before the mass use of the internet, hard information on Eggomania is scarce. Best I can tell, it was developed by James Wickstead Design Associates and published by US Games for the Atari 2600 in 1982. Essentially, it’s a clone of Atari’s Avalanche or Activision’s more popular Kaboom! While I’ve only played the latter, this is a style of game that I found to be enjoyable and with additional players, can easily turn into a heated score-chasing competition.
Using the Atari 2600’s paddle controller, I assumed the role of a top hat wearing bear. Normally, this would be reason enough to celebrate. Unfortunately, this particular bear was being pelted with eggs by a swift turkey. The bear’s strategy to combat this was to catch the eggs in his top hat and then hurl them back at the turkey. After a wave of eggs was caught, I had the opportunity to assail the turkey with its own ammunition. But, if I missed catching enough eggs, the egg white and yolk from these would eventually fill the screen and drown the bear, resulting in game over.
Truthfully, Eggomania isn’t a game I played much of, maybe an hour tops. But, within the first minute, I had experienced all I was going to. From there, the premise of topping my score, or another player’s, was the sole appeal. Visually and audibly, the game is impressive, but there’s little variety in what’s displayed in either category. The responsiveness of the bear is great although the hit detection when attacking the turkey left me confused why some of my throws were damaging and others weren’t. Eggomania compares well against its contemporaries and in the right environment, can provide a fun competition.
Kaboom! is the first of Activision’s games that was not released solely on the Atari 2600. However, it is the version I shall discuss (by way of Activision Anthology on the PlayStation 2 that is). Released in 1981 and designed by Larry Kaplan, versions were also released for the Atari 5200 and their line of 8-bit computers. It would’ve been nice to see these additional versions included in Activision Anthology, but the package was quite the focused effort.
I want to say this is the simplest game of the bunch I’ll write about, but they’re all pretty simple. If I took this game to my parents, they’d instantly get it, and be hooked for a short while too. The “Mad Bomber” resides at the top of the screen and will drop bombs as long the player has buckets to catch them. Miss three bombs and that’s it. This is a score attack game through and through.
On the Atari 2600, Kaboom! utilized the paddle controller which featured a knob not unlike a radio dial. Turning it moved the buckets. This aspect of the game doesn’t hold up in Activision Anthology. Using the analog sticks or the d-pad just doesn’t cut it 100%. It’s workable, but I think it’d be tough to really excel. I have played the iOS version and using the touch screen is a good alternative, but that makes it too easy. I know, I know – I’m hot, I’m cold, I don’t know what I want! Either way you play it, play it; I really like this game.
With the PS2 version being my main version, I did put in the time to unlock Kaboom!’s patch and commercial. Unlocking the patch was a walk in the park compared to what was originally required; unlocking it required at least two hundred points compared to the original sum of at least three thousand!