126. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, Atari 2600) by Atari

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Some say that E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is the worst game ever made.  I say to those folks that you’re wrong.  Sure, this is not a great game at all.  It’s relatively boring, and repetitive, and simple, and confusing… but weren’t a lot of Atari 2600 games?  This is still playable even in 2021, and takes reflexes, skill, and cunning in order to win.  Not a lot, mind you, but it does take some.  This game is not bad at all.

You play as E.T. himself, and you must collect the 3 parts of your phone to call your mothership and go home.  You dodge an FBI Agent and a scientist, falling into pits to find the pieces, and Elliott gives you aid as you search.  Sure, it’s simple and repetitive, but it’s still kind of fun once you get the hang of it!  This is such a scapegoat for Atari’s overall failures it’s not even funny.  I feel so badly for the creator of this game, Howard Scott Warshaw.  He should get more credit for what he did.

The speedrun is nice, in the sense that it takes almost all of the RNG out of this game, using a first-frame input manipulation.  If you press and hold the action button as you power the console on, the pieces will always appear in the same convenient spots!  From there, you just go as fast as you can to nab the pieces and call home!  It’s simple and easy, yet still quite fun for what it is!  I could definitely recommend this speedrun to anyone looking for a simple, easy-to-learn and fun speedrun to fill a day or two.

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