Pigs in Space (video game)

Pigs in Space is a three-in-one 1983 video game developed and published by Atari, Inc. for the Atari 2600. It is based on the recurrent sketch on the then-popular The Muppet Show of the same name.[1][2] The game was the last in a series of children-friendly games developed by Atari for the Atari 2600.[2] Atari marketed the games as being good for the development of hand/eye co-ordination.[3]

Pigs in Space
Pigs in space cartridge cover.jpg
Developer(s)Atari, Inc.
Publisher(s)Atari, Inc.
Programmer(s)Bill Aspromonte
Robert Zdybel
John Russell
Platform(s)Atari 2600
Release
Genre(s)Shoot 'em up
Mode(s)Single-player, two-player

GameplayEdit

The game consists of three different Muppets-themed games accessible from a common menu.

The first game is a Space Invaders-clone called Chickenvaders in which Captain Link Hogthrob runs along the bottom of the screen firing sausages at egg-dropping chickens, and at Gonzo who occasional flies across the top of the screen in a flying saucer.

The second is Pastaroids, a Frogger-clone in which Miss Piggy must dodge flying pasta and meatballs to cross the screen from bottom to top to reach the ship USS Swinetrek.

The third is Escape from the Planet of the Gonzoids, in which the player plays as Doctor Strangepork controlling the Swinetrek as it flies through tunnels shooting robots (called Gonzoids) that throw pizzas.[1][3]

DevelopmentEdit

The game was programmed by Bill Aspromonte, Robert Zdybel, and John Russell.[4] The cove art was created by Linda King.

ReceptionEdit

A review in the November 1983 issue of the US computer games magazine Videogaming and Computer Gaming Illustrated was broadly positive about the game, praising especially the gameplay and graphics, and describing the game as "a very satisfying release" having "something for everyone". Their only point of criticism was the simplistic graphics used to depict Gonzo.[5] The 1984 Software Encyclopedia published by Electronic Games magazine was broadly positive about the game, giving it an overall rating of 7/10.[6]

In a 2009 review written for the UK magazine and website Retro Gamer, Michal Mozejko gave the game a mixed review, criticising especially the slowness of Escape from the Planet of the Gonzoids whilst also appreciating the nostalgia value of the game.[7] Writing in the 2011 book Classic Home Video Games, 1972-1984 A Complete Reference Guide, Brett Weiss also gave the game a mixed review. Weiss described the games as "derivative (if nice looking) games" and criticised especially Escape from the Planet of the Gonzoids, which he described as a "dull, repetitious shooter".[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Weiss, Brett (2007). Classic Home Video Games, 1972-1984 A Complete Reference Guide. McFarland. p. 90. ISBN 9780786432264. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b Lapetino, Tim (2016). Art Of Atari. Dynamite Entertainment. p. 243. ISBN 9781524101060. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Kidding Around". Videogaming and Computer Gaming Illustrated. October 1983. pp. 7–8. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Atari 2600: Pigs in Space". Atari Museum. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Pigs in Space". Videogaming and Computer Gaming Illustrated. November 1983. p. 15. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Pigs in Space". 1984 Software Encyclopedia. 1984. p. 97. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  7. ^ Mozejko, Michal (10 June 2009). "PIGS IN SPACE". Retro Gamer. Retrieved 23 February 2021.