Almost all my Atari 2600 collection was bought used; I rarely bought new Atari games because by the time I was old enough to earn a little money, Nintendo was ruling and Atari 2600 games were liquidated pretty quickly from retail stores. The last place I know of that carried either Atari 2600 or Intellivision games was Zellers and the only game I recall buying from them was called Challenge.
I bought it because it looked like it was a Ghostbusters game from the picture… and by the way, I don’t think there were any screenshots on the packaging either, just this picture to judge the game by – but hey, it’s undoubtedly Ghostbusters! Look at it! Ghostbusters! I was so excited from saving some money and buying this thing that I couldn’t wait to get it home and shove it in my Atari.
“It’s gonna be fun to blast that big green monster”, I thought to myself – “It must be the final boss fight! Hmmm… I wonder why the title isn’t just ‘Ghostbusters’… Oh who cares? That’s clearly Bill Murray on the right side and maybe it’s even two players since there’s two ghostbusters in the picture.” My imagination streaked into countless possibilities as my excitement grew from the wait of the drive home. I think I may have even preformed a little ritualistic dance of joy just before I turned on the system. Ghostbusters! Yay!
Imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be a puzzle game where you have to guide a duck through a maze filled with rats. It’s over twenty years later and my aneurism still hasn’t healed. A duck. A duck? A duck! What? Are you kidding? But the picture… a duck? Rats? No ghosts? Someone must have done that on purpose and laughed their ass off over the thought of kids thinking this game might actually have something to do with busting ghosts. That asshole. I don’t dance anymore.
Oh …and that music – It stuck in my head and drove me insane. If I could have turned into a big green rage monster, I would have – wait! That’s a great idea for a game! I’ll make a game with the picture of the Hulk on it… only it won’t be the Hulk in the game, it’ll be a beaver! Yes, a beaver that is repeatedly punched in the face by a kangaroo. You’ll have to dodge the punches except that it’s impossible – just like dodging rats with a duck because I suck at Challenge! All the kids out there that wanted to play as the Hulk will have their lives ruined from my big joke that only I’ll find funny. I’ll laugh. I may even dance again.
I hate Zellers… Long live Walmart.