Thursday, November 1, 2012
Marble Madness (1984)
Marble Madness earns its moniker. This is a game I've played on occasion and I find that it never gets any easier. Created in 1984 by Mark Cerny (of Atari), the player's goal was simple enough: using a trackball, guide a blue marble through an isometric course and reach the finish line before time runs out. Making this task difficult are the number of obstacles, treacherous paths and enemies in your path. The most heinous in-game villain, however, is momentum. Controlling the speed and direction of the marble is simple enough but it won't be long until you find yourself frantically spinning the ball in every which way. Nothing is more crushing than watching the ball roll off a cliff during the final turn. Simply put, Marble Madness is for crazy people and masochists.
Marble Madness is a game I have no shame in admitting that I can't get very far with. It's certainly not a fault of the hardware, it was just designed to be a fiercely challenging game (making it a perfect coin eater). There are only six levels and I seem to be incapable of breaking past stage two (or when I'm having a really good run, stage three) game only features six levels but to be honest, I've never been able to get past stage two (or stage three if I'm having a really good day). This is the kind of game that requires a steady hand and patience, virtues that tend to elude me most of the time.