SPECTRAVISION

Mangia! Mangia!

As an Italian-American, I can really relate to this entirely reasonable Atari 2600 title. You play a little boy whose mother or possibly grandmother keeps approaching with plate after plate of spaghetti. You have no choice but to eat it, and eventually, as the screen below shows, your stomach explodes and you die.

The only way to avoid this fate is to pass the spaghetti to either your dog who walks by once in a while, or a color changing cat who shows up in the window (it might be a raccoon) (or frankly, possibly a demon, it’s kind of hard to tell with 2600 graphics). Of course, if your mom sees you, she brings three plates for you next time.

The gameplay is actually a lot like a side-scrolling Klax, with elements of Red Light Green Light mixed in. It’s pretty fun, too, if you turn the sound down, since both the dog’s and the cat’s sound effects are extremely jarring ringing telephone bell sounds. If you don’t believe me, please, watch this YouTube video:

The game is as rare as it is weird, with a coveted R10 rating from AtariAge, and it’s even more difficult to find than the legendarily rare Chase the Chuckwagon, which was a) also from Spectravision and b) ranks as the first videogame that was ever really considered a rare, difficult to locate collectors’ item.

In fact, the game is so rare and obscure that Mike Mika only has *two* copies. Actually I don’t know if he has any copies, but a version with the box and no manual just sold on eBay for $1000, which is what reminded me about the game. It is one of Mike’s favorite 2600 games though, because he talks about it a lot.