Big Bird's Egg Catch

Big Bird's Egg Catch
Company: Atari
Model #:
Christopher Omarzu
Year: 1983
Part of the Children's Television Workshop Series


When Atari decided to create a children's series they needed several popular characters to slip into the games, naturally Sesame Street was one of the first places they looked.  Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Ernie, Big Bird, and Grover were all given their own games in the Children's Workshop Series (CCW).  A sixth CCW title called Count's Castle was also planned but never finished.


Being a children's game, the gameplay in Big Bird's Egg Catch is quite simple.  Using the large buttons on the Kid's Controller you must guide Big Bird around the screen catching the eggs as they fall down the slides.  Big Birds Egg Catch was suppose to teach children to focus their attention and anticipate which slide the eggs were going to fall down (good luck!).  Strangely the added benefit of teaching children that Atari is their master isn't mentioned in the manual.  Must have been an oversight...


If you look hard enough, there are some interesting variations that can add a little more excitement to this decidedly simply game (to be fair, this *IS* a children's game).  The slides can cross in complex patterns making it harder to determine where the egg will land.  There's a variation that only shows the egg when it's coming out of the chute making it extra hard to catch it in time (you actually need to watch the chickens stand up and down when they lay their eggs).  There's also a golden egg feature that has make a golden egg appear once a level and is worth five points if caught.  Some variations also automatically move Bird Bird to the next chute when the button is pressed while others (for older children) make it so you must manually line up Bird Bird under the chute.

Interestingly, Big Bird wasn't the original star of this game, despite all the bird/egg synergy.  Instead Big Bird was originally supposed to star in Music Maker before that game was given to Grover.  Rumor has it that Ernie and/or Grover may have originally been slated for Egg Catch before everyone was swapped around.  The only evidence of this may be found in the earliest prototype was 12/8/82 where the player is a blue square that has a very Grover looking color to it. 


Version Cart Text Description
12/8/82 Big Bird 12-8-82 Very Early Version
5/2/83 Big Bird 5-2-83 Mid WIP
5/17/83 Big Bird 5-17-83 Mid WIP
6/13/83 Big Bird 6/13 Final Version


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