When Atari started to develop new software for the Atari 7800, it was only natural that they would try to port some of them to the 2600. Not only did this help revitalize the 2600 with hot new games, but Atari got two titles out of one idea! Out of the all the games developed concurrently of the 2600 and 7800, most actually got released. Crack'ed was one of the few that for whatever reason got scrapped (although the 7800 and Atari ST versions were released). While it may have been a mediocre title for the 7800, Crack'ed actually made a decent 2600 game.
You are a professional Ornithologist (that's a scientist who studies birds for non-scientific types), and your thrilled to find that a family of rare South American Hornbills has nested in your "Old Yoke Tree" (don't ask). Your excitement is short lived however as you soon discover that the eggs are under attack from snakes, rats, owls, birds, and other things attempting to steal the eggs for their own evil purposes (insert evil laugh here). Grabbing your slingshot (how about a nice shotgun instead?), you must attempt to defend the eggs until the timer runs out. If the enemy manages to get to a nest all is not lost, you still have time to shoot them and rescue the egg. But while you're out trying to rescue a rogue egg, you risk leaving your other nests defenseless.
Apparently Hornbills like to nest in subways as well as in old trees. In the Subway (which looks more like a sewer to me) you must fight off snakes, rats, and little creepy subway guys (oddly referred to as gorillas in the game code) who scare the hell out of me. If you succeed in defending your eggs in the subway you move onto the Rooster Ranch bonus round. In the bonus round the controls are a little different, as you must shoot roosters popping out of windows by moving the two aiming wedges on the edges of the screen. Moving the joystick left and right controls the horizontal wedge (X-axis), and up and down controls the vertical wedge (Y-Axis). It takes a little bit to get used to, but you'll soon find yourself blowing away really creepy looking roosters in no time.
While the 7800 version boasts six different levels, the 2600 version has been stripped down three. But considering what they managed to cram into those two levels, adding anymore would have been difficult. It's amazing to see how many moving sprites Robert got moving at once with little or no flicker, obviously programmers had finally learned how to master the 2600. The controls are a little tougher in the 2600 version, but they may have been polished up a bit in the final version.
It's hard to figure out why Atari never released this little gem for the 2600. Not only does it look almost as good as the 7800 version, but the 2600 could have used more first person shooting games. Chalk this one up to another mysterious act of Atari mismanagement.