Pigs in Space

Name:
Pigs in Space
Company: Atari
Model #:
CX-26114
Programmers:
Bill Aspromonte (Pastaroids) , Rob Zdybel (Checkenvaders), and John Russell (Planet of the Gonzoids)
Year: 1983
Released?
Yes
Notes:
The last Children's series title to be released

 

Pigs in Space is oddity among Atari games, for its really not one game, but three mini-games in one (or as Atari called it, a tripigathlon).  If you haven't guessed yet, Pigs in Space is based on the old Muppet Show skit of the same name.  You control one of three crew members: Link Hogthrob, First Mate Piggy, and Dr. Strangepork.  Each crew member represents a different min-game.

 

Chickenvaders

As you might have guessed, Chickenvaders is really just a Space Invaders clone.  But since Atari owned the home rights to Space Invaders, it was an authorized clone.  You control Link Hobthrob, who must shoot the row after row of chickens before they can land on planet Cluck (no I'm not making this up!).  To destroy the chickens you must throw link sausage at them before the can drop eggs on your nice clean uniform (once again, I'm not making this up!).  At the top of the screen you can see Gonzo controlling the chickens from his command saucer, you can shoot him for points.  If you get hit by an egg you'll be transformed into a chicken and become Gonzo's love slave.  Ok... I made the part about the love slave up.

 

Pastaroids

The Pastaroids game is really a clone of Telesys's Cosmic Creeps.  It's unknown if Atari unknowingly copied Cosmic Creeps, or if it was just an unfortunate coincidence.  Anyway, the plot behind this game is that somehow Miss Piggy has been ejected into space, and now she must fight her way back through a deadly Pastaroid storm to get back to the ship.  Basically you must maneuver Miss Piggy around the Pastaroids and Noodles to get to the ship before it leaves.  Every time you get hit by a Pastaroid or Noodle you get thrown back a little bit wasting precious time.  This segment is the easiest of all the mini-games.

 

Escape From Planet of the Gonzoids

On the surface you'd think this was the only truly original game of the three, but if you look closer its very similar to the 20th Century Fox game Fantastic Voyage.  However, this time its different enough to escape being labeled a clone.  In this game you control the Swinetrek as you maneuver your way through an abandoned pizza mine.  Along the way you'll encounter Gonzoids, strange metal robots created by Gonzo.  To defeat these robots your ship is armed with a Boomeray, a strange weapon that shoots upwards then falls down to the left or right.  Aiming this weapon is very hard as you must move the direction you want it to fall, and moving around in the tight passages is a recipe for disaster.  Also, if your not careful the Boomeray will come back at you and destroy your ship.  This game is the most difficult of the three, I can't see kids actually beating this one.

 

While none of these games would have stood a chance on their own, putting all three on one cartridge makes for a decent game.  This was the last cartridge in the children's series to be released before Atari decided to pull the plug on it.  Pigs in Space isn't a bad game, but its nothing special unless you're a huge Muppet fan.  Still, you've got to give Atari some credit for attempting to make any game based off a Muppet skit.

 

Version Cart Text Description
7/29/83 Pigs In Space 7-29  
8/5/83 Pigs in Space 8-5 Final Version
8/8/83 Pigs in Space PAL 8-08-83 Final Version (PAL)

 

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