You are Agent 17, code-named "Otto." (Why you have a code name when you're already identified by a number remains unaddressed.) Your mission is to start at the top of a 30-story building, and work your way down to the basement, where your super-bitchin' hatchback is totally waiting for you. The bad news: This building is crawling with enemy agents. The good news: They're helpfully outfitted in black hats and jackets. More bad news: You've got to collect documents that are scattered all over the building. More good news: They're "hidden" behind bright-red doors. Still more bad news: You only have a pistol. Still more good news: You have access to the ultimate in spy technology: the elevator.
Gameplay: When you're in an elevator, you can move it up and down, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds. When you're outside an elevator, you can jump or duck to avoid enemy bullets, and collect those precious documents you're risking your life to retrieve. You can also ride escalators, if Escalator Action is more your speed.
Pick up as many documents as you can, and try not to get killed by the bad guys. You can kick, shoot, and crush your enemies, but the most satisfying way to take them out is to shoot a hanging light, watch it fall onto their heads, and announce, "It's lights-out for you."
Could be mistaken for: Elevator Action II, Hyapatia Lee's Elevator Axxxion (Betamax, 1983)
Kids today might not like it because: Even though he carries a gun and has a wicked hatchback, Otto is basically a document courier. B-O-R-I-N-G.
Kids today might like it because: They'll get to experience the excitement of being a secret agent without getting shot at, or having their identities leaked to Robert Novak.
Enduring contribution to gaming history: Spy Hunter, Cloak And Dagger, and Metal Gear Solid are just a few of the games that built upon Elevator Action's winning combination of jaunty tunes and spytacular hijinks. Wil Wheaton
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Image courtesy of the International Arcade Museum and the Killer List Of Video Games.