In the 1980s, every arcade had Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, or Defender. Most arcade owners knew these games were popular and would provide a nice return on their investment. But some owners took chances on more unconventional games that broke away from the standard themes of robots, spaceships, and whimsical characters trying to rescue their buddies. The Taito corporation produced some of the best unconventional games, like Qix, a game about drawing boxes; Zoo Keeper, a game about herding animals; and Kram, a game about a weird little mutant who shoves coins up his ass.
Gameplay: You're the mutant offspring of Q*Bert and that big orange tennis-shoe-wearing monster from the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons. You live on a game grid that's the mutant offspring of Tron and Attax. Your goal in life is to collect little floating coins by hopping up and down on them and cramming them right into your little mutant ass. Your nemeses are deadly skulls which are the mutant offspring of Sinistar and La LoterÃa. You can't stop them, but you are able to deflect them by building wallsâ€”which also come out of your ass. The skulls can't break through the walls, but they have these helpers called Rippers, who are the mutant offspring of whatever the hell you are and a speedometer. They'll stop at nothing to break down the walls you've made, which is great for therapy, but not so great if you're just trying to cram a bunch of coins into your ass. (Or maybe it is. That's between you and your therapist.)
Could be mistaken for: Dropping acid and chasing Mr. Machine around the dorms.
Kids today might not like it because: Who needs ass-cramming mutants when you have MTV?
Kids today might like it because: It's fast-paced, fun to play, and it's a nice break from all those ass-cramming mutants on MTV.
Enduring contribution to gaming history: Kram was Taito's only foray into the mysterious world of mutants, but the company continued to let players assume heroic roles in Jungle King, Elevator Action, and Rastan. —Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton is the mutant offspring of Mr. and Mrs. Wheaton.
Image courtesy of the International Arcade Museum and the Killer List Of Video Games.