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Porky's Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 50%
Porky's
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  • Review Score:

  • C
As I mentioned in my Journey Escape review, everything was fair game for being turned into a video game during the Atari 2600 era. No idea was too ridiculous when companies could cash in on the then-new video gaming craze. Hell, visitors to Defunct Games saw that even colored sugar water and dog food were considered valid subjects for video games.

However, if there was anything that was best suited to being turned into interactive entertainment, it would be a movie. What better way to capitalize on a successful film than to make a way to experience the movie at home? 20th Century Fox set up their own video game division for that purpose. Some of the movies chosen for adaptation made sense like Alien and Flash Gordon, and Fox even produced a good game from the movie Fantastic Voyage. However, I just have to wonder, "Out of the hundreds of movies produced by Fox over the fifty years prior to the Atari 2600 era, why did they choose to make a game of Porky's?"

For those who don't know, Porky's was a dumb teen sex comedy about a group of teenagers that went to Porky's, a honky-tonk strip joint, trying to get a prostitute. They get ripped off and thrown out by the owner and get their revenge by destroying the place. It is the godfather of the teen sex comedy genre; movies like American Pie owe their existence to Porky's.

Porky's (Atari 2600)

So, how did that get turned into a video game? Because of cartridge memory and console limitations, Fox condensed the experience to one scene of the movie. They could've chosen the Cherry Forever gag, Pee Wee's crank call to Wendy Williams, or the scene where we learned why Kim Cattrall was called "Lassie," but the developers wisely chose to focus on the destruction of the bar. What follows is a surprisingly complex game for the Atari 2600 that's remarkably easy to get into.

The game is actually in four distinct phases leading to the blowing up of Porky's. The first phase involves taking Pee Wee through a gauntlet of cars, pigs, and other traffic to reach Porky's. It's basically a poor-man's version of Frogger and quite self-explanatory.

When you get hit, the game isn't over. Instead, you get knocked into Phase 2: The Swamp. Your goal in the swamp is to get out by pole vaulting; for the record, that wasn't in the movie. Every time you get nailed in the other three phases, Pee Wee will drop into the swamp; as a result, you'll get sick of that screen pretty quick.

When you make it out of the swamp, you're in Phase 3: the girls' showers. There is a random object atop the shower where a flesh-colored silhouette is showering. You have to push that object down into the hole at the bottom of the screen in order to be allowed out. You have to do that while being chased by Ms. Balbricker. (Wait, if Balbricker's chasing you, doesn't that make you Tommy Turner?) The objective on this screen isn't explained, making figuring out what you have to do irritating if you don't have the instructions.

Porky's (Atari 2600)

Getting through the showers takes you back to the Frogger part where one lane had stopped moving and the others had slowed down. If you get knocked into the swamp often enough, eventually all the lanes of traffic will be stopped, making it easy to reach the final phase: the scaffolding. You have to navigate an invisible maze, avoiding Porky, to reach the top of the screen and blow up Porky's. This phase is the worst kind of trial-and-error gameplay; be prepared to see several more trips to the swamp.

Graphically, it's one of the stronger Atari 2600 titles with large character sprites and lots of color. The sound design is serviceable but nothing special, aside from the cool explosion effect when you blow up Porky's. Overall, the game has one major strength and one nearly-fatal flaw. It's strength is that it can be finished, and, with how its difficulty tones down with each screw-up, it actively encourages the player to finish it. The flaw is the repetition. I got thoroughly sick of the swamp and shower scenes before I finished the game once.

Making a video game about the movie Porky's had to be one of the dumbest ideas in history. However, the game managed to be adequate. If you want an Atari 2600 game with more meat on its bones and don't mind a LOT of repetition, you can "Get It At Porky's".
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