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Designer(s)Dan Kitchen[1]
Platform(s)Atari 2600
ReleaseMay 16, 1983[citation needed]
Genre(s)Fixed shooter
Mode(s)1-2 players alternating

Crackpots is an Atari 2600 game designed by Dan Kitchen and published by Activision in 1983. It was Kitchen's first game for Activision; he later did a number of ports to the 2600, including the arcade games Kung Fu Master and Double Dragon.[1]

In Crackpots, the player controls Potsy, a gardener. Potsy's Brooklyn building is being overrun by bugs trying to climb inside six windows.[2] The player moves Potsy back and forth along the roof to drop pots on the bugs before they can get close enough to enter the windows.


Each level consists of four waves of twelve bugs each;[2] defeat all four waves and the player will move on to a more difficult and faster-paced level. Play then resumes until the building crumbles to the ground. If six or more bugs enter through the open windows, part of the building will be eaten away, and you will have to replay the level. The patterns vary for different colored bugs. Black bugs will move straight up the building, blue bugs wiggle from left to right, red bugs move diagonally, and green bugs zig-zag between windows.[3]


A review in the November 1983 issue of Videogaming and Computer Gaming Illustrated stated, "I think Activision has finally reached the point of saturation with the Kaboom! theme of having to catch or toss objects," but still gave the game a letter grade of B.[4]

In a retrospective look, the Video Game Critic gave a letter grade of C: "It's a shame Crackpots only has one skill level because once you get the hang of it, the game tends to run long. Still, sharp graphics and thoughtful gameplay make this one worth a look."[5]


Crackpots was included in the compilation packages Activision Classics (1998) for the PlayStation and the Activision Anthology (2002) for the PlayStation 2.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  2. ^ a b "Crackpots Manual". Activision. 1983.
  3. ^ "AtariAge - Atari 2600 - Crackpots (Activision)". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  4. ^ Clark, Jim (November 1983). "Crackpots". Videogaming and Computer Gaming Illustrated: 12.
  5. ^ "Crackpots". The Video Game Critic.
  6. ^ Harris, Craig (September 29, 1998). "Activision Classics". IGN. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  7. ^ Dunham, Jeremy (November 21, 2002). "Activision Anthology". IGN. Retrieved August 19, 2013.

External links[edit]