This Planet Sucks - Atari 2600



This Planet Sucks is Greg Troutman's first game for the Atari 2600 and is based on the Taito arcade game Lunar Rescue. Your goal in This Planet Sucks is to rescue colonists trapped on the planet's surface, while avoiding the asteroid belt between your mother ship and the colonists. In addition to fighting gravity and avoiding the asteroids, care must also be taken not to squash the poor colonists you're trying to save! And to make matters worse, the asteroids turn into enemy ships after rescuing a colonist!

Includes cartridge and full-color manual.

Author Greg Troutman
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 4K
Label Design Dave Exton
John Enfield on 12/14/2023 01:51pm
I have a different version of this game that I got at a mom n pop video game store a few years ago. It has different cartridge art with a big planet that looks like things are impacting with it. It does still say that it was designed by the same guy though.

It's a bit like a video game version of a crane machine. I'm terrible at crane machines, but my wife actually does manage to get stuff out of them sometimes. :)

It's frustrating that your mothership slides side to side on its own, so you have to try to time that along with waiting for gaps in the enemies, before you launch your lander craft. I have yet to rescue a colonist, but I have managed to get the lander craft down past the enemies and to the surface to successfully squash a colonist. It's a start.

The game does look cute and has well realized graphics. You can tell what things are supposed to be, even without a manual, though after reading the other reviews, I'd like to see the funny manual.

Quite a hard game for me, but I think people who are faster may get pretty good at it with practice.

If the Mothership was controllable, I would give the game five stars. Having it move on its own makes the game far too tricky.
Daniel Vaughn on 01/07/2023 12:53pm
"This Planet Sucks" is ALMOST really fun. What prevents this game from scoring a 5/5, are the suicidal colonists, whom you are attempting to rescue! They must enjoy being squashed by the rescue ship, because they will run underneath it (at the last second) more times than not! If the author could've 'toned down' the occurrence of this happening - especially during the early rounds, the game would be excellent! There is more than enough challenge, without adding highly uncooperative rescue-ee's.
The game manual is nice. The introduction story about the colonists, and their need for rescuing, is absolutely hilarious!
Nathan Strum on 07/11/2009 04:19am
This Planet Sucks is a port of the vintage Taito arcade game Lunar Rescue. Your mission is to land on a planet, rescue trapped colonists, and then blast back up to your orbiting mothership before running out of fuel. You can only carry one colonist at a time, and there are three to rescue per level. If you lose all three colonists, or crash all of your spaceships, the game is over.

This Planet Sucks is a pretty good translation which captures a lot of the gameplay of the original. The animation of the panicky colonists running around (or writhing on the ground if you land on them) is pretty funny, and reminiscent of the arcade version. What's lacking however, is the ability to shoot at the orbiting asteroids and enemy spaceships on your way back into orbit. This was a big part of the original, and it's really missed here. The graphics look good, although the garish colors may give you a headache (an option to play the game in the original arcade colors would have been welcomed), and the sound is adequate. There are no game options or variations, such as different platform locations or shapes, difficulty settings, or two-player modes; and you can't start a new game using the fire button. There's also a bug that will pop up from time to time: if you crash into the top-most asteroid when descending, the game will instantly reset - even if you had multiple lives left. Still, This Planet Sucks doesn't suck - it's a nice throwback that manages to capture some of the fun of those early video games, and it's one of the better bargains in the AtariAge store.
john gaither on 01/17/2007 08:12am
This Planet Sucks! is a Atari 2600 homebrew based off of Tatio's 1979 arcade game Lunar Rescue which was a follow up to Space Invaders.Your mission in the game is to pilot a lander craft down to a planet and pick up a colonist and return them to the mothership safely.You can only pick-up one colonist at a time so you will need to make several trips to the planet.You need to save at least one of the three colonists during one round and you have only four lander vehicles.Fail to save the colonists or crash all your landers and its "Game Over".This Planet Sucks! is a fine effort to recreate Tatio's arcade game on the 2600.Decent graphics and sounds plus challenging gameplay make this a soild game.This game anything but sucks!
Joseph Kollar on 08/10/2005 02:27pm
The planet may suck but this game is excellent. Good graphics and challenging gameplay, but easy to jump right into. A perfect "just pick up and play a couple of rounds" kind of game. My only complaint is the brown background color of the screen. Black would have looked better and made it easier to see some of the aliens fire. The label and manual are beautifully done too.

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