Atari Poop – Deadly Duck
Released in 1982, Deadly Duck is notable for two things. The first is having some insane-looking box art that turns out to be EXACTLY what you’ll find in the game. Deadly Duck is a game where flying crabs drop bricks at a duck that can shoot from its mouth. If you think it sounds like a really stupid premise for a game, you’d be 100% correct. It is a stupid premise for a game, and the box art only gives you half of the story, which brings us to the second notable thing about the game: It’s essentially a Scrooge McDuck video game, even though he isn’t technically in it.
Let me explain. First of all, obviously, normal ducks don’t have shotgun barrels hidden inside their mouths. No, the duck in this game is a remote-controlled duck created by Gyro Gearloose to protect Scrooge’s money bin. You could consider it an early Gizmoduck-like prototype. So this duck can swim around between two tall golden towers; i.e., Scrooge’s money bin. Your job is to patrol the area and kill whatever comes near like, say, flying crabs.
These flying crabs are part of Flintheart Glomgold’s plan to steal Scrooge’s money, as is evident by the way they fly around, go the one of the towers, and then leave holding what is clearly a bar of gold. What is also evident is that Flintheart does not have someone with the same capabilities as Gyro working for him. These “flying” crabs fly the same way as my epileptic wife “lies down” while have a seizure.
Anyway, your job is to blast these crabs out of the sky, while being mindful of the bricks they try to drop on you. You get points for killing crabs and shooting the bricks (which is somewhat counter-intuitive). Once you kill all the crabs, the next round begins with another group of crabs.
It also brings dragonflies. These dragonflies fly from left to right, and back again, rapidly over and over. They don’t do anything unless you shoot them. Doing so gives you points. It also makes them drop bombs on you. They cannot be killed and the bombs they drop look nothing like bombs at all. In round 2, you start of with two of them, and each subsequent round has another added to the original group. They’re annoying and are another early prototype of Duckburg technology: Metal mites.
All in all, the game gets old fast. It looks like a bunch of other 2600 games, but most of those didn’t feature weaponized ducks. However, the awesome power of martial mallards cannot save this game. It’s a good thing Disney waited a few years and got Capcom to make the sequels to Deadly Duck.