Atari 2600 – Picnic


Who the f*ck brings a burger to a picnic?

Ahh, the publisher was U.S. Games.
That makes sense.
Developed by Western Technologies (famous for the Vectrex), this arcade game not only has a weird story to tell but also a reputation for being absolutely horrible.
Let’s find out.

You just want a nice picnic with your two beloved hamburgers when all of a sudden a bunch of flies appear and try to eat your greasy meal.
Aww, hell no!
Grab your fly swatter and jump into action.

There are lots of flies on-screen but only one at a time is attacking.
Their attack is simply extending their tongue in an attempt to grab a piece of your burger.
You have to press the fire button just before the tongue reaches the burger.
This will send the fly flying (ugh), bounce off the walls AND if you are lucky it will land into your trap box in the middle of the screen for some extra points.
After you’ve defeated every fly a big moth with two tongues will appear.
Beat it just like the flies and you advance to the next stage with faster enemies.

Stay in one place and keep hitting that fire button. Any fly that gets near will be killed instantly. Boring, but effective.

Now, is it really that bad?
Aside from the insects, the graphics look pretty cheap.
I’ve seen way tastier hamburgers on the Atari 2600 and btw, why do flies turn into blocks when you hit them?
The constant buzzing sound can be annoying.
I usually like it because it’s depressing (and I’m a huge edgelord) but it isn’t the right fit for such a ‘happy’ game’.
Nothing too bad so far.

What irks me more are the controls.
They’re responsive and all but when you move your swatter around it will skip a few spaces.
Like you wanna take a tiny step but the game only allows big ones. I hope that makes sense.
Combine that with the erratic enemy behavior and you have some frustrating moments at hand.
Choosing an easier difficulty and a larger swatter helps tho.

Picnic isn’t shoddy, it’s just rather uninteresting even with its weird premise.
Being a simple arcade game, you’ve seen it all after one or two rounds.
A few crazy gameplay variations would’ve been great.
Still, it deserves less hate so…
Try it!





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