|Taito's 1982 Kram|
At first glance, Kram looks like a not-so-distant cousin of Robby Roto. However, he's a very distant cousin indeed.
Kram is a game where you're the one building the maze. Your goal is to chase down moving targets (with point values on them) and collect them all to move on to the next level, while avoiding the deadly Skulls. To keep the Skulls at bay, press the Wall button while moving, and you'll leave a wall behind you as you go. However, if you leave a corner open, Skulls can sneak through it and get you. Helping them are the Rippers - who exist solely to destroy your walls and let the Skulls get to you.
If you find yourself trapped by your own walls, or if you've blocked off access to any remaining targets, you can use the Bustout button to destroy part of your own wall. But watch out - there are usually more Skulls waiting for you right on the other side!
After the first few levels, the skulls are absolutely merciless. They're lightning-fast and always head straight at you, giving you almost no chance to clear a level without dying after the fifth or sixth round. The game needs to ramp up the difficulty a bit more gradually, so it's not so frustrating. Either that, or have a much larger playfield so there's more room to maneuver.
The graphics are also a bit dated - even for 1982. Like Exidy's Hard Hat, Kram lacked a solid, likeable character to really anchor the game.
Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade
All content © Dave Dries unless otherwise stated