Escape From the Plant of the Robot Monsters (I’m just going to call it Escape Etc. from here) is a game I’ve always been curious about.
It’s weird to think now about the time frame of Atari arcade games. 1972 saw Pong; 1979 was Asteroids, signalling a new direction for Atari in arcades; 1984 was Marble Madness, their first post-crash hit; then, 1991 was Street Fighter II and the start of the fighting game craze, forcing Atari to change direction yet again. They would have some hits from there (like Primal Rage and Area 51), but nothing with real cultural staying power until the era of Gauntlet Legends and San Francisco Rush.
Escape Etc. I don’t think did badly, but it wasn’t a huge hit. You can kind of get an idea of the popularity of one of Atari’s arcade games by how many ports it got. APB, for example, Dave Theurer’s last game at Atari, only got Lynx and European home computer ports, while Rampart (John Salwitz and Dave Ralston’s last game, if we’re noting such things) got a ton of ports to lots of platforms. Escape Etc. didn’t even get a Lynx port, although one had been planned.
This isn’t an Arcade Mermaid post, just another link to a Youtube video review. It’s done in an old style, without a lot of flash, but there’s good things about that too, and the information is both interesting and thorough.
More information on Escape Etc. can be found in this post from Vintage Arcade Gal. It’s text!
The History of Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters – Arcade documentary (Youtube, 27 minutes)