“You’re getting fatter!” Those 3 disturbing words were all that you needed to know that you were fulfilling your heart disease and diabetic destiny in Telesys’s Fast Food. Released in 1982, Fast Food wasn’t exactly a major hit for the 2600 and there are probably a number of Atari fans that either never played or even heard of this game. In Fast Food, you control an oddly shaped disembodied mouth chomping around the screen, attempting to eat all the junk food thrown your way. Seriously, the mouth is purple and looks a little bit like it a trap-jaw. Nevertheless, the food that comes at you from the right looks pretty good. There will be hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, soda, ice cream, hot dogs, pizza (which looks like a nacho cheese Dorito), milk shakes and green pickles. The cheeseburgers and pizza are worth the most points but eating anything other than purple pickles will give you points. Purple pickles are the sole items you’re not allowed to eat and if you eat 6 of them, you’ll “Burp” and the game will end as the restaurant you’re terrorizing will close. Fast Food is a simple yet fun game but a bit on the shallow end. There really isn’t much variety except the food will come at you faster and faster with each new wave eventually making it nearly impossible to avoid purple pickles coming at you.
This game gets a special mention and Game of the Week status even though it’s not considered a bona fide classic because of my wife. When we first started dating back in 2001 and I was in the midst of my retro video game collecting, I had my recently purchased Atari console out and was playing something when she inquired if I had Fast Food. I told her I didn’t own a copy as I hadn’t heard of it. She suggested I get it as it was one of the games (along with Super Breakout) that she played as a kid when she would visit one of her childhood friend’s houses back in the 80’s. Once I found a copy, we had a game we could play together (along with Dr. Mario). While Fast Food isn’t co-op or even head to head vs., we would still play 2 player taking turns trying to out do one another in the score department. For that reason, Fast Food will remain a memorable game for me on the Atari 2600.
Currently in my collection: game only