Another extremely non-traditional vertical shooter, Crackpots is more like a vertical dropper. Bugs come crawling out of the sewer looking to infest your building and, of course, the most logical course of action is to drop potted plants on them. Never mind that the cost of good pest control is probably significantly cheaper than all of those terra cotta planters, the potting soil, and the flowers. But there's no time for that, the bugs are COMING!
There is no doubt Activision has the absolute best library of games for the VCS. With the exception of a few morts, Activision's games were always innovative, challenging and imaginative. Crackpots is no exception. This is a game that takes the vertical shooter concept, turns it on its head literally, and then puts a skin on it that is so clever you might not even realize that you are playing a vertical shooting game. But make no mistake, that's what we've got here. Dropping those plants and squashing those bugs is no different than shooting those spaceships in Threshold, it's just inverted and packaged differently.
That is my main complaint and why Crackpots is not higher on this list. To wit, the game simply doesn't give you a fighting chance. Can you master it? Can you learn the patterns and develop hand-eye coordination sufficient to the challenge? Yeah, probably, but for me, the frustration level kills the enjoyment factor long before the skills have time to take root.
I don't need to tell you that Crackpots has top notch graphics and sound. It's an Activision game; that stuff is a given. But even a great looking game like this could stand to be a little more forgiving for the sake of fun.
My Top Crackpots Score: 85,230