Eyes
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  • Rock-Ola
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  • Action - Shooter - 2D (example - Thunder Force)
  • 1982
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4  |  There Are Just Some Things That A Person Will Never Understand...
Darryl B. , 2/17/2006 1:43:30 PM
There are some things out there that people just don't get, like practicing safe sex (don't even TELL me how many porno sites there are out there with photos and videos where no one's using any protection!) or never giving out credit card information over the phone to a so-called company that called you at home (duh!).

There could also be things that you didn't understand as a kid, but then you might catch years later, like seeing some movie that, as an adult, you understood the satire better than when you first saw it as a kid...or the fury: ever watch Roadrunner cartoons nowadays? They're violent as hell! Wile E. Coyote trying to blow up, bury, drop anvils on, etc., the Roadrunner. No wonder people bitch about cartoons!

And there are just some things that people will NEVER understand, period.

Take Eyes, for example. I understood the game itself, but I just didn't get what on Earth manufacturer Rock-Ola was thinking when they came up with it's bizarre gameplay and all, as it's one of the strangest shooters I've ever played. I didn't understand it as a kid, and years later when a friend sent over a bunch of ROMs -- which this was included in that batch -- I still don't understand it to this day. (And here I thought maybe I was missing something the first time around, but nope.)

Being somewhat reminiscent of the tank portion of the Tron arcade game, you're in a maze, wandering around shooting things. However, that's where things get weird (and all comparisons to Tron end), as you're a detached eyeball (um, eeyew) shooting at other eyeballs in the mazes. Seriously. There's also a bunch of shapes in every single maze (which the shapes change with new mazes), which you have to shoot every single one of them before you can get to the next maze full of objects...and the enemy eyes.

Seriously, what the heck? I could very well just overlook the bizarre gameplay if the game wasn't a total blast, but it's not that fun, and I can just imagine trying to explain the idea in it's manual that was shipped to arcade owners back then when their brand new Eyes coin-op game arrived:

"Destroy the evil eyeballs! Being the lone survivor when your home planet of Eyechart was destroyed (note: this is usually the story in a shoot 'em up) by the evil Shiftyeyes, it's your job to clear out their supply of glowing, pulsating corneas that are being sold on the black market to finance their continuing pursuit of you. Conquer all eight maze planets, and you win the game and keep the galaxy safe of legit corneas needed to restore other detached eyeballs' sight! (Another note: I don't know if the game ends when you complete the eighth level [nor do I care], but the current level you are on is highlighted in the middle of the screen.) And if none of this makes sense to you, it doesn't to us either! We just came up with the idea and greenlighted it after locking our management and programmer staff in a room with a bunch of pot! (cough)"

This game wasn't a huge smash in the first place, nor was it ever ported to any system that I know of, all these years later. After all, Tron was way better with just it's tank screen alone, not to mention it's three other games included as well, along with tons of other games that have come out over the years that also involved maneuvering through mazes while shooting. The graphics and sounds were halfway decent though, but that didn't exactly save the game.

Just like with the programmer who had nightmares about nuclear war when he worked on Missile Command, I just hope no one at Rock-Ola had nightmares and was sent to a mental institution for seeing eyeballs all the time after working on this game:

Doctor in institution (examining new patient and extending two digits): How many fingers am I holding up?

Ex-Rock-Ola programmer: Uh...Twinkees!

Doctor: Oh, curse those evil video games for making ANOTHER programmer snap!

Programmer (maniacally grinning like a giddy Charles Manson): Oink! 4/10

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