Sneak’N’Peak (Atari) – WTF Wednesday

Think back on your fondest childhood memories and all the fun you used to have, playing games, video games and otherwise. So many of the best video games have relied upon these same mechanisms to work.

Some old favorites include the traditional sports, of course, maybe even dodgeball and kickball. Others like something a little more “squad-based” like foxes and hounds, wherein one group would hunt the other in a mass game of hide and seek. To some degree we see this in videogames getting released today, particularly in the runaway smash hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

That’s to say old game mechanics, from childhood, the real world, and beyond, make great games. Those that are capable of infusing the joy of playing with others with a videogame experience are rare but they are out there. Who doesn’t want to have the fun of a childhood memory in an immediately accessible format?

And Vidtec’s Sneak ‘N Peek for Atari 2600 is not this game.

Animated GIF

Take all the joy out of your favorite childhood pastime and put it into Atari’s almost modernist leaning graphical representation, overlace it with bleeps and bloops in synch to sound like childhood nursery songs, and you’ve got Sneak ‘N Peek, one of the most bizarre and worthless games on any system.

Worthless because the concept is so simple yet apparently beyond even the basic Atari 2600 hardware. Obscure in gameplay execution and beyond annoying in presentation, Sneak ‘N Peek is a kind of torture that one endures to cure themselves of a videogame addiction.

Indeed, Sneak ‘N Peek’s music alone is a kind of aural shock therapy that may even make the user wary of other electronic devices such as phones it is so grating and awful. (see the video below to find out just how bad it is…)

Animated GIF

The game’s mechanics are, of course, broken. How does it work? In single player mode, you play a blind game of Where’s Waldo with the computer, scouring a house looking for him. In two player mode, and this is classic, you have to rely upon the other player closing his eyes in order to make it work. Best of luck.

When one player locates the other the two will switch roles. There are three rooms plus the front yard as player hiding places. Within each room and the yard are five different places to hide. The game has two difficulty settings with the more difficult game setting reducing the space needed to find the entrance to the hiding spot. But really the game is broken as hell – nearly impossible in single player mode and absurd in two player mode, it has little to offer.

The graphics are typical Atari 2600 fare as mentioned above but there’s something a little…off…about the avatar for the player character. The side-to-side movement leaves a little something to be desired, let’s just put it that way. All in all, a retro gaming experience to be avoided if you value your time.

Sneak’N’Peak’s Grating music – via PLANETA SERGIO GAMES