I remade the classically awful E.T. for #redoretro game jam over the weekend. I had fun putting it together and finding ways to make it broken on purpose in minor ways to keep the jankey feel of the original.
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That game got a bum rap... I had it when I was a kid and I loved that game. It was a little frustrating - I can't remember why.. but still.. I played it a ton.
It was unprecedented at the time to complete a game in just over a month's time. And there are a ton of easter eggs which I barely understood since I was young.
I agree, compared to other Atari titles it wasn't really that bad especially considering the unheard of 5 week time frame he had to work on it. I did play it a bit before remaking the game and there were some very obnoxious bugs like falling into a pit over and over the second you got out of one but it was the incredibly over-hyped and rushed production schedule that made this game so famously bad.
Anyone interested should check out this article http://www.polygon.com/2014/6/3/5775026/e-t-myth-worst-game-ever