No doubt many of you will be sat at home right now, getting your thrill kill on, courtesy of the white-hot Friday the 13th: The Game Beta version, and why not? The game, which has been featured many times on this website, is blowing fans minds with its atmospheric settings and ultra-violent kills.
But did you know that this wasn’t Jason Voorhees’ first dalliance with the world of video gaming? Would you believe this will be the 3rd official Friday the 13th video game? Some of you will recall the Nintendo version for the NES back in 1989, which was below average at best, but we’d bet most of you never played the original, that came out shortly after the release of the 5th movie in 1985.
Developed by the UK’s own Domark Software – which is now a part of Eidos Interactive – the game saw its release on the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum. Aesthetically it was as good as you’d expect considering the limited graphic capabilities of the time. But it was the game play itself that left a lot to be desired.
The premise was simple. You’re camping at the notorious Camp Crystal Lake, which just so happens to be the stomping ground of the hockey mask wearing man-child psychopath, Jason Voorhees. Once you’ve selected your character – including bespectacled Stuart Palmer, blonde bimbo Wendy Watson and the sex predator-esque Gerry King – your aim is to wonder around the grounds of the camp site, in a bid to locate an ancient artifact that will keep you safe from harm, just like in the movies…erm…wait a minute. Anyway, sounds easy enough, right? And it would be if the developers hadn’t made the bizarre decision to give Jason the same mutant powers as Mystique, allowing him to perfectly transform into any of your friends, and increasing the chances of death by about 6 million percent.
There’s no way of knowing which of your camping chums is Jason either, until he’s already killed you. So, you spend much of the game stabbing or beating to death anything that moves in the hopes that you’ll uncover his most cunning of disguises. It’s like a mixture of The Thing and Jason Goes to Hell but bad. Very, very bad.
Even worse than the crappy plot though is the actual look of Jason himself. If you’re lucky enough to figure out who he’s posing as, Big J will reveal himself to you in his true form – a dark haired, belly top wearing yoga instructor. Don’t believe us? Look at the image below! If you’re not sure which one is Jason, he’s the pink and black blob in the center of the room.
Yep, there’s nothing nice we can say about Friday the 13th the Computer Game, even now 31 years later. It’s as ugly as Jason’s face and as nonsensical as his origin story. 1985 may have seen a New Beginning for the film franchise, but this game killed the video game series dead for a very long time.
Thank goodness then for Gun Media! Check out some of the game play in the video below and tell us whether you remember this turd of a game as fondly as we do, in the comments section below.