M*A*S*H Baffles As Video Game

M*A*S*H is definitely a television classic but I never understood why people thought it was merchandisable. Just because a TV series is long-running and tops the ratings doesn’t mean it lends itself to lunch boxes, action figures and board games. However, M*A*S*H had all of those items produced along with the most baffling one, a video game.

How does the TV series lend itself to a video game? It’s a stretch. Or shall I say stretcher. It is a 1 or 2 player game where the player dukes it out against a friend or the computer in a race to save the most wounded soldiers.

As you attempt to do this via helicopter you are blocked by trees and anti-aircraft fire. This level is kind of like “Chopper Command” meets “H.E.R.O.” Once this level is complete you make your way from that odd mash-up to a ripoff of Operation.

At this level the player attempts to remove shrapnel from the patient’s body. If you are successful you earn points and move on to the next patient. If you bump the shrapnel against the patient’s body you get a buzzing sound signifying that you killed the patient.

Players may also compete in a level different from the first where they have to catch soldiers parachuting from the sky by jet.

I’ve never played this game but the consensus online is that it is pretty bad. It looks and sounds bad. You do get bits of “Suicide is Painless” in the game but that isn’t enough to make it good.

Released in 1983 by 20th Century Fox after the show was canceled, M*A*S*H was available for the Atari 2600, Sears Video Game system, and the TI-99/4A system by Texas Instruments.

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