A classic freeware BBS door game
written by then-17 year old Ben Freeman
, with ANSI
art by Disco Dave Brown
. According to the humorous documentation supplied, it was conceived in August 1991 and completed within the next year.
As the name implies, the object of the game is to fight various characters with disabilities (such as Gangreen Man), or celebrities (such as Soul Train's Don Cornelius). As stated in the documentation, it's all done in a joking matter, but by today's standards, would probably not be too well-accepted.
The actual battles are rudimentary and similar to MUD-type fights, using a hit point system. What makes Cripple Smash unique are the special attacks, which were names or phrases (such as Proboscis Monkey). Finding these attack phrases was another component of the game. Since the phrases are hard-coded, once you beat the game, you would know all the attacks you previously had and could subsequently beat the game again rather easily.
Another special feature of the game gives the player a chance to be resurrected and features Jesus Christ. The first time it happens is a truly surreal experience.
The author left his phone number and mailing address in the documentation, which was somewhat unusual at the time. The area code supplied was 609, and oddly, I somehow felt from the beginning that this game could only come from someone that lived in New Jersey.
The newest version publically available is .0021, from 1992. It's available on the net, if you use a search engine. I came across a project page detailing a web conversion (not by the original author) to PHP, but it looks like it has stalled.
Even though the game was relatively simple, the humor and ANSI art made it very enjoyable. However, once these were exhausted, replay value diminished rapidly. It hasn't quite achieved the following other door games, such as Legend of the Red Dragon or Barren Realms Elite have gotten, but I'm sure every player who has encountered this game has some fond and/or strange memories of it.