'Worst game ever' found buried in New Mexico desert

  • 28 April 2014
Nel reports on worst game ever made

A massive video game burial site has been discovered in New Mexico, USA.

The site is believed to contain thousands of copies of a video game called ET The Extra-Terrestrial.

A company called Atari made the game in 1982 but it was a flop and is famously thought of as one of the worst video games ever made.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Workers have already found copies of the game

It's thought Atari could have dumped millions of unsold copies in a landfill site in September 1983.

Check out five of the worst video games ever

Top 5 worst games ever made

Presented by Gordon Sinclair from retro gaming event Play Blackpool.

1. Cassette 50, Z50 Spectrum published by Cascade Games Ltd

2. Rise of the Robots, Amiga published by Time Warner Interactive

3. Superman, Nintendo 64 published by Titus Software

4. Busby 3D, PlayStation published by Accolade & Telstar

5. ET The Extra-Terrestrial, published by Atari Inc

What was so bad about ET?

ET was one of the first video games to be based on a feature film.

The ET movie was so successful that everybody expected the video game would be popular too.

Image copyright Atari
Image caption Players say the game was confusing

But the graphics were poor and the game was frustrating to play.

Game reviewer Aqualung said: "It's impossible to follow without the manual."

"The real reason so many people hate it is that they have no clue what to do."

Image copyright AP/Strong National Museum of Play
Image caption The game could be played on the Atari 2600 video game system

How did this happen?

Atari was desperate to get the game out in time for Christmas and rushed to produce it in just five weeks. It simply wasn't long enough to make an excellent game.

Atari produced millions of copies because it thought the game would be a huge hit.

Image copyright UNIVERSAL
Image caption The ET film was hugely successful

When the game was released it got terrible reviews and some customers even returned their copies for a refund.

Shortly afterwards the entire video games industry experienced a huge drop in sales and Atari ended up with millions of unsold copies.

Why were the games buried?

Xbox Live's Larry Hryb told the BBC the games were probably buried "out of shame".

James Heller, who used to work for Atari, told the Associated Press news agency that he was asked to get rid of of 728,000 game cartridges in 1983.

They were sent to the landfill and James decided to pour a layer of concrete over the games to stop them being discovered.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Copies of the game have been uncovered

The site is now being dug up by Fuel Entertainment and Microsoft, who are making a documentary about it.

They've already found some copies of the game and there's a lot more digging to do.