AVGN: E.T. Atari 2600

Mike Matei / October 10th, 2014

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600) Angry Video Game Nerd – Episode 120 (Movie spoiler)


This review is obviously from the AVGN Movie, but now in “episode” format. You can view this as a plot spoiler, but I’m sure everyone already knows the movie ends with an E.T. review. The movie is more about the story behind the game, the Atari landfill, but with a science fiction twist. To understand all the context and imagination behind it, see the movie. Or enjoy it here as a standard “Nerd” episode.


Other goodies:


INSIDE LOOK at the making of the movie (April 2014)


See programmer Howard Scott Warshaw speak about the E.T. game and his involvement in the AVGN Movie.


A brand new Halloween-themed Nerd episode is on its way very soon, keeping with tradition.


Also, the AVGN Movie DVD/Blu-ray set is deep in the works, loaded with bonus features. It is expected to be ready in November or December.


  • October 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Very good!

  • Rick

    October 10, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Nice 🙂 makes sense to separate it from the rest of the movie.

  • rabidchild

    October 10, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Nice one! I would have liked to have addressed my question of what is that pixel between ETs legs? An Extra Testicle? With a clip of Cheech Marin doing Eddie Torres, of course! Cheers!

    • October 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm


      • awesome video games

        November 29, 2014 at 3:44 am

        MAME = arcade games emulator for windows

  • October 10, 2014 at 11:17 am

    A Review of the Real Game??? This is too awesome! Thanks James!

  • October 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

    E.T. WAY better game than piece of clusterfuck called sonic riders

    • Santa Horse

      October 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      Not to defend Sonic Riders but there are far, far worse Sonic games to compare to ET. The most obvious one being Sonic 2006 since they were both rushed onto shelves virtually unfinished.

    • October 12, 2014 at 6:17 am

      I’m going to assume that you mean Sonic FREE Riders, because that was indeed a clusterfuck, but the original Sonic Riders was pretty damn awesome! I had it on the PC with a gamepad and The controls, the visuals, the story, the track design were all really nice, although not exceptional.

  • October 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Nice one, James! Can’t wait for the DVD release, any word on that yet? 🙂

  • October 10, 2014 at 11:36 am

    no Halloween episode 🙁

    • October 10, 2014 at 11:48 am

      We wrote in the description there is a Halloween AVGN episode on the way…

      • October 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm

        >that feel when senpai noticed you

      • Kane_Magus

        October 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        But then, as with how E.T. requires one to read the instruction manual to know what’s going on, putting info in the video description requires people to actually read the description. Unfortunately, most people apparently don’t bother with that and thus have no clue what’s going on, as demonstrated here.

    • Pimpalicious

      October 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      A Halloween episode is still supposed to be coming this month.

    • Brad Check

      October 10, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      read the desription

    • Brad Check

      October 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      read the discription

  • October 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

    James Rolfe breaking character, and going soft on the worst game of all time?!?!

    • October 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Because it’s not the worst game of all time, just like “Plan 9 from outer space” is not the worst movie ever made. They’re notably bad and have some interesting background, but frankly, there are way worse movies and games out there. They just not as famous.

    • Kane_Magus

      October 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      How exactly was James breaking character here? He was fully the Nerd in this. The Nerd isn’t always completely negative about games he reviews, you know. And E.T. isn’t totally unplayable in the same way that some other games are (just mostly unplayable). Compare E.T. to, for example, any given game from Action 52. At least E.T. can be successfully finished, even if it seems nearly impossible to do so.

    • OMA

      October 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      E.T. (or Eee Tee ;P) is not the worst game of all time. It’s just the worst high-selling game of all time. Since it sold so much (1.5 million copies), lots of people got to know it, and that’s why it got that reputation. It was still a commercial failure because Atari got greedy and manufactured a whooping 5 million cartridges, even more cartridges than sold consoles! If they hadn’t been so stupid with that, it could have been considered a success! (1.500.000 sold units is still quite an achievement). But there are lots of games worse than that. Just not as well known.

  • Allen Lucas

    October 10, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Would’ve love to see the whole movie on iTunes!
    Still, good idea to make the segment its own episode!

  • October 10, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Great! Altough I have to say I was pretty dissapointed to see it was just the movie-ending, it’s great to see the Nerd in action!

  • October 10, 2014 at 11:56 am

    nice, love it

  • Leeleeleeleelee

    October 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Oh my God. this video was posted while I watched the movie for the first time this morning! What timing!

  • Ben_from_G-town

    October 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Gah. I appreciate you uploading the review part of the movie as an episode, but I still think I will wait for the DVD/Blu-Ray release, since that’s what I want. I’m glad to hear that you’re making progress on it.

    Looking forward to the Halloween-themed episode, too.

  • BladeRunner

    October 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm


  • October 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    is this real? AVGN finally did ET?

    • OMA

      October 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      And a whole movie to go with it! 😉
      Have you been living under a rock?
      I hope it’s a rock worth living under ;-P

  • October 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I still have this game. I can’t sell it, because no one wants it.

    • windrammingroadkillskunk

      October 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Smash it with a hammer and shit on it.

  • October 10, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I’d rather wait until there’s a not-Vimeo option for the film.

    • OMA

      October 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      What’s wrong with Vimeo?

  • October 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Woohoo 2 AGVN episode for October . What happens when you die what will the boy do?

  • October 10, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    when is the movie coming to DVD?

  • mysterywolf

    October 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Can’t help but ask what happens after you get kicked by the kid (your score reaching 0) I thought the game reset on it’s own.

    Aside from that? I have to agree. The game certainly wasn’t terrible, given the time constraints and the time it was made in, but…certainly could have gone better. Putting the blame on the company that made it, not the person that programmed it.

  • October 10, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Hey James, thanks for posting this, Me and My Mom loved the movie, this deserved to be showcased by itself, I hope somewhere down the line you might even make a Serious Horror film, you being a huge fan of the genre and all, keep up the good work dude !!

  • October 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    It’s easier to blame one or two games for a disaster and bad childhood memories than an entire industry. Look at ET when it was released, it was considered one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made, knocked off Star Wars as king of cinema and was beloved by fans. So when a game comes out, people expect that game to be great or revolutionary, when the opposite of that happens well those turn against it. That’s what happened to ET. Probing deeper into the matter, ET was said to have been a leading cause of the video game crash. Add that to bad childhood memories and you can see why people would continually bash ET as the worst game ever made.

  • Liam Scheirer

    October 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I’m sorry about your Grandpa, James. Also, sorry for pestering you for a new video.

  • Stefanoragnopazzo

    October 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Yeah, at least this game has no bugs, Big Rigs, Ride to Hell: Retribution and Elf Bowling and the second one, yeah, they are hate worthy.

  • October 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    After almost a decade we finally get to see this review.

  • handsome pete

    October 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    The game still sucks. You can never expect to win every time, which is fine (most games back then just made you try to beat the high score) as long as you can still have fun trying like in all these recent Rogue-inspired games, and it is not fun to search everywhere for invisible things in a world of shitty collision detection.

  • October 10, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Remember in the Spielberg Games episode where the Nerd couldn’t even LOOK at the game without being afraid…and now he plays it calmly, without any remorse, fear or disgust. He even ends up saying it isn’t that bad. That is a 180 degree turn that I am hoping the movie explains.

    • itscmillertime

      October 10, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      It does…. Watch the movie…

  • DMM_poo

    October 10, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I can’t speak for the rest of the movie, because I haven’t seen it yet, but this was a funny Nerd episode (albeit a short one). Lots of good jokes. I will be purchasing the movie when it comes out on DVD or Blu Ray.

    • itscmillertime

      October 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      The movie is great! Be sure to watch with friends, its much better that way

  • Jimmy Reed

    October 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm


  • erik37

    October 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Good review think i got a lil teary eye from the final speech lol
    Love the movie too man.

  • October 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Exactly seven minutes of the movie were at least mildly enjoyable and here they are.

    • itscmillertime

      October 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      Um…. You sir are a hater. My favorite line from the movie… ” I’ll have a rock, rolling”. This film was way better than i expected. If you dont like adventure /scifi films then i understand but come on, the movie was damn funny!

  • relapse808

    October 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    One Halloween I’d like to see the nerd do the evil dead game I bought on pc a long time ago. Played like a resident evil knockoff and was beyond horrible. Luckily baggages still had their ask no questions return policy so I took it back to the store asap.

  • Paulballsftw

    October 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I think this was one of the only games I had beaten for Atari. Most didn’t really have ending. I actually found this game to be easy as well when I was a kid. It wasn’t a bad game.

  • windrammingroadkillskunk

    October 10, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    It’s great to see this with the actual game footage and without the distracting music and credits. Good idea making it an episode.

  • Eden

    October 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I didn’t know the movie ends with an E.T. review. Put a SPOILER tag before writing something like this please.

    • OMA

      October 11, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      But if he didn’t say anything then you would have gone on to watch the episode with the E.T. review thinking it wasn’t part of the movie 😉

  • Rambowl

    October 11, 2014 at 1:07 am

    This is the worst AVGN review.

    • October 11, 2014 at 1:42 am

      Yeah, I think he never should have separated it from the film. Obviously, you need to see the film to understand why he has changed his stance on the game, after not even being able to LOOK at the game box without cringing in fear in a previous episode. It felt rushed, lackluster and not very funny. I think the problem was trying to make an episode within the movie, it just doesn’t feel right. Also, the crowd was awful. They only laughed once and it was fake and then the clapping at the end was cheesy. I just want the Nerd in his basement, screaming at crappy games. Like old times. Hopefully seeing the movie in full will make this review better but it doesn’t work by itself.

  • Chendzeea

    October 11, 2014 at 1:10 am

    O.O We’ve come full circle… 🙂 I dunno what to feel.

  • Tross

    October 11, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I haven’t seen the movie yet. I’m waiting for it on Bluray. However, I wouldn’t call this a big spoiler. I knew there would be an ET review in the movie, and I get the gist of what the story is supposed to be. I suspect the movie is more about the journey than the ending though, so I highly doubt this will make any difference whatsoever to my enjoyment of the film.

  • Don Skiver

    October 11, 2014 at 2:11 am

    That was awfully nice of you to release the ET review from the movie for the fans who haven’t been able to see the film yet. However, I’m *really* looking forward to the Halloween episode. God damn I fucking love this time of year!

  • nalgman

    October 11, 2014 at 3:27 am

    sorry.. but this episode it is not good as the others of the AVGN… it’s like the movie..boring and without humor.. we need the basic stuff, the old tv, a shitty game and a great review…

  • colt

    October 11, 2014 at 6:22 am

    How about putting the rest of the AVGN movie on here so the donators that paid to get it made can watch it without having to pay again?

  • Deathbringer

    October 11, 2014 at 7:34 am

    The most requested game of all time is finally here.. thanks James, it’s been one hell of a ride! Loved the movie btw!

  • October 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Please review these games.
    Flappy(NES), Gradius 1,2 (nes) City connection(nes)
    Mighty bombjack(nes) B-wings(nes) Life force(nes)
    and Bionic commando(nes)

  • Boo Daclown

    October 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I thought this was in the movie or something..

  • October 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    WHAT THE HELL! I have been waiting to buy the blu-ray and then I watched this with no spoiler notice in the video itself.

    • cammcal

      October 12, 2014 at 2:22 am

      There are spoiler notices all over the description. First he put (Movie spoiler) then he put “This review is obviously from the AVGN Movie” Then he said “You can view this as a plot spoiler”

      As in his review where he states “You have to read the instruction manual” Maybe you should read the descriptions before watching a video that is titled ET Atari 2600 that is released after the movie. What did you expect you were going to watch?

  • October 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Absolutely awesome!!!

  • October 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    It has to be on the official site! Great clip!

  • club

    October 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Loved it! Been a fan since the beginning and you delivered ET perfectly. Really glad you restored the actual game footage for this Nerd video. I understand why it couldnt be authentic footage in the movie, which I just watched and loved as well. Thanks for giving us great entertainment all these years James. And yea, ET wasnt THAT atrocious of a game. Just somehow became the figurehead of bad games.

  • Senna4ever

    October 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Nice to see someone not rag on the game.
    E.T. really was not that bad of a game for it’s time.

    I honestly think that people that do call it “the worst game ever” have never played it and are just going on it’s (wrong) reputation.

  • crossfire

    October 13, 2014 at 11:34 am

    This was shit. I get you’re busy doing a million things, but don’t just churn out half-assed crap and expect us to love it. IF you aren’t going to put in the effort, then just stop. Don’t cheapen your creation by putting in minimal effort.
    In life it seems that things you love go on for way to long and eventually become bad. Don’t let that happen to the Nerd. If you cant put in the effort you once did, just retire him and move on to your next project that you are passionate for. Don’t just go through the motions for the sake of going through them.

  • WhiteSpy

    October 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Been waiting for this AVGN review for almost a decade. So happy to see it was worth the wait!

  • October 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Awesome! The movie itself was a masterpiece to the AVGN series. I wish to congratulate on your movie James.
    By the way, a game I can recommend is The Lion King for SNES. I heard it was suppose to be shit xD

    • Andrew Wood

      October 15, 2014 at 1:45 am

      I would love to see him review that game. I just remember it being very difficult. Toy Story for SNES would also make a great review.

    • JT

      October 18, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      The Lion King is an amazing game but it is very hard. It’s like Wizards and Warriors for Nes.

  • Eelco

    October 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Loved this video 🙂 I believe it’s part of the movie?! Can’t wait to see the movie. Too bad it won’t be shown in Europe (preferable The Netherlands), but I’ll wait for the DvD or maybe the Bluray too buy. Anyhow, James, do you still consider Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to be the worst NES game you’ve ever played?! When I’m looking to both Nerd vids of Dr. Jekyll and ET…too me Dr Jekyll seems the more worse 🙂

  • October 16, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Awesome I’ve waited for what seemed like ages of teasing and the payoff was well worth it, Thank you so much James for Making an awesome Movie, An Awesome Character(AVGN) and For Just being…Well A Very Creative , Talented and Amazing Human Being. Keep It Going Dude

  • October 18, 2014 at 12:16 am

    So I hadn’t seen the movie yet so I had the whole plot spoiled by the review which is okay because I was expecting that. I just wanted to say I loved how James tied the ET game to area 51. It’s perfect and only he could have done that properly.

  • JT

    October 18, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I’v had fun with it but randomizing everything means that sometimes you will and sometimes things will fall to where you are fucked.

  • skwij

    October 22, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Well said, sir! Thank you for the review, and the great movie that goes with it! …Jack left town. Hee hee hee.

  • thisithis

    November 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    So, is he going to do “Ride to Hell: Retribution 1%”. Talk about shity game. And funny as hell with the odd sex scenes.

  • November 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    There is a way to win the game easily…. or at least more easily than the current setting. There are three game settings in E.T. Pressing “select” to get game #3 eliminates both the scientist and the FBI agent entirely. The only character left is Elliot, and he doesn’t do much since he can’t scare away any agents or scientists in this mode, so I think he just takes your candy pieces. So, the only things that are left in terms of obstacles is collecting the game pieces, falling in the pits, and finding the phone home icon, which can be tough enough.

    But that’s no fun when it comes to a review, is it? 😉

    I’m sure HSW mentioned that when he proposed the game for the 2600 to Spielberg, Steven asked Howard if it could be a little more like Pac-Man. HSW, in an act of hubris unseen since, said “No. Would you make E.T. again? We’ve already done Pac-Man.” In retrospect however… that wouldn’t have been such a bad idea. 😉

    Thanks for including this review on the site. While the recreated graphics to make it non-copyrighted (“Eee Tee”) were good, seeing the original game graphics with the review makes it complete for me. Great work on the movie. 🙂

  • VV

    December 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I love your movie, James! Best greetz from Germany. 🙂

  • May 18, 2015 at 11:47 am

    James, I haven’t seen this movie yet (I’m probably gonna buy it on steam soon) But one question I had while watching this episode on Youtube – Why is the cord of the Atari controller cable coming from above and often in your face during the episode? I know nothing about making movies, but this seems kinda obtrusive and awkward.

    • May 18, 2015 at 11:51 am

      I do see that the spaceship is supposed to have dropped down the controller, but the cord does seem awkward coming from that angle. Seems like you would have been better off using your wireless Atari controller or to just have the cord coming from down below. What are your thoughts on this after the fact?

  • Grandmasterp

    April 13, 2016 at 11:08 am

    E.T. On ATARI 2600 isn’t the worst game of all time. That honor goes to Dash Galaxy for NES. Now that game is definitely a shit load of fuck.

  • Dustin Rohrs

    August 22, 2018 at 1:32 am

    I’m late to the James Rolfe party, but I ordered and watched your movie last night and it is AMAZING!Thank you for the most imaginative, heartfelt Bluray in my collection. Your website and work is inspiring.

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