Pepsi Invaders - Primordial Adverware
The Atari cartridge collector crowd celebrates a number of rare games. Unfortunately their stunning costs (often several hundred dollars) do not indicate the fun value. My experience has been that rare games are mostly rare for a reason. The best games are mostly the ones that we know best; the ones that were very popular and you can find for a couple bucks on Ebay. But there are a few rare carts that capture an interesting moment, and Pepsi Invaders is one.
There were only ever 125 Pepsi Invaders cartridges built for Coke executives at an Atlanta convention - each exec got an Atari system, a handful of games, and this limited issue "Pepsi Invaders". Instead of aliens, the player struggles to shoot down the letters of the word "Pepsi" floating in space. Occasionally a Pepsi logo flies by along the top for bonus points. The game times out after three minutes, so you don't have long to soak in that cola drenched message. Could this be the first example of the modern scourge we call "adverware"?
An original cartridge from that batch of 125 sold a few years back on Ebay for $1825. The ROM has since leaked out, and I got this reproduction (in a clear cartridge case no less) a few years ago for considerably less. As you've guessed, the game isn't all that fun, but it's enough of a curiosity to break it out at Atari parties. Especially if someone is drinking Pepsi; the choice beverage of alien marauders.