It's easy to dismiss Pit Pot's particular kind of design as unfair or bad nowadays, but to do so would be a mistake. I always appreciate when a game is bold enough to ask you to really understand it to succeed and I think there's still a lot of value in that approach. Because of how intricate and mysterious Pit Pot is despite its conceptually simple mechanics and one button control scheme, I can easily see myself going back to it and continuing to poke at its many curious corners.
It doesn’t have much “meat” on its bones and it still finds a way to overstay its welcome, but Pippols is an overall enjoyable romp that feels pretty fresh even in a genre as crowded as shoot ‘em ups. The lane changing mechanic adds a lot of strategy to what would otherwise be a simple game, and the aesthetics and premise give the game a unique identity that still stands out for its procurement-based mission compared to the majority of its contemporaries that purported eradication as the only solution to their conflicts. Konami was at their absolute peak during the 8 and 16-bit eras of gaming, and this game serves as but one of many examples of why they were one of the big names to look for on the MSX. With fun gameplay and impressive technical flourishes for its platform, Pippols is one of those games that you could bring out and show off to get people interested in the ol’ computer that could.
Challenger is yet another game to add to the pile of "misunderstood NES games that are actually good but people think are bad because they played them years past their ideal historical contexts" alongside games like Hydlide, Deadly Towers, The Legend of Kage, and Xevious. People playing it for the first time nowadays could easily walk away unimpressed thinking it's just a worse Zelda with some other stuff, but when looked at in the context of 1985, it comes off as something really ahead of the curve. With multiple genres of play, a large world that takes exploration and practice to master, and a flexible difficulty curve for all kinds of players, it's a game that impressed me in short order.