Atari A to Z Flashback: Atari Baseball

I don’t… really play sports games. I don’t generally like them, I don’t generally understand them and I am certainly not good at them.

However, I have discovered over the course of the last few years or so that late ’70s/early ’80s sports games are about on a level I can understand for the most part, since the games simply weren’t capable of playing host to complicated mechanics or rules that you’d have to understand the actual sport to be able to fathom.

My time with Atari Baseball may have ended in crushing defeat, but I didn’t hate the experience. In fact, I can see this being quite fun in its original double-sided incarnation, facing off against a fellow player across the top of the cabinet. I suspect I’d still suck, though.

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4 thoughts on “Atari A to Z Flashback: Atari Baseball”

  1. Baseball is the probably the hardest sport to simulate on a video game. Things which may seem straightforward such as base running, are very difficult for an AI to learn, as there are an almost infinite number of situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With that in mind, it’s quite interesting that there were so many baseball games around in this early era of computing, consoles and arcade games! That said, most of them took the heavily simplified, stylised approach that Atari baseball took to one degree or another.

      I think that’s why I get on with older sports games a lot better — I can understand the abstract, simplified rules a lot better than the “real” thing!


      1. Here’s how to rate a baseball video game.

        When pitching — if the user controls the path of the ball AFTER it has left the pitcher’s hand, then it is a bad game. You can’t control a curve ball in mid air.

        Liked by 1 person

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