Tag Archives: Atari 2600

Atari A to Z Flashback: Hangman

The early days of the 2600 consisted of developers trying to figure out what a “video game” really was.

A significant part of this experimental period consisted of adaptations of simple board, card and parlour games. Some proved to work well in the digital format; others less so.

Hangman? I’ll let you be the judge. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Dark Chambers: What a Dandy Dungeon This Is

The history of how a lot of old games came to be is deeply fascinating.

One such tale that I’ve found rather interesting is how Atari’s Dark Chambers came to be. This is a game that has its roots in John Palevich’s Dandywhich is the reason the all-time classic cooperative top-down dungeon crawler Gauntlet exists, but then there’s also several versions of Dark Chambers out there to enjoy, too.

The Evercade retro gaming handheld allows us to experience the Atari 2600 version for ourselves as part of its Atari Collection 2 cartridge. So let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Dark Chambers: What a Dandy Dungeon This Is

Atari A to Z Flashback: Gravitar

It’s another Atari 2600 port of a classic arcade game! This time around we’re taking a look at Gravitar, one of the most legendarily difficult games of all time.

Its Atari 2600 incarnation is arguably somewhat more accessible than the challenging arcade version, since it has a variety of different ways to play that affect the number of lives you have and even whether or not you have to deal with the titular gravity.

It’s still a beefy challenge, though — but if you have the patience, there’s plenty of rewarding gameplay to be found here. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Golf

Ah, golf. The one sport I can get behind in that it involves minimal physical activity (aside from walking about a bit and occasionally giving a small ball a hefty thwack) and is mostly about being very quiet.

Video game adaptations of the game that spoiled many a good walk have been around for a long time, as it happens, with one of the earlier ones being Atari’s own simply named Golf for Atari 2600.

Let’s go play a round in the video below — meet me in the 19th hole and subscribe on YouTube when you’re done!

Atari A to Z

A Warm Welcome to the Evercade

Over the course of the last few years, retro gaming devices of various descriptions have become very popular.

Until now, these have tended to fall into one of two categories: emulation boxes that you can load up with your own collection of ROMs and enjoy to your heart’s content, or pre-curated systems with fixed libraries of games.

Evercade is different. Evercade provides a curated library of officially licensed cartridges that are distributed as packaged, physical products separately from the system itself. And somehow manufacturer Blaze managed to successfully launch this exciting new product in the midst of a world gone absolutely mad. So let’s take a first look at the system!

Continue reading A Warm Welcome to the Evercade

Atari A to Z Flashback: Frogs and Flies

Hmm, doesn’t something seem a bit familiar about this Atari 2600 game…?

Of course! Frogs and Flies here is the game that Atari ripped off with Frog Pond. Only Frogs and Flies (or Frog Bog as it was known in its original Intellivision incarnation) is a much better game. It is still a ripoff in its own right, however — in this case of a very early Sega arcade title called, simply, Frogs.

Action-packed tongue fun in the video below! And, as always, don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Frog Pond

A fair few titles in the early days of gaming were shameless clones of other companies’ work.

Atari’s Frog Pond, a game that ended up not being released because Atari wasn’t willing to spring for a monster 8K cartridge for a “children’s game”, was a clone of Mattel’s Frog Bog for Intellivision (which ended up being ported to 2600 as Frogs and Flies), which in turn was a clone of Sega’s arcade title Frogs.

And they say originality is dead. Well, yes. It appears to have been dead for a very long time indeed! Don’t let that stop you checking out this video, though — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Football

FOOTBALL! It’s time to play some FOOTBALL! YEAH!

Those of you who have been following this series for a while will be all to familiar with my general lack of experience with sports games — particularly those focusing on American sports. Despite my wife once referring to American football on camera as “shit rugby”, I hope I have at least given the impression that I am giving these games a chance!

If anything, I find the simpler, vaguer digital interpretations of sports — such as seen here in this very early American football game for Atari 2600 — a lot more palatable and understandable than the more realistic simulations we’ve had since the 16-bit era or so. So you know what? I didn’t have a terrible time playing this.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Flag Capture

Flag Capture is one of those games that looks laughably simple today, but there’s still some good, honest fun to be had — especially with two players.

The concept couldn’t really be much simpler — there’s a flag somewhere in a grid, and you have to find it using both directional and numerical clues. The interesting stuff this game does comes from how this simple concept is twisted in a few different ways — do you find the flag against the clock? Against another player with simultaneous movement? Against another player moving one at a time?

It’s probably not a game you’ll want to spend a lot of time with today, no, but it’s definitely worth a look for a quick bit of fun with a friend!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: MegaMania

Activision may be a company that a lot of gamers like to steer well clear of these days thanks to issues like predatory DLC and microtransactions, but back in the days of the 8-bit micros, they were one of the finest companies out there.

They credited their programmers and designers, they put out games that pushed the boundaries of underpowered hardware such as the Atari 2600… and they just made great games, full stop.

One fantastic example is MegaMania, a thoroughly weird but extremely enjoyable fixed shooter that will get you bobbing and weaving between waves of hamburgers, engagement rings, bow ties and steam irons. No symbolism there, no sir.

Atari A to Z