The Atari 2600
Ahh, who doesn't remember opening that wondrous box full of fun and
excitement? You pulled out that sleek black/faux woodgrain/silvery
switched machine, and quivered with excitement. For many people, this
opened up a whole new horizon in their life.
(I probably fit in that category.)
It came with the game of all games:
Driving your clunky little tanks around, flying the neat formation of
jets or biplanes, that humoungous bomber... and all for the sake of
blowing the bejeesus out of your best friend. Much simpler than the
current crop of friend-killers (MK series, etc), but probably has a lot
more gameplay, sadly enough. If you collect Ataris, at this point
you've probably accumulated at least 6 copies of this cartridge. They're
the ones that refuse to die. You could buy 3 million copies of
combat, and only have 2 of them not work. Other, harder to find games,
however, seem to have a fail rate that's proportional to how much I want to
Here's an atari 2600 emulator I found that seems to work fairly
well for DOS:
It's 755K, and written by John Dullea
If you're going to use the emulator, you'll need roms to run it with-
Remember: You can only legally use roms to cartridges
Here's a 1.1M chunk o' games
This is the remainder.!
This is one big .zip file containing everything.
The following is a list of games that I own, and have given a small
review to. If you've got a frame capable browser, check out my framed catalog.
One more ambitious side project I never quite got around to fixing...
A linked list of games. The format is really wonky, and I'm not going to
go through and fix too much of it, because now my goal is to get a big SQL
database going. So When the time arises, I'll get it done. But for now,
this is the ruins of what I started.
Return to the other systems
Wondered what they're like?
- You're wandering
around in a
land of castles, dark mazes, and dragons, desperately trying
to find the magic chalice and take it home. Before you can accomplish
this, you need to obtain keys to open the individual castles, as well as
deal with the aforementioned dragons. You are portrayed as a block,
with the ability to pick up a sword, chalice, bridge (makes
places visitable), keys, chalices, and a micro dot. But
there's a bat that likes to pick the stuff up too, scattering
it around. (rule #1 of video games: bats
- One of the classics. A ship. Bullets. Big clunky rocks
threatening to bash your brains in. Hyperwarp. Big scores.
It's pretty simplistic, but it's got playability beyond many other
games of today or yesterday.
Everyone knows what this one is. Atari, 1981.
- Crystal Castles.
- You're Bently Bear, a bear running around picking up
avoiding the monsters. You can jump over the monsters
(trees, witches, bees, you know. The regular stuff.) and pick
some powerups like the sorceror's hat and pots full of honey.
a popular game, mostly because of the original arcade game,
but possibly overrated. 7/10.
- Dukes of Hazzard
- A prototype cartridge I got from Best Electronics, this game is...
well, let's just say I won't cry because I didn't get it
until now. You're a little car with an X on top of it (maybe I
should clarify- you are the General Lee). At the top of
the screen, you see Boss Hogg on the left, and Daisy
on the right. Boss Hogg is steadily advancing towards Daisy, and
I assume that if he ever reaches her, your time is up.
Your job is to race your car up the screen while avoiding
police cars (little white cars with blinking stuff on top).
There are small dots in the road that cause you to crash if you
drive over them, but you can lure the cop cars over them, and make
them crash, thereby making your passage a little easier.
Sometimes the pole-lease will get near you, and then kamikaze- a
quick burst of acceleration, and they'll turn your car into scrap.
If you make it all the way to the top
of the maze, you see 'Jail.' Making it to the jail advances you to
level 2. (See level one, but add more cops.) In between each level,
you're treated to a side shot of the General Lee jumping
over a bridge. Amazing! How'd they do that?!
- Swordquest: Earthworld
- Well, you walk around a maze while managing
a limited inventory.
In each screen you can pick stuff up or drop it off,
and sometimes there's a little arcade sequence to get through.
You'd have to give me a jeweled chalice to play this game.
(When this game first came out, it was the first in an
intended 4 part series- and solving the first cartridge
would supposedly make solving the second
easier, and that would make Swordquest: Waterworld
and then Swordquest: Airworld. Whomever was the
first person to beat
the last cartridge would win a jeweled chalice.
Atari gave up on the contest, and
the 4th cartridge never came out.)
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
- A must have game for any Star Wars fans. You're piloting a
snow speeder while fending off the AT-ATs that are threatening to
blow up the rebel base.
You fire a contant barrage of lasers at them, and after a lot of hits,
they blow up... but
bomb bay door will open up on the AT-AT. If you're vigilant and
quick, you can manage to stash a
shot in there, which will cause the walker to blow up immediately. After
you play for 3 minutes,
the Star Wars theme song starts playing, and you
become invulnerable! Parker
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost
- You're the infamous Dr. Jones, wandering around the
for the Ark of the Covenent. In this game, you've got an
bar at the bottom of the screen, and you manipulate your
one joystick while you move your character with the other.
This game is very complex, but pretty fun. I can't solve
it. Maybe someone
will show me some day.
- Another one of the great games. This cartridge has fairly decent
graphics, and fun
gameplay. You're a competitor that's flying around on an
ostrich. Fly around and bop other jousters on the
head with your pointy stick- then pick up the eggs. One of the greats.
Williams, Atari, 1982
- Ok. We all had this game, after seeing that touching movie. Run
Reeses Pieces, stay away from the guy in the suit, and pick up parts
phone. The trickiest part is trying to find the little signal to
phone home from. Eliot!
- Frogger is one of the games with music that just won't let you
go. The chirp every time you hop, and the incredibly catchy theme
music seem to ingrain themselves in your soul. Not to mention the
great sound effect every time you smash
your poor little froggy. This is a truly fun game, with plenty of
action. This is probably also one of the best home versions of this game.
Parker Brothers, 1982.
- Four funfilled *different* levels, which is pretty nonstandard
for an Atari game.
Astro battles, Laser attack, Space warp, and the Flag Ship. This
game is still fun
today. ne of the best varieties in a single cart I can recall. CBS,
- Missile Command
- Another classic. Granted, the gameplay wasn't quite up to
snuff without the trac-ball, but if you use a sega joy-pad, it
compensates moderately. You need to save your cities from sure-fire
keep the world safe from nuclear baddies. Atari, ?
- Omega Race
- This game came with an extra button that slipped over the joystick
handle. Way cool! That's about all I can remember about the
without the extra button, I can't really play it. Hrrm. CBS, 1983
- Atari's entry into the 'shoot everything' category- it flies, it
drops bombs on you, shoot 'em before they get you. Amazingly enough,
it's a fun example of a tired genre. This one has a mothership
shootout though, as
well- reminicient of the Gorf mothership scene. Atari, 1982.
- Keep Popeye full of spinach, and knock Bluto on his can. Catch the
hearts on the ship and whatnot. A pretty good game- a lot better than
some. Parker brothers, 1983
- Swim around, get treasure, and take it to the surface. Don't get
eaten by sharks! I've been playing this game a lot recently; give
it a shot if you find it. I recieved the patch for this game when I
sent in my picture for pitfall!. do i have to mention what a
disappointment it was?
- Space Invaders
- Ok, ok, I'll quit referring to games as 'one of the classics' and
'one of the greats' sooner or later. But how could I leave off Space
Invaders? something like 500 levels of variety! Granted, they're all
same game, but when you wanted something slightly different, you got to
pound the 'level select' until your fingers fell off. Atari, 1978.
- Spider Fighter
- Keep the spiders from eating your fruit, and blow 'em to
basically in the 'shoot everything' category, it's from Activision, so
you know you could at least earn a keen patch. Activision, 1982
- Activisions attempt at the famed 'star raiders' game... but
Activision was able to do it without the keypad. Pretty decent game in
the 'fly to
this sector without running out of fuel' section of games. Activision,
- Strategy X
- One of Konami's games.. I figure it was an arcade 'port'. Zip
the y axis in a tank, shoot bunkers, planes, whatnot, and pick up fuel.
Good music when you get to the end of a level. Konami, 1981
- Canyon Bomber
- Drop bombs, and knock big chunks out of the big pixellated valley.
- Air Sea Battle
- One of the originals. Two player madness- shoot crap that flew
head, with a whopping 2 degrees of fire (90 or 45). You can move your
cannon left or right, as well. Good 2-player challenge. Atari, 1981
- Pac Man
- Let's face it. We were all disappointed with this game. We were
too hyped up to admit it at the time. Maybe someone forgot to code the
game until 3 days before release. Atari, 1981.
- Night Driver
- Keep your little blob of a car in between the white lo-res chunks.
- Flash Gordon
- This is a fun game! Fly your ship around the maze, keeping away
from whatever it is. I found this game recently, sans instructions, so
I don't know
what exactly everything is named... but it's pretty keen. Fox, 1983.
- Hey! I love this game!
You're a dolphin. Then you're a seagull. Then you're a dolphin again.
and then I kinda don't know what else to do. Anybody remember this
game? Tell me
what i have to do! Darnit, it's fun. Imagic, 1983.
- Speedway II
- Keep your blob away from the other blobs, using the paddles.
- Star Raiders
- This came with the funked out key-pad controller for the 2600.
course to sectors, blow stuff up, don't get hit or run out of fuel.
Basically just save
- You're a clown, popping balloons on a seesaw. This is an original
idea, and it's moderately fun. atari, 1980
- Very good 4 player game- use the paddles, chuck a ball at each
other, and destroy their home base. We should settle world disputes by
sitting people down in front of this game. Atari, 1981.
- Space Attack
- Keep stuff from hitting your spaceship on the little radar screen.
This genre really gets tiring to me. mattel, 1982
- Fly around and don't get hit by kryptonite, or you have to smooch
Put all the baddies in jail, and rebuild the bridge so you can get
to work at the paper. Fun game, but the map is so damned confusing.
- Video Olympics
- How many permutations of 'hit a ball with a sliding brick' are
possible? This cartridge attempts to find out. atari, 1978
- Yars Revenge
- From the airbrushed cover, you knew this was gonna be a goodie.
your little fly ship, eat the shield, and blow the bazooie outta the
baddie inside, all without being hit by his little superbombs. People
are nuts about this game. atari, 1981.
- Video Pinball
- Sure, it's a square table. You can tilt it way too easily. you
control your shots. It's impossible to get the ball through the upper
shots without a good dose of pure luck. But it's still an Atari player
magnet. Go figure. (My cat loves to watch it too.) Atari, 1981
- A fairly decent tennis game. I suck at it, but Ryan Kallberg
could take anyone on at this game. He's the world champion. and if you
it, there's no way to prove me wrong. It's Activision, which means you
can get a patch for this one. Still fairly fun. Activision, 1981.
- Space War
- Zip your little ship (which looks like it just escaped from
around a sun with neat gravity, and blow up your buddy. Combat goes
A good buddy-blower-upper. Atari, 1981.
- Bermuda Triangle
- You're an ugly little ship picking up ugly little treasure
ugly little baddies. Only get this game if it's free. Data Age, 1982.
- Lock N Chase
- Pac Man with doors you can close. This game blows the doors off
Pac Man, if you'll forgive me saying so. Mattel, 1982
- I found a working copy of this game, and to tell the truth, I was
fairly disappointed. You're at the bottom of the screen, shooting objects
that streak down towards you. Oohhh, boy!
- Pole Position
- This is a fairly decent driving game- don't crash your decent
Atari, 1982. (Namco liscence.)
- You're a house painter being chased by crazy little things.
You need to paint
the entire house. It's basically pac man. But better than atari's pac
man by far. On par
with lock n chase, if just because it's a nice variant. Parker
- The supremetest of your reflexes. I think they could test
Force pilots with this. Zip your little guy around a reactor, and
slam the baddies into the walls, without crashing yourself. Oooh,
tough. Parker Prothers, 1982.
- super breakout
- One of the really fun brick/lo-res pixel games. we all know what
it is. Atari, 1978
- Don't drop any bombs! One of the best paddle games ever. I love
it. You're 3 buckets of water, attempting to sabotage the Mad Bombers
plans to drop bombs all over the floor.
There was supposed to be a Kaboom! released for the 16 bit systems.
never seen it. I'm sure it'd have been ruined
without a paddle anyways. I'm glad it never surfaced. Activision, 1981
- Donkey Kong
- Another crappy arcade port. But that didn't stop us from playing
did it? Coleco, 1982.
- Donkey Kong Junior
- A slightly better port than its father. Actually a good game with
- Demon Attack
- Shoot everything that moves. See phoenix, Spider Fighter, et. al.
But this game seems to do it with a little flair- It's one of my
favorites. Imagic, 1982.
- Sub Scan
- You're a ship on sub patrol. Throw depth charges, and nail the
suckers before they get out of range. Sega, 1983.
- Deadly Discs of Tron
- This is nowhere near as good as the arcade. You're shooting stuff,
running into the wall. Wheeeee. Mattel, 1982.
- Attack of the Killer Beefsteak
- Don't laugh- it's pretty fun! Shoot the tomatoes, and build a
wall to keep 'em out. I enjoy this muchly. Fox, 1983.
- The greatest Atari game of all time. Activision, 1982.
- Armor Ambush
- A slightly souped up Combat. Each player gets *two* tanks,
blow the bejeesus outta each other, on varied terrain. You can
switch from tank to tank, increasing your tactical capabilities! Mattel,
- Adventures of Tron
- Run around, stay away from Maximillian, catch the arrows, jump in
the transporter. And don't fall. Fairly fun, but not overwhelmingly
so. Mattel, 1982.
- One of the holy classics. Space invaders, Defender, Missile
Asteroids. Bow down before the power. You're the savior of the
human race- fly your space ship above the earth, preventing nasty
aliens from scooping up humans and turning them into dreaded
mutants! Atari, 1981.