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Games - Atari 2600 (14 result(s))

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Adventure

Adventure01.png
Atari 1980
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Human beings have the compulsive urge to classify everything, to put things into labelled drawers. That is why websites like this one have all these badges for their game entries, like "genres" or "themes". It must have been a great time before these had been firmly established and turned into trite clichés. This game, being roughly as old as myself, certainly comes from such a time. Although its exact publication date is a matter of discussion, it was definitely developed before I was born, as developer Warren Robinett already left Atari in 1979.


Atlantis

atlantis01.png
Imagic 1982
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Alien Invaders, the Gorgons, are running their final assault on the city of Atlantis. The last line of defense are three guns, two positioned at the sides of the screen and one in its centre. Their lines of fire are fixed: the middle one shoots straight up, the ones on the sides fire diagonally towards the centre of the screen. The player can select which gun to shoot with by moving the controller to the left and right.


Battlezone

battlezone01.png
Atari 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 4.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

In the not-so-distant future (1999 to be exact), the nations of the world have at last recognized the need for peace to avoid mutual destruction and ensure the survival of the human race. The plan to achieve world piece is strongly reminiscient of the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still: Automated weapons are unleashed, supposedly to exterminate anyone becoming an aggressor. Of course, technology goes awry, and the weapons are starting to exterminate all life on earth. The player jumps into a rusty old tank trying to blow up all the other thanks, fighters and flying saucers which now threaten humanity.


Boxing

boxing01.png
Activision 1983
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Boxing. I can hardly think of a less interesting 'sport'. Two sweaty fat guys beating each other up. Or actually not, because most of the time, they seem to be hugging each other anyway. No, really, I fail to see the fascination. WHY IS HE REVIEWING A BOXING GAME, THEN? Well, I've also had a lot of fun with racing games, and I wouldn't be caught dead near a real racing track. As so often, virtual reality and real reality are two pair of shoes.


Breakout

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Atari 1978
Genre: Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Breakout… need I say more? Come on, folks, you all know this one! Designed as a single player version of Pong, it replaces the second paddle with a brick wall from which the ball simply bounces back to the player – destroying the brick which was hit in the process. Repeat until all bricks have been removed from the board. Following the success of the Arcade original, a port to Atari's own home console, which was still in its infancy at the time, was the logical next step. So how does this version fare?


Crackpots

crackpots01.png
Activision 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Evil mutant spiders are invading your house. These monsters are crawling up the wall, trying to enter by the windows. You're the world's last chance, and the weapon of choice is, of course, potted petunias. You throw them down, trying to hit the uglies before they reach the windows. Now, if only everyone's favourite award-winning actor William 'Captain Kirk' Shatner had thought of that in the philosophically subtle and thoughtful Kingdom of the Spiders...


Fire Fighter

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Imagic 1982
Genre: Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Fire is spreading in a warehouse. Just a warehouse, no big deal, so just one single firefighter is sent to take care of it. Actually, all the other firefighters are drunk at the moment. And the one which does come is most likely drunk as well, but he lost some silly drinking game and thus had to go. Then the shock: There's a man trapped on one of the upper floors, running around in panic! The player has to save him from being roasted alive.


Fishing Derby

fishing01.png
Activision 1980
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Being better than your opponent. It's one of life's basic struggles, repeating itself over and over again. The fight to be the best, to gain glory and have the loser hang his head in shame and admit bitter defeat.


Gravitar

gravitar01.png
Atari 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Gravitar has often been likened to Asteroids and Lunar Lander. What is mentioned less often is that it is basically an inverted Atlantis: Instead of defending a planet surface against space ships, the player is doing the attacking in this case. In a star system, several planet surfaces need to be stripped of their defenses. The catch: gravity.


Joust

joust01.png
Atari 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600, Arcade, Atari ST

Grab your lance, mount your flying ostrich and… joust! Detailed graphics, great animations and a decent simulation of inertia – that was Joust in the arcades. On the Atari 2600, it is… not quite that. More of a reminder how far that system still was from providing an actual arcade experience at home than a fun game on its own right. Gone are the detailed player and enemy sprites; they have been replaced by flat, single-coloured blobs all of which look exactly identical (in the original, the enemies would be riding buzzards) – and the 'unbeatable?' pterodactyl is virtually unrecognisable as such an animal at all. Appropriately, simple two-state animations are used. Might be bearable if at least the gameplay had remained intact.



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