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Did you get Adventure the month it was released?


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#1 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 27, 2017 2:22 PM

Did anyone here get the Atari 2600 VCS game Adventure the month it was released? Was that month December of 1979? If it really was released in December of 1979, someone around here must have a photo or at least a fuzzy Christmas memory.
 
An article at gamasutra says that Adventure was released in December of 1979, but A History of … Games claims it wasn't released until February of 1980. In a Halcyon Days interview, Warren Robinett said that he finished Adventure in June of 1979, so a December release doesn't sound unreasonable.
 
In 2009, eegad said in another thread that he got an Atari 2600 on July 1st of 1980 and Adventure wasn't released yet. That's pretty darn deep into 1980.
 
This commercial aired on December 2, 1979:
 

 

Does anyone see an Adventure box in the pile or flying by at the end?
 
If you are normally a lurker who never became an AtariAge member, but you have a personal story that can pinpoint the real release date, please sign up and post what you know.
 
Thanks.



#2 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 27, 2017 3:34 PM

Sorry.. I never even heard of the game until my friends told me about it during 7th grade.... which was 1981 :P

#3 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 27, 2017 4:06 PM

The game's first catalog appearance wasn't until 1980. That's what I go by.



#4 Lauren Tyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 27, 2017 4:07 PM

I had seen it in many catalogs, but I didn't actually get a copy until I was 12 at a yard sale.



#5 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 27, 2017 7:51 PM

I didn't own a 2600 until 1982 so I can't comment on memories, but I will add this. The subject came up when I did Adventure II because I have a secret "1980" code in the game which unlocks the secret alternate icons. I believe I orig had "1979".  There was some discussion about it over at Digital Press. I was convinced that despite the game being done/promised in 1979, it wasn't published until 1980.  (So I kept with the "1980" code).  You could search DP's forums for that thread if you have the inclination. 



#6 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 27, 2017 8:20 PM

I know I didn't - we didn't get our Light Sixer until Christmas 1980. We didn't get Adventure until a few months later, maybe not even until my birthday the next summer of 1981. 



#7 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 3:34 AM

Thanks for the replies.

 

I didn't own a 2600 until 1982 so I can't comment on memories, but I will add this. The subject came up when I did Adventure II because I have a secret "1980" code in the game which unlocks the secret alternate icons. I believe I orig had "1979".  There was some discussion about it over at Digital Press. I was convinced that despite the game being done/promised in 1979, it wasn't published until 1980.  (So I kept with the "1980" code).  You could search DP's forums for that thread if you have the inclination. 

 

Looks like they were convince that it was released in 1978, which would be pretty hard to do when the code wasn't finished until 1979:

 

forum.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?95670-Adventure-II-is-done-demo-and-instructions&styleid=12



#8 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 4:02 AM

I just found this page:

 

blog.hardcoregaming101.net/2012/07/adventure-game-released-in-year-of.html

 

That guy seems to go over every bit of information out there and still can't find out exactly when Adventure was released in 1980. Be sure to read the replies at the bottom of the page.

 

 

Take a look at this page:

 

mcurrent.name/atarihistory/wci_games.html#1980

"For the VCS ($179), Atari introduced 6 new Game Programs, to ship one title per month over the first half of the year: Space Invaders (title by Taito), 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Night Driver, Golf, Circus Atari, and Adventure . . ."

 

 

If those games are in order, Space Invaders came out in January, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe came out in February, Night Driver came out in March, Golf came out in April, Circus Atari came out in May, and Adventure came out in June. But the list must not be in order because he claims that Adventure came out in February further down the page. He has a bunch of sources listed at the bottom of the page, but who has the time and energy to look at all of those sources to find where he is getting his information about specific games?



#9 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 4:13 AM

I remember the game being mentioned in 1980 by friends etc., and seeing it...

 

Sorry I'm not much help.  My thought, though is maybe you could track down some magazines from the time period.  Even just finding them online...Sure it might be imprecise, given the magazines' lead time back then, but it still could be helpful.



#10 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 4:18 AM

Maybe for Christmas 79?

 

AM says 1980

http://www.atarimani...nture_8535.html


Edited by high voltage, Sun May 28, 2017 4:22 AM.


#11 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 4:31 AM

I remember the game being mentioned in 1980 by friends etc., and seeing it...

 

Sorry I'm not much help.  My thought, though is maybe you could track down some magazines from the time period.  Even just finding them online...Sure it might be imprecise, given the magazines' lead time back then, but it still could be helpful.

 

Nope, I'm dumb!

 

 

So...According to this...

 

https://en.wikipedia..._game_magazines

 

If we exclude Play Meter (1974)  which was about coin ops,   Video Game magazines didn't really start until 1981!   Who knew?



#12 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 4:38 AM

Maybe for Christmas 79?
 
AM says 1980
http://www.atarimani...nture_8535.html


If it was available at Christmas of 1979, you'd think there would be at least one Christmas photo showing some excited booger-picking child, but I haven't seen one yet. Makes me think it really was released within the first half of 1980, but I would love to know which month. Somebody has to have some kind of paperwork or something that shows the month.



#13 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 9:21 AM

I've long heard that Superman, although being based on the kernel written for Adventure, was actually finished and released sooner. It appears in the Atari Rev C VCS Catalog from 1979:

 

http://www.atarimani...rev-c_11_2.html

 

Conversely, Adventure doesn't appear until the Rev D Catalog from 1980.

 

http://www.atarimani...-rev-d_9_2.html



#14 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 28, 2017 9:49 AM

Speaking of booger-picking children, there has to be at least one photo of a child getting Adventure for his or her birthday in 1980. I hope there are many family photos out there. The one with the earliest photo is the one we pick as the release month for Adventure until an earlier photo pops up.



#15 hunmanik OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 29, 2017 9:01 AM

I have freshly revisited the issue, this time primarily using analysis of dozens of newspaper ads. 

 

This is hard work, keeping in mind that "release dates" could be gradual events spread out over multiple weeks.  And advertisements may or may not list items before their actual availability.

 

Atari widely announced in January 1980 (see coverage and Atari ad in Merchandising magazine, and media kit at Atarimania) that they planned to release 6 new VCS titles, one title per month, over the first half of 1980: Space Invaders, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Night Driver, Golf, Circus Atari, Adventure

 

It's clear to me now that they did not stick with that plan.

 

Space Invaders was certainly first, released winter 1980.  It appeared in ads starting in February.

 

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Night Driver, Golf, and Circus Atari were all still promised soon in late June.  I now believe they all came out at about the same time in summer 1980.

 

Adventure was, interestingly, less prominent in newspaper ads than any of the above titles.  It does turn up in ads starting in early May (alongside Space Invaders).

 

My conclusion now is that Adventure came out in spring 1980, shortly after Space Invaders but largely overlooked because Space Invaders commanded all the market attention in the first half of the year.

 

One may speculate that Atari may have delayed releasing 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Night Driver, Golf, and Circus Atari as a result of diverting resources to satisfy demand for Space Invaders.  If true, perhaps early production of Adventure would have been limited for the same reason.



#16 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 29, 2017 1:18 PM

Yeah.. and let's not forget this is the 70's.. video game "distribution" would probably be pretty loosey goosey.  Some places might get a shipment a few months before others, etc.  No one was really paying much attention. So who the heck knows. :lol:   


Edited by NE146, Mon May 29, 2017 1:19 PM.


#17 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 6:45 AM

I have freshly revisited the issue, this time primarily using analysis of dozens of newspaper ads. 
 
This is hard work, keeping in mind that "release dates" could be gradual events spread out over multiple weeks.  And advertisements may or may not list items before their actual availability.
 
Atari widely announced in January 1980 (see coverage and Atari ad in Merchandising magazine, and media kit at Atarimania) that they planned to release 6 new VCS titles, one title per month, over the first half of 1980: Space Invaders, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Night Driver, Golf, Circus Atari, Adventure
 
It's clear to me now that they did not stick with that plan.
 
Space Invaders was certainly first, released winter 1980.  It appeared in ads starting in February.
 
3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Night Driver, Golf, and Circus Atari were all still promised soon in late June.  I now believe they all came about at about the same time in summer 1980.
 
Adventure was, interestingly, less prominent in newspaper ads than any of the above titles.  It does turn up in ads starting in early May (alongside Space Invaders).
 
My conclusion now is that Adventure came out in spring 1980, shortly after Space Invaders but largely overlooked because Space Invaders commanded all the market attention in the first half of the year.
 
One may speculate that Atari may have delayed releasing 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Night Driver, Golf, and Circus Atari as a result of diverting resources to satisfy demand for Space Invaders.  If true, perhaps early production of Adventure would have been limited for the same reason.


Thanks. I'll mark these games as "Extreme Best Guess" and link to your post from each entry. Are those newspapers that you mentioned posted online or are they only at a library? If they are online, I might want to link to those newspapers too for people who are interested.
 
 
 

Yeah.. and let's not forget this is the 70's.. video game "distribution" would probably be pretty loosey goosey.  Some places might get a shipment a few months before others, etc.  No one was really paying much attention. So who the heck knows. :lol:


I'm mostly interested in when most people in the USA could get their hands on a game. For example, if a game was released in New York in April and didn't get to everyone else until July, I'll stick the game in July and mention the New York release under "Trivia."



#18 hunmanik OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 8:41 AM

Here is the earliest appearance of Adventure I've found in newspaper ads.

 

 

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#19 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 9:01 AM

$49.99 each! Space Invaders and Adventure! I never saw Atari games cost that much BITD. Always in the high $20s or $30s. Anyway, that new ad says May 1980, good find.

#20 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 9:04 AM

No. I remember seeing Adventure on the game kiosk at Service Merchandise, I think, around 81-82. Even then I thought it looked like an old game with terrible "duck" graphics, and you play as a square with an arrow? How could this possibly be fun?!? \

So it's bizarre to me that Adventure went on to become one of my favorite games on the 2600 that I still play. I even discovered the Easter Egg before I knew the game even had an Easter Egg! I was more excited that I had found a bat and dragon-proof object storage room, woot!

#21 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 11:03 AM

$49.99 each! Space Invaders and Adventure! I never saw Atari games cost that much BITD. Always in the high $20s or $30s. Anyway, that new ad says May 1980, good find.

 

Canadian prices:

 

"The Medicine Hat News is a daily newspaper published in Medicine Hat, Alberta."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_Hat_News

 

Now we know that Adventure was being sold in Canada in May of 1980. Next we need to know if Canada usually got their games later than people in the USA or around the same time.



#22 hunmanik OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 12:17 PM

Next early newspaper ad appearance for Adventure: Chicago Heights Star Herald Ad Visor July 10, 1980

 

 

 

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#23 jhd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 2:31 PM

 

Now we know that Adventure was being sold in Canada in May of 1980. Next we need to know if Canada usually got their games later than people in the USA or around the same time.

 

Note that Medicine Hat is not a major city, so it is reasonable to assume that the game would have been available at retail in larger places like Toronto and Montreal earlier than it would be a small Prairie city.

 

Back in the early-1980s, games were significantly cheaper in the United States (even allowing for the exchange rate), but I do not know anything about relative release dates. 



#24 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 31, 2017 2:10 PM

Superman was in the 1979 Sears WIshbook but not Adventure:

 

http://www.wishbookweb.com/FB/1979_Sears_Wishbook/#654 



#25 eegad OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 1, 2018 12:23 PM

Did anyone here get the Atari 2600 VCS game Adventure the month it was released?
 
In 2009, eegad said in another thread that he got an Atari 2600 on July 1st of 1980 and Adventure wasn't released yet. That's pretty darn deep into 1980.
 

 

I finally solved the mystery (at least as far as I am concerned). Yes, I got my Atari 2600 On July 1, 1980, along with Space Invaders. The catalog with Space Invaders listed Adventure as "coming soon". I thought it sounded cool, and wanted it. My grandmother went to the store to get it for me a few days later, but was told it wasn't released yet, but they could put her name on a list and call her when they got it in stock. My recollection has always been that she didn't bring me the cart until a couple months later. But the thing is, I still have that Adventure cart, complete-in-box. I just hadn't bothered opening it and looking through the game manual in a LONG time. I did so recently and found a folded up receipt inside it, dated July 19, 1980.

 

So when did Adventure actually become available in stores? I'm going with "mid-July, 1980"






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