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Atari Keychain Games from "Basic Fun": Stay Away!


110 replies to this topic

#51 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:08 AM

Its actually listed on Google as Basic Fun Inc. Here is the correct link:

http://finance.googl...nce?cid=6505368

curt

Aha, thanks! I knew something had to be wrong.

#52 ZylonBane OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:15 PM

Y'know, the size of these things would make for a perfect Christmas tree ornament.

Screw the useless game-playing ability. Just give us cute miniaturized retro Atari swag!

#53 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:27 AM

Y'know, the size of these things would make for a perfect Christmas tree ornament.

Screw the useless game-playing ability. Just give us cute miniaturized retro Atari swag!

Yeah, that would be neat. Most of us already have multiple copies of the games, anyway. Make them small, accurate, and cheap. Like these (which are 2 out of 3)
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#54 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:51 AM

Y'know, the size of these things would make for a perfect Christmas tree ornament.

Screw the useless game-playing ability. Just give us cute miniaturized retro Atari swag!

They'd have to be down to the $1 price before I would buy them for that purpose, but yeah, that wouldn't be a bad idea. They're about the right size, and it would give you the added satisfaction of tearing out the board inside and smashing it.

Only problem I see is that the joysticks are a little hard to get apart, at least judging from the one I had before I returned it.

#55 Shannon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:14 PM

Curt should auction of the prototypes that he did on ebay.. :lol:

Edited by Shannon, Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:15 PM.


#56 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:57 AM

Only problem I see is that the joysticks are a little hard to get apart, at least judging from the one I had before I returned it.


I didn't find them hard to take apart at all. Just unscrew, unscrew, unscrew...pretty easy to put back together, too. Boring to play, but easy enough to hack, mechanically. Hmm...

#57 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:45 AM

I didn't find them hard to take apart at all. Just unscrew, unscrew, unscrew...pretty easy to put back together, too. Boring to play, but easy enough to hack, mechanically. Hmm...

I had some difficulty prying it apart after the screws were out, but I didn't try too hard because I was planning on returning the thing and didn't want to make it obvious that I had opened it. I didn't want to be stuck with it after spending $15!

#58 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:05 PM

i hadn't seen this thread yet, so i came here looking for it because last night i wasted $15 on 3-game paddle garbage.

here are things i noticed:

BREAKOUT:
terrible. after an initial strike and change of direction, there is a lot of collision misdetection on the ball's return trip to your paddle, flying through clusters of bricks. although still playable, i'd rather be playing the game on real hardware (or poking badgers with a spoon).

PONG:
it's pong. very hard to screw this up.

WARLORDS:
a complete upset. this game was the reason i wanted to buy the little unit. obviously not emulated but reprogrammed by someone who's a complete moron, the diagonal trick shots are completely gone. the ball is orange instead of white, and completely overlaps the player shield when caught (rather than just slightly sticking out). also, you can hold down the catch button all you want, but as soon as you move your player shield, the game considers the button "not pressed" anymore. complete unplayable bullshit. oh, and when you lose, you can no longer cheer on the green guy (who for whatever reason is always the worst player). the game just ends when you lose. no fun.

i got mine from wal-mart. is was the only paddle left. they also had two yars/something-pede joysticks left. i probably would have bought the asteroids one had they been in stock. i'm glad they didn't. pieces of crap. :(

[edited for grammatical typos. i'm being graded on this]

Edited by bomberpunk, Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:12 PM.


#59 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:57 PM

WARLORDS:
[...] also, you can hold down the catch button all you want, but as soon as you move your player shield, the game considers the button "not pressed" anymore.


Your review sounds a lot like mine (see link above)! I think you got this point wrong, though; I was able to hold the ball and move at the same time. The button is kinda crummy, though, so it's easy to release the ball accidentally. Try it again. It's not a completely bad *version* of Warlords, but it's clearly not 2600 Warlords.

#60 pmpddytim OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 1, 2006 4:02 PM

I got one for my birthday friday and tried toi play it today. Dead out of package. :| After reading this thread I think I'm going to tkae it back and get somthing else. :)

Thanks for the warning or I would have gottne another one!

-Tim

#61 Clint Thompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 1, 2006 9:25 PM

Damnit damnit damnit damnit damnit. I put this on my amazon to buy list a few weeks ago after seeing them on Joystiq and knew I wanted to get one. Now, my idea of the whole thing has been shot down to death :(

I guess it's better to know now then AFTER placing my order and getting crapola in the mail.

Your right, Curt should sell the protos on eBay ;-)

Speaking of Atari... don't they have a new CEO, AGAIN? Hmmm...

#62 grimbasement OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2006 1:15 PM

Do you think Atari would allow a product with their name and games to go to market if it was substandard?


This comment was just laughable. I would say that has been Atari's MO for decades. Early in the life of the company things were better but deteriorated as time went on... Infotari has been laying more turds than a Baby Ruth factory.

With the FB2 being the lone exception.

Does anyone know if the keychain joysticks are built to the same scale as the size of the FB2? It looks like that might be the case.

#63 bedouin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2006 11:06 PM

I just bought this today from Wal-Mart while picking up a steering wheel for my Gamecube. I usually sport a Wi-Fi finder on my keychain but wanted another gadget to replace it, since every single one of those proved to be pretty useless.

Out of the box I assumed it was DOA until I read the message here about squeezing the power switch very hard; I was about to return it the next day. Oddly, after smashing the power button a few times it seems to function normally now (i.e., the switch actually works as you'd expect it). Though, the first few times I played it no sound came out of my television's speakers; now sound does come out.

I didn't really buy this to play seriously, more as a novelty -- so assuming it doesn't get smashed in my pocket within a month and quit working, I guess it serves its purpose. I'll keep the battery pack in my laptop bag, which is generally with me 50% of the time.

#64 bedouin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2006 11:44 PM

BTW, I didn't disassemble this paddle, but where is the brain of it located, in the paddle or in the battery pack?

#65 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2006 6:03 AM

BTW, I didn't disassemble this paddle, but where is the brain of it located, in the paddle or in the battery pack?


In the paddle. Given the size of the battery pack, it would have made more sense to make it a mini-console, but that's not how things went...on the other hand, this design means you can use one battery pack for every keychain.

That's assuming you would actually play these poor ports of the games...but they could have used the same "cable reel" power pack design with the FB2 chip, I suppose.

Edited by Jacob Rose, Fri Oct 6, 2006 6:07 AM.


#66 sidcrowe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 8, 2006 4:15 AM

Jeez, glad I got warned by this thread :)

#67 werejag OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:45 AM

curt and guys thanks for the warning saw several today.

and now i wont be getting one its a shame these are suck crap.

if basic fun is reading this i hope your 21 Employees lose their jobs and atari i hope you are reading this too and make this happen.

#68 purenergy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:18 AM

Hmmm...

While looking for another item, I noticed a local Wal-Mart had the mini-Atari joystick available for Christmas, and they sold out. (Even though they were not priced! They scanned $14.44 each.)
Does this prove that consumers will buy a product based on the name, possibly remembering the past, or they just need a quick stocking stuffer?

The mini-Atari joystick that I had displayed on my table during OVGE this year has dissapeared. After it broke, I was planning to keep it as a possible collectable, but must have thrown it away! :)

Brad

#69 TomBrazil OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 7, 2007 6:05 AM

Man, I bought the paddle and the joystick #1 and I liked it. Very stylish to make fun with friends... Not the real thing of course, but acceptable IMHO.

#70 Foxsolo2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:03 AM

With crap like this being produced people question why Atari is going down the drain. I dont think I will ever trust any of their products again ;)

#71 jbanes OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:26 AM

and now i wont be getting one its a shame these are suck crap.

if basic fun is reading this i hope your 21 Employees lose their jobs and atari i hope you are reading this too and make this happen.

Let's be nice now. Basic Fun did exactly what Atari wanted of them, and as a result doesn't deserve quite as much ire as you're sending their way. If there's anyone you should be angry at, it's Atari. They're the ones who made the decision to drop Curt's work and give it to Basic Fun with stipulations that it should be done on the cheap.

That being said, we apparently have new management at Atari these days. Management that is more supportive of Curt and the community. So let's just forget this whole Basic Fun debacle and continue to cheer for the FB2 Portable and FB3. :)

#72 Cador OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:18 AM

I was seriously considering buying the Paddle Keychain online, but because of the comments on this thread, I decided not to. I love buying things for my keychain and I carry all kinds of weird things on it: a flashlight, a compass, an electronic blackjack game, etc. I also love classic gaming, especially Atari (I bought FB2 even though I already had a 2600 with 150+ cartridges). I am pretty much the target market for this product. I guess Atari & Basic Fun blew it.

What I can't comprehend is the decision to go to the "NES-on-a-chip" route, which required programming "simulated" versions of Atari 2600 games in an NES environment. I may be speculating here, but didn't this decision for short-term savings actually cost more in the end? (in terms of lost sales, and the cost for paying a programmer + QA team to oversee the coding, etc).

Curt's FB2-on-a-chip that only required 1 internal AA battery sounded much better. If the size of the unit was such an issue, a AAA battery could have been used instead (the drawback being that the battery life is reduced, of course). Instead, you have this poor NES-on-a-chip immitation that needs THREE AAA batteries plugged to the unit from an external pack. I don't think this makes the unit very portable.

If I was Atari/Basic Fun, I would have done the following:

-FB2 on a chip (no need to re-program the games)
-Only 1 AAA battery needed
-10 original 2600 games for each of the joystick version
-10 original 2600 games for the paddle version

Sell it for $14.99 and people on this forum would have enthusiastically bought this quality product at that price. This model would probably cost less than the one that was put out because there would be no need to write new code (save for a menu system) or require the external battery pack.


I found the email from the Basic Fun representative laughable. Typical "pass-the-buck" mentality BS that permeates modern corporate culture these days, reminds me of a boss that I used to work for who underpaid everyone, and kept blaming the company's problems on ex-employees who had the gall to quit for better prospects.

Edited by Cador, Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:26 AM.


#73 NE146 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:15 AM

I think these things rock. Put it this way.. looking for an accurate version of the game would have been nice, but isn't really the point at least for me.

If these things didnt play ANYTHING and were just a little plastic joystick and paddle, that'd be good enough for me :D

#74 Gateway OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2007 5:27 AM

Just came across these for the first time today, and almost bought one because I thought they looked awesome. Fortunately, I didn't have the money to spare.

Saw a dozen of these pegwarmers on the same aisle in Wal-Mart that has other keychains and cheap party favors, etc. They still are priced at $14.99.

Glad I looked for info about this here as I hadn't seen mention of them before, but then I don't normally collect plug-and-play units, except for my FB2( which BTW has sold out at the same Wal-Mart ). I haven't seen any FB2's available since November.

#75 purenergy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2007 11:48 AM

The mini-Atari joystick that I had displayed on my table during OVGE this year has dissapeared. After it broke, I was planning to keep it as a possible collectable, but must have thrown it away! :)


Found the mini-Joystick, but not the cable. Keeping it as a collectable.
;)




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