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I review games... How original...

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World End/ Invasion aus der Galaxis (HomeVision/Quelle)

Today we’re going to look at an obscure European game published from an obscure European publisher. HomeVision is a rare company; in fact I can’t find a single one of their games that’s priced below 200 dollars.  HomeVision was the distributor of a distributor; it was created by a company called VDI to distribute games gotten from Gem International Corporation. Some of these games are original, like the one we’re looking at today, and others are just graphical hacks of preexisting games. The gam

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

I did a thing!

What I have done is totally unnecessary and some people probably would have advised me against it but I did it anyway. For the longest time I've had an X-Man reproduction cartridge, it didn't come in a Spectravision case but at the time I didn't know that the original came in one either, minus branding. So I got to thinking "what if I take the board from my repro cartridge and put it in a Spectravision case?", and I have done just that. It was oddly easy, in fact the most difficult thing I had t

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DoctorSpuds

 

Pitfall! (Activision)

This is going to be a difficult game to look at since it feels almost blasphemous to do so; the first of something is always sacred. Pitfall (I’m omitting the ‘!’ because Word freaks out and capitalizes everything), is generally referred to as the first side-scrolling platforming game, or at least the first one to do it right. It is one of the best selling games on the 2600 and is considered one of the best games on the console, if not ever for its contributions to gaming as a whole. But, and th

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Motocross Racer (Xonox)

I think it’s about time I finally review one of my favorite Xonox titles, Motocross Racer. This is the pinnacle of pre red box programming; seriously the sheer amount of game they managed to stuff into a little 8K cartridge is amazing. I don’t really have much to say about Xonox as a company, I think I’ve already said all that could be said but for those of you who haven’t heard… Xonox was a subsidiary of K-Tel a telemarketing company that sold a wide variety of products on daytime and late nigh

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You hate dust? We got something for that!

Since the beginning of time there has been dust and since almost the beginning of gaming there have been ways of keeping dust off of your stuff. With the 2600’s unique ridged design it has a very striking look to it but it’s also a bastard to clean as all of us who’ve had basement/garage/thrift store finds know. The 2600 is a goddam dust magnet, and since its conception there have been ways of preventing such uncleanliness from occurring. Atari was clever, they build dust covers into their cartr

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Mega Force (20th Century Fox)

What time is it? You guessed it its crappy movie tie-in time, and what disappointing movie-based game are we going to be looking at today? Krull? No… Ghostbusters? Nah! Philly Flasher?.. Hell no! Ah! Of course there can be no other than Mega Force! Who remembers Mega Force? ‘cause I don’t, this movie was a total flop at the box office barely making back a quarter of its 20 million dollar budget. It’s your standard Mad Max style post apocalyptic future with awesome vehicles and explosions everywh

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Sorcerer's Apprentice (Atari)

Sorcerer’s Apprentice is an odd one to say the least. This was the only one of the four planned Disney games to be released on the 2600; it seems the market fell out from under Atari very soon after this game’s release. What year did this game release on? 1983? Oh, that would explain it. The three other planned Disney games were Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Donald Ducks Speedboat, and Dumbo’s Flying Circus, if you were wondering. All of these games have been recovered and it seems that they

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Garfield (Atari)

If you’ve never seen or read a Garfield comic then you’ve been living under a rock for the past forty years. Garfield is the king of Sunday comics and has been running consistently since 1978. It seems sometime in the early 80’s somebody reached out to Jim Davis or his company to make a game based on Garfield and Friends. Here’s where the problems begin, or actually the one problem, the game was copyrighted 1984, and as we all know Atari wasn’t doing too well in 1984, so this game along with a l

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Version 2 (Wizard Video)

Since I talked about it so much in the previous review it seems only fair that I review The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Version 2. This version of the game was never released even though it seems Wizard Video already had packaging planned and produced before scrapping the game to release the one programmed by Ed Salvo. The guy who programmed this version, Robert H O’Neil, was also responsible for Polaris from Tigervision and the unreleased Flesh Gordon that Wizard games was going to try and shoehorn

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Wizard Video)

Of all the licensed games that have been released I would put Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the top of the ‘least likely to appeal to anyone’ list. The Atari 2600 wasn’t really known to have much success with ‘adult’ oriented games, as we all know it appealed more to kids and teens with the huge amount of arcade conversions, and I suppose the adults were there too but it seems they were after much the same as the kids. Oddly enough TCM was programmed by our old friend Ed Salvo who programmed Skeet

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DoctorSpuds

 

Good Luck, Charlie Brown (Atari)

I think we’ll start out pretty mellow with Good Luck, Charlie Brown. This game was slated to be released in the summer of 1983, but as you can guess, that never happened. Many licensed games were claimed by the Video Game Crash and this one is no different. Due to how simple the game is I’ll condense the review a bit, there is no soundtrack so I’ll just omit that paragraph entirely (get used to that).   Graphically speaking GLCB looks fantastic, the screen is colorful and there is plenty of mo

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Comitoid (SnailSoft/Greg Zumwalt)

Alright guys this is the final non-game I’m looking at for a while I promise but this one is just so strange. I won’t actually be talking about the game all too much since there is almost nothing to talk about in the first place. Comitoid is absolutely mind boggling, it is the textbook definition of confusing. All you do is fly a little spaceship around as it automatically shoots at large flashing objects. There are so sounds, there are no points, and most importantly you cannot be destroyed, so

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Carnival Shooter/Sabtotage (PD/Ultravision?)

I have for you all today another oddity that I found in my ROM folder, actually its two oddities but they’re strangely related. When doing my Shootin’ Gallery/Carnival review I found a game called Carnival Shooter, it is a strange seizure inducing non-game where you just shoot a bunch of strange objects that are whizzing around the screen. There is no end to the game there are no lives and there are no points, giving the game no discernable play value. The graphics are horrendous and I would ser

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Astrowar (SpaceVision/Taiwan Cooper)

Alright so I have another non-game for you all today. I’ve run into this game way too many times while skimming through my collection of ROM files it’s starting to get silly. As far as I can tell AstroWar was only ever released in Europe, and it never actually found its way over to the U.S. or even South America (Citation Needed). I would classify AstroWar as a non-game, but it’s just on the bleeding edge so it could go either way. In the simplest terms AstroWar is Astroblast on its side, except

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DoctorSpuds

 

Walker/Schussel,der Polizistenschreck (Suntek/Quelle)

What the hell is this!?! This game causes me great distress. This will not be a full review; it will just be me reacting to what has been put before me. Walker by Suntek is one of the weirdest and most nonsensical things I’ve ever had the displeasure of laying my eyes on. This is an incredibly basic platforming game where you are an extremely tall clown that jumps over Bobbies, British slang for police, while meandering through some of the strangest scenery I’ve ever seen.   Screen one: Thi

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DoctorSpuds

 

River Patrol (Tigervision)

The year is 1986, you are a kid who just got his weekly allowance and you’re going to your local Kaybee Toys or Radio Shack to pick up a new game for your Atari 2600. The store is running a sale, 90% off all Atari 2600 games, the NES is taking the country by storm and stores want to dump their old stock, what a bargain! You walk up to a huge dump bin full of games; they’re all there, Imagic, U.S. Games, Parker Brothers, and a bunch of Atari. You start to dig around and at the bottom of the bin i

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DoctorSpuds

 

Guardian (Apollo)

Well, this is it, this is the final Apollo game I have any interest in covering. Apart from Lost Luggage I have one final game from the Apollo catalog that I have yet to review, it is their final and rarest game, Guardian.  Guardian was shipped in incredibly limited numbers, mainly due to the fact that the moment the game made it into production the company was shut down by its creditors, there was only one batch made before the company was dissolved. It wasn’t a bad run, eleven games over the c

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DoctorSpuds

 

Tooth Protectors (DSD Camelot)

Well, with the advent of my UNO Cart I know have the entire NTSC Atari 2600 library at my disposal. What game should I review/play first? Hmmm, there are so many to choose from… How about Tooth Protectors from Johnson & Johnson programmed by DSD Camelot. TP is not as well known as Chase the Chuck Wagon, perhaps it’s due to it not being tied in with a particular product or it just doesn’t have as flashy of a name, I honestly don’t know. Despite it not being as notorious as its counterpart is

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DoctorSpuds

 

I've gotten an UNO Cart!

I’m very excited; I finally have an SD cartridge for my 2600! This has been a long time coming since all of the games I’d like to review are the weird and rare games that never show up on Ebay, and are incredibly expensive when they do. I don’t want to shell out $200 just to review Halloween so I think an UNO Cart will do just fine. My rule has always been “if I can play it on actual hardware then I can review it”, so the UNO Cart exploits that intentional loophole perfectly. There are two m

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Berzerk (Atari)

Berzerk is an undeniable classic; everybody likes Berzerk it seems, apart from me. I’m not a fan of Berzerk but I can’t deny its legacy. Berzerk was one of the earliest top-down shooters and also one of the earliest games to have voice sampling. Inevitably the game was ported onto the 2600 where it maintained its success, and it was later ported to the 5200 and 8-Bit line as well. The 2600 port is very faithful to its source material, since the arcade wasn’t a very complex game to begin with. Th

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Night Driver (Atari)

I think today I’m going to dial it back a bit; I’ve been fixated for too long on the graphically impressive or highly original. I think I’m just going to talk about an old favorite, I think I’ll talk about Night Driver. Night Driver is not a graphically impressive game, nor is it particularly astounding in the auditory department, but it has the one thing that trumps them all, fun.  On a visual level Night Driver is seriously lacking, all you’ll really be seeing is a shit-ton of red-ish pegs whi

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DoctorSpuds

 

Indy 500 (Atari)

Welp, my laptop is dead, it freezes at the password screen and that's just the end of it. I've gotten a new computer that'll hopefully last as long or longer as my laptop. I'm tired and suffering from a mild migraine at the moment so I'm sorry if this particular review is a bit nonsensical as I am both completely exhausted and caffeinated out of my mind.      Of the nine games available at the 2600’s launch there are two that I feel still hold up well today. I’ve already discussed Combat

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DoctorSpuds

 

Death Trap (Avalon Hill)

Due to some unforeseen and extremely annoying computer troubles my upload schedule is probably going to be even more erratic than usual. I think I just need a new laptop.     We’re back with Avalon Hill today, and my goodness we have quite a stinker! Death Trap is one of the most lackluster shooters I’ve ever played, and I will savor every minute I spend tearing it apart. In my opinion this is my least favorite of the five games Avalon Hill released on the 2600, actually it may fall on my

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Homebrew Boxes!

Now then if I were to ask you what the most unique boxes were for the 2600 I’d expect to hear answers like Commavid for their amazing box art, Bomb for their unique cutout design and included iron-ons, Tigervision, Mystique, the list goes on. Almost every publisher had a thing that made their boxes stand out on the shelves, but what if the best of these boxes were never actually sold on the shelf, and were instead sold online. What about homebrews? Yes, the homebrew scene on the 2600 is immense.

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DoctorSpuds

 

Tunnel Runner (CBS)

While reviewing London Blitz I recall mentioning Tunnel Runner several times as a maze game that did it right, so it seems only fitting that I go in depth as to why I think so. Tunnel Runner is the hardest game to find from CBS Electronics but is well worth it. I found something quite touching actually with this game, I got lucky and snagged a cart with the manual and on the back of said manual there are a couple paragraphs about the programmers themselves (probably written by the programmers th

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