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I review games... How original...

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Cosmic Conflict/ 2076 Star Command (Magnavox)

The Odyssey 2 was unfortunately lacking in many key genres its competitors dominated in, in today’s case the ‘F.P.S.S’ or the First-Person Space Shooter. As far as I know the odyssey 2 only had one (please correct me if I’m wrong) and that game is Cosmic Conflict, or 2076 STAR COMMAND as the cartridge states boldly. Sadly this game emphasizes why the Odyssey 2 struggled, in my opinion, it’s not a bad game but I would hesitate to call it a ‘good’ game. Almost all of the Odyssey 2’s competitors ha

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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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GORF (CBS)

There were a lot of “Me To!” games back in the day, whether it be from Pac-Man or Space Invaders there were a lot. Very few “Me To!” games actually expanded on the initial idea of the game they’re taking inspiration from, that’s where GORF comes in. GORF was basically a five-in-one arcade machine where you face off against marauding space aliens who have different behaviors and configurations in every game. The first game is basically a direct rip of Space Invaders; the second was the laser barr

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Stargunner (Telesys)

Telesys was an earnest company with humble beginnings; they just wanted to make good, fun games. Unfortunately Telesys also died a very humble death as they did not find their desired success in the games market. Telesys arrived on the scene in 1982; they released six games and were gone by the end of 1983. Sometimes I’m glad when I learn of the unfortunate demise of a game company, Mythicon and Mystique immediately come to mind, and I’m still waiting for EA to just go away already, but with Tel

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Crackpots (Activision)

I have been after Crackpots for a while now, but long has it eluded me, usually because I kept forgetting to buy it or because the prices made me vomit in my mouth a little. I was immediately suckered in by the amazing graphics and unusual game premise, but now that I have it, how does it hold up? Well before we get to that I have to address the cartridge my copy of Crackpots came in. Mine is not an official Activision cartridge, mine is a Brazilian release from Datasoft, and my goodness what a

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Fast Eddie (20th Century Fox)

The 2600 has several single screen platformers in its library. Some are excellent like Donkey Kong, others are decent but with flaws like Infiltrate or Tron, and others just suck like Miner 2049’er. There is one platformer that I feel doesn’t get enough attention though, and that is 20th Century Fox’s Fast Eddie. If I were to equate the gameplay other games in the library I would have to say it’s a decent mix of Tron and Infiltrate. Graphically the game is nothing special and sound-wise the game

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Dragonstomper (Starpath)

Well now, ain’t this a surprise, when one thinks ‘Atari 2600’ they usually think low resolution graphics, E.T., arcade ports that rarely stack up to the original, but not a top-down turn-based RPG, never that. Clearly Starpath saw what was going on over in the land of PC’s and was like ‘yeah we can do that on the 2600, easily’ and they did it, and the outcome was Dragonstomper, the only turn-based RPG ever made during the systems original run. The story is classic, there is a picturesque peacefu

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James Bond: 007 5200 (Parker Brothers)

James Bond: 007 5200 (Parker Brothers)

Confusing licenses are the bread and butter of obscure games. Very few companies in the early days of gaming actually tried to tackle non-arcade licenses, with only 20th Century Fox, Atari, and Parker Brothers doing it in any quantity. The names these companies took just boggles the mind, box office bombs like Mega Force and Krull, movies that have been out of the public eye for years like Fantastic Voyage and Planet of the Apes, and comic book characters like Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk w

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Sssnake (Data Age)

I am saddened by this game, since I can see a little glimmer of greatness in there but it is so masked by how garbage the rest of the experience is that it doesn’t really matter. Sssnake is an awful game that makes you feel awful when you play it and absolutely relieved when you turn it off. I’ll admit that this particular game is hard for me to review; it’s pretty well known that I do enjoy bad games, but those games are entertainingly bad, Sssnake is just… bad, so I’ll try to keep it brief (bu

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Sword of Saros (Starpath)

At LAST! This is the final game from Starpath, Sword of Saros. I’m gonna try to keep this review a bit shorter since they seem to be getting longer and longer these days. From what I have gathered from talking to several folks at my local game store and reading some reviews, this is one of the least liked Supercharger games ever made, now that’s quite an accomplishment. Unfortunately I somewhat agree with much of the criticism leveled at Sword of Saros, it is DEEPLY flawed, and unfortunately the

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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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Solar Storm (Imagic)

IT’S PADDLE TIME!!! If you ask me the Paddle is one of the most under-utilized controllers ever made, there just weren’t enough games made that use them, and even fewer actually used them to their fullest potential. Unfortunately the game we’re looking at today doesn’t use the Paddles in any new or interesting way; actually I don’t think I could classify any of this game as ‘new or interesting’ in fact it’s somewhat generic which is weird from a company like Imagic. Yeah this is an Imagic game,

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A brief update...

I don’t think I’ve ever actually done one of these but I’d like to give a few updates on the state of my collection. Let me start off with this, I have absolutely no ideas for future reviews, I’m completely out of them, so if anybody has recommendations for games good, bad, or obscure I’d love to hear them. This happened a little while back but I do feel it’s worth mentioning. Back when I got my UNO Cart I decided to sell half of my collection, some of the stuff I sold earlier too. I no longer h

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Mappy (Champ Games)

It’s Homebrew time! And what game to pick? There are so many of them… How about Mappy! By all rights a game like Mappy should not work on the 2600, there is just no way somebody could fit such a large and complicated arcade game into a tiny 2600 cartridge, anybody who’d try that would be a bona fide madman. Well, there seems to be a madman in our midst because Mappy was ported to the 2600 and wouldn’t you believe it, they somehow made it better. A small team of programmers, designers and artists

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Fathom (Imagic)

Imagic was never short on creative game ideas, and in some cases their games were perhaps a bit too unique, if that's even possible... Unfortunately even the great must fall, regardless of their contributions to society, and unfortunately Imagic was no different. Without a doubt Imagic was the most prolific fatality of the crash of '83 and '84, and the rights to their most popular games were handed over to the very company they played second fiddle to, Activision. Now we all know about Imagic's

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QIX 5200 (Atari)

QIX 5200 (Atari)

Qix is a fun little arcade game than seems to defy any standard one would care to throw at it. Qix was an arcade release from Taito back in 1981 and by all accounts it was a modest success and it was all about drawing rectangles, hmmm. Qix was very slow to reach a home audience with the first home releases being for the Atari 5200 and 8-Bit computer line in 1983 with it finally reaching other consoles and computers in 1989 and into the early 1990’s, the Apple ][ version didn’t come out until 198

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Battlezone (Atari)

Battlezone is one of my absolute favorite arcade games, and as we all know when it comes to the 2600 arcade conversions can be rather hit or miss. Battlezone 2600, fortunately, hits it outta the park, it is seriously an amazing conversion. The graphics on display are, at least in my opinion, better than the arcade’s sparse vector lines, it just so full of color and detail that it’s a treat to the eyes. I think Atari borrowed from Activision a bit though since that sunset seems a little bit famil

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Carnival (Coleco) vs. Shootin' Gallery (Imagic)

It has been a while since I’ve done a comparison review, and with the acquisition of a certain game it seems that I finally have a good enough pairing to warrant one. Am I the only one who finds the concept of a shooting gallery arcade game to be odd? Or at least one that doesn’t use some sort of a light gun to emulate a real shootin’ gallery, like what you’d see at an actual carnival. It’s convenient then that there were two games on the 2600 that did just that, and that I’ve already mentioned

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The Challenge of Nexar (Spectravision)

Spectravision! What is this?!? A Joke? Because I’m not laughing. Why? Well I’ll tell you… The Challenge of Nexar… is actually a pretty decent game; I don’t know why you’d expect me to be angry about it. Nexar is a fairly standard fake first person shooter in the same vein as Survival Run by Milton Bradley, where you move a cursor around the screen and shoot oncoming enemies as they scale towards you. Unlike Survival Run though, Nexar is fast and it’s a challenge (HAH!), the enemies will approach

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Thunderball! (Magnavox)

Remember the old saying “anything you can do I can do better”? Well when Atari is riding on the top of the world, there were a bunch of console manufacturers and game programmers saying that exact same thing, usually followed by failure. The Odyssey 2, we all know about the Odyssey 2, I’ve talked about it before, and how it was rather disappointing, never quite living up to the slogan ‘The excitement of a game, the mind of a computer’. It seems that Magnavox/Philips saw what Atari was doing with

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Nova 9 (Dynamix)

I can’t remain in the world of the 2600 forever, I need to branch out and expand, then promptly fall right back on the 2600 when I tire of the new stuff. So, what’s new today? Well, its big box PC games, if the 2600 game boxes weren’t big enough then these monsters will scratch your itch. Standard console game boxes are absolutely dwarfed by these behemoths, but this can have some positive effects. The artwork on some of these boxes is absolutely fantastic, and there’s something so rewarding abo

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Monday Box Review! (Zellers)

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what to do for my next box review since I’d like to get the more obscure publishers out there before I tackle any of the big names like Atari or Activision. I finally came to a decision though; I would take a look at Zellers boxes since there are few things more obscure for American collectors than something that wasn’t sold in the U.S.   These things scream “BUDGET” I’d say they’re on par with the Taiwan Cooper Boxes in their stripped back budgeted design.

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I found a weird thing

I found a weird thing

Alright so it's a Tournament 2000 by Unisonic, on its own that's not very interesting but stay with me here. The box is unlike any other I've seen, it's most certainly not a standard Unisonic box. The thing is completely unbranded and it looks like the thing was printed with ink rollers.  The console itself is the only thing that says Unisonic on it and the serial number is pretty high so maybe it was a budget thing to cut costs? Frankly its weird and cool and I'm happy to ha

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Masters Of The Universe: The Power Of He-Man (Mattel)

I didn’t originally plan to write a review on this game so I’ll keep it short. I bought this game a while back and had only gotten around to playing it a couple days ago, and when I did, I discovered something truly magnificent. Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man™ is one of those games that you remembered existing but remembered nothing about otherwise, but today I found something worth remembering it for, which you shall see in a little while.   First impressions are great; there is

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Bumper Bash (Spectravision/Spectravideo)

Pinball games on most any console are plentiful and cheap; there have been some great ones, like Rollerball on NES or Crueball on Genesis, and some not so great ones like Pinball Dreams on SNES. You may have noticed that over the past couple of days I’ve been reviewing pinball games, and for the most part I’ve found them to be decent but with many flaws. I like pinball video games because they are trying to emulate and analogue type game digitally, and the results are always interesting to see a

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