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Found 55 results

  1. Skiing (Atari VCS, Dec 1980, Activision) To me, Skiing by Activision will always be that cheesy commercial with the guy doing the bad French accent and playing the game poorly. I didn't really understand at the time what was going on with these "new Atari games" that had a different box style and didn't seem to be by Sears or Atari. The commercial for Skiing (which my friends and I thought was hilarious) really stands out in my mind, even though it doesn't strike me as funny today. Yes, it's on YouTube. I do remember spending a very focused Saturday afternoon trying to qualify for the Activision Skiing Team. Apparently this has become known as Game 3b (because one plays the third game on the cart with the difficulty settings on "b"). To qualify, your time had to be under 28.2 seconds. I distinctly remember beating qualifying, but I don't remember if I got 28.17 or 28.19. I think I took the actual picture. I never sent it in for the patch, though. This is among my few remaining childhood regrets. Fortunately, um, most of my childhood regrets have been vastly overshadowed by my many adulthood regrets. Such is life. There are two types of Skiing games: Slalom (Games 1 - 5) and Downhill (Games 6 - 10). The games increase in challenge, but it is possible to get to know each course well. Tonight, I popped the cartridge into my Atari Video Computer System, reviewed the manual, selected Game 3b and after about four tries had my time down to 28.46. A few more tries it was at 28.21 (grrrr) and then finally I hit 28.14. I'm still a spiritual member of the Activision Skiing Team. Go me. Yes, I took a picture. I had forgotten that the left difficulty switch when set to "a" would let your skier ski off the trail and through the woods, even making it possible to ski around the mountain. I remember finding that concept very interesting as a teen. I loved the idea of parts of the "world" persisting off-screen. All in all, Skiing is one of my better remembered games from back in the day and I honestly feel that Activision can thank their marketing department for selling it to me with that cheesy commercial. Addendum: I think one of my fondest memories of the Atari was being stuck on the couch for a couple weeks with a broken ankle playing Adventure. I'd broken it while skiing. Maybe that's why I had to get the cartridge. Addendum duex: Anyone else remember the Flintstones episode where there were spies and one of the code words was "slalom"? Was this the cold war creeping in on our childhoods? Okay, we're done with 1980 for the Atari VCS and it only took me from August of 2009 until April of 2021. Ha. I'll start working on the games for the Odyssey^2 next. It's been a very long time since I hooked up my Odyssey^2. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.
  2. Welcome back to what I'm now calling Chronogamer LE. The LE stands for Low Effort. If I have to really work up any enthusiasm to play something then that's too much effort, so I will learn what I can about it, read the manual, maybe do some research and play it for as long as I can stand it. If I try to get more involved in it, I'll end up going down a sort of procrastination rabbit-hole where I put it off for, like, half a decade or more and it blocks me from moving forward. I've recently learned I can blame ADHD for this, so, yay for me. Oh, by the way, I found Random Terrain's page that presents some optimal guessing regarding the release dates of games released to be played on the Atari VCS. Nice Job, RT! Your have made it a lot easier for me to get back into this. Bridge (Atari VCS, 1980, Activision) The manual for Activision's Bridge will not teach you to play Bridge. You have to have that knowledge ahead of time. You can get that knowledge from YouTube. You'll learn that it normally takes four people to play this game. You can learn everything you need to get started in about 10 minutes or even less. If you have three other people that you want to hang out with and try a new card game, then this could possibly be an interesting game. Maybe. I'd have to really like at least one of the other people involved to even think about playing any card game these days. Okay, I take that back. I did enjoy playing some Texas Hold-em prior to the Pandemic, but there was money involved and also an attractive woman, so, I guess we understand what motivates me. (It wasn't the money.) Activision's Bridge is for a single player. Like the manual, I don't want to teach you anything about playing Bridge. Sorry. Kinda. Don't look at me like that, just go to YouTube. Regarding this video game: I can see that there is planning and some tactical thinking involved. I can see the appeal of playing this as a social card game with other people. I can see the appeal of having a video game version of Bridge to help a player practice to improve how they play the game. I can even appreciate Activision's Bridge as a way of exploring how to think about playing the card game Bridge. These are worthy and noble pursuits and I admire the courage it must've took for Activision to produce this as one of the four games they debuted in 1980. (Edit: This game DID come out in 1980, but it was not one of the four debut games. They were: Boxing, Checkers, Dragster and Fishing Derby. I'll get better at playing these things in order now that I have a better order for them, but I've dreaded playing Bridge for so long that I needed to get it out of the way so that I could just get back to doing this.) That doesn't mean I have any interest in ever playing it again. Also, I'm a little resentful that I've learned to play a card game that I'll probably never ever play. This is where I'd give the game an emoji rating but it's been so long since I've posted I don't even remember how to do them. In this case it would be one of those "meh" emojis. Oh... okay, that was easier than I thought it would be. Thanks for reading! I might go on YouTube with these articles and show actual game play. I know that I've almost done this in the past and then deleted my YouTube. Sorry about that.
  3. Old people: "Play new games but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold" It's me. I'm Old people. There's a game we play our entire lives called "Explore vs. Exploit". When seeking to entertain ourselves we are faced with the decision to Explore something new that we might enjoy, or to Exploit something we already know we enjoy. This idea is talked about more broadly in a book called "Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions" by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. If you haven't already read it, I do strongly recommend it. I know this sounds crazy, (we prefer the term "mental disorder", btw, thanks.), but I always struggle with deciding on what to play and I've literally wasted entire weekends on this indecision. Having every game available to me from 1972 to around 1995 has not helped me at all when trying to figure out what exactly to play when I'm trying to catch up on what I missed when I wasn't paying attention. Dragster (Atari VCS, Jul 1980, Activision) I never really understood this game back in the 80s. I don't think I ever owned a copy and the concept behind it (efficient gear-shifting for maximum speed over a limited distance) was outside of my experience. I do blame this for never having learned to drive a stick-shift until I was in my early 20s. You can play Dragster over and over and over and afterwards find you've only been playing it for about 10 minutes. If you don't have any idea of how you shift gears in a car with a stick-shift then it can be quite frustrating, at first. My first few times I simply blew the engine out and my vehicle didn't even move until I re-read the manual and realized I was trying to shift incorrectly. It's a fun game for what it is. Learning how to quickly engage a learned sequence of actions while perfecting the timing can tickle a challenge urge in us that we sometimes find it interesting to indulge. (I never beat 6.33 seconds. I will never be worthy enough for a patch. So be it.) The second game on the cart adds the challenge of steering. I found that additional challenge interesting but it didn't quite engage me after all the time I'd spent grinding my gears on the first game. If you decide to try it, I do recommend reading the manual as well as being aware that you can reset the game after an attempt by pushing the joystick to the right. It's better than leaning forward to hit the reset button a couple dozen times. That takes us out of July 1980 for the Atari VCS. We've covered a bunch of the other 1980 games already (some were 1981 games that we covered pre-maturely, oh well) but all we have left in this year (for the Atari) is December's Video Checkers (Atari) and Skiing (Activision). I still haven't even gotten to the Fairchild Channel F or the Odyssey^2 games, yet. This seems like a long year, because it's taken me 13 years to get through it, but it's not even half as long as 1982 is. Hopefully I'll get back into the rhythm.
  4. Checkers (Atari VCS, Jul 1980, Activision) “Chess is like looking out over a vast open ocean; checkers is like looking into a bottomless well.” -Marion Tinsley Marion Tinsley was the World Champion of Checkers from 1950 to 1990. Other people only gained the title if Tinsley didn't show up to play. He won the World Championship whenever he chose to play for it. Jonathan Schaeffer was a computer scientist. He lead the team that developed Chinook. Chinook is the computer program that plays checkers. Their story is a great story which I would love to tell you. Instead, I'm going to tell you the short and crappy version of that story. Chinook almost beat Tinsley in 1992. In 1994 they played against each other again. They played six games to a draw. Tinsley had to stop playing because he was in a lot of pain. The pain was cancer. He died a few months later. Chinook never defeated Tinsley. Tinsley's death inspired Schaeffer. Schaeffer's computer program "solved" Checkers in 2007. What that means is that the computer knows all the ways to play the game so that it either wins or draws. A much better version of that story can be found here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/07/marion-tinsley-checkers/534111/ I don't really have anything to say about Activision Checkers. It's a good version of Checkers. It's easy to play. The graphics look fine. There are a total of four games on the cart. Three games against the computer. (Novice, Intermediate, Expert) The Novice game takes about 15 minutes. The Expert game can take about 2 hours because the computer takes longer to think. The Intermediate game takes more time to play than the Novice game and less time to play than the Expert game. I bet you already knew that part about the Intermediate game. The fourth game is a two-player game. For the two-player game I needed to find another person. Every person I tried to drag into my house ran away from me. I decided I would cheat by having another computer program choose my moves for me. I chose the website MathIsFun, which has a Checkers game. I put Activision Checkers on Novice. I put MathIsFun Checkers on Hard. Activision Checkers won. Apparently that website is for kids, so don't be impressed. You might have thought I was going to have Chinook play against Activision Checkers. That would have been smart, but I didn't think of it until just now. Chinook is here: https://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~chinook/play/ Let me know if you win.
  5. Fishing Derby (Activision, Atari VCS, 1980) There are actually Fish Derbies in the real world, which I don't expect to be shocking news to any of you. However I thought reading the rules to one would be interesting. http://www.valdezfishderbies.com/pages/contest_rules.php It's possible that I wasn't entirely correct about it being interesting. Sorry if you just spent 30 minutes of your life there that you will never get back. Fishing Derby is by David Crane. David Crane apparently also programmed Outlaw (1978), Canyon Bomber (1979) and Slot Machine (1979) all for the Atari Video Computer System. Atari doesn't let anyone know who designs their games. Game designers are kept frozen in a vault under Atari Headquarters and only brought out of the vault when a new game is needed. One night, someone left the door to the vault open. Four designers escaped. Not being able to feed themselves due to not having any marketable skills, or even human language, they had to do the only thing they knew - game programming. All of this has been carefully documented elsewhere in case you think I'm making this up. Fishing Derby consists of two fishermen sitting across from each other on docks. The goal of the game is to collect 99 pounds of fish before the other. On the playfield there are six rows of fish. Rows 1 and 2 weigh 2 pounds each, rows 3 and 4 weigh 4 pounds each, rows 5 and 6 weigh six pounds each. Each fisherman lowers their lines and tries to hook a fish by moving the hook in front of the fish. When the fish is hooked it will slowly swim to the surface. When a player presses the red button, they're able to reel the fish in faster. There is a hazard of a shark swimming above the topmost row that will eat your fish off your hook so one must always be wary of the shark. Also, there's an interesting mechanic that only one fish may be reeled in at a time by either player. So, if you've both got a fish on the hook, the person who hooked theirs first may reel it in while the other waits. I guess there are ways of using this to your advantage, to not just delay the other person's poundage accumulation, but also to wait for the shark to be more on their side. I did not explore this tactic, but it's a thought. This game is fun. It has moments where you think you're going to get a fish up and, suddenly, you hit the shark losing your fish. There are many "so close!" moments. This is a game that is much more fun to play with a friend, but playing with the computer is good practice. I have yet to beat the computer playing with the computer on Beginner and myself on Advanced. The difference between the two settings is that to catch a fish on Beginner, you just need to get the end of your line near the fish's mouth. To catch a fish on Advanced, your line has to practically be right under the fish's nose. (( Thankfully, a post on Atari Age forums has finally helped me to figure out which way the difficulty switches on the 7800 need to go to be (A)dvanced (to the right) or (B)egginner (to the left) I'm trying to remember to put the Spacetime Protective Barriers up (aka parenthesis) when talking about things "not yet of this time" )) Oh, something different about this game from games that have gone before it: the surface of the water, in addition to providing a sort of "depth perception" to the body of water, actually "shimmers" like the surface of a pond or lake. Well, "like the surface of a pond or lake" in the sense that it is always changing - horizontal lines of blue and light-blue seemed to randomly wax and wane on the surface. It's a nice effect and I'm at a loss to think of another game on the Atari where something was animated in this way simply to provide eye-candy. The surface design has nothing to do with the game play and merely provides an animated aesthetic. Come to think of it, the fishermen also seem to provide a flavor that also doesn't contribute directly to the game play. I wonder if this is the first home videogame to do that? I just can't think of others at the moment. Thank you for reading my ramblings! I might make a game play video of the one-player game to see if my paranoia about the shark is true or not... I swear that sucker gravitates to the left during the single player games. I immediately just played two or three more one-player games, me=hard vs. computer=easy. I lost every time. I don't think my losses are entirely shark-related but if I can blame a shark. I will. Yes, I believe in having irrational prejudice towards sharks. Oh, I got through the entire article without including any fishing-related puns. My cognitive therapy exercises must be working or maybe I just wasn't feeling all that abusive today. Please feel free to put any fish-puns you care to make in the comments. Yes, I'm giving you license to make really awful fish-puns. Oh, the horror! The horror! Next time... back to Atari with Pele's Soccer!
  6. classicgamer74

    Oink!

    Larry and I take turns playing Activision's Oink!. Just like 99% of Activision games, this is a true classic! Any suggestions of other 2600 games you would like to see us play?
  7. In this week's episode I discuss one of my favorite Atari 2600 games. I think Private Eye didn't get the publicity it deserved because of the crash. I feel it is one of Activision's best, if not a lost classic at least. What do you think?
  8. From the album: My Collection

    The label Was glued on upside down. How does that happen?
  9. SavyIsJoshoArts

    Oink! PAL

    From the album: Atari 2600 Gameplay on YPbPr Component

    High Score on Activision's Oink! Played on my Atari 2600 4-Switch Woodgrain Console modded using TimWorthington's 2600RGB Mod showing it in YPbPr Component Video Output.

    © SavyIsJoshoaArts aka Activision Man

  10. From the album: Atari 2600 Gameplay on YPbPr Component

    My high score on Activision's H.E.R.O. played on my woodgrain 4-Switch Atari 2600 using YPbPr Component Video Output.

    © SavyIsJoshoArts aka Activision Man

  11. From the album: Activision Patch Illustrations

    A digital art recreation of the Space Shuttle Pilot achievement patch offered by Activision.

    © Illustration by The Eyeball Mural, no rights reserved. Activision intellectual properties belong to Activision Blizzard.

  12. Hello! Atari 8-bit user here. I do have a copy minus manual of ACTIVISION's ZENJI for the Coleco Colecovision. If interested, please PM me. I'm shipping from Southern California so, stateside, shipping should be around the $10-$12 mark when properly packed. International Shipping is around $20 based on my latest shipment to Europe. Thank you, AKD.
  13. From the album: HES Cartridge Label Graphics

    Enduro H.E.S. Label graphic work for the Atari 2600 Activision cartridges

    © 1983 Activision, Created By Larry Miller

  14. xucaen

    AtariAge Win Team

    From the album: AtariAge Fun Patches

    When you're with Atari Age, you're an official winner! Based on the Activision Ski Team Patch.

    © 2016

  15. I recently posted an article on my website about the video game compilations with the most number of games. As you'd expect, most of them feature classic titles from Atari, Activision, Midway and Infocom, but as someone who hasn't played an anthology in a while (I think the last one was probably the Capcom Classics series on the PlayStation Portable,) I was surprised to see that some of them feature dozens upon dozens of games. I leave the link here in case anyone would like to check out and please, any ideas, comments, corrections or feedback in general is more than welcome. Top 10: Massive Video Game Compilations
  16. Hey guys! So I was digging through my garage for some Atari games and found a wooden box full of carts. Two of which were very interesting. The first being an Activision Red Labeled Prototype of River Raid (prototype number is 163) and a sweet double ender cart with Chuck Norris' Superkicks and Ghost Manor: Just curious if anyone here has any more information about these Atari games. If anyone can share some info or educated guesses on what they think the worth of these carts may be I'd greatly appreciate it. I did some google searches and found a post about the prototype but that post is a little old. Not sure if much has changed in the atari collecting game. And I couldn't find anything on the Superkicks/Ghost Manor carts. There's another Superkicks/Artillery Duel on ebay but not a Ghost Manor cart. Thanks! - Hugo
  17. Hey guys! Long time reader. I'm not a huge Atari guy, so I need some help identifying this Spider Fighter cart. I knew the moment I saw it that it was not normal, I found it odd. Can anyone tell me if it could be a proto? It is an authentic Activision case, however, the label is completely blank, but still the orange color they used. It has a sticker on the end, which has its product number and title. I would like to open it up and see the chip inside, but I can't figure out how to open it! Any help opening it? Identifying it? Thank you!
  18. I've got recently a number of Activision cartridges and has surprised me that tend to fail in a great number. The first one was Pitfall II - Lost Caverns, it failed after a few seconds, I did cleaning of contacts with cotton and alcohol and it still failed, but I noted that the case is made of soft plastic and though it has screws it can be opened using some thick things at the sides without disrupting label or removing screws. I used two thick USB memories as claws and I extracted the PCB from the inside, I noted that there was somekind of grease over it. I rubbed it generously with alcohol, dryed it with cotton, and it worked just fine Recently I got Zenji and H.E.R.O. NIB and guess what, both didn't worked. I applied same trick and managed to get them to working state I'm sharing this just in case someone has this same problem with Activision cartridges. I'm thinking that the automatic mount line of cartridges PCB used some kind of solder paste and with enough time it becomes conductive and makes the cartridge to fail. I have also two non-working Coleco cartridges but these are impossible to open because them are made of rigid plastic, so the only way is to remove label and I don't want to do it because the label is in excellent state.
  19. "I'd certainly nominate [The Dreadnaught Factor] for remake status. With some visual upgrades, it would make a great XBLA download." -IGN Review "A cheapo remake [of The Dreadnaught Factor] on XBOX Live Arcade would be a blast..." -flojomojo "Would also like to see a remake of an old Intellivision game called 'The Dreadnought Factor' (also on the atari 5200)" -Andifferous This needed doing. So I did it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85j1Agw6Zgw The current version is just a prototype for the CREATE Jam contest. The prototype runs on generic Android hardware with an attached game controller. (e.g. Ouya dev hardware, an MK808 stick, or a Nexus 7 tablet) The game is ultimately going to be developed for the Ouya and GameStick game consoles. If anyone is interested in trying the prototype, let me know and I'll post the APK file. Note that I need your support to progress in the CREATE Jam contest. Please support me in the contest by liking the video below! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpLWWQ85VuE Hope you like it, and I'd love to hear your thoughts!
  20. From the album: AtariAge Fun Patches

    Does your love of Atari drive you to excellence? Show off your Atari Age pride with this new AtariAge Excellence Club patch! Based on the Activision Explorers' Club patch.

    © 2016

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