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Found 528 results

  1. Atari 2600 Replacement Cartridge Labels Pricing per title is based on size, number, and type of material. Many titles are only $2.00 each. Some cost more and a few cost less. If you are interested just message me (pboland) and I can send you my current catalog (too large to post here). Label Making Process: Great care has been taken to make these replacement labels. They are not just simple copies of the originals. Most of the label imagery is rebuilt from the ground up using related print materials, such as manuals, boxes, advertisements, posters and many elements have even been redrawn. Some labels in my catalog have alternate styles. In the case of “Fathom” (pictured above) both a text version or a picture version can be purchased. Most of the replacement labels are printed on six ink photo quality printers, while others are printed on color laser printers (depends on material type). Each label is laminated and computer cut to size to ensure proper fit and shape. All orders are made on demand, so these are not mass produced labels. For that reason I normally need at least a week to put an order together. Depending on order volume it may take up to two weeks to complete an order. PM (personal message) me for current turn around. Ordering information: Please message me (pboland) if interested. I will send you my current catalog and tell you my current turn around. If you can’t find the label you are looking for, be sure to ask. Keep in mind I do have a $20.00 minimum order (not including shipping). Shipping inside the USA is $7.50 (priority mail with tracking). If you are outside the USA please let me know so I can quote you the shipping cost. I invoice via PayPal once your order is ready to ship so I will need your PayPal email address at the time of the order. History: I’ve been a video game collector since 1995 and a member of AtariAge since 2006. I started making reproduction labels for myself in the early 2000’s. It wasn’t until 2010 that I made my first reproduction label for another person other than myself. I’ve been making them off and on since 2012. I do not sell on eBay. For those that don’t know, I make/design new controller overlays and cart labels (meaning not reproductions) for some in the home-brew community and I’ve been doing this since 2012 as well. I can make cart labels for many pre-crash systems. Link for messaging pboland [https://atariage.com/forums/messenger/compose/?to=9874] (You must be logged in to AtariAge for link to work) Small Sample:
  2. I have long wondered how Atari built the series of games and their versions. To this end, I started researching the subject. My name is Daniel Medina and in this topic I would like to present my research project for the reconstruction of the Atari game series. RECONSTITUTION OF ATARI 2600 GAME COLLECTIONS. ==================================== I developed a website with the purpose of supporting the project and the research, so that everyone can follow the updates of the information found. On the website you will find all the explanation about the project, the method used, where to find the cataloged information and you will also be able to identify which games formed the series and their versions. I use as a study base in the research information from any and all catalog numbers available in the game sets, I also use data from Atari documents, Internet pages and sealed or complete games for catalog records. After a year of work, I defined as the initial indexing point for building a database, a number found in the boxes that I call PSN (PART SERIAL NUMBER), are found in the small tabs, usually along with the review. Through them I identify the series it belongs to and the game it contains. I have already identified 495 versions of boxes and validated 185 of them, my intention is to open the community to validate other versions and discover new ones. The idea is also that everyone can participate, sending version inclusions through channels like this forum or others that can be built in the future. Now I would like to know your opinion. Welcome to www.atariopenbox.com
  3. LIVE every Tuesday & Friday Your BEST source for the NEWEST Atari 2600 & 7800 games, LIVE on Twitch! SUBSCRIBE & WATCH: Twitch Livestream | YouTube Archive _________________________________________________________________________________ WATCH THE NEWEST STREAM (Click on Date to Watch / Set Video to 1080P60 for Full Quality): 20210622 Let's Play: KiloParsec (Exclusive World Premiere | 7800), Cosmic Canyon, Words Game (WIP), Dragon Defence, Dragon Defence 2021 (Exclusive WIP Premiere) _________________________________________________________________________________ UPCOMING LIVESTREAMS on TWITCH (Click Time Listing for Your Local Time) 20210624 Let's Play After Dark: KiloParsec (Exclusive WIP Update | 7800), Turbo Arcade (Exclusive WIP Update) (LIVE @ 9PM PT | 12AM ET+1Day | 4AM GMT+1Day) 20210625 Let's Play: Torpedo Torpor (WIP), Quiztari (WIP), Katamari (WIP) (LIVE @ 12PM PT | 3PM ET | 7PM GMT) 20210625 Let's Play After Dark: Super Cobra Arcade (LIVE @ 1PM PT | 4PM ET | 8PM GMT) 20210629 Let's Play After Dark: TBD (LIVE @ 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT+1Day) 20210702 Let's Play: Pac-Man Eat n Run (WIP), TBD (LIVE @ 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT+1Day) 20210706 Let's Play After Dark: Zoo Keeper (for 2021 Harmony Games), Doggone It! (for 2021 Harmony Games) (LIVE @ 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT+1Day) 20210709 Let's Play: TBD (LIVE @ 12PM PT | 3PM ET | 7PM GMT) 20210713 Let's Play After Dark: Space Game (LIVE @ 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT+1Day) 2021xxxx Let's Play: Dan Kitchen's Casey's Gold (Exclusive World Premiere) 202110xx Let's Play: Halloween Homebrew Special: Last Stand: Halloween (7800), Deadworx (Cakewalk Hack), Halloween III (Kaboom Hack), TBD 202112xx Holiday Homebrew Special: Christmas Salvo (7800), TBD 20220212 Event: 4th Annual Atari Homebrew Awards Presentation Upcoming ZPH After Dark: Crystal Quest (Retail | 7800), Mean Santa (Level 3 Unlock), Deepstone Catacomb (Level 2), Caverns, Reindeer Rescue, Stay Frosty 2, Cave Run, Kelly Kangaroo (WIP), Venture Reloaded ARCHIVED STREAMS (YouTube): 20210618 Let's Play After Dark: Peril (WIP Update) 20210618 Let's Play: K-Jo Chases The Cheese (Exclusive Final Binary), Mr. Yo-Yo (Exclusive Final Binary), Runes of Moria (WIP), The Legend of Dungeon (Exclusive WIP Premiere), ElectroBall (WIP) 20210611 Let's Play After Dark: Wizard's Dungeon (WIP Update | 7800) 20210601 Let's Play After Dark: The End 2600, Robot City, Tower of Rubble (2600 High Score Club S11) 20210529 Let's Play After Dark: Slide Boy in Maze Land (WIP | 7800 |100% on Easy) 20210523 Let's Play After Dark: Turbo Arcade 20210521 Let's Play: Turbo Arcade (Exclusive WIP Premiere) w/ Interview John Champeau & Nathan Strum MORE ARCHIVED STREAMS (2018-2021) Future Episodes & Games: HOMEBREW, IMAGIC & ACTIVISION PATCH CHALLENGES List of Completed & WIP Games: Atari 2600: 2019, 2020, 2021 Atari 7800: 2019, 2020, 2021 Atari 8-Bit/5200: 2019, 2020, 2021
  4. I mostly play my Atari games on Stella with by Hyperkin Trooper, or on Harmony Cartridge on the 1981 console I've had for 40 years, but I have a modest physical collection that makes me happy to have. And this is how I organize my digital collection...
  5. I've been refurbishing old consoles and building a new retro gaming center for myself, this year. I figured I would dump the photos here from the past few months so I don't lose them. It all started when I found this really nice old Sylvania flatsceen TV that is still old enough to not be widesreen ($7 Goodwill). After that, it was a matter of cleaning dust and grime off the old consoles, which had been sitting dormant on bookcase shelves, and diagnosing which controllers worked, and which were defective. At this point, my Atari controllers were stuttering or intermittently unresponsive. The Atari was still dusty, and lots of cartridges really needed to be jiggered around to get them to work. Without any cleaning for this, the problem resolved on its own after some use swapping cartridges on the console over a few weeks. The Intellivision II functioned, but still needs serious jiggering to get cartridges to load, but none of them were found to be dead. The playstation 2 works beautifully, but none of my memory cards were recognized. Some of the controllers turned out to be broken, especially the "clear red plastic" one seen plugged in here. I found a nice woodgrain cabinet for a stand at goodwill for 5 bucks, and used an old xetec Amiga hard drive casing for the stand to raise the TV up a bit. Next, I took apart the 2 sets of Atari paddles, which suffered from "Jitter," and cleaned them. Reassembled after cleaning the residue and grease with alcohol and swabs, they worked perfectly. The next challenge was to open up both joysticks, remove the clear adhesive over the boards, clean them, and reassemble with packing tape over the boards. Both of them worked very well, aside from an issue with one of them: The cable plastic seemed pretty stiff, and would lose control if it was not held in a certain position - ultimately a small tug downwards of the connector end plugged into the back of the console got whatever connections were loose to connect. But, this one went into my "museum" for non-use, ultimately. Next, I took apart the console and cleaned the case. I found three areas on the RF cable where the plasic cord exterior had torn, but it seems that the cable is still working perfectly, so a little electrical tape was wrapped around the frayed parts to protect them. Ultimately, I want to replace the cord and fix the connectors in the B&W switch, and get a second Atari joystick, but this is good enough for now. After the next photo was taken, I popped the caps off the paddles and cleaned them some more. Next, I identified two playstation controllers that still functioned, though only one PS2 dualshock controlled worked, so a PS1 controller was borrowed from the old console which is in my "museum." I added a VCR to the mix, running the PS2 through that. Finally, I set up a spare tablet to be able to quicky hit a website with atari manuals on it, for reference if needed, and bought myself a Harmony Cartridge for the Atari for loading games from my organized rom library on SD card, which I continue to explore and learn about. My Atari Keyboard Controllers needed no maintenance - so they will be nice to have for Star Raiders. Finally, the Commodore 128 (64) computer and accompanying Commodore 1571 (Disk Drive) were set up as part of my functioning retro gaming center. It's still going to need some refurbishing to get it all cleaned up and "retro-brighted", with the 128 boot not functioning, lots of keys lacking spring or being loose, and the old RF video cable lacking proper RF shielding to prevent interference. But, it functions and I have access to all my old files and games. This was my primary computer literally from like 1985-1998. I'm making good on my "perpertual student" label for myself. Pacing myself, but aside from some repairs on this and the Atari, I still have two Commdore 64's and an Amiga 500 that will need to come back to life. The Amiga will need cleaning and retrobrighting, keyboard fixes, proper video cable, and a boot disk. The 64's with need to have their problem diagnosed. I have a Timex Sinclair 2068 with no cables, and an Atari 5200 that has a rusted end to it's RF (Power?? WTF) cable, which sparks when turned on. My playstation 1 is probably fine, but with the PS2, there's no rush on that. I'm definitely going to need a proper belkin surge protector instead of these two cheapo power strips. Projects for much later.
  6. Hey guys, I’m looking for the following titles for the Atari 2600: -X-man (ntsc) -Any Xante cartridge -Coke wins/Pepsi invaders -Activision demo/sample carts -Superman Sears picture label -Cubicolor Please PM me if you have any of them and would be willing to sell or trade (Let me know what Atari 2600 games you’re looking for. I might have them for trade). Thank you!
  7. I have the following items for sale. Please see pictures for condition. I will be adding more items in the near future, so check back! Shipping: Currently I can only ship to USA. You are responsibly for Shipping fees, and Insurance if you choose to have the package insured. If you don't get insurance, I take no responsibility. Some items are marked as untested, I have not tested these items. Either because I don’t have the equipment, time or expertise. I believe my prices are within a reasonable range. I’m always open to offer, especially if you have proof of lower prices. Payment - PayPal Please PM to purchase. thanks for looking. Click on pictures to see bigger images. APF MP1000 Brickdown/Shooting Gallery - $30.00 $20.00 Hangman/Tic Tac Toe/ Doodle - $20.00 $12.00 Atari 2600 SwordQuest EarthWorld - sealed $25.00 $18.00 Atari 5200 Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom box, inst(wrinkled), cart - $15.00 $10.00 Popeye box, cart, missing inst - $10.00 $7.00 QIX box, inst, cart missing ovrls - $9.00 $6.00 Radio Shack Color Computer Appliance and Light Control $15.00 $10.00 Backgammon $6.00 $4.00 Checkers torn label $6.00 $4.00 Color Baseball $6.00 $4.00 Color Cubes $8.00 $5.00 Football - torn label 5.00 $3.00 Gomoku/Renju - torn label 6.00 $4.00 Microchess 2.0 no label 18.00 $13.00 Micro Painter - no label 10.00 $7.00 Pinball 11.00 $8.00 Pinball - no label 7.00 $4.00 Quasar Commander - missing label 9.00 $6.00 Spectaculator 4.00 $3.00 Spidercide 20.00 $15.00 TypeMate $8.00 $6.00 Wildcatting $12.00 $9.00 Amiga - UNTESTED GVP DSS 8 Digital Sound Studio - $40.00 (ebay sold prices are $52) $30.00 $15.00 Apple – UNTESTED Apple IIE 80Col/64K memory expansion 1986 – $15.00 $10.00 $7.00 Disk II Interface Card 650-x104 1978 – $20.00 $15.00 $10.00 Microsoft Softcard 1981 - $60.00 $40.00 $30.00 Software Dimensions Inc Firmware ID Card SerNO SD-12595 - $15.00 $10.00 $5.00 MacRecorder Farallon Computing - $10.00 $7.00 Atari ST Navarone battery backed clock Untested - $60.00 $50.00 $30.00 Video Digitizer untested - $50.00 $30.00 Game.com Game.com Internet - $50.00 $30.00 Scrabble Complete - $5.00 $4.00 Tiger Web Link NIP - $80.00 $60.00 Vectrex Tour De France CGE - $25.00 $20.0 V-Frogger CIB - $50.00 $40.00 SNES PIKO Super 4 in 1 multi-cart CIB - $30.00 $22.00 Astrocade WAR from the 1st run of 20 - $85.00 $73.00 Intellivision ABPA Backgammon gatefold box, cart, overlays (1 ABPA) – $9.00 $7.00 Atlantis box, cart, inst, overlays – $4.00 $3.00 Beauty & the Beast CIB – $10.00 $8.00 Boxing gatefold box, cart, inst, overlays – $5.00 $4.00 Bowling 4 x overlays CIB – $15.00 $10.00 Checkers gatefold box, cart, inst, overlays – $4.00 $3.00 Chip shot box, cart, inst – $13.00 $9.00 Chip shot “NEW” label box, cart inst – $15.00 $10.00 Donkey Kong Jr box, cart, inst – $18.00 $13.00 Donkey Kong box, cart, inst – $6.00 $4.00 Lock ‘N’ Chase box, cart, inst, overlays - $4.00 $3.00 Mission X box, cart, inst, overlays, warranty card – $7.00 $5.00 Royal Dealer box discoloration box, cart, inst, overlays – $3.00 $2.00 Skiing gatefold box, cart, inst, inst update, overlays – $3.00 $2.00 Space Battle gatefold box, cart, inst, overlays – $4.00 $3.00 Super Pro Tennis box, cart, inst, overlays, unused labels – $200.00 $165.00 Tennis CIB box rough - $18.00 $14.00 The Dreadnaught Factor box, cart, inst, overlays – $18.00 $14.00 Triple Action gatefold box, cart, inst, overlays – $5.00 $4.00 U.S.C.F. Chess gatefold box, cart, inst, recommendation sheet, overlays – $13.00 $9.00 World Championship Baseball CIB - $18.00 $13.00 $9.00
  8. Hi, folks: I have a 6 switch light that I've had for years and it still runs top notch. However, the power button seems to have an issue when I power on a game, sometimes the game goes all glitch like until I flip it a few more times. After a few flips, the game is fine. Do you folks think it's a connection or just dirty? I'm not at all comfortable opening up the system to see what's wrong, as I have a tendency to wreck things once I tinker like that. If you could recommend a good cleaning, however, and a solution that might do the trick, I would appreciate your insights. In addition, if I leave the power switch on and turn off the system with the power strip, it seems absolutely fine when it powers on (no flicker). Could be a bad switch in general, I think. Your thoughts would be welcome. Steve
  9. 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.
  10. Hi everyone, Anyone can help me with this? I wanna use 3 or more sprites in same screen, using the system of flickering, something like in Adventure, I don't know how to create something like a "corroutine" in this, so if anyone can help me, thank u.
  11. Since the game is still WIP, I decided that it is better to continue here. Below you find the latest versions: Robot_City_20191110.zip Robot_City_20191118_RC1.zip Robot_City_20191124_RC2.zip Robot_City_20191125_RC3.zip Robot_City_20191126_RC4.zip Robot_City_20191201_RC5.zip Robot_City_20200425_RC6.zip Robot_City_20200426_RC7.zip Robot_City_20200427_RC8.zip
  12. Is there any known way to make the paddle on the Hyperkin Ranger Controller LESS sensitive? I love this controller for standard joystick use, but when it comes to the paddles THEY'RE WAY TOO SENSITIVE! Is there any mod I can do to change this? I would like it to act more so like the original paddles. For example I'm able to completely max out my score on kaboom with standard paddles, but with the Ranger I can't even get past 5,000 points..... I cannot find a single bit of information online about modding/changing the paddles on these controllers so any information would be great! Thank you!!!
  13. I’ve recently come across an in box copy of Video Life by CommaVid and I’m hoping someone will have some information about the value of the game along with how I can go about selling it. I’ve seen projected values of the game ranging from $2500 to $10,000, however many of these articles are old and I’m hoping to get an updated value of the game on the current market. The box and cartridge are both in great condition, but I am missing the game manual. Any help as to how I should move forward with selling the game would be greatly appreciated.
  14. Hi All, I am trying to find out some information on a boxed game that is labelled "Treasure Hunt" "Pirates" 2 Games 1 cartridge. Blue Box with father Christmas on the box holding a sack full of games. There is no information anywhere on the box for who made it, Published by, and I can't find what it is worth anywhere. The only link I have found is in Pinterest from 8-bit Central: Treasure Hunt / Pirates | Atari video games, Retro video games, Video game systems (pinterest.com.au) and that was 6 years ago. Does anyone here know anything about it? I'm looking for a number/barcode and how much it may be worth as I am selling all of my retro gear.
  15. I would like to share my Flashback X Deluxe USA NTSC Complete Pack (422 Games) setup with everybody! There are a total of 422 retail USA NTSC games with cover art! No homebrew, mods, or hacks here! The all-games.ini is complete and clean. I worked on this for 2 weeks getting information for each game personally. Everything is accurate as possibly can be as far as I can tell. But if you notice something wrong with any of this, please let me know so I can get this 100% accurate eventually if it isn't already. Download Here Game List Enjoy!
  16. Hey everyone! As you have heard me talk about on the show a number of times, my RGB light-sixer has been down for the count for a few months now. I've done all I can with the knowledge and skills I have, which consist of poor soldering skills that didn't help anything. Thankfully @Nathan Strum has graciously offered his help to see if he's able to diagnose the issue and get it up and running again! In the mean time @Albert has sent me his S-Video modded four switch that we used for the first time on the most recent show, which was a HUGE step up in quality of the composite Atari Jr we've been using for a while now. Thank you so much Al!! Here's the VCS all packed up nicely and ready to be shipped to Nathan, it was sent on May 22 and just arrived to Nathan today, hooray! I'll let Nathan take over from here on the incredible saga of the RGB Light-Sixer repair. Thank you so much Nathan!! - James
  17. Hi! So my atari's video output is all garbage, or sometimes none at all. I recapped the sysem and did a console5 refresh kit and no difference. Tried different rf cables and used a known working psu. Any idea guys? Maybe the Tia chip or maybe something simple? Thanks!!
  18. 2020 - North Pole - Earth After humans destroyed their chances of survival, only one human was left on Earth. Frostbite Bailey! He's faster, he's more furious ... He's back! Jumping frantically across icebergs, he devours all the fish he encounters and dodges the mutant drone birds who left over from the human resistance, after the machines revolt. Genetically modified shells for human consumption, now try to devour the last human left! And the giant extraterrestrial crabs will give you a lot of headaches. Build your home with blocks full of blood from your raw feet and survive the fastest bear the universe has ever created. 80 incarnations foreseen by Chico Xavier. Start at level 80. And cry until you don't want to anymore ... A homemade production for the most exquisite tastes. Atari Hell Hacks Corp. frost_pro.bin
  19. Hi everybody, Anyone knows if its possible to change the position of live bar? I wanna put it above the score. And if anyone can explain why its so deformed in right side: And for any reason, I'm trying to take out this black line in screen, but I can't, in other projects I tried, but it always had bugs impossibilating to recompile.
  20. Hey everyone, I am trying to sell some extras i have for genesis, atari 2600, nes and N64. Nothing too spectacular, just want to make room for other things. Asking interested people to write me with offers, I will give free shipping if its over 50 dollars, depending on where its going. Pics available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1GiE8zfFSz9GHE8svv-LLZXgq2w7zRY86?usp=sharing Sega Genesis, all CIB 2020 Super Baseball Road Rash Championship Bowling (need to take new pic of this) Pac-Mania Atari 2600 Star Wars empire strikes back - has manual Lady Bug (atari age custom) - has manual NES Wheel of Fortune w vanna white - has manual Urban Champion - has manual Dragon Warrior - has manual Super Dodgeball - has manual Spy Hunter - has manual Jeopardy - has manual Cabal - has manual Mappy - CUSTOM CART - no manual Golf - has manual 10 Yard fight - no manual Monopoly - has both manuals - need to take pic of this Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego - has regular manual (no book) - need to take pic of this N64 - all loose Wcw vs nwo world tour WWF Wrestlemania 2000 Nintendo Switch Bubble Bobble 4 friends - complete with case (game did not ever have a manual, i dont think any switch games do)
  21. 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.
  22. Video Checkers (Atari VCS, Dec 1980, Atari) In 1980, Checkers feels like the new Blackjack. Blackjack seems like it was a requirement to be on every system. Checkers... well, maybe not on every system. It was already on the Fairchild Channel F (which, I missed back when I played through 1978 like... more then a decade ago, but less than 40 years ago. I'll get to it soon.) and we've seen it on the Intellivision and Atari. Now we get to play it on the Atari again. This time, I did think about going to use the world-famous A.I. Checker Program, Chinook, but alas, I wasn't patient enough to sit through the Atari's "thinking" phases at its top level, so I'm just going to go over the features that this Checkers has. Nine levels of difficulty: Games 1-9 represent Checkers against the Computer in 9 levels of increasing difficulty. Game 10 is human vs. human in case all of the checker boards in your house had been stolen or something or you wanted the novel feeling of playing the game on the TV. I'm not judging you for this. The computer takes longer to decide its move the higher the skill level. Ranging from less than two seconds on Level 1, to 30 seconds on Level 6, to 15 minutes per turn on Level 9. "Giveaway" Checkers: Games 11-19 are called "losing" or "giveaway" Checkers. Giveaway Checkers is a variant of the game where you try to lose your pieces first by forcing your computer opponent to jump your pieces. I honestly had never of this version of Checkers before. Skill level of the computer increases as you move from game 11 to game 19, of course. Game Select (to change skill level) functional during a game: Something interesting about the Game Select switch. You can start playing a game on a skill level and decide, in the middle of the game, (but not while the computer is thinking) to increase the skill level. I thought that was kind of neat. Checker notation is used: Atari's Video Checkers uses checker notation and it's noted at the top of the screen. The manual specifically mentions playing other computer opponents and using the Checkers notation to convey the moves to avoid any confusion. (I tried playing two computers against each other when the board is inverted on one. It is hard (for me) to turn my brain around like that. The number system makes it easier to translate the moves to the other computer.) Checker Notation bonus: The B/W switch lets you change up the numbering system in case the computer playing against the Atari is less flexible. This was thoughtful to include and makes the Atari seem to be the more gracious opponent. ("Oh, of course, binary opponent. This unit is happy to adjust its numbering settings for you! It's no trouble at all!") Set up your own board: Moving the left difficulty switch to "a" allows you to set up the board however you like and then play it by putting the switch back to "b". Actual instructions on playing Checkers!: Yeah, I mention this because Activision's manuals are pretty light in general (which was mostly fine). Their manual for their Bridge game didn't fuss with giving the rules at all and their manual for Checkers was also quite brief. Atari's Video Checkers' manual seems absolutely luxurious in comparison. My impression is that the feature set of Video Checkers is pretty rich. I'm not knocking the others (and I'm not going back to actually compare them, lawds no.) but if I had to pick the one I've liked the most so far, I'd have to pick Atari's Video Checkers. I still need to look at Checkers on the Fairchild Channel F though. One game left for the Atari in 1980, Activision's Skiing.
  23. Hi, I am looking for a solution to connect and transfer signals from a Windows or Linux to Atari 2600 console I mean , I would like to send joystick signals like (up, down, left , right , button click) from the PC Windows to the console joystick port (without using a joystick) Any ideas how to produce this functionality ? I understand that the Atari Joystick does not works on 5V of On/Off signals , but closing each time a different circuit. How can I simulate this behavior with other device ? maybe Arduino or other device ? Any suggestions ? Eran
  24. Pele's Soccer (Atari VCS, 1980) As I've said before: "I'm not a sports fan" so how I felt about this game surprised me. Contrasting from our recent excursion into third-party software that had only two games to a cart, Atari's (the party of the first part) Pele's Soccer has 54 games promised for it on the front of the box and it delivers with 28 versions of two player and 28 versions of single player. The "versioning" is three variations each on modes of speed, modes of challenge and goal size. The playfield is interesting in that it's a scrolling vertical field. As you move the ball up or down it, the field scrolls up and down with it. It's another good example of "there's more to this playing area than meets your eye" that was emerging from videogames more and more. Yes, some videogames don't need that, Fishing Derby and Boxing, for example, do just fine without it but I really like the idea of using it to allow the player to focus on "what's happening right now" while being aware of a bigger picture. That's not a very good way to articulate it, but I do like this style of game. I can see how it might not work as well for sport-ports like hockey (where seeing where your team-members are helps) or basketball (important to see the big picture) but for this simplified version of soccer it works. You only have three players for each team and they're locked into a triangle formation, the "forward" at the apex of the triangle and two "backs". You can pass the ball among the members of your little triangle but it takes some practice. I started playing the easier two-player game (game 28) (EDIT: Nelio correctly points out that this is a typo and I was playing the easier one-player game. It's entirely possible though, that I WAS playing the two-player game by myself, which would indeed make it pretty easy.) and unexpectedly found that I enjoyed it. I advanced through a number of the variations, trying them out as I went, finding that the harder it got the more work it felt like and the more my button-thumb began to protest. Regardless, it kept my attention for far longer than I thought it would. I've yet to play it with either of my kids, but I look forward to trying it out with my son, who used to play soccer (ages 5 to 8ish) I think the real plus of this game is how, even on the easiest level, if you're doing pretty well (say, you've scored twice and your console opponent hasn't scored at all yet) the computer player improves its game. The goalie becomes more reactive and I'd swear the blue triangle of the enemy move faster, but again, I tend to imagine these things. Your mileage may vary. For me, personally, it was a lot more fun than watching professional soccer, which, to me, consists of a lot of this: There are penalties in the two-player games that do not exist in the single-player variations that I'm looking forward to experiencing with my son. It would be nice if they could simulate penalties for excessive ear-flicking. While I don't like watching real world Soccer, I must admit there are sometimes amazing moments like this one: (EDIT: Awww, I can't even remember what this gif was, but the link has died. Oh well.) which even makes an "professional sports neutral" person like myself feel begrudging admiration even to the point of tingles. Anyway, sorry for the "half-entry", I really can't count this game as "completed" until I've enjoyed it a bit in the two-player mode. Since I'm a bit retentive about splitting entries into two parts, I'll just edit this one with the two-player information after I've played. (Edit: no, this never happened because OF COURSE it never happened.) Golf is the next game in the pile. (EDIT: When I pulled a bunch of games out of the closet I'd actually thought about doing Golf, but then I noticed Bridge. Bridge is one of those games that I was never able to get myself to play and now that I've finally done so, I'm SO glad it's over. I should do Golf soon. It's funny, because Golf and Bridge are both games that my parents both like to play fairly regularly in real life these days and I just cringe thinking about either.)
  25. Maze Craze: A Game of Cops and Robbers (Atari VCS, 1980) Someone in the 70s realized that there was fun to be found by using a computer to generate random mazes with a simple algorithm and allowing people to race through it. The first maze game that I can remember appearing on a home console was for the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES) and was cart #10 Maze, Cat and Mouse (1977). I don't know if this is the last "maze game" or not because I can't see into the future. (If I could, I'd have warned people about 80s hair.) This maze game decides to have a theme, and that theme is not merely "racing your buddy through a maze". Instead, it's a complex, textured and many-layered game which can be fraught with societal implications even to this day. It's not a game of cat and mouse! It's a game of Cops and Robbers! Which is totally different because if a mouse fights back, the cat is still gonna win. If a robber fights back, the outcome can be less certain. So, I could totally wax on that, but let's talk about the game instead. The cart contains 16 game variations with each variation further able to be varied by setting increasing parts or the entire maze "invisible". More on the invisibility aspect later. Players each have their little "cops" on screen, starting at the same point on the left side of the maze. The goal is to get through the maze to the exit all the way over on the right side of the maze. Yes, this sounds just like the other "maze" games so far, but wait...there's more!* *the phrase "but wait...there's more!" is over-used and a bit hokey and the creator of this blog would like to apologize profusely for its use. The game variations let you put "Robbers" in the maze. Two, three or five, depending on your selection. The Robbers start at the other end of the maze and randomly run through it. If you're playing the A difficulty game, your Cop moves just as fast as the Robbers. If you're on the B difficulty game, they move faster than the robbers. Players must maneuver through the maze, racing towards the exit, while avoiding the Robbers. This involves a lot of backtracking while trying to dodge the Robbers. How do you dodge the Robbers in what is essentially a single lane maze? You have to hope they take a turn down a blind alley giving you a chance to sneak by. I'm not going to lie, this is fun and depending on your emotional investment in the game, it can be intense (in a fun way). I will say that it's much more fun to play all of these with a partner but it's not necessary. You can easily play all of the games with just you leaving your Cop partner sitting alone at the starting spot. The 16 games the following variants with the number of Robbers or, in some instances, the visibility of the maze. Robbers - This is a race to the end of the maze, but Robbers come after you from the right side and will "take you out of the game" if you know what I'm sayin'. It's interesting because your little Cop doesn't disappear, it just becomes inert and doesn't move. We like to play that the dead Cop isn't really dead (yet) but yelling out to his buddy, "You gotta make it out, Louie! You gotta tell my family I died heroic and stuff...". (To keep things simple we pretended both Cops were named Louie.) Blockade - There's a variant that does let you play a cool trick on your opponent. By pressing the button you can drop an illusory wall to make it look like the bit of the maze you just passed through is actually a dead end. Yes, your opponent can just pass through this pretend wall, but it's a cool trick and if they weren't paying attention to you, they can fall for it. Capture - Another variant has the Cops doing what cops do in a game of cops and robbers, they can catch the robbers. Your goal is to get to each of the robbers and touch them before your opponent does. First to get all of them wins. There's no reason to not enjoy this game for a little while if you've ever felt some degree of satisfaction after getting through a maze. I fully intend to make an actual game play video of some of the more dramatic moments and linking y'all to it. I just didn't want to put off writing a new entry while I was still feeling the urge to write an entry. I wanted to talk about the "invisible" maze options. In most of the variants, if you choose to activate the invisibility option, the "invisible" parts of the maze will not be invisible. You will see your partner and the Robbers making their way along the invisible parts, and if you have a good head for mazes you can use their mistakes to your advantage. It's also possible to have an "auto peek" game or a player peek game. This allows you to see the invisible part of the maze for a brief moment. The problem is that your opponent will also see it. (( Martin Brundle-Fly would have been good at this. ))* (( Yes, by including that gif I AM admitting that I know things about the distant year of 1989, but I couldn't resist. )) (( From now on, if I decide to type something "out of character" for whatever year I'm currently deluding myself into believing I'm in, I'll put those anachronistic comments in double parenthesis. )) Scouts - Also in "invisible maze" you can sometimes have "Scouts". Scouts are your friends who run ahead of you briefly and show you how the maze runs. It's still invisible, but it probably keeps you from breaking your joystick slamming your Cop into an invisible wall because the Scouts give you some idea of where you can go. There, a quick and dirty entry. I'm likely going to add to it with a gameplay video as well as a discussion of a maze generating algorithm. EDIT Still no gameplay video my attention span might not last long enough to do one. I went ahead and did a cringe-worthy pair of videos talking about the maze generating algorithm that I can only hypothesize is used in Maze Craze. I'm a little annoyed at both Quicktime (which seems to want to crop any clip you add to the end of another, instead of just fitting it into the frame... if anyone knows a setting I'm missing, please let me know.) and YouTube, which also seems to decide to crop things. Well, I shouldn't be surprised that there is a learning curve and that freestuff has its limitations. The links to these videos are: Part 1: http://youtu.be/WJBIxAHV28k (EDIT: I'm pretty sure neither of these work anymore.) Part 2: http://youtu.be/XdoPmLaxf8A As always, constructive and sincere criticism is welcome, particularly with regard to any facts that just blatantly seem to make up on the fly. My next entry should be Activision's Boxing.
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