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Game Variations - What carts have hidden gems

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Well we all know some 2600 carts have an obscene amount of game variations to them. For example, the good old Combat cart has 27 variations to it and Warlords has 23 IIRC.

 

This makes the 2600 carts an adventure to explore, since carts with multiple variations can often have awesome games hidden deep inside.

 

Each variation can result in a vast change in gameplay and thus makes a single cart have a high replay value. Eg - In combat, you can be a tank, a bi-plane or even a jet fighter!

 

What I would like to know is if people have their favorite variations of games and would like to list them below. Some variations may even be more entertaining than the default selection on start up.

 

Hopefully there can be some good suggestions that even seasoned 2600 pros have overlooked.

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Video Olympics is a great example. Too bad I don't have any paddle controllers but even worse I don't know anyone interested in the 2600!

 

The basketball and volleyball variations look interesting, do they play well?

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I love the variations in Space Invaders. If you want a real challenge, play game 16 with invisible invaders, firing fast, zig-zag shots and moving barriers. Crazy hard!

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Adventure:

* Drag every object into your castle (including Dragons and the Bat) before getting the chalice.

* While eaten by a Dragon catch the bat and go flying.

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If you are interested in easter eggs, there is a site that lists them for movies and other items. The site is

 

Eeggs.com

 

There is a section for video games and the atari flashback 2 is mentioned. I do not think it has references for older systems. Most of the ones that i looked at pretty much seem to be all modern games.

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Space Invaders definitely takes the cake for its interesting and wacky variations. The 16 different ways that the aliens can attack are cool, but all the different ways two players can cooperate are just downright insane. One player moves right, the other moves left? Any two people who actually dare to try that will either go on to be two of the world's best negotiators, or will kill each other inside five minutes.

 

Asteroids, Pac-Man, Missile Command and Berzerk are worth mentioning because the version of each game most faithful to its arcade counterpart was not at variation #1. Once you discovered where the "fast" asteroids, the "smart" cruise missiles, the quick ghosts and Evil Otto were hiding, you had a better way to show off the skills you learned at the arcade.

 

The variations of Haunted House do an excellent job of ramping up the game's difficulty, much like the different skill levels available in many games today. If you beat #1, try #2. Beat #2 and progress to #3... all the way up to #9. I've never beaten #9. Come to think of it, I don't think I ever mastered #8, either.

 

Finally, Yars' Revenge may be the earliest game to offer essentially two completely different levels of complexity in the same game, kind of like how some racing games offer "arcade" and "simulator" modes today. There were the standard variations we know and love, but then there was variation #6 (#7 for two players), with more bits for the player to keep track of, from requiring a certain number of "TRONS" to activate the cannon, to flying back to the left side of the screen before actually being able to use the cannon. This variation was even given its own name in the manual, "Ultimate Yars."

Edited by FujiSkunk

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When I was a young'un, I would play Combat against my dad. I always wanted to play the variation with three small biplanes against one big fat biplane (with me as the three), because it was monstrously unfair.

Edited by Feralstorm
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Games 9 and 10 in Demon Attack are well worth trying. They are 2 player games where the control switches between players every 4 seconds. Its fun trying to time the control switch just right leaving your opponent in amongst the enemy missiles.

 

They are labelled as special co-op games in the manual but you have separate scores and you get points when your opponent takes a hit so they are really vs games.

Edited by davyK

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Slalom and Scoop-Ball are enjoyable nuggets of Street Racer goodness that I think often get overlooked. (I find Street Racer in general to be twitch-gaming at its finest...and twitchiest!)

 

Video Olympics, of course, has more cool gems packed away than maybe any other game. I really like the Basketball, Foozball, and Volleyball games. Too bad they require two players!

 

Sea Bomber is the terrific yet often-overlooked/forgotten B-Side to Canyon Bomber. This game is worthy of having its own cartridge to itself.

 

The Submarine and Bomber/Polaris/Polaris Vs. Bomber games on Air-Sea Battle are a lot of fun for me.

 

Crash 'N' Score is an amusing variation of Indy 500, as is the ice track. :evil:

 

The sheer variety of variations in Space Invaders is impressive. I like that there are so many ways to make the game more challenging. It's got to be absolutely hell on the Game Reset switch, though.

 

The "Squadron vs. Bomber" variant of Biplanes (Combat) is always a classic. The Jet Fighter games seem very underrated, though.

 

:)

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Crash 'N' Score is an amusing variation of Indy 500, as is the ice track. :evil:

 

Yes, playing tag on ice with race cars! That is one of my favorite 2 player game modes.

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Cool topic! I liked the following games and their variations:

 

Adventure - Game 3 (randomizer) - brilliant as it never makes the game tiresome!

 

Atari Video Cube - Games 15-18 - self-play mode - a little mesmerizing to watch since I would rather NOT play

 

Breakout - Variation 9 Breakthru - makes it more of a twitch game from the get-go

 

Fireball - Marching Blocks variation - does get panicky with the blocks of doom marching down - always wanted to see the Mystery Fireball as mentioned in the manual (never did)

 

 

Regards, Emulator 67

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Combat was a favorite. I was so good at the biplanes that I would beat my brother regularly even using the 3 against 1 (big biplane, aka the Gotha bomber - I was an aviation nut even as a kid).

 

I also enjoyed the twin jet fighters variation. Both players had twins. That was pretty fun.

 

I really can't remember any others right off hand. Adventure game number 3 was always cool though. Both difficulty switches set to A. Made it pretty challenging even for an experienced player.

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I like pacman 7-8, it was much faster and more enjoyable than the stock setting.

 

Asteroids I think it was the difficulty dip instead of the game select, but one set the asteroids on a diagonal path instead of the stock vertical setting most people play.

 

Combat with ricochetting bullets is always fun.

 

Space invaders I usually play with no shield walls.

 

I remember maze craze with invisible mazes, or the green assassin guy.

 

Adventure randomized made for a fun harder experience, though sometimes it was unbeatable.

 

Game variations are one area where early games excelled, most later games didn't have them it seems.

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