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AkashicRecord

"Deep" games for the Atari 2600

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This one might help spur some members' upcoming purchasing decisions:

 

 

What are some opinions of the "deepest" and most enthralling titles for the VCS?

 

 

For me, Space Shuttle: "A Journey into Space" has to be at or near the top of the list. I was completely enthralled with this title as a child (only one person ever had it, and we had no idea how to even play it) so coming back to it over 30+ years later, it's still got me...but in a good way. I owe one broken joystick and some very long nights to this one as of just last week! It kind of needs to be played on a 6-switch model though, in my opinion.

 

The Swordquest series was probably only really deep when it was fueled by visions of fame and fortune during the running of its contest(s), so it probably gets a pass here. I've never even seen a copy of any of the comic books which were absolutely required for properly distilling the game's clues, so to play today is probably more of a masochistic endeavor than anything else.

 

Fathom, on the other hand, (even the name is "deep") was a favorite of mine many years ago. That one always evoked a much bigger sense of scale and adventure than other titles, and it was just so cool being able to both fly and swim. I would always borrow this one when I could get the chance.

 

I'm sure that Raiders of the Lost Ark probably fits in this list, but my memory on that one is quite foggy. Unfortunately, I was strictly limited to playing that one on a tiny black-and-white television, so I recall just having an unnecessarily negative experience at no fault of the game or it's programming.

 

 

There are certainly many more, but I had to mention at least a handful to start.

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I agree with you on Raiders, Space Shuttle, and Fathom. I got seriously into all 3 & completed them back in the day. The Sword Quest games on the other hand were far too complicated for me. (I didnt even understand the whole comic book page hints & such)

 

Others for me included Pitfall II & Montezumas Revenge.

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I agree with you on Raiders, Space Shuttle, and Fathom. I got seriously into all 3 & completed them back in the day. The Sword Quest games on the other hand were far too complicated for me. (I didnt even understand the whole comic book page hints & such)

Others for me included Pitfall II & Montezumas Revenge.

Wow, I was going to add Montezuma's Revenge, and hoped someone else would mention it.

 

I remember thoroughly enjoying that one! It turned up over here...but for about $30, so I let it slide! :P

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Solaris had some depth to it....same goes for Star Raiders and Starmaster (the better of the two) as they had star maps with multiple sectors to visit....and I think even Sears Stellar Track had a star map with 36 sectors!

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wow, no one mentioned the original Adventure cartridge yet? It was never one of my favorites, but looking back now, it was quite a large map for the amount of space on those old chips...

 

for an early game, Superman had a rather large city layout, once again not my favorite game, but you could fly around in what seemed to be an endless wrap around map

 

I did however think Krull was pretty interesting with several different screens each with different gameplay....

Edited by eddhell

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The Swordquest series was probably only really deep when it was fueled by visions of fame and fortune during the running of its contest(s), so it probably gets a pass here. I've never even seen a copy of any of the comic books which were absolutely required for properly distilling the game's clues, so to play today is probably more of a masochistic endeavor than anything else.

 

All you needed was the comic book, a little (very little) common sense regarding sentence structure and some luck.

There was nothing "Deep" about these games.

They were almost the equivalent of a lottery ticket... only if the lottery ticket was a scratch-off with a bazillion combinations you could rescratch until you found the right way...

And then realized all the words were hidden in plain sight in a book you were given with it and you never had to touch the ticket really to win.

 

I love the SwordQuest games because they mean a lot nostalgically to me and I love/hate that they were the exact opposite of what I always thought they were.

I also like to make sure people know what they actually were.

You can still have fun with them, don't get me wrong.

It sure beats tapping away at some Skinner Box Test they call "Smart Phone Gaming" or whatever.

By a little bit at least...

I think...

I hope...?

Edited by Torr

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Glad to see mention of a lot of games that I wanted to include in my original post before I decided to keep it short and more open-ended. (Adventure, Pitfall 2, Starmaster)

 

I couldn't properly appreciate Riddle of the Sphinx as a kid...we were too stupid to figure out that it was a two-controller one-player game...kind of like how we couldn't figure out the console switches in Space Shuttle, either (not that I'd have a fart's chance in a hurricane even if I did know the controls...)

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I did however think Krull was pretty interesting with several different screens each with different gameplay....

I mentioned Krull in the games to be remade thread earlier today...I felt that the game could have had a little bit...more. It was a good game though; it just could have been a GREAT game.

 

We watched the movie last night and some of the shots are utterly amazing on Blu-ray.

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There are some pretty great homebrews that scratch this itch.

 

Dungeon and Dungeon II, Anguna, Cave In, Epic Adventure . . . I'm probably missing some.

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A few I would add include...

 

H.E.R.O. - loved exploring the caves and memorizing where you needed to go to rescue the miner

 

Haunted House - I never really got into this game as a kid but it's on my list to go back to one of these years

 

Crypts of Chaos - I was really excited to get this as a kid and played it a fair amount but it seemed like it could have been so much more

 

Video Chess - My atari can play a game of chess against me? Wow!

 

Honorable mention - Video Checkers, 3D Tic Tac Toe, Othello

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Video Chess - My atari can play a game of chess against me? Wow!

 

 

 

i think this is the version of chess that cheats....if i remember correctly...

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Forgot to mention the Supercharger cassette games, although most of us can only access them through emulators....there was Dragonstomper and Survival Island....they had a little more depth to them...but most of us never saw these games back then.

 

between the supercharger expansion and the 4 player capabilities with paddle controls, Atari really missed out on some golden opportunities....

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i think this is the version of chess that cheats....if i remember correctly...

 

That feature makes it even deeper!

 

Forgot to mention the Supercharger cassette games, although most of us can only access them through emulators....there was Dragonstomper and Survival Island....they had a little more depth to them...but most of us never saw these games back then.

 

between the supercharger expansion and the 4 player capabilities with paddle controls, Atari really missed out on some golden opportunities....

 

Great callout

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Couple games that come to mind.

 

Private Eye by Activision. This is an incredibly deep game is also nerve-racking an edge-of-your-seat. You have to be very fast plan your routes and draw maps to finish it. It was a very well made and deep game but it's well worth checking out.

 

Shuttle Orbiter by Avalon Hill. Another very deep game with some very mild puzzle elements to it. It's a game that can be completed but takes time to master will take you several games and tries to be able to finish it.

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Wow, I've never even seen the Starpath Supercharger. Looks like something worth keeping an eye out for.

 

if you just want to play the games, use an emulator or sd/harmony type cart, the originals used cassettes that can be pricey and hard to find - and we all know 30+ year old magnetic media is a gamble....

 

*i think the cassette recorder was not included with original charger, had to use the old radio shack style recorder with an external audio jack....

Edited by eddhell

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Phoenix always impressed me with having all 5 levels including the mothership...but gameplay itself was pretty basic...

same for the better arcade translations - Jungle Hunt, Ms Pac Man, Vanguard (you either loved or hated it) etc...each had the different screens from the arcade..

 

I thought Moon Patrol was lengthy - had all the checkpoints A through Z.....

Edited by eddhell

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if you just want to play the games, use an emulator or sd/harmony type cart, the originals used cassettes that can be pricey and hard to find - and we all know 30+ year old magnetic media is a gamble....

 

*i think the cassette recorder was not included with original charger, had to use the old radio shack style recorder with an external audio jack....

Yeah it looks like people would just use a walkman or any other (relatively portable) cassette player. I like the CD re-release that had the audio data on CD tracks to be played into the cartridge unit jack.

 

 

Dragonstomper does look very good and the unit seems to have upped the system RAM to 6K, which would have been very nice as a game programmer!

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Fantastic Voyage. I really feel like I am inside Cyborg's bloodstream, trying to cure him of a nasty blood clot in his brain.

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I agree with you on Raiders, Space Shuttle, and Fathom. I got seriously into all 3 & completed them back in the day. The Sword Quest games on the other hand were far too complicated for me. (I didnt even understand the whole comic book page hints & such)

Others for me included Pitfall II & Montezumas Revenge.

I could never land the goddamn shuttle.

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Fantastic Voyage. I really feel like I am inside Cyborg's bloodstream, trying to cure him of a nasty blood clot in his brain.

I can second FV. I had a great time with that one. It felt like a slightly more in-depth shooter. For some reason I always wanted to compare it to Vanguard a little bit, but I feel Fantastic Voyage was probably the better game.

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Vanguard - Has some depth for a shooter considering it has a fair few levels to explore.

 

Flash Gordon - Definitely has that Starmaster type depth to it, having to clear sectors of enemies ect

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......and that about rounds out the list....hard to get very deep on 4k Ram....lol

 

 

There were other games that 'enthralled' me, but their gameplay was simple and repetitive....Megamania (see avatar pic for example...lol) had 7 different screens of enemies before repeating..also the only Activision game on 2600 that I ever actually BEAT. Almost every Activision game with a score counter ENDS when you fill the digit counters with 9's....or as close as possible (in this case, 999,990), and returns to the start screen where it scrolls the logo and copyright date....too bad, i made that score about 15 years too late to get the patch!

Edited by eddhell

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