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Best third party that isn't Activision or Imagic

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I must be in the minority but I always loved U.S. Games. Towering Inferno, Gopher, Name This Game, Entombed, Squeeze Box, Commando Raid, and M.A.D. are all great games in my opinion that I come back to all the time. The rest of the games are all decent enough with the exception of Sneak n' Peek. Anybody else love the U.S. Games releases?

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Considering how much I Hated Intellivision ads putting down my beloved Atari, this may seem like a weird choice,...

 

but definitely M-Network!

 

TRON: Deadly Discs is quite fun.

 

Astroblast is pretty OK.

 

And once you've read the instructions*, DARK CAVERN!!!

 

I think Dark Cavern may be my all time favorite Atari game!!

 

There's been very few games I keep compulsively coming back to again and again, and I can always just pop it in and enjoy it...

 

 

 

*I say read the instructions because when I first got it back in the day, unlike most games where I (Unlike most of my friends) took a little time to check out the instructions...I just popped it in and started shooting. But, once you've read the instructions, and you realize there is a strategy to it, with regard to collecting bullets and shooting the robots so you can clear them out to change their color to get the extra lives, etc., Well, it adds a layer of complexity and depth to the game, which was already loads of fun on the surface!

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I must be in the minority but I always loved U.S. Games. Towering Inferno, Gopher, Name This Game, Entombed, Squeeze Box, Commando Raid, and M.A.D. are all great games in my opinion that I come back to all the time. The rest of the games are all decent enough with the exception of Sneak n' Peek. Anybody else love the U.S. Games releases?

 

 

I had a good time with Towering Inferno and also Space Jockey back in the day...I always thought if the Crash hadn't happened or if I wasn't buying so many ColecoVision games (instead), I'd have probably bought more U. S. Games. (I have more now!) :)

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Anybody else love the U.S. Games releases?

No. But BITD I found Commando Raid in the bargain bin, bought it and thought it was half decent.

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Considering how much I Hated Intellivision ads putting down my beloved Atari, this may seem like a weird choice,...

 

but definitely M-Network!

 

TRON: Deadly Discs is quite fun.

 

Astroblast is pretty OK.

 

And once you've read the instructions*, DARK CAVERN!!!

 

I think Dark Cavern may be my all time favorite Atari game!!

 

There's been very few games I keep compulsively coming back to again and again, and I can always just pop it in and enjoy it...

 

 

 

*I say read the instructions because when I first got it back in the day, unlike most games where I (Unlike most of my friends) took a little time to check out the instructions...I just popped it in and started shooting. But, once you've read the instructions, and you realize there is a strategy to it, with regard to collecting bullets and shooting the robots so you can clear them out to change their color to get the extra lives, etc., Well, it adds a layer of complexity and depth to the game, which was already loads of fun on the surface!

 

This is true with Space Attack also. I think most people don't like it because they plug it in and don't know how what to do on the radar screen. There's much more strategy than just blasting spaceships.

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Speaking of Parker Bros...

I really wish they had ported Astrochase to more platforms....i think it was only on cartridge form for 5200 and 400/800 series...maybe a homebrew for 2600/intellivision needs to be made!

 

I also wish Activision had ported Dreadnaught Factor to more systems (in cartridge form)

Edited by eddhell

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I must be in the minority but I always loved U.S. Games. Towering Inferno, Gopher, Name This Game, Entombed, Squeeze Box, Commando Raid, and M.A.D. are all great games in my opinion that I come back to all the time. The rest of the games are all decent enough with the exception of Sneak n' Peek. Anybody else love the U.S. Games releases?

 

Me! :waving:

 

Squeeze Box is one of those games that traditionally gets dumped on pretty hard, but I have fun with. Especially after I figured out that you can spam the edge of the screen at near point-blank range and really rack up your score (and also that can can--and in fact are supposed to--leave the screen after you open a space in the wall big enough to walk through). :P It's also got pretty good--albeit strange--graphics.

 

Name This Game is a refreshing take on the Space Invaders genre. I like that the guy in the boat looks like a maniac. :lol:

 

I used to love Sabotage on the Apple when I was a kid (still do!), and Commando Raid is a good adaptation of that classic. It's a game that really wants to be played with paddles, but it's still playable enough with a joystick.

 

Space Jockey gets a little tedious, but I think it's a worthy diversion in small doses. I appreciate the variety of options it has.

 

Entombed is underrated, IMO. It's simple and a bit of one-trick pony, but it's at least a pretty decent trick, and a fairly unique gameplay premise amid the hordes of shooters and maze games on the 2600.

 

I think most of the U.S. Games/Vidtec releases could be described as basically pretty good (if maybe not great), and pretty quirky, to boot. A game that actually shipped with the title Name This Game? A stubbly, cigar-chomping jailbird in high heels (who inevitably dies and goes to hell, where there's a demon who also wears high heels)? Weird Disco Space Chickens (in the words of CGR) dropping eggs into a bowl balancing on the head of a blue bear? Perfect examples of the kinds of weird stuff that makes the Atari 2600 so great to collect! :-D

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Me! :waving:

 

Squeeze Box is one of those games that traditionally gets dumped on pretty hard, but I have fun with. Especially after I figured out that you can spam the edge of the screen at near point-blank range and really rack up your score (and also that can can--and in fact are supposed to--leave the screen after you open a space in the wall big enough to walk through). :P It's also got pretty good--albeit strange--graphics.

 

Squeeze Box might not be much of a game but the huge character sprite is impressive.

 

Ram It is a very similar game that looks to be more intense. Earlier I was watching an Atari 2600 stream from Mike Matei and his girlfriend Erin where they played that.

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Space Jockey gets a little tedious, but I think it's a worthy diversion in small doses. I appreciate the variety of options it has.

 

 

Garry Kitchen’s first game... it’s amazing what a difference there is between this and Keystone Kapers/Pressure Cooker, both of which were released only a year later!

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Companies with small libraries:

 

Telesys, I like two games: Demolition Herby and Fast Food.

Spectravideo/vision: Nexar, Gangster Alley, Planet Petrol, tapeworm, Master Builder

Sancho: Dice Puzzle, love it.

Sears original releases: Stellar Track...It's like Star Fleet 1

Xonox, I love the Xonox games: Sir Lancelot, Ghost Manor, Spike's Peak, and even Robin Hood

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Sears original releases: Stellar Track...It's like Star Fleet 1

 

Xonox, I love the Xonox games: Sir Lancelot, Ghost Manor, Spike's Peak, and even Robin Hood

 

I got to admit, those three Sears exclusive 'Tele-games' are quite a bit more complex than the average Atari cart of that era...

I enjoyed Artillery Duel from Xonox...great for two players

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Late to the party, but I'd also give the (third place) crown to Parker Bros., if only for the trifecta of Q*Bert, Frogger and Popeye. Gyruss and the Star Wars games help their cause, too.

 

Coleco and Mattel / M-Network are contenders, but they weren't third party to very many systems (only one in the case of M-Network), and Coleco's output was, more often than not, not exactly spectacular.

 

Sega gets an honorable mention for their arcade ports and pretty healthy number of systems supported.

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Coleco and Mattel / M-Network are contenders, but they weren't third party to very many systems (only one in the case of M-Network)

 

Interesting. I only considered the question in regard to the Atari 2600 since it was posted in this forum. Good point though.

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The Intellivision version has the better background graphics (in that it has background graphics) and the mothership. The Atari 2600 version has more interesting demons. They're both fine in their own way.

 

 

Maybe it's a kind of taste, but in "Demon Attack" i always felt background graphics disturbing. Also the C-64 version of the game has it and i wanted a completely black background there, like i knew it from my Atari VCS2600 version. So i used the "Action Replay VI" modul on my C-64 to do this, by turning off certain parts of the screen. In the manual of the AR6, "Demon Attack" was also mentioned and used as an example how certain sprite-hacks, game-cheats and so on can be made with the AR6 modul. This was cool. After turning background to completely black and freezing the game, i had a version, that looks similar to my Atari2600 version of the game and the enemy-sprites are nearly the same on both systems.

Edited by AW127
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Interesting. I only considered the question in regard to the Atari 2600 since it was posted in this forum. Good point though.

 

Good point to you too. If we're only talking about the 2600, I still have to give the nod to Parker Brothers for best combination of quality and quantity... even if they did have a few stinkers like Sky Skipper.

 

And if we go the other way and consider third parties that did most or all of their games on home computers, then Epyx, Broderbund and the old Electronic Arts also get honorable mentions.

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Good point to you too. If we're only talking about the 2600, I still have to give the nod to Parker Brothers for best combination of quality and quantity... even if they did have a few stinkers like Sky Skipper.

 

And if we go the other third parties that did most or all of their games on home computers, then Epyx, Broderbund and the old Electronic Arts also get honorable mentions.

 

Totally agree with everything you said!

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No love for Absolute Entertainment?

it's easy to forget about developers who entered the market after the crash. I've never played any of Ansolute's games, but I've always been interested; they look impressive.

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Yes, but what were they thinking with DK Jr's climbing sound?

 

It's up there with the worst, most ear grating sound effects.

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DKjr for the Atari 2600 is awful, sorry. I can't imagine why anyone would play it today except for nostalgia.

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