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Introducing someone to the 2600

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I'm planning a retro themed date night, and I will be introducing my date to the 2600 for the first time. I'm thinking of focusing on 2-player simultaneous games since I think that'll be the most fun plus pretty cool for a date, so I've been looking at the 2-player games list thread on here. Despite having a 2600 since I was a kid, I haven't always kept up with my collection, usually focusing on other systems of the time, but for this I think the 2600 is the best candidate in terms of it tends to be easy to pick up and play and in past experience, I found people tend to like it more than others. I wanted to share what I have in my collection, because I basically want to ask, am I missing anything that would be cool for showcasing the 2600? Any must have titles I'm missing? Including homebrews. Also would love opinions on controllers too. 

 

This i what I have:

 

  • Atari 2600 4 switch woodgrain console
  • Atari 2600 Heavy Sixer console
  • CX40 evolved Joystick (it has 2 buttons for left handed and right handed players, I'm a lefty) from Atari Sales
  • CX40 replica Joystick (I believe I bought this one from Atari2600.com back in the day)
  • Paddles

 

Games:

  • Pac-Man
  • Jr. Pac-Man
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Pac-Man 4K
  • Space Invaders
  • Asteroids
  • Joust
  • Wizard of Wor
  • Pitfall
  • Defender 2
  • Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
  • ET
  • Mouse Trap
  • Frog Bog
  • Smurf
  • Enduro
  • Yars Revenge
  • Blueprint
  • Chopper Command
  • Missile Command
  • Frogger
  • Tunnel Runner
  • Kangaroo

 

Looking forward to your suggestions. Let me know if there are any cool titles I'm missing and also if you think it makes sense to add some additional controllers. I like the joysticks well enough but I know there are many options for the 2600 out there so I'm interested in hearing about them. I was thinking also maybe Genesis pads or a replica for comfort. 

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River Raid, Cosmic Ark, H.E.R.O., Demon Attack and some two player games like Ice Hockey, Warlords...

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9 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

River Raid, Cosmic Ark, H.E.R.O., Demon Attack and some two player games like Ice Hockey, Warlords...

Just don't do what I do, and yell BREAK HIS LEGS when I play Ice Hockey, and try to injure the opponent. :D

 

Warlords is good. Same with Kaboom!

 

If you want a lot of fun in a game, but make it super easy and simple that anyone can get into, get Wall Jump Ninja.

 

Has a very modern/cell phone feel in a retro game.

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I've been quiet on the forums for a while, figuring no one needed my opinion, but I feel like I could contribute on this topic.  

 

 My suggestion is get a Harmony Encore and download the entire library. Then you are prepared for any situation.

 

As far as buying carts, you NEED Combat. Perfect two player game. Next, you need Medieval Mayhem. It's better than the original Warlords by leaps and bounds. You're also going to need a set or two of paddle controllers. When it comes to paddles, make sure you buy working ones.  If you are going to get any Homebrew games or a Harmony cart, you can't go wrong with a save key (for games that save high scores or anything).  If you feel comfortable with doing some work on the controllers, get a couple of old CX40s and rebuild them with new sticks and either Best Electronics Gold replacement PCBs or some of the replacement boards with tactile switches sold here on the forums.  Honestly, rebuilt joysticks and paddles are the best investment, followed by a Harmony Encore and a SaveKey.  That's just my opinion of course, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who will agree with me and plenty who won't. Original carts are great for collectors, but for gamers, the Harmony works much better.

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You have a lot of great games to introduce the 2600, but Warlords and Ice Hockey are hands down the best simultaneous two player games (in my ever-so-humble opinion). Those are the two my daughter and I like playing together.

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And be prepared to turn it all off and put it all away if your date wants to move in a different direction than joysticks and reset switches. 

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Pitfall II.

Mario Bros.

Keystone Kapers.

Megamania.

Other great games have already been mentioned.

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Don't forget that the difficulty switches can make a big difference. My daughter and I play Ice Hockey with my switch set to to A. That gives her better chances for breakaways, and even more so, allows her to get back to defend the goal. She's gotten to be a great puck thief. We have a blast and I don't have to pull punches too much.

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7 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

And be prepared to turn it all off and put it all away if your date wants to move in a different direction than joysticks and reset switches. 

This.  Hopefully there have been several dates already and she's expressed an interest in your Atari, because this just seems like a bad idea.

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3 hours ago, dgdgagdae said:

This.  Hopefully there have been several dates already and she's expressed an interest in your Atari, because this just seems like a bad idea.

Indeed. Despite the ball-n-chain already having had an interest in videogames in the 90's, it took her over 10 years to want to have a dedicated SFF PC for emulating a few select fav arcade games. And that's after having been on millions of dates and getting married.

 

11 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

And be prepared to turn it all off and put it all away if your date wants to move in a different direction than joysticks and reset switches. 

Ha! Reminds me of a "scripted date" I sort of planned back in the 90's. But it wasn't the carefree fun-loving Atari VCS. No. It was a planned demonstration of an MS-DOS PC. I think the affair lasted 20 minutes.

 

 "Planned" videogame datenites are always delicate things. Both parties need to really like the activity because it has the potential to be as boring as watching someone watch the top 20 grammys on youtube or something. Or going to one of those screamo kiddie concerts, for the 8th time.

 

Even sitting outside watching the grass grow and the paint dry can be more exciting. There are airplanes overhead, cars driving down the street. And all kinds of other ancillary activity going on.

 

Classic game dates aren't like arcade dates of the 80's and 90's. Back then it was an accepted cultural norm. The arcade was a gathering place, a social mixer. Today not so much. "Videogames" conjures up the manchild in mom's basement or some fat kid, or some irresponsible millennial glued to a screen - any screen - 24/7. Someone dry and small, with an ineffective personality. It's worse than coming out of the closet*. That's easy compared to getting mature and established people to accept videogames as a valid form of entertainment, a non-timewaster.

 

Then again, there's professional sports. The "Big Game" and what not. Just as bad. Maybe worse for its lack of interactivity and one-way flow of information and commercial ridden broadcasts. Ugh...!

 

It's bad enough to where I'm very careful about who I tell I like playing videogames. If I tell the wrong person or one with limited capacity to understand, I can spend 10x the time fighting to reverse the stereotypical image now implanted in their heads. Most of the times I don't bother except when it spills over into official business. Though more recently I've been inclined to say fuck'em all.

 

*Still a stigma surrounding all that when there really isn't one, or shouldn't be one.

 

Edited by Keatah
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You do not need too many games.  With a few select games you'll spend more time on the games and not put her through a marathon of "try this game".

 

Focus more on entertainment that means don't try to beat your opponent into submission, you'll have to let her win as you match your play to her level.  She could turn out to be a gamer in which case you can get the competitive games out once she is comfortable, but start out easy.

 

I'd suggest Ms Pacman first girls like it and it's fun for a guy too.  She can learn the stick basics and you can give pointers but, let her explore the game.  This means Pacman, Pacman 4K and Jr Pacman, will have to wait another day.

 

You can then play Mario Bros and let her again explore the game mechanics at her pace, it could be a good few games before she gets into the spirit of the game.

 

Other games you could try from your list are Wizard of Wor, Joust, Asteroids and space invaders, they all have a co-operative game in them and it will also help re-inforce your co-operative relationship, it's subliminal.

 

It's a pity you don't have any paddle games like Warlords and Video Olympics etc, as they are fun too.

 

Any games you don't play can wait for successive dates... good luck!

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Make it multi-player versus. No fighting (Activision Boxing is out) or shooting unless she is into gaming.

 

Fall Down

Video Olympics

Freeway

Realsports Volleyball

Activision Tennis

Dodge 'em (game 3)

Surround

Fishing Derby 2 player

 

 

Make sure she wins though........   :)

 

 

 

 

Edited by davyK
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17 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

And be prepared to turn it all off and put it all away if your date wants to move in a different direction than joysticks and reset switches. 

That's the part I'm more than prepared for. 😎

 

And just for context this will be for a date in the near future and by then it'll be date 5 or thereabouts and I've been on enough dates to learn not to spring "hey wanna play retro video games?" to someone I'm trying to get with. 😂😂😂 She wants to check out the retro things I'm into (we'll also be listening to vinyl) and I figured the 2600 is less scary than the Channel F or original Odyssey. 😉

 

I LOVE all of these suggestions! Thank you everyone! I see there's a consensus on Warlords and Ice Hockey so will definitely be picking those up. Also like the idea of games we can play together like Space Invaders or a homebrew like Fall Down. Also games that tend to be popular with women like Ms. Pac-man sounds great. 

 

I've been thinking of the Harmony cart since I like the Heavy Sixer and it has that tight cartridge port, so this might be a good time to get it. 

 

Looking forward to this and yeah I doubt the gameplay portion will last very long. 😉

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Oh thank goodness. One never knows with us AtariAge people. 
 

What I think would be fun: play Pac-Man and Donkey Kong as we had in 1982, then load up the amazing homebrews to show what can be done with time, talent, and benefit of hindsight. 

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Trust years ago I would've needed a good talking to. 😂

 

I like that original & homebrew idea, that's great! It'll show what the system is capable of and I do like the idea of introducing her to the concept of homebrews which in my experience, people tend to be surprised by. 

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S'plain that each VCS cartridge represents some guy hunched over a desk-sized computer picking and plucking data bits for months on end. With the final product being the game. A game that runs on a framebufferless GPU. A game that can be printed out on a just a few sheets of paper.

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Combat is a must.

 

When first starting to introduce my now wife into gaming Human Cannonball was a great game. Made it into a drinking game. You make it they take two drinks. Miss you take a drink. Loser takes five drinks.

 

Simple fun competitive that incorporates drinking. Can also make the tubs bigger or smaller to adjust for skill level.

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it's not the greatest one player game, but with two people, it's fun.  Get Firefighter and see who can rescue everyone the quickest.

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3 hours ago, MrBeefy said:

Combat is a must.

Naked Combat
Strip Kaboom

Donkey Kong or Dare

Pac-Man or Consequences

Donination Defender

Tie Me Up 3D Tic Tac Toe

Safeword Centipede

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If playing something like Space Invaders then be sure to check out the various 2 player co-op games - there's one which is p1 moving and the other firing for example.

 

There is a 2 player variant of Demon Attack where the active player switches every few seconds - that can be a laugh.

Edited by davyK
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