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Atariperson23

Top 10 Worst Games on the 2600 (In my Opinion)

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1 minute ago, bluejay said:

Yeah. I didn't think of the time limit. The most annoying thing in any game.

Imagine if Swordquest or Raiders Of The Lost Ark had a time limit...

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Just now, Atariperson23 said:

Imagine if Swordquest or Raiders Of The Lost Ark had a time limit...

Yuck.

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2 minutes ago, bluejay said:

Yuck.

What would happen if you took out the time limit in games like Air-Sea Battle and Combat? (you play until you get bored)

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Just now, Atariperson23 said:

What would happen if you took out the time limit in games like Air-Sea Battle and Combat? (you play until you get bored)

Then you would figure out a way to shoot yourself out of boredom.

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1 minute ago, bluejay said:

Then you would figure out a way to shoot yourself out of boredom.

I feel like a one-player Combat mode could've helped a little...

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Just now, Atariperson23 said:

I feel like a one-player Combat mode could've helped a little...

...and base it on Breakout. Shoot a bunch of bricks within the time limit while driving/flying through obstacles.

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1 hour ago, Atariperson23 said:

By the way, which company was Starsoft? They're mentioned in a couple of websites and videos, but they're not on Atarimania or Atariage.

Looks like Starsoft falls in with Quelle and Rainbowvision with a lineup of similar games with different titles. They also snatched a Technovision game or two so it seems they had fewer scruples than some others. Looking at the cartridge design it looks like the standard Quelle Taiwan/S.S. style so the only likely distinguishing factor is the boxes that are probably all decomposed by now.

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3 minutes ago, DoctorSpuds said:

Looks like Starsoft falls in with Quelle and Rainbowvision with a lineup of similar games with different titles. They also snatched a Technovision game or two so it seems they had fewer scruples than some others. Looking at the cartridge design it looks like the standard Quelle Taiwan/S.S. style so the only likely distinguishing factor is the boxes that are probably all decomposed by now.

Perhaps Rom Hunter knows what's with Starsoft. After all, he collects so much stuff, I bet he'd know something.

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56 minutes ago, bluejay said:

I haven't been exposed to too many shovelware on the 2600 but out of my collection, the stuff I found bad were:

 

Pac Man: Not faithful to the original arcade version

Stellar Track: Is this even a game?

Spider Man: uhh... So what's the objective?

Riddles of the Sphinx: Lacks polish and originality.

Math Grand Prix: one of those edutainment games that's bad.

 

I also find Pitfall II annoying, but that's probably just because I'm bad at it.

Stellar Track is an excellent strategy game, based on the famous Star Fleet (Cygnus, Interstel) series from the 1970s, which is based on the Star Trek games from the 60s..

Studying the manual is a must with this game.

Edited by high voltage
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50 minutes ago, Atariperson23 said:

Nice. I like Pitfall II, though, although the original Pitfall for me is absolutely painful in every aspect.

Same.  Pitfall was interesting at first, but it quickly got tedious and frustrating.

 

Pitfall II was better in every way.

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43 minutes ago, high voltage said:

Stellar Track is an excellent strategy game, based on the famous Star Fleet (Cygnus, Interstel) series from the 1970s, which is based on the Star Trek games from the 60s..

Studying the manual is a must with this game.

Agreed.  There are several games people think are worse than they are because they don't read the manual.  Even the universally derided Mythicon games aren't as bad as people go on about.  The author made a bad mistake in making the default game be a practice version (no score, unlimited lives).  While none of them are that good, if you play variation 2, they are better.

Edited by s0c7
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3 minutes ago, s0c7 said:

Agreed.  There are several games people think are worse than they are because they don't read the manual.  

E.T?

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20 hours ago, BydoEmpire said:

I used to think that based on Airlock... but a few years back I got "Encounter at L-5" and "Warplock" and I actually enjoy both of them.  Neither is a great game, but IMHO they redeemed Data Age in my eyes.  I go back to both periodically.  Of course YMMV, I can see why most of their catalog would be on your list ;)

I have Warplock and Journey Escape, and they might just be games that I didn't "get" (any enjoyment out of), like Nightmare. FM is definitely their best game by far. Mythicon on the other hand, they have nothing redeemable by what I've played. 

 

I'm sure there's a separate thread about this, but for a game that I think gets a bad rap, but I have a weird thing for is Apollo's Infiltrate. Probably because as a kid I let my imagination fill in the blanks/lack of depth. The explosions were pretty awesome too. Infiltrate is one game that if I ever got around to learning how to code, I'd love to remake for the 7800 and flesh the concept out. 

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1 hour ago, high voltage said:

Stellar Track is an excellent strategy game, based on the famous Star Fleet (Cygnus, Interstel) series from the 1970s, which is based on the Star Trek games from the 60s..

Studying the manual is a must with this game.

A thread about games that are better after you've read the manual would be good. Space Attack is the same way. It gets shredded by people who don't understand it but it's actually a great game.

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2 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

I'm sure there's a separate thread about this, but for a game that I think gets a bad rap, but I have a weird thing for is Apollo's Infiltrate. Probably because as a kid I let my imagination fill in the blanks/lack of depth. The explosions were pretty awesome too.

I'm with you on Infiltrate.  It was the closest thing to Elevator Action I could find at home. It looked good, and played fast and frantic.  Not in my top 10, but definitely in my "top 50%" of 2600 games.

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Thoughts on some of the games I saw mentioned (in Mega-Post form):

 

Donkey Kong - essentially a good game that just wasn't finished. Say what you will about Kong himself, but the game looks pretty good, the gameplay is tight, and its sounds are still used as stock video game SFX in TV shows and commercials to this day. It just needed another level (ideally two, but what are you gonna do?), or at least some kind of rudimentary ending/intermission after the rivet level. Fun fact: Garry Kitchen autographed a spare copy of DK I had at Midwest Gaming Classic a couple of years ago! 😄

 

(And I have a soft spot for the Intellivision version, too!)

 

Pac-Man - if you take away the hype that surrounded Pac-Man, and the subsequent fall-out that continues to contaminate its radioactive reputation to this day, you're left with a generic, run of the mill game. Not great, not terrible. Perfectly playable and enjoyable on its own merits. As it happened, it's a bizarre but okay enough clone of Pac-Man rather than a true port.

 

Basic Math - not really a game; not really fair to bag on it.

 

Space Jockey - there are several different difficulty and gameplay options that keep this one interesting; the only trouble is, the difficulty doesn't curve. The difficulty you set it at is what it is. Still, with pleasantly detailed graphics and tight control, I think this is a good one to space out with.

 

Mythicon games - ...yeah, there's not a lot I can defend, here. 😆 Two out of the three are, like, D+ titles, and the other is a solid F. But I guess compared to the F, the D+s are kinda decent? 😜

 

Sssnake - I feel like there's probably some redeeming quality about this game that keeps it from truly being as bad as its reputation suggests, but I don't think I've even fired up my copy in over 10 years to find out, and I've never really felt compelled to. Maybe that says everything?

 

Double Dragon - my problem with this game is that it's essentially impossible to make any progress without spamming the elbow move. And that's because the "AI," hitboxes, and the rate at which you hemorrhage health when sustaining damage are bullshit. Otherwise, an admirable (if imperfect) effort that was just a couple of tweaks away from being an "A" game (albeit still more "interpretation" than "port").

 

Rampage - it's obviously more limited than other Rampage ports, and it has some mechanical idiosyncrasies, and George and Lizzie look like palette-swapped Homer Simpsons, but you're still getting: a title screen; a character select screen; all three playable monsters; simultaneous 2-player; inter-level news bulletins; actual level progression; arcade gameplay--somewhat abbreviated and 2600ified--essentially intact. The problem with this game is the same problem EVERY version of Rampage has: it drags on too long. Until the tedium sets in, this game is good. Fight me. 😜

 

Bugs - eh, this one ain't that bad. Cool gameplay concept, and I think it's fun in small doses, but I agree the difficulty goes from zero to bullshit in pretty short order.

 

Entombed - see Bugs. Still, I like this one for at least trying to do something a little different.

 

Space War - two things about this game drive me nuts: 2-player only--not counting the "Space Shuttle" games--and the space background is green instead of black (Why?!). Space War is a better game in the context of other late '70s titles, but aged out pretty early on. A few quality of life tweaks would have given this one some longer legs (how it survived in the 2600 lineup, as-is, until the mid '80s is a mystery to me). Adaptations of the classic Space War concept on the Vectrex and various home computers proved it was still fairly popular (maybe I just answered my own question? 😆).

 

Swordquest games - you know, I don't know if I ever really tried to give these any serious play. I've fired them up briefly and found them kind of confusing and unintuitive ("read the manual!"), but not particularly awful.

 

Spike's Peak - I agree with the assessment that it's messy-looking and generally misses its mark, but I wouldn't call it one of the worst.

 

Fire Fly - a true Worst Game shouldn't be merely badly designed, poorly programmed, or uninteresting; it should cause some kind of physical or sensory discomfort. And Fire Fly does just that with its obnoxious incessant background "music."

 

Karate - gotta agree with the consensus on this one. Unintuitive gameplay, controls that don't work, confused hit detection, and graphics that look cribbed from a canceled APF M1000 game. This game was already poor in 1982 when Ultravision first released it, but most people who had the misfortune of owning this game had the Froggo version which didn't come out until 1987, by which point it was inexcusable.

 

Scuba Diver - there's some ambition here with the multiple screens and phases of gameplay, but this game is jank. The colors are weird, graphics are ugly, the whole harpoon mechanic is frustrating, and even just getting into the water without getting insta-killed is almost a crapshoot.

 

Skeet Shoot - for pretty much all the reasons you might have read about this game. It's a game of snap judgment and luck that's as bland as any game available in 1982. There are game variations buried on this cartridge that come close to "alright," but only just. Play Shooting Gallery on the Channel F for a comparable, yet appreciably superior experience.

 

Raquetball - I appreciate that this one punches a bit above its weight (it looks good!), but it's impossible to play.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Atariperson23 said:

What would happen if you took out the time limit in games like Air-Sea Battle and Combat? (you play until you get bored)

The games would end at 99 points.

 

4 hours ago, high voltage said:

Stellar Track is an excellent strategy game, based on the famous Star Fleet (Cygnus, Interstel) series from the 1970s, which is based on the Star Trek games from the 60s..

Studying the manual is a must with this game.

When I first got my copy of Stellar Track way back when (2003ish?), I didn't know anything about it. When I first fired it up to try it out, I thought, "Cool addition to my collection, but what is this and who would ever want to play it?" It was some time before I forced myself to sit down with it (and its manual) and learn how the game works, and I only wish I'd done it earlier.

 

Stellar Track was actually my introduction to the Trek genre of '70s computer games.

 

Warplock and Infiltrate are cool games. Warplock (which always reads to me as "war-plock" 😆) is basically jank, but addicting and makes great use of the paddle controllers (as does Encounter At L-5, incidentally). Infiltrate is an underrated little run-n-gun.

Edited by BassGuitari

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38 minutes ago, BassGuitari said:

 

Donkey Kong -  Fun fact: Garry Kitchen autographed a spare copy of DK I had at Midwest Gaming Classic a couple of years ago! 😄

 

I have a Steve Wiebe autographed Donkey Kong cart!

 

You should list your bottom 10. That would give us a chance to defend some of those choices :P

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Okay, I'm shocked we've overlooked them so far...

Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Mashups: It's got graphics and nothing much else. If PB had done something like Smurfs with it then it would have been golden, but all you get is matching.

Pooyan: Any other version on any other system is preferable to the 2600 version.

Sub Scan: It almost can't be classified as a game.

Final Approach: Quaaludes the videogame.

 

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Just now, DoctorSpuds said:

Okay, I'm shocked we've overlooked them so far...

Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Mashups: It's got graphics and nothing much else. If PB had done something like Smurfs with it then it would have been golden, but all you get is matching.

Pooyan: Any other version on any other system is preferable to the 2600 version.

Sub Scan: It almost can't be classified as a game.

Final Approach: Quaaludes the videogame.

 

Final Approach is OK. I've done some air traffic control-related things, and Final Approach is somewhat accurate. Wish there were things like wind speed and altitude, though. Sub Scan is indeed horrible, and is the exact definition of 8-bit garbage. Pooyan... Could be better. But still far from good. Don't know what Strawberry Shortcake is.

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Airlock seems like one of those games that was never played by anyone outside of the group of programmer(s) and testers before release.  Seriously, though- have someone who's never played the game or read the manual try to figure out what it is going on in the game.  I'll bet that few can manage it, mainly due to the invisible floor timer.  It seems like you are dying for no reason.  The torpedoes look like little people.  Functionally, there's no point in having the torpedoes not kill you directly, as there are few circumstances where the delay they cause will not kill you.

 

I like the death screen.  Too bad it's much better than the game itself.

 

So much hate out there for Sssnake.   Not that it isn't largely deserved, but I will say that BitD I remember getting at least 30 minutes of enjoyment out the game playing along with a friend who had it.  As others have said, I don't have any real desire to play it again, but there are plenty enough games in the 2600 catalog that are worse than Sssnake, IMO.

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16 minutes ago, DoctorSpuds said:

Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Mashups: It's got graphics and nothing much else. If PB had done something like Smurfs with it then it would have been golden, but all you get is matching.

The graphics and music pull that one out of the bottom ten for me because they are so good for the time and there are plenty of other games with both terrible gameplay and terrible graphics.

 

Not far out of the bottom ten, but out nonetheless.

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13 minutes ago, KaeruYojimbo said:

The graphics and music pull that one out of the bottom ten for me because they are so good for the time and there are plenty of other games with both terrible gameplay and terrible graphics.

 

Not far out of the bottom ten, but out nonetheless.

Graphics and music pull it out, eh? What about Clown Down Town/Walker? That game also has great graphics and music, but... 

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16 minutes ago, Atariperson23 said:

Graphics and music pull it out, eh? What about Clown Down Town/Walker? That game also has great graphics and music, but... 

I don't remember being especially blown away by the graphics in Clown Downtown, but it's been at least 15 years since the last time I played it. Which was also the first time I played it.

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1 minute ago, KaeruYojimbo said:

I don't remember being especially blown away by the graphics in Clown Downtown, but it's been at least 15 years since the last time I played it. Which was also the first time I played it.

Must've been as joyful as my experience if you only played it once...

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