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What are the best 2600 games most people have never played?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/27/2020 at 2:33 AM, BassGuitari said:

Here are some obscure-but-goodies from a cross-section of publishers:

 

...

Name This Game (U.S. Games)

Encounter At L5 (Data Age)

 

I really like those two - Name This Game has been a favorite of mine for 30 years!

 

Aliens is one of my favorite maze games.

Lost Luggage is pretty fun, too.

Edited by BydoEmpire
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49 minutes ago, keithbk said:

Fantastic Voyage by 20th Century Fox is a very good game, but you need to read the rules and NOT shoot the wrong things...

 

I thought M*A*S*H was also worthwhile; a nice two-part game. Also Fox.

 

The 20th Century Fox games are often overlooked, but there are some real gems among them.

 

Good calls.

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Did anybody mention the Supercharger games? Dragonstomper and Escape from the Mind Master are two of my favorites:)

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On 5/18/2020 at 9:33 AM, uglyclone said:

Fast Eddie - Fox published some interesting titles and for reasons I can't explain I've spent the most time playing this one.  It's just fun.

Great game! Never played this before, gameplay reminds me of Canyon Climber.

 

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On ‎5‎/‎18‎/‎2020 at 7:21 PM, BydoEmpire said:

Lost Luggage is pretty fun, too.

 

Shout out for Lost Luggage!  I also like Fast Food and CocoNuts by the same publisher (Telesys).

 

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I always liked Lock N Chase.  Nobody else I knew had that one.

 

People complained it was a Pac Man rip off, but I always thought it was more fun than VCS Pac Man.  The doors add a dimension to the game.  It was also cool to sneak out the door after I emptied the vault.

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Eggomania - imo its better than kaboom as the difficulty is more fair

The Official Frogger - the supercharger makes one of the best ports of the game. You may not want to play the cart version after this

Ghost Manor - great spooky vibe, challenging gameplay make it xonox's best game by far

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IMO Reactor is massively underrated, i think because i has one the most simplistic graphics however the gameplay is really solid.

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Not terribly obscure selections here, but Jawbreaker is my favourite Pac Man type game. Also a fan of Solar Storm, a paddle controlled shooter & Armor Ambush is a great Combat type game.

 

 

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On 4/29/2020 at 6:31 AM, GoldLeader said:

Midnight Magic

 

 

This is certainly an underrated gem. I never knew a brilliant pinball game existed for Atari 2600! I just played it today for the first time - in the emulator, it seemed like a nice game.

 

On the real Atari, though, this game really comes to LIFE! The bright flashes, the amazing palette changes, the sound .. aah! What an astonishing classic, I only wish I had known about this much sooner. It's arguably even better than David's Midnight Magic, which is a rip-off of an old Williams pinball (the name of which I forgot - they have two very similar ones, but the other is almost identical in many ways), just like 'Pinball Dreams' rips off 'The Terminator' pinball machine almost exactly as well.

 

I wonder if Atari 2600's marvelous pinball game is also a rip-off of something, or completely original..

 

By the way, this game is always listed as "Midnight Magic", but ends up saying "MIDNITE MAGIC" on its own screen!

 

So which is it, and whom are we to believe, the game itself, or some secondary source?

 

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On 5/18/2020 at 4:33 PM, uglyclone said:

Fast Eddie

I think many people knew about this one, though.

 

Having said that, there's something magical about this game. Its beautiful use of color with the smooth flashes and all are eye-pleasing, the sound is quirky and inspiring / exciting, and the gameplay is just difficult enough that you have to really start focusing on later levels, but yet easy enough to be rewarding, if you do your best.

 

I don't usually like platformers, but in this game, you can drift into 'Zen-mode', where you don't even exist anymore, the game just 'is', and playing of it just 'happens' - there is not thought, no plan, no future, no past - and even this moment doesn't exist.

 

And yet, it's more than just 'reactions', you are fully there, in the game, and collecting those ever-changing shapes is all that 'is', if anything can even phase into existence at this point anymore.

 

There are a few 'Zen-games', as I call them, that allow you to just become 'pure focus', and which only allow you to wildly succeed if you can keep this focus that transcends time and space.

 

Another similar 'Zen-game' is 'Uuno Turhapuro Muuttaa Maalle' on the C64 side; it's simple - even simpler than Fast Eddie  - and yet you can fall so easily. The haunting and repetitive music helps.

 

I love these simple games that you don't have to read 8 pages of manual to know how to play, and where your gameplay isn't interrupted by some idiotic, badly-written 'cutscene' (especially when unskippable), or changing the gameplay between levels, or some bonus screen, or overly long level advance sequences. You can just keep playing and playing until you can't play anymore.

 

Modern games could learn SO much from these old classics.

 

Fast Eddie is the perfect game, when you have a few of minutes of  extra time - you can stop playing at any second you wish, and yet you can stretch the gameplay more and more, as much as you have time.

 

Games often try to be things they're really not, and fail miserably. They try to be too fancy, cram too many things into it, or utilize some fancy gimmick or some kind of '3D' stuff to dazzle the eye and puzzle the mind.

 

This game knows exactly what it wants to be, and it DELIVERS fully and maximally. Gameplay doesn't really get tighter than this - even the level curve is perfect, it starts ridiculously easy, and very gradually becomes tougher to inspire the player to hone their skills and delve deeper into.. aagh, now I really want to play this again.

 

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On 4/26/2020 at 2:53 PM, cvga said:

Beamrider - it came out fairly late and wasn't a huge seller but it's an incredible game. My favorite for the 2600 and maybe of any system!

I am currently jazzed by this one as well, and am surprised by the lack of love for it, I don't actually prefer "shooters", but it's a very fine game.

 

One I don't think was mentioned, and TBH I really don't know what people played or didn't, haha!

Deathtrap-that's a FANTASTIC game.

 

I agree on Fantastic Voyage, you really have to know what to do, I kinda didn't realize 2600 games were that complex.

Survival Run, and The Earth Dies Screaming are a couple more.

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Planet Patrol

 

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This game adds to the challenge with the sun going down so you only see your enemies when you fire. I also like that it solves the "portrait orientation" problem that many arcade ports suffer by rotating the orientation 90 degrees and limiting the side-to-side (...or up-and-down) area of the screen. This seems more "fair" than a game like "Breakout", where the arcade game is squashed down to landscape orientation, and the ball flies at crazy angles that are just about impossible to handle once the ball is traveling at the higher speeds.

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On 5/23/2020 at 2:56 PM, Irvingnator said:

Eggomania - imo its better than kaboom as the difficulty is more fair

The Official Frogger - the supercharger makes one of the best ports of the game. You may not want to play the cart version after this

Ghost Manor - great spooky vibe, challenging gameplay make it xonox's best game by far

Wow, Frogger is great! Sadly there seems to be only a NTSC version which looks weird on my PAL machine. Did anyone ever make a PAL hack or something like that? It definitely looks soooo much better than the earlier Frogger.

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Posted (edited)

I'll second all the recommendations for Midnight Magic, Frankenstein's Monster, and Pressure Cooker! They're all fantastic games that definitely deserve a play. As far as my own recommendations go, five of my favorite underplayed gems on the 2600 are: 

 

 

Alien (20th Century Fox)

There were a lot of Pac-Man clones back in the day, but this one based off the 1979 sci-fi horror classic Alien is by far my favorite and stands up really well on it's own merit. It's basically like Pac-Man except instead of munching dots and running from ghosts you're squishing alien eggs and running from xenomorphs! There's a neat little alien dodging mini game between rounds, and oh, did I mention that you get a flamethrower to temporarily drive the aliens away when they get too close? If "Pac-Man with a flamethrower" didn't sell you on this game then I don't know what will! :lol:

 

Commando Raid (US Games)

US Games wasn't exactly known for having stellar quality games, but Commando Raid was a really outstanding exception. I'm pretty sure this was the first "shoot the paratroopers down before they hit the ground and invade your bases" game, a premise which was copied dozens of times over the decades since then.

 

Kung-Fu Master (Activision)

Activision games get plenty of love, but this is one you don't hear about too often. It's a pretty brilliant port of the arcade game of the same name and easily one of the most graphically impressive games on the Atari 2600. It plays as good as it looks too and has just the right level of difficulty I think. It's plenty challenging but definitely beatable with practice!

 

Road Runner (Atari)

Road Runner was another top notch arcade game port, and a super late release for the Atari 2600 from 1989. Based on the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoon, you play as the Road Runner dashing down the highway trying to avoid Wile E. Coyote and a wide variety of hazards while earning points by eating birdseed on the road and luring Wile E. into his own traps and oncoming traffic. It's got some really outstanding graphics and is a ton of fun to play, plus how could I not recommend a game where the coyote always wins in the end? :D

 

Secret Quest (Atari)

My last recommendation is another 1989 release from Atari and was for all intents and purposes Atari's answer to The Legend of Zelda. It plays a lot like Zelda, but of course in typical Atari fashion it takes place in space, having you explore alien infested space stations while searching for the self-destruct codes to blow up the station and collecting air pods and energy to keep yourself going along the way. There are weapon upgrades and keys for locked doors to find as well and it's all very Zelda'y feeling. It's a long game too, though thankfully (and rather remarkably) Atari managed to incorporate a password save system and you can get your password at any time by using the Color/B&W TV switch on the system to access a pause menu; so you can stop playing whenever you please then use your password to resume the game later where you left off. It's just a really cool and surprisingly elaborate game all around and totally worth a look for 2600 fan!

Edited by Skippy B. Coyote

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Posted (edited)

Spikes Peak....Great moment once I've reached the mountain top

Robin Hood....Bit of a graphical mess, but you get to rescue Maid Marian

X man....I know, this game gets a lot of flak, but for me, it's a great maze, hide and seek game. The reward is virtual sex, fantastic. It's funny.

Dice Puzzle....Change the numbers using as few turns as possible.

Tutankham….One of the first Atari games I have played, still love it.

Stellar Track....Played Star Fleet 1 on my trusty Atari XE, this one's pretty close

Snail against Squirrel....very good game

And another thumbs up for ….Beamrider, played it four hours.

Edited by high voltage

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On 5/18/2020 at 4:16 PM, keithbk said:

Fantastic Voyage by 20th Century Fox is a very good game, but you need to read the rules and NOT shoot the wrong things...

 

I thought M*A*S*H was also worthwhile; a nice two-part game. Also Fox.

 

The 20th Century Fox games are often overlooked, but there are some real gems among them.

Oh right, remember Mega Force?  I forgot all about it until you mentioned Fox games.  Thanks!

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I've been playing Assault (by Bomb) occasionally over the last few months, and it turns out to be a fairly engaging little shooter. It's hardly perfect but the gameplay uses an interesting mechanic, and it's even got a kill screen (which I appreciate since I like games with definite endings). Even among 2600 fans, I think very few have played this one.

 

Seconded on Cosmic Swarm, Mega Force, Space Attack (aka Space Battle on the Intellivision), and especially Death Trap, which is ferociously difficult but rewarding to defeat.

 

 

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I played Space Cavern for the first time today. Great shooter. I've been an Atari fan for a long time (well not compared to some here), but I didn't even know this game (and other Apollo games) existed until a few years ago.

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