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Uzumaki

last game to offer B&W mode?

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What was the last commercial game that offered color and B&W mode via color switch? I would think the color switch got left out pretty early on as many 3rd party games didn't use it at all.

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I believe Joust (published in 1983) is the last commercial release that uses the B&W switch for its intended use. When set to B&W, the players and enemies change to shades of grey, though the playfield colors don't change.

 

Joust notwithstanding, Atari had abandoned the B&W switch by 1982, during the transition from black labels to silver labels. Several third parties, including Activision and Parker Brothers, still supported the B&W switch in their 1982 offerings. By 1983, though, it was pretty much forgotten about entirely (Joust being the curious exception).

 

I think Pac-Man also has a better B&W palette, personally. On the other hand Space Invaders looks much better with its color palette, even when played on a B&W TV. I should know; I was given a B&W TV along with my first Atari back in the day, so I got a lot of use out of that switch.

Edited by skunkworx

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The B&W switch is used also in Solaris (1986), but the difference is hard to see: in the planet surface screen the switch changes the sky color from blue to black and the mountains from black to gray.

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I only ever used the black and white function way back in 82 when my parents gave me an old black & white tv to play my games on. I only ever used it for Combat, Air Sea Battle and Space Invaders. Surprised to learn that Joust still possessed the function though ;)

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The B&W switch is used also in Solaris (1986), but the difference is hard to see: in the planet surface screen the switch changes the sky color from blue to black and the mountains from black to gray.

 

Technically Solaris was coded in 1984 when it was still known as The Last Starfighter.

 

Tempest

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I believe Joust (published in 1983) is the last commercial release that uses the B&W switch for its intended use. When set to B&W, the players and enemies change to shades of grey, though the playfield colors don't change.

 

Joust notwithstanding, Atari had abandoned the B&W switch by 1982, during the transition from black labels to silver labels. Several third parties, including Activision and Parker Brothers, still supported the B&W switch in their 1982 offerings. By 1983, though, it was pretty much forgotten about entirely (Joust being the curious exception).

 

I think Pac-Man also has a better B&W palette, personally. On the other hand Space Invaders looks much better with its color palette, even when played on a B&W TV. I should know; I was given a B&W TV along with my first Atari back in the day, so I got a lot of use out of that switch.

 

1) In the day (1982-85) I sometimes disconnected my Atari from our main TV (color) to our basement TV (black and white) if something else was going on upstairs. The B&W switch did help some games come in clearer.

 

2) Like skunkworx, I used to switch Pac-Man to B&W mode sometimes, even on the color TV, because it made the ghosts MUCH easier to see.

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