The the Wild #1 – Retro 2600 Finds 2/20/17
This is a new feature we will be doing here on 8bitrocket.com, In The Wild, where we describe retro gaming finds in the wild (at a store, flea market, etc), as opposed to an e-bay purchase. We might discuss those too sometime, but for now, at least this entry, is dedicated to some 2600 games I found at a local game shop. This is a shop with card board boxes filled with common Atari carts, and some gems found in the mix.
The photos of the carts are taken on my wood floor. The photos of the games come directly from my 7800 and the colors look off because that’s what I have to deal with. Look, this stuff is 40 years old in some cases. Yes I need to HDMI upgrade. Yes I need to position the camera better, yes, on a black background you can see the rest of the room reflected. At least I didn’t steal them from Google images. I had to re-do the Gangster Alley cart photo (light reflecting on the silver), but all the rest were pulled from the image above
The information about each game comes directly from personal playing, and examining the cart. No resource like Atari Age or Atari Mania was used. You get exactly what I get. I do look these things up later for reference. For example, the Non-double-ended Artillery Duel cost me about $4.00, but goes for at least 4x that on E-bay). I’m not in this for the rarity or $$, just the fun and preservation. No sales, please don’t ask.
I played all of the games one time (well Amidar like 15 times), with the difficulty on the A setting using my Atari 7800. Most of the carts worked perfectly, but a couple needed some cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a q-tip (Parker Brothers games usually need this).
GI Joe Cobra Strike (silver label. Parker Brothers 1983)- An odd shooter that uses the Paddle controller. Difficult to describe. You have two guns (one on each end of the screen) that cannot be fired unless your break out style paddle is underneath them. You move the paddle (really fast) between the guns and attempt to catch projectiles from a giant (well animated) cobra above. You are doing this to protect a few vulnerable soldiers in a trench below you from the cobra’s projectiles. When you move paddle to one of the guns, you can press the fire button for it to shoot straight up at the Cobra. First impression 5/10
Berzerk (Green text, picture label, Atari, 1982)- The classic, one of the best 2600 Arcade adaptions. Run through the maze-like rooms, kill to robots, watch out for Evil Otto. First Impression 9/10
Artillery Duel (single ended, Xonox, 1983) – This is a 2600 version of the classic computer game. It requires 2 people. Not bad. Graphics and sounds are pretty good. Aiming is a pain in the ass using difficult to control dials at the top of the screen. First impression 5/10
Gangster Alley (silver label, no picture, Spectravision, no date on cart) – This is a game that should use a light gun but does not. You shoot bad guys in windows of a building. it’s not easy to figure out who is bad and who is good (but a screen before the game starts does tell you, it just that all the blobs…err gangsters and civilians look kind of the same), but the obvious bad guy is on top of the building. You just keep shooting at him so he won’t drop a bomb that ends your game. There is no way to destroy him or the bomb. First Impression 6/10
Demons To Diamonds (Orange text picture label, Atari, 1982) – Weird kids game that I will need to read the manual to figure out. Also uses the paddle controllers. Not much fun. First Impression 3/10
Circus Atari (purple text picture cart, Atari, 1978) – The classic. My paddles seem jittery in the 7800 for this game. Going to the left they jitter, to the right, they work fine. Might be the 7800 because I tried two sets of paddles and Breakout., and they all had the problem. These are the first paddle games I have tried on this 7800. I might need a 2600 to go along with it. First impression 6/10 (if paddles worked correctly)
Amidar (Silver label, color picture, Parker Brothers, 1982) – The best game of the bunch. A cross between Qix and Pacman. Move your “hero” around the pre-defined path and close the boxes on the entire screen. I had a game like this for the Atari 800 called Kid Grid. I actually want to play this 2600 cart instead of writing this piece. That’s how much fun it is, if it does look a little primitive. First Impression 8/10
Squeeze Box (White Text on Blue with a color picture label, USgames, 1982) – Take all the best things about the color block shooting game in the Tron arcade machine, eliminate them and you have this weird piece of crap. You are a giant dude, stuck in the middle of colored boxes that are moving in from the sides of the screen. My games ended very quickly. First impression 3/10
I actually have about 13 more games that I picked up a couple days earlier. I will do those in the next post.