@Atsinganoi is a guybrarian who started gaming in a dark time known as the early 80s. He is 1 More Castle’s official swimsuit model.
Racism in video games: it’s not just a modern gaming problem. Sure, C.J.’s first mission in San Andreas has him stealing a bike and some people didn’t like Resident Evil 5 for all of the African villager killing, but you can’t forget pretty much everyone in Punch-Out!, Pokemon’s Jynx, and MAMMA MIA Super Mario himself. Yes, video games have a long, storied, and terribly embarrassing history with race, and the 2600 is no exception. Here are the top 5 most racist games to ever be released for the console.
If you google Space Invaders and take a quick look around the Internet, you’ll figure out fairly quickly that this is the place I’m supposed to tell you that Space Invaders was a killer app before killer apps even existed, how it quadrupled sales of the 2600 upon its release, and how it was one of the most important games from the golden age. If you dig a little deeper, you might even find out that some people think the game was created by the American military to prepare young American children for the fight against aliens, or communists… I forget which. Instead, this is the place were I tell you that the game is about Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses ringing your doorbell (a.k.a., invading you space) and how a few very sick people think they and other religious minorities should be murdered.
Tom Cruise hates Missile Command. Yes, the arcade classic from 1980 ported shortly thereafter to the 2600. Come on, you remember the game. Even your mom remembers Missile Command. It was fun, addictive, went pew, pew, pew, brrrrcrash, bleep, and prrrrrgrrrcrrrr, had nukes, and was awesome. What most people, including your mom, don’t remember is its backstory, plot, or why Tom Cruise hates it so much.
X-Man by Universal Gamex (what I’m assuming was Universal Studios’ gaming division at the time) was one of the first comic book licenses, after Superman and Spider-Man, to get a video game treatment. Now, I’m far from being a comic book nerd (considering I’ve probably read less than 10 super hero comics in my life), so I never read the X-Men comics, but I did watch the cartoon, so I totally remember X-Man, the X-Men’s mascot. I also remember that he didn’t have any super powers, which makes him a strange choice for a video game. Nonetheless, I honestly believe that this might be the best super hero-based video game made until the last console generation or two, thanks mostly to the way the people behind the game chose to handle it in light of the hardware limitations of the time.
I normally hate racing games. I usually find them boring, unless you can play them while not technically racing (like Carmageddon); however, Enduro is unique not only among racing games, but also within the history of video games in general. The person behind Enduro decided that his time-traveling exploits shouldn’t be wasted on making a game that incorporates elements from a bunch of his favourite movies. Enduro is the product of time-travel, a dystopian future, propaganda, and an intense hatred of the European Union.
Well, if the title doesn’t automatically convince you that this game is 100% wholesome, then the box art certainly will:
To be honest, I’m not even sure why I felt this game was worthy of an article. There’s nothing objectionable about it. The creators didn’t all commit suicide for unexplained reasons after its release. No one from the C.I.A. inserted subliminal images to brainwash the people who played it. Even the instruction manual is perfectly suited for children. Hell, it’s even written in a way to make it sound like it’s addressed to a 6-year-old. Here, have a look at what I mean:
Released in 1977 as a launch title for the Atari 2600, Basic Math is one of those simply epic games that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Taking the fun of arithmetic, once confined to the classroom, and bringing it to the living room in a way that previous generations never could have dreamed. From the gameplay, to the music, all the way to the graphics and the box art, this is truly a perfect game.
So, let’s start with that box art then…
Let me start by saying that Chuck Norris has absolutely no redeeming qualities. None. Also, please, I’m begging you, no Chuck Norris jokes in the comments or else you will be banned from commenting on 1 More Castle (Hey Eric, do I have the authority to do this?
Editor's Note: ... No. -- Eric.
You never let me have any fun.)
When released for the arcades in 1982, the developers of Dig Dug had to have several key changes made to their final product just to have it released at all. As a result, they created a classic. Unfortunately, when it was ported to the 2600 a year later, gamers finally got to play the now classic game the way the developers had always intended.
When I first heard of Review a Good Game Day, I immediately knew what game I would be reviewing. From the first time I ever played Solaris for the Atari 2600 to today, I’ve always believed this it is the best game ever made for that system. Here’s why:
If many of you aren’t familiar with Solaris, even those among you who did grow up with a 2600 in the house, it might have something to do with the fact that it was released on July 25th, 1986, which means many of you had already been helping a plumber save a princess on your NES for nearly a year. Luckily for me, who only got an NES in 1989, and gamers everywhere, Douglas Neubauer (the man behind the massively influential Star Raiders, to which Solaris is ostensibly a sequel) was still programming games for it.
Why would anyone bother to make a game for a dying console? Apparently, while Neubauer doesn’t know why Atari bothered releasing more games for the 2600, he was working only a few miles away from Atari’s headquarters at the time, so it looks like he just figured “Why not?” He had pitched the game years earlier, and Atari wanted it to be called “The Last Starfighter” as a tie-in to the movie; however, one week after they flew him down for a screening of the movie, Jack Tramiel bought the company and pretty much laid everyone off. To Neubauer, it looked like the end for Atari and video games. Yet, two years later, he gets a call and just like that, Atari bought the game we now know as Solaris.
Well folks, here it is! The official Atari Poop Comic. This is always what I intended Atari Poop to be. My educational background being in, as you will obviously recognize in a second, fine arts, I had originally pitched this idea to the folks here at 1 More Castle. While it was accepted, I quickly realized I just didn’t have the time necessary to produce something of this caliber every week, so we struck a compromise: I would write an article every week, all the while working on the comic until I had a backlog that would at least cover several months. I’m pleased to announce that I already have enough strips to fill every Monday for the next six months, so without further ado, take a look at Atari Poop: The Comic #1!
Released in 1983 and developed by Atari and Children’s Computer Workshop, Cookie Monster Munch is an adult game disguised as a children’s game. Now, I don’t mean “adult” in the sense that it’s not suitable for children here. The game is still an educational one, but the developers knew parents weren’t going to buy an educational game for themselves; however, since parents were exactly the kind of people they wanted to see buying the game, it was marketed for children instead. Let me explain…
Some of you might be thinking, “A Mario game on the 2600? Surely you jest, good sir! Might it not merely have been a videoed game of the home-brewèd variety?” Well, my learnèd friends, you’d be wrong. Mario Bros. for the 2600 was a port of the original arcade game and is without a doubt the greatest Mario game ever made (besides this one obviously). Here are the top 10 reasons why:
Any of you kids grow up with an Atari 2600 AND a Starpath Supercharger? No, it’s not the name of some spaceship in a Star Wars movie. It’s the name of a third-party add-on meant to give the 2600’s capabilities in a fairly convoluted way. First you put the cartridge/adapter with a wire sticking out of it into the cartridge slot, then plug said wire into a cassette player’s earphone jack, which is where you’d actually put the real game as they were all stored on audio cassettes. One of these very cassettes had quite possibly one of the most insane video games ever made. I suppose you should expect nothing less from a game titled “Communist Mutants from Space.”
Journey Escape. Yes, Journey, THAT Journey. If you don’t who Journey are, leave now. No, don’t go googling it. Just forget I ever mentioned them. Save yourself. Come back next week when I’ll talk about a game not based on a band whose music has been known to destroy people’s entire lives.
In a previous Atari Poop, I wrote about the game commissioned by the American Dental Association, so it should come as no surprise that the National Restaurant Association would commission a game of their own: Fast Food.
Sorcerer, by Mythicon Inc. Note the awesome sorcerer with the red robe and badass wand. He seems to be on the edge of a cliff inside a large cave or narrow ravine. Just from this image alone, you know you’re in for something special. It’s obvious as soon as your brain registers the magnitude of awesome of what your eyes are seeing.
So you pop the cartridge into your console, flick the power switch from “Off” to “On,” and come face to face with the most soul-destroying disappointment, a game that looks like its sole purpose was to eradicate every last shred of humanity found in the people who played it. This is what happens when a programmer actively seeks to make a game that will give you Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
One of the most bizarre and, quite frankly, stupid, things I can imagine a video game company doing is porting an arcade game to a variety of systems from one console generation one year, and then porting the same game to a 12 year old system from the previous generation a year later. Well, that scenario perfectly describes what Activision did with Double Dragon, porting the arcade hit to the NES, followed by the Atari 2600 the next year (the same year as the Atari 7800, SMS, among others), and you know what, although a truly bizarre move, the result was absolutely not stupid and frankly nothing less than groundbreaking! Trust me.
China Syndrome is a 1982 action/puzzle/shooter-ish game for the Atari 2600 sandwiched between two unbelievable conspiracy theories.
As for the first conspiracy, have a look online and you’ll find out that China Syndrome refers to either a movie, this video game, or a theory regarding the safety of nuclear power plants and that the first two are loosely based on the third. It appears that some people thought the power plants made in the 60s weren’t very safe. In particular, there were worries that a loss of coolant could potentially cause a meltdown where everything would burn through the bottom of the reactor and continue straight through the centre of the Earth, and exploding on the other side in China.
Now, you might be thinking “What were these people, idiots?! China isn’t on the opposite side of the Earth in relation to the U.S.!” You’d be right to think this, to a certain extent. China isn’t at the opposite end of the world; however, the reason it’s called the China syndrome and not the Australia (or somewhere off the coast of Australia) syndrome is because an American reactor never melted down straight thrown the Earth’s core and exploded on the other side in Australia.