@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.
Someone call Fox News! They’ve been blaming video games for the wrong thing. I’ve discovered the origin of the War on Christmas and it’s AtariAge.com, a veritable breeding ground for godless monsters who hate Christmas. You heard it here first kids and it’s all true.
Some of the more naïve of you might find all of this a little far fetched, so look at each cart one by one.
Tax Evader, a 1982 “video game”, was meant to be a propaganda tool for the I.R.S.and was created with the help of the C.I.A. It totally backfired.
So in 1981, the I.R.S. approached Atari and the C.I.A. to discuss making a video game for the console that would help them in the goal of curbing the rate of tax evasion. All the parties agreed to the inclusion of subliminal messages and other mind control techniques within the game. The I.R.S. tasked one of their agents, Darrell Wagner (whose name is an anagram for “drawl enlarger,” which isn’t relevant at all, just weird), with coming up with the basic design of the game (i.e., what it should look like and how it should play). The C.I.A. had one of their mind control experts work on the game; however, he is credited under a false name, Todd Clark Wolm, and mistakenly listed as a “independant Investment Advisor” (the mistake isn’t the title, but its spelling).
Body Harvest is an action-adventure game (similar to Adventure in a lot of ways) with some open-world elements. Now, I’m sure some of you are wondering why you’ve never heard of this game. Well, it was released back in 1988 (though I found more than one “reputable” site indicating that it came out in 1998; with those graphics, I don’t think so!), so most of you had probably moved on to the NES and Master System by then. However, despite those atrocious graphics (even by 2600 standards), this game is a truly under appreciated gem.
At this point, some of you will be looking at the title of this article and thinking: “Here comes another article about how yet another 2600 game is amazing, ahead of its time, and the greatest thing in gaming ever.” Well, think again. Missile Command is one of the least interesting games you can find for the 2600, and for a console whose catalogue consists mostly of Pong clones, that’s saying a lot.
Released in 1982, Deadly Duck is notable for two things. The first is having some insane-looking box art that turns out to be EXACTLY what you’ll find in the game. Deadly Duck is a game where flying crabs drop bricks at a duck that can shoot from its mouth. If you think it sounds like a really stupid premise for a game, you’d be 100% correct. It is a stupid premise for a game, and the box art only gives you half of the story, which brings us to the second notable thing about the game: It’s essentially a Scrooge McDuck video game, even though he isn’t technically in it.
Yar’s Revenge is a classic video game that lets you play as a pirate. It was fun and had a few elements that hadn’t really been seen in video games yet, like playing the role of a pirate.
Those of you unfamiliar with the game might be wondering: If this game is about pirates, why does it have a giant-ass fly shooting grapefruits out of its mouth? Those of you who are familiar with the game are probably asking the same question. Meanwhile, I’m asking myself a different question: Why do they call them grapefruits? That’s a stupid name for the fruit. It looks nothing like a grape. Grapes are fruit, so they should be called grapefruits. Like all sorts of grapes are, you know, fruits from the grape family? Anyway, the French have a much better, totally not ridiculous word for them: Pamplemousse.
When someone (tried asking who it was, but I never got a reply… sorry, whoever you are) first suggested on Twitter that I review Sneak ‘n’ Peek, I decided to head to Youtube to have a look. I’d never played the game as a kid and actually hadn’t heard much about it before. I had a vague idea that it was basically hide and seek, but that’s it. It sounded like a really stupid concept to turn into a game, and thus perfect Atari Poop fodder.
For some strange reason, the Atari 2600 seems to have had a thing for games that have exclamation marks in their name (Pitfall!, Oink!, Mr Do!, etc). It also seems to have had a thing for having absolutely terrible games among its best-selling games. Kaboom! fits into both of these categories… or does it?
As a kid, I played Adventure for the Atari 2600. I remember it fondly. I never really had any idea what I was doing. I would pretty much just run around, find an item, get eaten by a dragon, start over, get the item again, open a door, get eaten by a dragon, the go play outside or something. I thought it was great even though I had no idea how important the game was in the history of video games or what the game was really about.
Before I start, I need to thank
@thedancinpanda for suggesting Soylent Green. You’ll get what I’m talking about by the end. Anyway, on with the poop!
Apparently, the “official” story for this game is that the dude with the sword is named “Winky” and he’s the only person who’s potentially “clever enough” for the job of getting the world’s most priceless treasures. Many treasure hunters have disappeared in this dungeon. Only one person has managed to escape with his life. Apparently, one should be ready with his bow and arrow. Authorities cannot explain the disappearances.
In 1982, the Atari 2600 got a port of Berzerk, an arcade game created by two people who travelled back in time to make a game based on a movie they really liked and their mutual hatred of Walmart. They ended up creating a classic game and one of the most terrifying video game characters ever.
Today is my son’s second birthday (that’s him with me in the picture above). He’s an awesome little guy and I love him to bits. His coming has changed a lot in my life; some changes were expected and others unexpected. One of these unexpected ways has been his impact on my relationship with video games. The first 9 entries on the list are not in any particular order, but they all build towards #1 in a way that makes it the most important.
So, if you have had a young kid or still have one, you might be able to relate to what you are about to read. If you are thinking about having kids, read this as a cautionary tale. If you ARE a young kid, what the hell are you doing here reading this? Seriously, I’m gonna swear here so you shouldn’t be reading this. For fuck’s sake, where are your parents? Playing video games?
The first game to have been based on Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, Warlords (originally even titled “Princes”, but later changed to “Condottieri” because it sounded too wimpy, and then changed again because it sounded to Italian) is an Atari 2600 classic.
The 100th annual Calgary Stampede ended about a week ago, so in “honour” of it, I’m reviewing Stampede for the 2600 this week… because that’s just how much I love and care about something like the Calgary Stampede (i.e., it was over before I even noticed it was happening). With that said, some of you might already be wondering where the hell I’ll be taking you today. I’m also be asking myself that question, so let’s find out.
In 1983, the video game world was introduced one of its first environmentalists: Frostbite Bailey. Years, even nearly a decade, ahead of it’s time, Frostbite is a cautionary tale painting a clear picture of what the future might hold for planet Earth if humankind continues down it’s destructive path. It warns of global warming and climate change long before these concepts became well-known to the general population and demonstrates the real-world problems these events would eventually cause for both humans and animals.
Q*bert is one of the first games I can actually remember purchasing with my own money. It was released in 1983, having been out in the arcades a year earlier, though I must have bought it at least 3 or 4 years later. It was and still is a very strange game. Just try describing its gameplay. It’s almost impossible to do it in a way that would be comprehensible to a person who is unfamiliar with the game.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of Atari, I wanted to pick a really important game. I then found out that Donkey Kong Jr. was celebrating its 30th anniversary on the June 30th. At that point it was settled: I was going to review one of the most controversial 2600 games, a game that almost wasn’t released.
Hey folks, before we get started, I’d just like to bring your attention to the title: Atari Poop. Eric Bailey suggested I come up with a title for this here series, so I took to Twitter seeking out ideas. Eric then replied with several great titles, but only one contained the word “poop”. As soon as I read it, I was sold. We finally have a title to associate to the nonsense I contribute to this otherwise excellent site. So now you know and should tell your friends, come to 1 More Castle to get the inside scoop with Atari Poop.
Anyway, on with the poop…
The year is 1976, the United States and Soviet Union are in the midst of the Cold War and the economy is shit. So a bunch of nerds decide to make a video game, give the middle finger to the commies, and save America. Such is the power of video games in general, but Breakout in particular. Thankfully for Atari 2600 owners, we only had to wait 2 years for our port so that we too could support freedom and stuff.
Released in 1983, designed by Steve “my last name proves I was born to do this for a living” Cartwright, commissioned by the American Dental Association to help promote good dental hygiene to the youth of America, and developed and published by Activision before its evil megacorp days, Plaque Attack is a really stupid idea for a game that somehow manages to be really stupid fun. It’s weird.