Have you played Atari today?

Have you played Atari today?

Have you played Atari today?

0 comments 📅30 November 2018, 07:56

Have you played Atari today? More than likely the answer is no, but that is ok! Hello readers! I am back! I know its been a while but I am ready to bring you another retro gaming console article! This time we will be talking about the home console that started them all, the Atari 2600. I am not old enough to have played Atari in its hay day but I know how much of an impact it had on the gaming community. I do have a 2600 now and I love going back and playing it, to see home console gaming at its roots.

My first impression when turning it on was “Oh my god, it still works!” followed by the child like joy I get whenever I start up a retro console and see that fuzz run across my TV. Compared to modern gaming consoles this is basically the stone age, but like the stone age without it we would not be where we are today!

First lets start with a little background on Atari, the company was started out by a University of Utah graduate named Nolan Bushnell and his partners Ted Dabney, and Al Alcorn in 1972. Many consider Nolan the father of the modern video game, which is kind of hard to refute. They started out making arcade cabinets and games including, Computer Space, Pong, and Asteroids. The 2600 known originally, before 1982, as the Atari VCS (Video Computer System) was released in North America on September 11th, 1977. This was the console that really made the microprocessor and ROM based gaming consoles popular.

Originally priced at US$199, which would be around $800 after adjusting for inflation and shipped with two joysticks and the game Combat and sold between 350,000 and 400,000 units during 1977. It probably would have been more if they could have kept the supply up enough to meet the demand. Nolan Bushnell ended up selling Atari to Warner Communications (now Time Warner) to help get the funding to get the 2600 built. This console remained in production until 1986 though it would never match its popularity it had in the 70’s and early 80’s.

Atari has more recently put out retro classic consoles that have massive collections of their games. Though I think this is pretty amazing and helps bring some of the old classics to a new generation, I still feel like the best way to enjoy the retro consoles is to play them on an old TV with the original hardware. I know that is a lot of work for some people but its how I roll! Now lets move onto some of the game of the 2600.

Most of you know the story of “The Worst Video Game of All Time”, the Atari adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. This game was made by Howard Scott Warshaw in 1982. Usually programmers are given around six months to create a game. Mr. Warshaw was given 6 weeks, and many say this is a contributing factor to the games less than stellar outcome. But E.T. is not the game I want to talk to you about, the game I want to talk about is y Howard Scott Warshaw called Yars’ Revenge.

This game began as a licensed port of the Cinematronics arcade game Star Castle. In this game the player must shoot holes in these shields in order to destroy the cannon inside. But once these holes are made, the cannon can also shoot out at the player. If the outermost layer is completely destroyed, new layers of shields are grown. Yars’ Revenge ended up being the best selling original game Atari 2600 game of all time. This game gives me some Space Invaders vibes, but that can only be a good thing!



Best Selling Game: Pac- Man

Released in 1982 by Atari Inc. this is a port of Namco’s hit arcade game Pac-Man. It sold more than 7,700,000 cartidges. Making it number 1 on their all time sales list!

Personal Favorite: Adventure

It was released at the end of 1979/ beginning 1980. It was a dungeon adventure where you travel around to find keys and unlock treasures. Many people know of this game due to it being the first game to ever put in an “Easter Egg”.

Luke Hunsaker
Luke Hunsaker

Luke Hunsaker, also known as The Podcaster Without Fear, is the host of The Nerd Dome Podcast. He also writes a comic book review column on thenerddome.com. You will also find him as a frequent panelists at Salt Lake City Comic Con, and Fan X.

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