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  1. I saw on a Twitter post by someone else that mentioned Atari's Rollercoaster Tycoon license expires in 2022. My guess is that when they have something to share regarding that license it may be tied into Atari's 50th anniversary celebration. I didn't notice a RCT on VCS thread on here so I thought I'd create one! Licence info: https://www.atari.com/chris-sawyer-and-atari-announce-three-year-license-extension-for-rollercoaster-tycoon/ Press release mentioning RCT coming to VCS in the future: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/08/16/2281430/0/en/ATARI-ANNUAL-RESULTS-2020-2021.html
  2. Fishing Derby (Activision, Atari VCS, 1980) There are actually Fish Derbies in the real world, which I don't expect to be shocking news to any of you. However I thought reading the rules to one would be interesting. http://www.valdezfishderbies.com/pages/contest_rules.php It's possible that I wasn't entirely correct about it being interesting. Sorry if you just spent 30 minutes of your life there that you will never get back. Fishing Derby is by David Crane. David Crane apparently also programmed Outlaw (1978), Canyon Bomber (1979) and Slot Machine (1979) all for the Atari Video Computer System. Atari doesn't let anyone know who designs their games. Game designers are kept frozen in a vault under Atari Headquarters and only brought out of the vault when a new game is needed. One night, someone left the door to the vault open. Four designers escaped. Not being able to feed themselves due to not having any marketable skills, or even human language, they had to do the only thing they knew - game programming. All of this has been carefully documented elsewhere in case you think I'm making this up. Fishing Derby consists of two fishermen sitting across from each other on docks. The goal of the game is to collect 99 pounds of fish before the other. On the playfield there are six rows of fish. Rows 1 and 2 weigh 2 pounds each, rows 3 and 4 weigh 4 pounds each, rows 5 and 6 weigh six pounds each. Each fisherman lowers their lines and tries to hook a fish by moving the hook in front of the fish. When the fish is hooked it will slowly swim to the surface. When a player presses the red button, they're able to reel the fish in faster. There is a hazard of a shark swimming above the topmost row that will eat your fish off your hook so one must always be wary of the shark. Also, there's an interesting mechanic that only one fish may be reeled in at a time by either player. So, if you've both got a fish on the hook, the person who hooked theirs first may reel it in while the other waits. I guess there are ways of using this to your advantage, to not just delay the other person's poundage accumulation, but also to wait for the shark to be more on their side. I did not explore this tactic, but it's a thought. This game is fun. It has moments where you think you're going to get a fish up and, suddenly, you hit the shark losing your fish. There are many "so close!" moments. This is a game that is much more fun to play with a friend, but playing with the computer is good practice. I have yet to beat the computer playing with the computer on Beginner and myself on Advanced. The difference between the two settings is that to catch a fish on Beginner, you just need to get the end of your line near the fish's mouth. To catch a fish on Advanced, your line has to practically be right under the fish's nose. (( Thankfully, a post on Atari Age forums has finally helped me to figure out which way the difficulty switches on the 7800 need to go to be (A)dvanced (to the right) or (B)egginner (to the left) I'm trying to remember to put the Spacetime Protective Barriers up (aka parenthesis) when talking about things "not yet of this time" )) Oh, something different about this game from games that have gone before it: the surface of the water, in addition to providing a sort of "depth perception" to the body of water, actually "shimmers" like the surface of a pond or lake. Well, "like the surface of a pond or lake" in the sense that it is always changing - horizontal lines of blue and light-blue seemed to randomly wax and wane on the surface. It's a nice effect and I'm at a loss to think of another game on the Atari where something was animated in this way simply to provide eye-candy. The surface design has nothing to do with the game play and merely provides an animated aesthetic. Come to think of it, the fishermen also seem to provide a flavor that also doesn't contribute directly to the game play. I wonder if this is the first home videogame to do that? I just can't think of others at the moment. Thank you for reading my ramblings! I might make a game play video of the one-player game to see if my paranoia about the shark is true or not... I swear that sucker gravitates to the left during the single player games. I immediately just played two or three more one-player games, me=hard vs. computer=easy. I lost every time. I don't think my losses are entirely shark-related but if I can blame a shark. I will. Yes, I believe in having irrational prejudice towards sharks. Oh, I got through the entire article without including any fishing-related puns. My cognitive therapy exercises must be working or maybe I just wasn't feeling all that abusive today. Please feel free to put any fish-puns you care to make in the comments. Yes, I'm giving you license to make really awful fish-puns. Oh, the horror! The horror! Next time... back to Atari with Pele's Soccer!
  3. Checkers (Atari VCS, Jul 1980, Activision) “Chess is like looking out over a vast open ocean; checkers is like looking into a bottomless well.” -Marion Tinsley Marion Tinsley was the World Champion of Checkers from 1950 to 1990. Other people only gained the title if Tinsley didn't show up to play. He won the World Championship whenever he chose to play for it. Jonathan Schaeffer was a computer scientist. He lead the team that developed Chinook. Chinook is the computer program that plays checkers. Their story is a great story which I would love to tell you. Instead, I'm going to tell you the short and crappy version of that story. Chinook almost beat Tinsley in 1992. In 1994 they played against each other again. They played six games to a draw. Tinsley had to stop playing because he was in a lot of pain. The pain was cancer. He died a few months later. Chinook never defeated Tinsley. Tinsley's death inspired Schaeffer. Schaeffer's computer program "solved" Checkers in 2007. What that means is that the computer knows all the ways to play the game so that it either wins or draws. A much better version of that story can be found here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/07/marion-tinsley-checkers/534111/ I don't really have anything to say about Activision Checkers. It's a good version of Checkers. It's easy to play. The graphics look fine. There are a total of four games on the cart. Three games against the computer. (Novice, Intermediate, Expert) The Novice game takes about 15 minutes. The Expert game can take about 2 hours because the computer takes longer to think. The Intermediate game takes more time to play than the Novice game and less time to play than the Expert game. I bet you already knew that part about the Intermediate game. The fourth game is a two-player game. For the two-player game I needed to find another person. Every person I tried to drag into my house ran away from me. I decided I would cheat by having another computer program choose my moves for me. I chose the website MathIsFun, which has a Checkers game. I put Activision Checkers on Novice. I put MathIsFun Checkers on Hard. Activision Checkers won. Apparently that website is for kids, so don't be impressed. You might have thought I was going to have Chinook play against Activision Checkers. That would have been smart, but I didn't think of it until just now. Chinook is here: https://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~chinook/play/ Let me know if you win.
  4. Welcome back to what I'm now calling Chronogamer LE. The LE stands for Low Effort. If I have to really work up any enthusiasm to play something then that's too much effort, so I will learn what I can about it, read the manual, maybe do some research and play it for as long as I can stand it. If I try to get more involved in it, I'll end up going down a sort of procrastination rabbit-hole where I put it off for, like, half a decade or more and it blocks me from moving forward. I've recently learned I can blame ADHD for this, so, yay for me. Oh, by the way, I found Random Terrain's page that presents some optimal guessing regarding the release dates of games released to be played on the Atari VCS. Nice Job, RT! Your have made it a lot easier for me to get back into this. Bridge (Atari VCS, 1980, Activision) The manual for Activision's Bridge will not teach you to play Bridge. You have to have that knowledge ahead of time. You can get that knowledge from YouTube. You'll learn that it normally takes four people to play this game. You can learn everything you need to get started in about 10 minutes or even less. If you have three other people that you want to hang out with and try a new card game, then this could possibly be an interesting game. Maybe. I'd have to really like at least one of the other people involved to even think about playing any card game these days. Okay, I take that back. I did enjoy playing some Texas Hold-em prior to the Pandemic, but there was money involved and also an attractive woman, so, I guess we understand what motivates me. (It wasn't the money.) Activision's Bridge is for a single player. Like the manual, I don't want to teach you anything about playing Bridge. Sorry. Kinda. Don't look at me like that, just go to YouTube. Regarding this video game: I can see that there is planning and some tactical thinking involved. I can see the appeal of playing this as a social card game with other people. I can see the appeal of having a video game version of Bridge to help a player practice to improve how they play the game. I can even appreciate Activision's Bridge as a way of exploring how to think about playing the card game Bridge. These are worthy and noble pursuits and I admire the courage it must've took for Activision to produce this as one of the four games they debuted in 1980. (Edit: This game DID come out in 1980, but it was not one of the four debut games. They were: Boxing, Checkers, Dragster and Fishing Derby. I'll get better at playing these things in order now that I have a better order for them, but I've dreaded playing Bridge for so long that I needed to get it out of the way so that I could just get back to doing this.) That doesn't mean I have any interest in ever playing it again. Also, I'm a little resentful that I've learned to play a card game that I'll probably never ever play. This is where I'd give the game an emoji rating but it's been so long since I've posted I don't even remember how to do them. In this case it would be one of those "meh" emojis. Oh... okay, that was easier than I thought it would be. Thanks for reading! I might go on YouTube with these articles and show actual game play. I know that I've almost done this in the past and then deleted my YouTube. Sorry about that.
  5. Pele's Soccer (Atari VCS, 1980) As I've said before: "I'm not a sports fan" so how I felt about this game surprised me. Contrasting from our recent excursion into third-party software that had only two games to a cart, Atari's (the party of the first part) Pele's Soccer has 54 games promised for it on the front of the box and it delivers with 28 versions of two player and 28 versions of single player. The "versioning" is three variations each on modes of speed, modes of challenge and goal size. The playfield is interesting in that it's a scrolling vertical field. As you move the ball up or down it, the field scrolls up and down with it. It's another good example of "there's more to this playing area than meets your eye" that was emerging from videogames more and more. Yes, some videogames don't need that, Fishing Derby and Boxing, for example, do just fine without it but I really like the idea of using it to allow the player to focus on "what's happening right now" while being aware of a bigger picture. That's not a very good way to articulate it, but I do like this style of game. I can see how it might not work as well for sport-ports like hockey (where seeing where your team-members are helps) or basketball (important to see the big picture) but for this simplified version of soccer it works. You only have three players for each team and they're locked into a triangle formation, the "forward" at the apex of the triangle and two "backs". You can pass the ball among the members of your little triangle but it takes some practice. I started playing the easier two-player game (game 28) (EDIT: Nelio correctly points out that this is a typo and I was playing the easier one-player game. It's entirely possible though, that I WAS playing the two-player game by myself, which would indeed make it pretty easy.) and unexpectedly found that I enjoyed it. I advanced through a number of the variations, trying them out as I went, finding that the harder it got the more work it felt like and the more my button-thumb began to protest. Regardless, it kept my attention for far longer than I thought it would. I've yet to play it with either of my kids, but I look forward to trying it out with my son, who used to play soccer (ages 5 to 8ish) I think the real plus of this game is how, even on the easiest level, if you're doing pretty well (say, you've scored twice and your console opponent hasn't scored at all yet) the computer player improves its game. The goalie becomes more reactive and I'd swear the blue triangle of the enemy move faster, but again, I tend to imagine these things. Your mileage may vary. For me, personally, it was a lot more fun than watching professional soccer, which, to me, consists of a lot of this: There are penalties in the two-player games that do not exist in the single-player variations that I'm looking forward to experiencing with my son. It would be nice if they could simulate penalties for excessive ear-flicking. While I don't like watching real world Soccer, I must admit there are sometimes amazing moments like this one: (EDIT: Awww, I can't even remember what this gif was, but the link has died. Oh well.) which even makes an "professional sports neutral" person like myself feel begrudging admiration even to the point of tingles. Anyway, sorry for the "half-entry", I really can't count this game as "completed" until I've enjoyed it a bit in the two-player mode. Since I'm a bit retentive about splitting entries into two parts, I'll just edit this one with the two-player information after I've played. (Edit: no, this never happened because OF COURSE it never happened.) Golf is the next game in the pile. (EDIT: When I pulled a bunch of games out of the closet I'd actually thought about doing Golf, but then I noticed Bridge. Bridge is one of those games that I was never able to get myself to play and now that I've finally done so, I'm SO glad it's over. I should do Golf soon. It's funny, because Golf and Bridge are both games that my parents both like to play fairly regularly in real life these days and I just cringe thinking about either.)
  6. Boxing (Activision, Atari VCS, 1980) We've seen a Boxing game once before! 1978 on the APF-1000MP. I'd actually recorded that play session on a VHS tape which now will not load anything because my VCR won't work. Well, the mechanical bits won't work. The electronic bits still work as a conduit to serve my old consoles. All hail the conduit! Oooh, boy... boxing... I don't get boxing as a sport. I get that it takes skill, that it's a discipline similar to any skill that involves using the brain and body. I just don't like that competitive boxing's goal seems to be to punch someone until they're unconscious. Other sports might have greater risk for more serious injuries, it just seems odd to me that boxing still happens as a spectator sport. Enough about my bleh-ness on the subject. Boxing is one of six titles (Six? I don't know why I've always thought there were just four.) in 1980 to be released by a third-party. I'm never totally sure about who the first two parties are. I assume that one would be you, the consumer. The other party would be... the company that manufactures the console itself, in this case, Atari. But which one of those counts as the "first-party" and which is the "second-party". I'm going to guess that Atari would be the first and the consumer would be the second and then out of NOWHERE, comes the third-party, only doing stuff because the first and second parties have done something first. So, Activision. You know that something named Activision has something to do with the game because they spend precious screen-space to emblazon a logo on the screen to read "Activision". Without squinting, I could tell what the screen was supposed to be: two boxers facing each other in a boxing ring. I always thought it was a pretty fair representation of the sport. No need to complicate things by adding the rest of the body. The point is to knock each other out and the head is the best way to do that. Bob Whitehead, the designer and programmer had said that he decided to make the rounds two minutes, instead of however long they are in boxing, because... and all he says is "You'll see." I think what he was saying was "Because your button-thumb can't take much more than two minutes if it can even survive that." This is a tough game for your button-thumb. This is an Atari VCS game I recommend playing with an anachronistic (( Genesis )) controller if at all possible. I thought it was just my old hands complaining, but my son said that he definitely started to feel it after just two games, too. My son thought it was fun in a very simple way - like most games from this era. Not quite the strategy of the games he's into now (DOTA2), but it was short so no biggie. We both particularly liked the animation of the punch landing on the face of the other player and how it collapsed into the rest of his head. We were slightly disappointed that there was nothing to celebrate a KO other than the score changing to show "KO" but we weren't really surprised either. The game has difficulty options which control the speed you move. A difficulty and you're moving slower, B difficulty and you're moving faster. If you want to give your boxing opponent an advantage, set your difficulty to A and theirs to B. If you want a fairly tough game, put yours at A and play the computer on B. You'll likely manage to win, but your thumb will be sore so who's really the winner? I decided to see what the computer would do if you just let your player sit there and do nothing. The reactions varied. Sometimes the computer would come over and immediately start beating on the uncontrolled player-boxer and other times it would pause a few moments before starting the beating. Regardless, about "halfway to KO" the computer would step back a bit, as if to give the player a break, but still dancing around as if to say "So... you gonna fight or what?" and then continue beating the snot out of the uncontrolled boxer-player. Quick video here of the computer (console player?) player beating the uncontrolled boxer-player. No, it's totally not exciting but I posted it anyway. http://youtu.be/WSyW3lKDsSE (Yes, it's a dead link. I'm sorry.) Anyway, it was fun to see Boxing again. If I had to pick a way to compare it to the Atari games that had come out before it, and I'd say it seemed more "solid" and the graphics seem better defined with no blinking. (( Warning: Anachronistic Reference I asked my son "Who's that Pokemon?" and he immediately said "oh, ha. Geodude." )) Annnnd, next time... let's try Fishing Derby, a game I don't think I've ever played!
  7. Maze Craze: A Game of Cops and Robbers (Atari VCS, 1980) Someone in the 70s realized that there was fun to be found by using a computer to generate random mazes with a simple algorithm and allowing people to race through it. The first maze game that I can remember appearing on a home console was for the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES) and was cart #10 Maze, Cat and Mouse (1977). I don't know if this is the last "maze game" or not because I can't see into the future. (If I could, I'd have warned people about 80s hair.) This maze game decides to have a theme, and that theme is not merely "racing your buddy through a maze". Instead, it's a complex, textured and many-layered game which can be fraught with societal implications even to this day. It's not a game of cat and mouse! It's a game of Cops and Robbers! Which is totally different because if a mouse fights back, the cat is still gonna win. If a robber fights back, the outcome can be less certain. So, I could totally wax on that, but let's talk about the game instead. The cart contains 16 game variations with each variation further able to be varied by setting increasing parts or the entire maze "invisible". More on the invisibility aspect later. Players each have their little "cops" on screen, starting at the same point on the left side of the maze. The goal is to get through the maze to the exit all the way over on the right side of the maze. Yes, this sounds just like the other "maze" games so far, but wait...there's more!* *the phrase "but wait...there's more!" is over-used and a bit hokey and the creator of this blog would like to apologize profusely for its use. The game variations let you put "Robbers" in the maze. Two, three or five, depending on your selection. The Robbers start at the other end of the maze and randomly run through it. If you're playing the A difficulty game, your Cop moves just as fast as the Robbers. If you're on the B difficulty game, they move faster than the robbers. Players must maneuver through the maze, racing towards the exit, while avoiding the Robbers. This involves a lot of backtracking while trying to dodge the Robbers. How do you dodge the Robbers in what is essentially a single lane maze? You have to hope they take a turn down a blind alley giving you a chance to sneak by. I'm not going to lie, this is fun and depending on your emotional investment in the game, it can be intense (in a fun way). I will say that it's much more fun to play all of these with a partner but it's not necessary. You can easily play all of the games with just you leaving your Cop partner sitting alone at the starting spot. The 16 games the following variants with the number of Robbers or, in some instances, the visibility of the maze. Robbers - This is a race to the end of the maze, but Robbers come after you from the right side and will "take you out of the game" if you know what I'm sayin'. It's interesting because your little Cop doesn't disappear, it just becomes inert and doesn't move. We like to play that the dead Cop isn't really dead (yet) but yelling out to his buddy, "You gotta make it out, Louie! You gotta tell my family I died heroic and stuff...". (To keep things simple we pretended both Cops were named Louie.) Blockade - There's a variant that does let you play a cool trick on your opponent. By pressing the button you can drop an illusory wall to make it look like the bit of the maze you just passed through is actually a dead end. Yes, your opponent can just pass through this pretend wall, but it's a cool trick and if they weren't paying attention to you, they can fall for it. Capture - Another variant has the Cops doing what cops do in a game of cops and robbers, they can catch the robbers. Your goal is to get to each of the robbers and touch them before your opponent does. First to get all of them wins. There's no reason to not enjoy this game for a little while if you've ever felt some degree of satisfaction after getting through a maze. I fully intend to make an actual game play video of some of the more dramatic moments and linking y'all to it. I just didn't want to put off writing a new entry while I was still feeling the urge to write an entry. I wanted to talk about the "invisible" maze options. In most of the variants, if you choose to activate the invisibility option, the "invisible" parts of the maze will not be invisible. You will see your partner and the Robbers making their way along the invisible parts, and if you have a good head for mazes you can use their mistakes to your advantage. It's also possible to have an "auto peek" game or a player peek game. This allows you to see the invisible part of the maze for a brief moment. The problem is that your opponent will also see it. (( Martin Brundle-Fly would have been good at this. ))* (( Yes, by including that gif I AM admitting that I know things about the distant year of 1989, but I couldn't resist. )) (( From now on, if I decide to type something "out of character" for whatever year I'm currently deluding myself into believing I'm in, I'll put those anachronistic comments in double parenthesis. )) Scouts - Also in "invisible maze" you can sometimes have "Scouts". Scouts are your friends who run ahead of you briefly and show you how the maze runs. It's still invisible, but it probably keeps you from breaking your joystick slamming your Cop into an invisible wall because the Scouts give you some idea of where you can go. There, a quick and dirty entry. I'm likely going to add to it with a gameplay video as well as a discussion of a maze generating algorithm. EDIT Still no gameplay video my attention span might not last long enough to do one. I went ahead and did a cringe-worthy pair of videos talking about the maze generating algorithm that I can only hypothesize is used in Maze Craze. I'm a little annoyed at both Quicktime (which seems to want to crop any clip you add to the end of another, instead of just fitting it into the frame... if anyone knows a setting I'm missing, please let me know.) and YouTube, which also seems to decide to crop things. Well, I shouldn't be surprised that there is a learning curve and that freestuff has its limitations. The links to these videos are: Part 1: http://youtu.be/WJBIxAHV28k (EDIT: I'm pretty sure neither of these work anymore.) Part 2: http://youtu.be/XdoPmLaxf8A As always, constructive and sincere criticism is welcome, particularly with regard to any facts that I just blatantly seem to make up on the fly. My next entry should be Activision's Boxing.
  8. Hi guys, like promised, here is my first successful PoC, connecting a NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB to the ATARI VCS ?. The monitor is directly connectet to the HDMI GTX Port and it works fine and for the very first test, better than accepted ?.) I´ve tested it with a PALIT KalmX GTX 1050 TI 4GB and a Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, which I just had at hand, but it should works of course with other/newer PCIe cards too. Each graphic cards are properly recognized at boot time and works well, as far as I can see.... (See some Screenshot attached) Cheers, andY
  9. ⭐️Atari VCS is looking for you? ***Atari VCS technical support agent for game developers*** https://docs.google.com/document/d/13poSqwPkLtSnigoPrNLB2ZW9ecxs0C097Ftw21prsxI/edit?usp=sharing
  10. Tele-Games Electronic Games Motocross Sports Center IV (Atari, 1977) I kinda "get it" now but back in the late 70s I had no clue what was going on between Atari and Sears. It seemed like Atari stuff in other department stores was labeled "Atari" but Sears was a parallel universe where every Atari item was called something else. Combat was called Tank Plus; Air-Sea Battle was called Target Fun. The Atari Video Computer System was called the Sears Video Arcade, etc. Suspicions of conspiracy often played in my mind. Did Atari know that Sears was blocking Atari products from its shelves and replacing them with rebranded copies? Were these watered down versions or were they just as good as the "real" thing? The world may never know! (Look, I know we know, okay? I just didn't understand then.) One such rebranded (or prebranded) property is the Atari Stunt Cycle sold in Sears as Tele-Games Electronic Games Motocross Sports Center IV. This unit boasts several unique features that sets it apart from other consoles that come fully loaded with several variations on a PONG. Most notably the console resembles the throttle controls of a motorbike. The right-hand throttle is used to accelerate the on-screen motorbike to take it through a series of tasks, depending on the game. The left-hand handle is simply a handle that has a nice rubbery texture to it. The sound effect which accompianies the acceleration of the motorbike shows promise... Motocross Sound Demo on YouTube (Sadly, this video is no longer on YouTube. ) The occasional beeping sound in the middle of my revving is the Motor Bike sprite sliding on its head. The downside to the cool pontential of this sound is that during game play it became an annoying "vreeeeeeem". I'm not saying this is unrealistic, motor bikes make the same sound and some may argue that it's just as annoying. I'm saying it isn't very pleasant to overhear from the next room. Motocross Sound Demo II during gameplay on YouTube (Sadly, this video is no longer on YouTube. ) (by the way, 2:49 isn't a bad time for a five year old.) All of the sound comes directly from the console itself, so forget about practicing late into the wee hours, your family will not be pleased. To accelerate, there's a gear shifting scheme acheived by turning the throttle towards you quickly and then releasing it slightly (Trin's video demonstrates this). This technique of accelerating is related to the way that real motorcycles shift through the geers. When it's time to shift a real motorcycle, one releases the throttle, squeezes the clutch and uses their left foot to "toe" down or up to the next gear. Instead of releasing the throttle in Motocross, the player quickly turns it towards them and then forward again. This is exactly the wrong way to shift gears on a motorcycle because one should never rev an engine while the clutch is engaged ("rev it to the red!!") so, if you learned all your motorcycling skills from Tele-Games Motocross, you're going to have to unlearn them when you get on a real bike. The games in Motocross are pretty simple. The playfield consists of three levels, all of which are connected by a screen wrap-around effect. As the motor bike drives off the right side of the top level it reappears on the left side of the middle level and this is consistent when it drives off the right of the middle level (it shows up on the left side of the bottom level). Each game involves moving through those three levels with various goals. The first game, and most simple, is called Drag Race and the challenge is to get the motor bike through the course as quickly as possible by accelerating it quickly but without over revving it and sliding on your head. (Always dress for the ride AND the slide!) In addition to the "head slide" state there's also a "wheelie" state. If you accelerate just enough, you'll do a wheelie (in case I'm spelling it wrong, a wheelie is when your front wheel is off the ground and you're bike is continuing to move forward.) Motocross uses the wheelie state for a game called Motocross where the player must pull a wheelie over a barrer by accelerating the throttle as they approach it. There also Stunt Cycle. This is the most fun on here. If you were alive and watching TV during the 70's you will probably remember the Happy Days episode where Fonzie does the motorcycle jump and slides into the fried chicken stand. Well, this is similar. You start out with eight buses sandwiched between ramps and every time you successfully jump the lot they add another bus. This game is challenging and fun at first but then it gets hard and finally merely frustrating. If you're not going fast enough when your bike reaches the buses, you will not have enough forward momentum to sail over them. If you are going too fast, you may make the jump but not the landing. Yay! Another opportunity for a head slide! Okay, I blew most of my attempts to get decent gameplay footage, but here's a nice shot of the head slide. Stunt Cycle Head Slide (Sadly, this video is no longer on YouTube. ) You should be informed that there are Expert and Novice variations of each of the Cycle games. The Expert level involves much more sensitivity in the control making it more difficult to not over-accelerate into a head slide. I should also mention that there is a "Sports" in the title of this console because there are also 16 PONG variants you may enjoy by plugging in the paddle controllers. The games support between two and four players and include such Pong hits as Pong, Hockey, Street Hockey and Street Tennis. I'm officially "for" anything that involves up to four players, but I would doubt anyone will ever purchase Tele-Games Motocross blah blah blah so that they can play more Pong. On the other hand, if one doesn't already have a Pong dedicated machine, this is a nice way to get one bundled with a pretty cool Motocross game. With the exception of Atari/Sears PONG and the Coleco Tel-Star Arcade, that wraps it up for the 70s! If I should acquire either of those units in the future I'll insert them into the 80s but now, it's onward and forward! Next entry we'll jump back to 1980 and start playing the Mattel Intellivision (also known as the Sears Super Video Arcade ... oh no! Sears must've gotten to Mattel, too!) 17133
  11. A lot of people think Bubsy started on Atari (really the SNES and then Genesis) so .... sure... why not! Here we have it folks... BUBSY : Kitt'N Kaboodle This fun hack of Fast Eddie was made possible by Hack-O-Matic 3 and some coloring by KevinMos3 who has already made many good color hacks for Atari 2600 games. The Woolies are at it again stealing Bubsy's stuff and this time they stole EVERYTHING and stored it on the planet Kaboodle!!! Bubsy will need to JUMP OVER the Woolies to get it all back. In the game you'll see objects Bubsy needs to collect on based on items he collected in... Bubsy: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind. Bubsy 2 Bubsy Fractured Furry Tales Bubsy 3D Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits the James Turrell Respective And even the newest which came out recently that I'm enjoying... Bubsy: Woolies Strike Back Bubsy: Paws on Fire Latest binary: Bubsy0 R20.bin Bubsy0 R21-HS.bin Holiday Special Downloads to load on a SuperCharger. (by Troff) Latest Sound Beta: Bubsy0 S14.bin Play online by clicking here! The manual (created by MKdoes711) Bubsy-Kittn_Kaboodle.pdf Atari 2600 Silver label. Atari 2600 Text label. Alpha stage: Bubsy A01.bin. Bubsy A02.bin. Bubsy A03.bin. Bubsy A04.bin. Bubsy A05.bin Bubsy A06.bin Bubsy A07.bin Bubsy A08.bin Bubsy A09.bin Bubsy A10.bin Bubsy A11.bin Bubsy A12-Color.bin Bubsy A13.bin Bubsy A14.bin Bubsy A15.bin Bubsy A16.bin Bubsy A17.bin Bubsy A18-No RL.bin Bubsy A19.bin Bubsy A20 2.bin Releases: Bubsy0 R1.bin. Bubsy0 R2.bin Bubsy0 R3.bin. Bubsy0 R4.bin. Bubsy0 R5.bin. Bubsy0 R6.bin. Bubsy0 R7.bin. Bubsy0 R8.bin. Bubsy0 R9.bin. Bubsy0 B10.bin. Bubsy0 B11.bin. Bubsy0 B12.bin. Bubsy0 B13.bin. Bubsy0 R14.bin Bubsy0 R15.bin. Bubsy0 R16.bin Bubsy0 R17.bin Bubsy0 R18.bin Bubsy0 R19.bin. Bubsy0 R20.bin. Bubsy0 R21-HS.bin Holiday Special. Bubsy0_R22.bin OTHER VERSIONS ----------------------------------------------- Atari Computer Version. Atari 5200 Version. Commodore Vic 20 Version. Commodore 64 Version. Nuon (Alpha) Version. Jaguar (Alpha) Version. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And also... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special guest, Scott Williamson, programmer on the original Bubsy game!
  12. The World's Smallest Functioning Atari 2600 Console! A review of the world's smallest functioning Atari 2600. What are your guys opinions on this little thing?
  13. Today I met... Yorgle Grundle Rhindle ... and they kicked my BUTT! but I did win once!
  14. I pre-ordered one of these...then just went out and bought one on ebay. Brand new, never opened. Looking for retail ($400) plus shipping, that's it! Open to trading for: -MVS Games I don't have (Last Resort, Etc.) -S-Video Modded Atari 7800 alone with cash or with homebrews, games, etc -NTSC Turbo Duo (I'd add cash) -Rare Laserdiscs, not anime but The Matrix, Sleepy Hollow, Blair Witch Project, Bring out the Dead, Etc. -Nice CIB Sega Master System I realize these are rare items so cash probably easiest for most people. I'm pretty deep into my collection and don't need common anything. Thanks for looking, i hope this goes to someone excited about the system as I still am! They are easy and fun to upgrade.
  15. hi guys I make Atari 2600 vcs reproduction console boxes plus repro game boxes. All retyped with all original fonts, retouched and professionally assembled from scratch with no scans or jpegs used. They're all on my etsy shop. Take a look and spread the word if you can. Thanks! https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/boxingatari
  16. I've been refurbishing old consoles and building a new retro gaming center for myself, this year. I figured I would dump the photos here from the past few months so I don't lose them. It all started when I found this really nice old Sylvania flatsceen TV that is still old enough to not be widesreen ($7 Goodwill). After that, it was a matter of cleaning dust and grime off the old consoles, which had been sitting dormant on bookcase shelves, and diagnosing which controllers worked, and which were defective. At this point, my Atari controllers were stuttering or intermittently unresponsive. The Atari was still dusty, and lots of cartridges really needed to be jiggered around to get them to work. Without any cleaning for this, the problem resolved on its own after some use swapping cartridges on the console over a few weeks. The Intellivision II functioned, but still needs serious jiggering to get cartridges to load, but none of them were found to be dead. The playstation 2 works beautifully, but none of my memory cards were recognized. Some of the controllers turned out to be broken, especially the "clear red plastic" one seen plugged in here. I found a nice woodgrain cabinet for a stand at goodwill for 5 bucks, and used an old xetec Amiga hard drive casing for the stand to raise the TV up a bit. Next, I took apart the 2 sets of Atari paddles, which suffered from "Jitter," and cleaned them. Reassembled after cleaning the residue and grease with alcohol and swabs, they worked perfectly. The next challenge was to open up both joysticks, remove the clear adhesive over the boards, clean them, and reassemble with packing tape over the boards. Both of them worked very well, aside from an issue with one of them: The cable plastic seemed pretty stiff, and would lose control if it was not held in a certain position - ultimately a small tug downwards of the connector end plugged into the back of the console got whatever connections were loose to connect. But, this one went into my "museum" for non-use, ultimately. Next, I took apart the console and cleaned the case. I found three areas on the RF cable where the plasic cord exterior had torn, but it seems that the cable is still working perfectly, so a little electrical tape was wrapped around the frayed parts to protect them. Ultimately, I want to replace the cord and fix the connectors in the B&W switch, and get a second Atari joystick, but this is good enough for now. After the next photo was taken, I popped the caps off the paddles and cleaned them some more. Next, I identified two playstation controllers that still functioned, though only one PS2 dualshock controlled worked, so a PS1 controller was borrowed from the old console which is in my "museum." I added a VCR to the mix, running the PS2 through that. Finally, I set up a spare tablet to be able to quicky hit a website with atari manuals on it, for reference if needed, and bought myself a Harmony Cartridge for the Atari for loading games from my organized rom library on SD card, which I continue to explore and learn about. My Atari Keyboard Controllers needed no maintenance - so they will be nice to have for Star Raiders. Finally, the Commodore 128 (64) computer and accompanying Commodore 1571 (Disk Drive) were set up as part of my functioning retro gaming center. It's still going to need some refurbishing to get it all cleaned up and "retro-brighted", with the 128 boot not functioning, lots of keys lacking spring or being loose, and the old RF video cable lacking proper RF shielding to prevent interference. But, it functions and I have access to all my old files and games. This was my primary computer literally from like 1985-1998. I'm making good on my "perpertual student" label for myself. Pacing myself, but aside from some repairs on this and the Atari, I still have two Commdore 64's and an Amiga 500 that will need to come back to life. The Amiga will need cleaning and retrobrighting, keyboard fixes, proper video cable, and a boot disk. The 64's with need to have their problem diagnosed. I have a Timex Sinclair 2068 with no cables, and an Atari 5200 that has a rusted end to it's RF (Power?? WTF) cable, which sparks when turned on. My playstation 1 is probably fine, but with the PS2, there's no rush on that. I'm definitely going to need a proper belkin surge protector instead of these two cheapo power strips. Projects for much later.
  17. Video Checkers (Atari VCS, Dec 1980, Atari) In 1980, Checkers feels like the new Blackjack. Blackjack seems like it was a requirement to be on every system. Checkers... well, maybe not on every system. It was already on the Fairchild Channel F (which, I missed back when I played through 1978 like... more then a decade ago, but less than 40 years ago. I'll get to it soon.) and we've seen it on the Intellivision and Atari. Now we get to play it on the Atari again. This time, I did think about going to use the world-famous A.I. Checker Program, Chinook, but alas, I wasn't patient enough to sit through the Atari's "thinking" phases at its top level, so I'm just going to go over the features that this Checkers has. Nine levels of difficulty: Games 1-9 represent Checkers against the Computer in 9 levels of increasing difficulty. Game 10 is human vs. human in case all of the checker boards in your house had been stolen or something or you wanted the novel feeling of playing the game on the TV. I'm not judging you for this. The computer takes longer to decide its move the higher the skill level. Ranging from less than two seconds on Level 1, to 30 seconds on Level 6, to 15 minutes per turn on Level 9. "Giveaway" Checkers: Games 11-19 are called "losing" or "giveaway" Checkers. Giveaway Checkers is a variant of the game where you try to lose your pieces first by forcing your computer opponent to jump your pieces. I honestly had never of this version of Checkers before. Skill level of the computer increases as you move from game 11 to game 19, of course. Game Select (to change skill level) functional during a game: Something interesting about the Game Select switch. You can start playing a game on a skill level and decide, in the middle of the game, (but not while the computer is thinking) to increase the skill level. I thought that was kind of neat. Checker notation is used: Atari's Video Checkers uses checker notation and it's noted at the top of the screen. The manual specifically mentions playing other computer opponents and using the Checkers notation to convey the moves to avoid any confusion. (I tried playing two computers against each other when the board is inverted on one. It is hard (for me) to turn my brain around like that. The number system makes it easier to translate the moves to the other computer.) Checker Notation bonus: The B/W switch lets you change up the numbering system in case the computer playing against the Atari is less flexible. This was thoughtful to include and makes the Atari seem to be the more gracious opponent. ("Oh, of course, binary opponent. This unit is happy to adjust its numbering settings for you! It's no trouble at all!") Set up your own board: Moving the left difficulty switch to "a" allows you to set up the board however you like and then play it by putting the switch back to "b". Actual instructions on playing Checkers!: Yeah, I mention this because Activision's manuals are pretty light in general (which was mostly fine). Their manual for their Bridge game didn't fuss with giving the rules at all and their manual for Checkers was also quite brief. Atari's Video Checkers' manual seems absolutely luxurious in comparison. My impression is that the feature set of Video Checkers is pretty rich. I'm not knocking the others (and I'm not going back to actually compare them, lawds no.) but if I had to pick the one I've liked the most so far, I'd have to pick Atari's Video Checkers. I still need to look at Checkers on the Fairchild Channel F though. One game left for the Atari in 1980, Activision's Skiing.
  18. Old people: "Play new games but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold" It's me. I'm Old people. There's a game we play our entire lives called "Explore vs. Exploit". When seeking to entertain ourselves we are faced with the decision to Explore something new that we might enjoy, or to Exploit something we already know we enjoy. This idea is talked about more broadly in a book called "Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions" by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. If you haven't already read it, I do strongly recommend it. I know this sounds crazy, (we prefer the term "mental disorder", btw, thanks.), but I always struggle with deciding on what to play and I've literally wasted entire weekends on this indecision. Having every game available to me from 1972 to around 1995 has not helped me at all when trying to figure out what exactly to play when I'm trying to catch up on what I missed when I wasn't paying attention. Dragster (Atari VCS, Jul 1980, Activision) I never really understood this game back in the 80s. I don't think I ever owned a copy and the concept behind it (efficient gear-shifting for maximum speed over a limited distance) was outside of my experience. I do blame this for never having learned to drive a stick-shift until I was in my early 20s. You can play Dragster over and over and over and afterwards find you've only been playing it for about 10 minutes. If you don't have any idea of how you shift gears in a car with a stick-shift then it can be quite frustrating, at first. My first few times I simply blew the engine out and my vehicle didn't even move until I re-read the manual and realized I was trying to shift incorrectly. It's a fun game for what it is. Learning how to quickly engage a learned sequence of actions while perfecting the timing can tickle a challenge urge in us that we sometimes find it interesting to indulge. (I never beat 6.33 seconds. I will never be worthy enough for a patch. So be it.) The second game on the cart adds the challenge of steering. I found that additional challenge interesting but it didn't quite engage me after all the time I'd spent grinding my gears on the first game. If you decide to try it, I do recommend reading the manual as well as being aware that you can reset the game after an attempt by pushing the joystick to the right. It's better than leaning forward to hit the reset button a couple dozen times. That takes us out of July 1980 for the Atari VCS. We've covered a bunch of the other 1980 games already (some were 1981 games that we covered pre-maturely, oh well) but all we have left in this year (for the Atari) is December's Video Checkers (Atari) and Skiing (Activision). I still haven't even gotten to the Fairchild Channel F or the Odyssey^2 games, yet. This seems like a long year, because it's taken me 13 years to get through it, but it's not even half as long as 1982 is. Hopefully I'll get back into the rhythm.
  19. Previously I programmed simple Lunar Lander's genre games for C64 and Atari 8-bit. I have done a version for Atari VCS console too. This game is a sort of "Hello Word" for me... Other videos: ArcadeUSA ZeroPage Homebrew Retro Bliss Gaming 1 2 I want to thank Fred Quimby for awesome batariBasic and Harmony cart, Jeff Wierer for Visual batariBasic (it's a pleasure to program with his IDE), Duane Alan Hahn for batariBasic manual, music and high score code, Mike Saarna for Titlescreen kernel, title screen's L.E.M. and score custom fonts all-in-one file, Steve Engelhardt for his code snippets and Stephen Anthony, Bradford Mott, Eckard Stolberg, Brian Watson (Stella multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator). Game's size is 4KB but I switched to 8KB when I added title screen's music and to 16KB when I added a bitmap title screen. In November 2020 it became the first batariBasic game that saves scores online with PlusCart(+). Virtual patches are awarded if you score 100,000 or more points. In December 2020 it was added to Argon, an Android console emulator. Special thanks to Brian Ostrowski for box, label, manual and patch design, Scott Lawrenz for English manual, Mario Caillahuz Aramburú, Gunnar Kanold, Jean-Christophe Ville for manual's translations (French, German and Spanish) and to Walter Lauer for patches production. The game is reviewed in Brian Matherne's The Atari 2600 Homebrew Companion: Volume 1 (standard/ebook edition - deluxe edition). A collectors edition of the game is available on AtariAge store, with a 28 pages five languages manual. Package renderings: Actual photos: I attach zip files with NTSC, PAL50 (slower so easier) and PAL60 versions together with code (scroll for latest version). L.E.M. v01.zip L.E.M. v02.zip L.E.M. v03.zip L.E.M. v04.zip L.E.M. v05.zip L.E.M. v06.zip L.E.M. v07.zip L.E.M. v08.zip L.E.M. v09.zip L.E.M. v10.zip L.E.M. v11.zip L.E.M. v12.zip L.E.M. v13.zip
  20. I hope this is the best forum for this topic. I currently own an older JVC 720p set and when I connect the Atari VCS...in either Atari OS mode or PC mode, the overscan is pretty bad. The Windows 10 start button is hidden behind the bezel as well as the top and bottom of the screen. This is correctable in the AMD software in Windows 10, but it is not correctable in Atari OS. The JVC does not have picture size adjustments aside from ZOOM, WIDE, etc which doesn't help. I'm curious if anyone has this TCL and can shed some insight on it's overscan.
  21. I'm selling three Atari 2600 VCS's: 4 switch Sears Tele-Games model: includes 2 joysticks, pair of paddles, and 5 games of your choice (see listing below) (Sold) 4 switch woody model: includes 2 joysticks, pair of paddles, and 5 games of your choice (see listing below) (Sold) 6 switch woody model: includes 2 joysticks, 5 games of your choice (see listing below), and at no extra cost a TV plug&play console. All have been recently refurbished, are clean and 100% working, deoxidized the contacts in the joysticks and the pots in the paddles as well as the switches on the consoles. You can see more / buy them on my store at Jaded Chicken: https://www.divarin.net/dcag/items.php?categoryId=13 For shipping outside of the US contact me here as i haven't gotten around to coding international shipping calculation on my store site yet. Asking $75 per set.
  22. Hi Everyone, Yet another question, because as previously stated I am 100% new to working on electronics. So I have another Atari VCS that is displaying very strange behavior: It only plays some cartridges, but not others. The ones it does play it plays repeatedly - that is, with repeated re-seating of the cartridge. This is only about 1/3rd of all carts that are seated in the loading slot - the rest simply show blank screen or occasionally wide vertical lines. Does anyone have experience with a picky cart-playing Atari VCS 2600? Thanks! Evan
  23. In 1975, Atari came out with an 8-player, top-down racer called Indy 800. Unknown to most, however, also in 1975, in an alternate timeline where Nikola Tesla managed to prove his genius, a motorsport known as GRITS was skyrocketing in popularity. The eight cars in Indy 800 are really from that alternate universe. Anyhow, (for legal reasons, I'm sure) my game, GRITS Racing, isn't really a reboot of Indy 800. But, it is a game inspired by Indy 800 (among others) and the eight car colors for the eight players in GRITS Racing are definitely borrowed from Indy 800, as seen here: We've just released our first demo of the game, still in development, on itch.io and Steam. I would appreciate some fellow Atari fans taking a look and telling me what you think. I've put a ton of effort into the physics of the car trying to take this game to where no top-down 2D racer has gone before. Drawing the permanent skid marks with good detail was also a huge challenge. You'll need multiple players and dual-analog controllers to really understand this wacked-out, up-to-8-player game. I hope to also publish this on the new VCS... that is, if I ever hear more than just the occasional blip of an email from their dev team. Also, considering a one-button mode for the game -- which should totally be doable.
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