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  1. Here are all the current patches I offer.....please send me a PM with a list of what you want. I do not plan on making any more new patches. I have completed all the VCS Activision patches and some rare/promo patches. These are it. Once I run out, I will NOT be ordering any more..... Thanks for supporting these, it has been a fun ride completing these! 26 different ACTIVISION patches for sale ($6 each): 9 ATARI patches for sale ($6 each): Jaguar/Lynx Collector Coins:
  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. Skiing (Atari VCS, Dec 1980, Activision) To me, Skiing by Activision will always be that cheesy commercial with the guy doing the bad French accent and playing the game poorly. I didn't really understand at the time what was going on with these "new Atari games" that had a different box style and didn't seem to be by Sears or Atari. The commercial for Skiing (which my friends and I thought was hilarious) really stands out in my mind, even though it doesn't strike me as funny today. Yes, it's on YouTube. I do remember spending a very focused Saturday afternoon trying to qualify for the Activision Skiing Team. Apparently this has become known as Game 3b (because one plays the third game on the cart with the difficulty settings on "b"). To qualify, your time had to be under 28.2 seconds. I distinctly remember beating qualifying, but I don't remember if I got 28.17 or 28.19. I think I took the actual picture. I never sent it in for the patch, though. This is among my few remaining childhood regrets. Fortunately, um, most of my childhood regrets have been vastly overshadowed by my many adulthood regrets. Such is life. There are two types of Skiing games: Slalom (Games 1 - 5) and Downhill (Games 6 - 10). The games increase in challenge, but it is possible to get to know each course well. Tonight, I popped the cartridge into my Atari Video Computer System, reviewed the manual, selected Game 3b and after about four tries had my time down to 28.46. A few more tries it was at 28.21 (grrrr) and then finally I hit 28.14. I'm still a spiritual member of the Activision Skiing Team. Go me. Yes, I took a picture. I had forgotten that the left difficulty switch when set to "a" would let your skier ski off the trail and through the woods, even making it possible to ski around the mountain. I remember finding that concept very interesting as a teen. I loved the idea of parts of the "world" persisting off-screen. All in all, Skiing is one of my better remembered games from back in the day and I honestly feel that Activision can thank their marketing department for selling it to me with that cheesy commercial. Addendum: I think one of my fondest memories of the Atari was being stuck on the couch for a couple weeks with a broken ankle playing Adventure. I'd broken it while skiing. Maybe that's why I had to get the cartridge. Addendum duex: Anyone else remember the Flintstones episode where there were spies and one of the code words was "slalom"? Was this the cold war creeping in on our childhoods? Okay, we're done with 1980 for the Atari VCS and it only took me from August of 2009 until April of 2021. Ha. I'll start working on the games for the Odyssey^2 next. It's been a very long time since I hooked up my Odyssey^2. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. SELLING ENTIRE COLLECTION FROM 1980's. I worked as a sales rep for Activision in the early 1980's and have a LOT of prototypes (14 total - 8 for 2600, 2 for 5200, 4 for Intellivision), used games in boxes (40+ and mostly Actiivision titles), a 2600 and a 400 game console and even typed original drafts of instructions for 5 games. I want to sell it ALL IN ONE LOT. According to these blogs the protos should be worth about $80 each, no idea of the value of the instruction manuals, and we all know the value of the other games and consoles (not much...). I also have two unopened, sealed ROBOT TANK by Activision for the 2600. Check out the pics. I live in San Diego and YOU will pay shipping. First $600 (plus shipping) can have it ALL, right now! Or make your best offer. and highest bidder just may get this Collection. I had trouble uploading the pics from Google so here's a link top the pics - just copy and paste... (Sorry, I am a salesman, not a tech!!!) LOL https://photos.app.goo.gl/WN5DyyNTrGApAnec7
  8. Good morning members. After sharing the Pitfall II PAL hack yesterday., I thought I may as well share another graphic modification remastered hack of The Activision Decathlon to give the PAL version a remastered look to give it the NTSC look as well. The work done here are followed. Added the sunset sky. Made the stadium floodlights yellow the Athlete's colour palette has improved significantly that was absent on the official PAL version release. Here's the YouTube video of the gameplay in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlqMXiXvNyg Decathlon (1983) PAL Remastered Hack (Josh Russell).bin
  9. The leftovers, stars wars, frogger as mentioned before, 2 pictured Imagic labels and 2 Activisions where title match should be absolute entertainment a research have learnt. Distributed by Otto versand also but i am not ?% sure about this.
  10. 4 whitelabels i very much dislike but at the time i really wanted Rampage and the other 3 are packed with boxes. Furthermore 2 Australian boxed ones upper left and right, Ghostbusters with a homemade box (see box section later) and 2 more absolute entertainment from which i replaced a white skateboardin' label with a pictured one...
  11. Almost the last Activisions (except for two more i Will show later). I always fancy the colourful and animated labels of Activision but that particular glue they used, oh my G! Offcourse another few replaced who were to ugly to showcase... Space shuttle, spider fighter, robot tank and stampede!
  12. Next 9 from Activision, one ugly White in the middle. Because of the cheap soft case i cannot replace it like the other Activision picture labels. Same problem with rampage and commando. Darn! The ones i did replace here are plaque private and pressure. Oink! I also replaced but lost the basic file so hopefully i never have to re-replace it again...
  13. Another 9 from Activision, replaced a very ugly H.E.R.O. but accidentally screwed the new label up and had to replace with a photocopy which i gladly made before. There for it's a bit lighter than intended. Afterwards i did found the basic file but didn't felt to re-replace it... Also frostbite ice hockey and GP were relabeled.
  14. All 'r' Activisions, more Will follow shortly... The nicest label in the middle which essentially was a White label which i as much as possible like to replace. Also replaced are boxing, checkers, chopper, crackpots, Decathlon And enduro...
  15. I first posted about this topic here: reproduction / custom labels, but I thought it would be better severed in this area as its own topic. I'm thinking of making reproduction labels for Activision 2600 games. It would only be for the common titles at this time. These labels would be more than just scans of the originals. These would be recreated from scratch. I will use actual screen shots of the games instead of the stylized game screen pictures used on the originals. This would be done so the new labels can be distinguished from the originals more easily. I think this is a good way to mark the new labels and still keep with the feel of the originals. Let me know what you guys think. If need be, (based on your comments) I can put a line of text in the small print of the cart that states it is a reproduction. Here's my first sample: A little background (shameless plug ): I've made labels and overlays for a couple classic game publishers and here are a couple links to topics of some of the work I've done: ColecoVision Mr. DO! Poster & Maybe More... Colecovision Labels Thread (Intellivision) Interest Check: Reproduction Controller Overlays Interest Check for Reproduction Cart Labels ColecoVision Overlays Available (Reproduction) I'm currently working on an Intellivision project which includes both cart labels and overlays: Sears TELE-GAMES INTV (new) Overlay set
  16. 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.
  17. Larry and I take turns playing Activision's Oink!. Just like 99% of Activision games, this is a true classic! Any suggestions of other 2600 games you would like to see us play?
  18. In this week's episode I discuss one of my favorite Atari 2600 games. I think Private Eye didn't get the publicity it deserved because of the crash. I feel it is one of Activision's best, if not a lost classic at least. What do you think?
  19. I wasn't sure where to put this post. I got a homebrew of Megamania called "Mega Metal". I was thinking about Activision art work and thought it could use a box. Then I thought of a better designs for sprites. Can someone point this newbie to the correct forums/posts to teach me to redraw sprites on Megamania. Here is the box art work in progress. Any critiques are welcome. Thanks.
  20. Well, this was a surprise. Found this bugger in a lot of 10 games for 20 bucks. You can still see where the proto label was before it fell off. Amusingly, the previous owner, "TIM", had a piece of scotch tape with his name written on the front (as many other games in the lot did) but it was easy enough to remove without damaging that shiny red label. 999% likely a review copy/final rom but still crazy to bump into. Figured I'd post here as well in case there's anything I'm missing about this that I should check for differences, and just to show that it exists!
  21. Yes, yet another Activision versus Atari blog entry! I read DoctorSpud's recently on Robot Tank and it reminded me of how this was Activision's version of Battlezone. DoctorSpud also made a comparison of how Enduro was their take on Pole Position. So I started thinking of how many times that happened. Most of us know of the lawsuit that Atari initiated against Activision and we also know that Imagic was sued over Demon Attack being close to Phoenix. I get it, they paid top dollar for a license of an arcade game and someone does a knock-off on their platform. We also have to consider where the limits are. Is every maze game a rip-off of Pac-Man? Video Checkers (Atari, 1980) vs Checkers (Activision, 1980) These games were even lame when they first released. Who went to the department store or TV place to buy a game and came out with Checkers? I doubt either decided to rip the other off. Checkers falls in between tic-tac-toe and the much more complex chess. It seems like someone's initiation on basic graphics, stored data in arrays, and some basic AI. Video Checkers was done by Carol Shaw who as everyone knows did the amazing River Raid and spanned the vertical scroller genre. Verdict: Doubtful. A common game and not really a best seller for either company. Tennis (Activision, 1981) vs Realsports Tennis (Atari, 1983) Activision's Tennis is one of the most fun sports games on the 2600. Simple control and a good AI. Atari decided to re-do all their sports games properly with the Realsports series. Tennis was bound to be picked since it would be easier to implement a two character game and keep it pretty authentic. Verdict: Doubtful. Atari certainly decided to do a better tennis game but the enhancements are big enough to dispute. As far as, game mechanics goes, the principles are the same but the game is not original and can only be done in a certain way. Pole Position (Atari, 1983) vs Enduro (Activision, 1983) Two great games. The Namco arcade game was massive and the Atari licensed version was pretty good all things considered. A good seller and very common, capturing the essence and play mechanics very well. Enduro is also an amazing game and brings up some original items. The typical scoring system implemented in most games especially Atari arcade ones, is implemented in Enduro instead as trying to last as long in the 5 day race. Verdict: Inspired. Enduro borrowed enough from Pole Position (and possibly other games) to generate its own version but game play and objectives is different enough. Star Raiders (Atari, 1982) vs Starmaster (Activision, 1982) In the beginning of the video and arcade game industry, there were only so many ideas around. At the end of the day, you can only show a starship's view with a cross hair and stars in the background. These two came out in the same year, but it's certain that the 8-bit computer version Star Raiders had been seen by Alan Miller (especially since he was a former Atari employee himself). Verdict: Inspired. Many, many similarities but it's unlikely that Starmaster was created based on Atari's 2600 version, most likely that was the Atari 400/800 version. Space Invaders (Atari, 1978) vs Megamania (Activision, 1982) Space Invaders was really the most important shoot-em up at the time and what made a lot of people buy the 2600 to begin with, probably their best value from the license obtained from Taito. Megamania was one of the few shoot-em ups from Activision and really the only one that matches that genre the best. Verdict: Inspired. Megamania added a new elements such as varied enemy movement, enemy types and the energy bar to be different enough. The 3-4 years was a long enough to allow Atari to profit significantly. Decathlon (Activision, 1983) vs Track & Field (Atari, 1983) Two games released in time to cash into the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. Lots of events to add some variety and the skill level centred around your ability to wiggle (or bash buttons) quickly. I mentioned it many times, I love T&F and which is why I love Decathlon. Verdict: Coincidence. Decathlon was released in March 1983 which means it would have started development in early or mid 1982. T&F made it to stores for Xmas 1983 and the arcade version was available earlier in the same year only. Chances are both games were developed in parallel. Defender (Atari, 1981) vs Chopper Command (Activision, 1982) I think we can all agree that CC is the vastly superior game of these two. Atari could not have been too pleased when this came out after licensing Defender from Williams. This one of the games when I realized as a kid that these companies were copying each other. Verdict: Ripped off. And we're much better for it since CC plays much better and is visually stunning. Gameplay is just too similar for it to be a coincidence. Battlezone (Atari, 1983) vs Robot Tank (Activision, 1983) Two tank games released at the same time. Battlezone had been doing its rounds in the arcade and was quite popular there. Such a unique scenario and such a similar execution. One could argue that a 1st-person Combat game could only be done in one way really. Verdict: Ripped off. RT actually exceeds Battlezone in terms of gameplay, and it seems obvious that both came from the arcade version. I can't fault Activision for trying to do a type of game better if they had the ideas and more importantly the ability to execute. I'm very happy that all these titles exist and that both companies defined how games should be done and laid the foundation of everything else that came after. If you come up with an original idea like Warlords, River Raid, Adventure, Pitfall, Yar's Revenge, or Keystone Kapers once in your life, then you have accomplished something very special.
  22. I just scored 20 points on game 3 of Freeway and I'd like to get a patch for accomplishing that! Where do I submit my screenshot of the game? Here's the screenshot I made:
  23. Here's my score for Stampede. I know at this point I'll have to buy the patches, but just for show, I just wanted to show how I did:
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