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I need your help AtariAge - Narrowing down my collection


Darkchief117
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I started collecting games a couple years ago. I think most people tend to collect games primarily for nostalgia, and that's a great reason. But for me, its a bit different. While nostalgia is undeniably a part of it, I primarily collect so that I can play games I missed out on as a kid as well as to collect a historical catalog of video games. I didn't have the most refined taste for games as a kid. I played what I could get my hands on. So while I was able to play most of the classics, I still missed a lot of good titles, and played a lot of shovelware.

 

When I started collecting I was going for complete system collections. What I've begun to realize though is that if I aim to get all the games for a system that my shelves will eventually be full of that same shovelware that I am trying to avoid. So I've come up with a new collecting goal. I want a collection where it is impossible to pick out a game that isn't either a good game or a game of some historical significance.

 

As such I'm beginning to trim my collection down, starting with the 2600. I have a list of about 110 Atari 2600 games that I want in my collection. About half of the 2600 games that I own aren't on that list. Now I wasn't born until 1989 so I have no knowledge or experience with playing Atari games until two years ago. The games that I've decided I want in my collection are based purely on research and knowledge of the classics. As such I realize I may be getting rid of games that are worth keeping.

 

So here is where you come in. Below I'm going to list all of the games that I will be removing from my collection. If there are any that I list that you think are worthy of keeping (think top 100 lists, and try to keep nostalgia out of it), let me know and why.

 

Here is the list:

1. 34 Tele-games

2. 3-D Tic Tac Toe

3. Air Sea Battle

4. Airlock

5. Amidar

6. Backgammon

7. Big Birds Egg Catch

8. Blueprint

9. Bugs

10. Casino

11. Commando Raid

12. Cookie Monster Crunch

13. Crackpots

14. Demons to Diamonds

15. Dodge 'Em

16. Dodger Cars

17. Dolphin

18. Enduro

19. Fire Fighter

20. Fishing Derby

21. Flash Gordon

22. RealSports Football

23. Gangster Alley

24. Gorf

25. Grand Prix

26. Home Run

27. Human Cannonball

28. Hunt and Score

29. Journey Escape

30. Kangaroo

31. Laser Blast

32. M.A.S.H.

33. Maze Craze

34. Mega Force

35. Mouse Trap

36. Name This Game

37. OiNK!

38. Othello

39. Outer Space

40. Outlaw

41. Planet Patrol

42. Realsports Baseball

43. Realsports Boxing

44. Poker Plus

45. Race

46. Seaquest

47. Secret Quest

48. Skiing

49. Street Racer

50. SpaceChase

51. Space Jockey

52. Star Trek

53. Star Voyager

54. Super Cobra

55. Target Fun

56. Trick Shot

57. Tutankham

58. Sub Scan

59. SwordQuest

60. Tag Scan

61. Taz

62. Towering Inferno

63. Winter Games

64. Word Zapper

65. Worm War 1

66. Super Challenge Football

67. Super Challenge Baseball

68. Frogs and Flies

69. International Soccer

70. Space Attack

71. Tron Deadly Discs

 

Thanks for the help!

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I'd keep:

 

Crackpots

Dodge 'Em

Enduro

Gorf

Kangaroo

Mouse Trap

Skiing

Star Trek

Tron Deadly Discs

Tutankham

 

...why? Because they're all great games in their own right!

 

Thanks! I'll load those up and give them a play through to see what I think. I appreciate the feedback.

 

 

I would get rid of all of them and get a Harmony cart, if it is purely for nostalgia of playing the games and not looking at them on a shelf.

 

A Harmony cart is interesting, but like I said in my original post this isn't just to play the games for nostalgia, its to build a historical catalog of great games. I prefer to collect the actual cartridges, its kind of a paperback book vs. kindle type of thing for me.

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I'd keep:

 

Crackpots

Dodge 'Em

Enduro

Gorf

Kangaroo

Mouse Trap

Skiing

Star Trek

Tron Deadly Discs

Tutankham

 

...why? Because they're all great games in their own right!

I agree with all of these ... I think they are all arcade ports

 

isn't "34 Tele-games" Missile Command ? ... that would be a keeper if not a dupe

 

Race with driving paddles is great 2 player fun (same as Indy 500) especially "tag"

 

Air Sea battle & Target fun are the same exact game , just re-branded

Dodge 'em & Dodger cars are the same

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I agree with all of these ... I think they are all arcade ports

 

isn't "34 Tele-games" Missile Command ? ... that would be a keeper if not a dupe

 

Race with driving paddles is great 2 player fun (same as Indy 500) especially "tag"

 

Air Sea battle & Target fun are the same exact game , just re-branded

Dodge 'em & Dodger cars are the same

 

Thanks for that info - I'm finding a lot of the Atari games confusing because of the duplicate games with different names. I have Missile Command so that is good to know about the Tele-games. I'll give Air Sea battle and race a playthrough!

Edited by Darkchief117
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A project like this is gonna take a lot of time. And even more space. Even in today's instant-internet world..

 

What you should do is focus and get a nice console, with all the controllers and do-dads in working order. Spiff it up. Maybe get 9 nice MIB CIB games that are your most favorite. Put them on a shelf. Make the 10th' cartridge a Harmony cart. This way you can look at the system as it was back in the day and enjoy the physical presence. And yet have access to the currently 12,187 unique roms available for the system.

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The Atari 2600 is a great system to collect for and has some of the best games. I own around 250 games for the system. Many of the games are some of the best and some are not some of the best. But if condensing is a big priority. I would take CPUWIZ's advice and invest in the harmony cart. You won't take up any shelf space and not having to turn off a game take it out of the slot, look for another game, and repeat. Here is my suggestion for what you should keep in your library.

1. 34 Tele-games (Missle Command. Top 10 game)

3. Air Sea Battle (One of the best 2 player games)

5. Amidar (good game)

7. Big Birds Egg Catch (good game if you have the ctw controller)

8. Blueprint (solid game)

11. Commando Raid (one player version of air sea battle)

12. Cookie Monster Crunch (good game if you have the ctw controller)

13. Crackpots (fun fast paced game)

14. Demons to Diamonds (great paddle game)

15. Dodge 'Em (good game, take your pick between that and Dodger Cars)

16. Dodger Cars (good game, take your pick between that and Dodge em)

17. Dolphin (great activision game)

18. Enduro (stupid to get rid of this gem)

20. Fishing Derby (great 1 or 2 player game

21. Flash Gordon (good game)

22. RealSports Football (excellent football game)

23. Gangster Alley (good Hogan's Alley like game)

24. Gorf (awesome game)

25. Grand Prix (good game)

26. Home Run (fun little baseball game)

30. Kangaroo (great game)

31. Laser Blast (boring and repetitive, but a good game)

32. M.A.S.H. (fun game)

33. Maze Craze (excellent with 2 players)

34. Mega Force (good game)

35. Mouse Trap (great game)

37. OiNK! (Fast paced and fun)

40. Outlaw (great 2 player game)

43. Realsports Boxing (great game)

46. Seaquest (awesome activision game)

47. Secret Quest (superb Zelda clone game)

53. Star Voyager (great imagic game)

55. Target Fun (sears version of air sea battle, just toss it or the other)

56. Trick Shot (great billiard game)

61. Taz (decent game)

62. Towering Inferno (good game)

63. Winter Games (excellent game)

65. Worm War 1 (great game)

66. Super Challenge Football (great game)

67. Super Challenge Baseball (excellent 2 player baseball game)

68. Frogs and Flies (addicting game)

71. Tron Deadly Discs (decent game)

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Sear's version of Missile Command is called Missile Command - the 34 is just the number of game variations.
c_Sears_MissileCommand_Text_front.jpg

Did your end-label fall off?
c_Sears_MissileCommand_Text_end.jpg




It's clearer on Space Invaders that it's the number of game variations because they further spelled out that game variations 1-16 are one player, 17-64 are two player competitive, and 65-112 are two player cooperative games.

c_Sears_SpaceInvaders_Text_front.jpg

c_Sears_SpaceInvaders_Text_end.jpg


Tele-Games is just how Sear's used to rebrand video game systems, just like how their Kenmore appliances are actually appliances by Whirlpool, GE, etc. Scroll down on this page about Pong to the section titled Sears and the 'Tele-Games' systems. You'll see a number of Pong systems that were start of the Tele-Games brand.

 

After the Pong systems came the Tele-Games Video Arcade, their rebadged Atari 2600. The Tele-Games Super Video Arcade, their rebadged Intellivision came out after that. I don't recall if they rebadged any systems after the Intellivision as by then home computers had become somewhat affordable and I'd moved on to a Commodore VIC 20. I didn't even notice the infamous video game crash of '83.

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To be honest, I think starting this thread was counterproductive to your goal. Almost every game has its fans, and as more replies come in, I'm sure you'll be told to keep every game on your list with the possible exceptions of Airlock and Fire Fighter. My recommendation is to just play every game on your list and see if you like it or not. That's the beauty of the 2600 - you can get a good impression of a game within a few minutes, so it won't be a huge project. If the games have no nostalgic value for you, just keep the ones you enjoy playing and get rid of the rest.

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To be honest, I think starting this thread was counterproductive to your goal. Almost every game has its fans, and as more replies come in, I'm sure you'll be told to keep every game on your list with the possible exceptions of Airlock and Fire Fighter. My recommendation is to just play every game on your list and see if you like it or not. That's the beauty of the 2600 - you can get a good impression of a game within a few minutes, so it won't be a huge project. If the games have no nostalgic value for you, just keep the ones you enjoy playing and get rid of the rest.

 

Haha, I'm definitely noticing a bit of truth to that, but this has still been helpful. Many Atari games (at least to me) aren't intuitive right off the bat. Whether that be due to my young age or what, I don't know. So while many I can get a good impression of after a few minutes, there are plenty of others where I'm left feeling like I am missing the point of the game. For example, I just played SwordQuest: Fire World and am left a bit stumped as to what the hell was going on. Having people pick out some of the games on this list at least narrows it down a bit and lets me focus my time on those rather than trying to figure out the merits of every single game on that list.

 

But I'm definitely not adding every game someone mentions to my list, I'm simply using the ones people pick out as ones to play test. So far I've played every game people have mentioned, and added about 10-15 back into my collection.

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I like most of the games on that list...

 

When you do start "thinning the herd," do let me know. ;)

 

Multicarts and such are awesome... But for me, I must see my games in my display case and be tempted to grab them and plug them in. That is how it is for my TI-99 collection anyway...

 

Just started rebuilding my 2600 collection and I have requisitioned my 100 year old glass and oak china hutch as the (very large) display case. :)

 

Do not get rid of GORF, for the love of God...

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Oh yea, my list...

 

-GORF

-Enduro

-Oink

-Seaquest

-Street Racer

-Star Trek

-Target Fun

 

 

All great games, and favorites of mine on any console.

 

Thanks! Aside from Street Racer (which I'll take a look at), I have decided to keep all of those other games you listed. On the topic of 'trimming the herd' which you mentioned in your first reply, if there are games on that list that you are interested in feel free to PM me. I have a spreadsheet I can share with the 2600 games I am still looking for if you want to do trades, or we can work out a price for the ones you want if you prefer that. I'm planning to put the ones I'm not keeping up on Craigslist within the next week.

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Star Trek! Keep it! I just played that for my kids and they were like "COOL. You can see the view-screen and those are Klingons!"! You know it's a keeper when kids of our time can tell what the graphics are and you don't have to answer questions like "Why does the water kill the frog?", "Can't frogs swim?" to which you answer "These must be rushing waters that it would die in!?", or "What is that dot supposed to be?" to which you would answer "It's an adventurer with a sword, backpack, map, lantern and a keen sense of direction!", or "Why is the batter naked when all of the other players are wearing pants and shirts?" (thanks angry Nintendo nerd), to which one could answer "I don't know, and no you can't play Sneak & Peek!"!

 

I've said this before, but I would recommend the following as well:

 

Ghostbusters

Rampage (and a second player, preferably a girlfriend or wife, and beer)

Spy Hunter

Kung Fu Master

Radar Lock (it's Afterburner for the Atari)

Most Activision games (only a few turds in there)

 

also...

Pacman 4K and 8K (4K is coming out and 8K can be slapped onto a Harmony cart)

Princess Rescue (however you have to get it, get it...)

Fat Albert is a hack-job that just came to fruition and looks extremely good (even with voices!)

Titan Axe should be coming out soon and I made that, so I like it

 

I get why you would want to sell those, though. You could make TENS of dollars!! :P

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Haha, yea its not about making money off of the ones that I am getting rid off, its really just about converting them into other games that I would rather have. I got a great deal on all of my Atari games when I started collecting ($1.00-$1.50) per cart off of Craigslist, so I took everything he had. So I'm trying to parse out the games that don't play as well or are not quite as unique and replace them with the more unique titles.

 

Thanks for those recommendations, I think I have all those you had in that first list in my spreadsheet so I will be picking them up eventually. Though Princess Rescue, Fat Albert, and Titan Axe weren't on my radar so I'll look at those!

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As someone who has compulsively tried to make the "perfect" atari collection for over a decade...let me tell you man, its all or nothing.

 

Go for them all (well, all the realistically priced ones) or get a harmony. Once you start thinning the herd its all downhill, until you buy them all again...rinse and repeat ;)

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I just decided to like all the posts in this thread up to now because they all address the plight of the completist collector. These collectors always bunch their panties real good because the sheer number is overwhelming. A complete collection is going to cost you a lot. Nearly $20,000. And that's assuming you get the carts for $1.50 on average. Maybe half that if you eliminate the duds and 95% of the junkbrews. And you'll need to make a good portion of those on your own because some are not available anymore. And you have to decide which ones are worthy of that effort.

 

It may be advantageous to get all the major branded carts like so:

 

20th Century Fox Video 25

Atari-Sears 172

Activision 53

Apollo 14

CBS 8

Coleco 15

Data Age 10

Epyx 3

Imagic 22

M-Network 21

Parker Brothers 26

Sega 10

Starpath-Arcadia 14

U.S. Games Corporation 14

Tigervision 12

 

So you're looking at slightly over 400 respectable games from 15 major companies. I'm sure there's a few duds in there like Slot Racers from Atari. Everybody hates that game, except me. I think they love to hate it. But I love it outright! And Basic Math is even more compelling. You have to play them to understand them.

 

These are approximate numbers and quick counts. And I didn't even get into the homebrews like from the AtariAge store. Stay Frosty 2, both StarCastle renditions, the new ultra-realistic pac-man under development as we speak. Space Rocks.. All the hacks from Nukey.. And then BallBlazer is in development ohh my!! My head is spinning!! Tack on another 50.

 

..and that is why I suggest a handful of favorites and picking up the rest with emulation or partial emulation via Harmony cart.

 

 

 

As someone who has compulsively tried to make the "perfect" atari collection for over a decade...let me tell you man, its all or nothing.
Go for them all (well, all the realistically priced ones) or get a harmony. Once you start thinning the herd its all downhill, until you buy them all again...rinse and repeat ;)

I agree with Spock. You'll wind up getting rid of games, just to seek them again. I say you keep everything that isn't a duplicate if you don't want to keep Sears variations. Phil

 

Yes this.. this.. "phenomenon". This phenomenon is very real and it will make you crazy in the head sooner or later. And your tastes will change over time. One season you might like a certain style of game, another season games from another company. Summer genres, and winter genres. And the only practical way do deal with this is via some modern storage technology in lieu of bookcases of carts.

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You forgot the 3 Epyx games. Sports games are always fun. If you go the cart/manual route, it actually does not take up as much room as you think. A few bookshelves at most. Though homebrews are nice, and I get some now and then, I don't consider them part of the history that anyone would have played as a kid, pointing out he's looking for ones he would have missed while young.

 

Phil

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I thought about listing them in, I never had them back in the day. I always thought of Epyx as a computer game maker. But I suppose I could put them in.

 

I first played home homebrews 10 years ago when I was getting into emulation. In another 10 they will be nostalgic to me and some will go down in the annals of history all the same.

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