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Convincing Atari games


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When you were a kid and played the 2600, what games looked convincing? The point of the 2600 was to use your imagination as all the graphics were blocky blobs. (Except for Solaris. Solaris was awesome.)


I can say that all the Star Wars games are convincing (look at the commercial for the port of the arcade game), and also that I'm uneasy when I play Adventure and Haunted House as I hate bats (although the point is to use your imagination - maybe I can see them as the not-scary-at-all bat enemies from the Mega Man games). The prototypes are extremely fun to let your imagination run wild - the McDonalds game has ONE screen and yet I imagine a Japanese Ronald McDonald flinging hamburgers everywhere while screaming "RAN RAN RUU!"


For short: Atari 2600 games are a wonder exercise in imagination. What games are convincing to you and have the most potential for using your imagination?

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Well if we were talking Atari 800 easily Star Raiders sucks you in.


As for the 2600 if we are saying box art to game possibly Defender or Berzerk.


Most immersive looking back oddly, Swordquest. Two reasons, the opening screen, and the whole running down a hallway and opening a door sequence.

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  • 4 months later...

Convincing? Well, they're just old video games, but solid, fast, flicker-free graphics go a long way. ACTIVISION!


River Raid

Grand Prix







Mega Mania

Spider Fighter




Demon Attack

Star Trek SOS

Buck Rogers POZ




Probably more but these came to mind

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I'd go with Megaforce. Probably my favorite game that's based on a movie. Unlike alot of other movie games on the VCS, the gameplay is somewhat representative of the movie instead of a pac man or frogger type game.

That was an awesome game. I'd never seen the movie (still haven't) but I picked it up back then during one of those trips to Kay Bee in the mall and their giant tub of Atari games all marked down to like $5. Got my money's worth on that one.

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Battlezone and Tunnel Runner, I'd say. I always wished I was more able to dodge the enemy fire and ended up moving my physical self, and the latter used to be a bit scary for me. Still wish the 2600 had scarier ghost games. I imagine they could pull off a cool death scene by having the entire screen black and having a flashing ghost that teleports closer and closer to you as a game over sequence.

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Activision Skiing had really convincing trees and scrolling mountain. In fact, the visuals were superior to Intellivision Skiing, and it's not often a 2600 sports game outshines the Intellivision.

I actually thought of Skiing as well. It's not that it's a deep or difficult game, but for what it is, it does a good job of portraying the swooshing action of a skier going downhill.

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Phaser Patrol. Flipping switches on the console itself to control functions, such as shields, was awesome. The radar, all the monitors and even text warning messages drew me into that game like no other.


Escape From The Mindmaster. 3D environment, aliens, having to solve puzzles, deadly sliding walls, mini games and multiple levels over several load sequences.


Night Driver. First game I bought. Loved the random trees and houses. I always thought the blue oncoming car was a Ford Pinto.


Haunted House. Simple but a very good atmosphere to it. With the volume turned up, it has full blown jump scare going on when you take a surprise hit.


Pitfall. It just makes you feel like you're going places.


Sneak 'n Peek. That was a $2 bargain bin game and I always thought there was something very off and creepy about it. Being able to hide under the sidewalk, the carpet and in walls? The different tunes that eventually stop and you're left roaming around in what seems like an abandoned farm house in dead silence. Then it had detailed qualities such as the animated intro, smoke from the chimney and even the moon slowly moved across the night sky. For such a bizarre game that was probably never meant to sell for more than $10 bucks, someone had to put a lot of time into creating it. I'm also impressed they did it in 4K.

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