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Hello everyone how is everyone today? i'm glad to be here i am new to the realm of Atari and i was hoping to get some insight from the members here. I am thinking about completing the Atari 2600 library i read on Wikipedia that the total amount of Atari 2600 games released is 530 counting third parties and homebrews.. however being new to atari i cannot confirm this number and reaching out to verify. i am also setting myself up for completing everything included variants regional variants and whatever else is out there a little at a time my total library is 10 games.

I hope i can meet and befriend other Atari fans here and make some great friends and great conversation.

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Boneman what got me into Atari we’ll that in itself is an interesting question I grew up with a mother who is sorta claims to have a young heart and would get us game consoles since we were young and currently till I got old enough to buy my own and she would play with me and my sister she had the intelvison growing up wanting the Atari 2600 when she was a kid and she would tell me stories how fun they were. So I came up with the idea of maybe I will buy a console and some games that she played and maybe we could embrace and enjoy the games together with that end I already collect games as a hobby so I figured I would go after a complete libaray. And with that libaray I plan to have fun when she comes over and have her talk about her memories and enjoy some nostiga her favorite game and one I’m trying to find is tapper and was the first game she ever told me about for the Atari. So I made it my mission to collect everything I can get my hands on so we can share the love for Atari together. I thought about the flash back but then I thought that a horrible idea because you limited. To what’s in there and the collector in me took over saying I want to get my hands on everything I could and not feel limited witch brings me today collecting for my sake and my moms.

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Just FYI, I am not sure that anyone has ever completed a 2600 collection. I wonder if it's even possible. A more modest goal would probably be your best bet if you don't want to end up frustrated and poor chasing Red Sea Crossing and Air Raid and all those foreign knock-offs. :)


I'm guessing I'm a similar age as your mom. I generally enjoy playing those games I enjoyed back then, ones I always wanted but never got, or fun new homebrews, rather than obscure Holy Grail titles that might not even play well.


Tapper definitely sounds like a great goal to start with. Good luck!!

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Yeah, there are a LOT of games for the Little Machine That Could. :)


I had to stop collecting as I have a spending problem and can't reign myself in but when I was collecting I would always sent smaller goals to achieve. For instance, rather than going for the nigh impossible complete VCS collection you could maybe go for a complete Activision set or 20th Century Fox set. Or, as CDS alluded to, go for a collection of games that your mum had or games she wanted when young...


PS: Welcome aboard. :)

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It's like CDS said. I don't think It's possible to get original, physical copies of every game. You're way better off starting with the good ones. Most of those are generally pretty cheap. Obviously there are exceptions, but there are a lot of really good cheap games. When I pulled my 4 switch back out quite a few years back I just wanted to revisit my youth or something. Now I have 5 consoles and like 250 games. Start with the classics would be my suggestion. Best of luck.

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Thanks guys well Ill see what I can manga and see what I can realistically collect for.. I think Ill collect the ones is sets and just see where my collection ends up. My first goal I think if Im going at this realistically if its possible I would like to get all the numbered first generation games. But the main game Im wanting to pick up right now is tapper cib when the money comes in. As I kinda committed to buying a storage inventory from my local retro store about 191 games to be exact at 0.79 a peice so I will figure out whats there and build a collection there and sell my duplicates. They are all loose and bring to starting some where I have a little fledgeling collection Im building from that I have shared on my member blog here. I love to connect with you guys and just see how far I can take this hobby :) its all in great fun to be honest. And i appericate everyones replies :)


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I know Mike Matei of Cinemassacre fame is close to a complete set, but I believe it is only NTSC and no label variants. But, yeah, I'm currently collecting 2600 and have around 173 games. I would love a complete set, but between label variants, foreign games, etc., you could go mad trying to get them all. Also check ebay. you may be able to find some game lots pretty cheap.

Edited by GeekDragon
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G'day RSC,


As the other lads have mentioned, you'd be tracking down thousands of carts. In my case, I've attacked it this way, keeping it very simple and alot cheaper.


- I'm a player, hence simply want to have a nice, large collection of carts to choose from and enjoy on original hardware. So CARTS ONLY, no boxed copies. I use these .. http://www.retroprotection.com/Atari-2600-Cartridge-protectors_c261.htm for protection and neat cart stacking

- I'm down at the bottom corner of the globe (Australia), so I'm collecting PAL only, to match my PAL 'Vader'.

- As I'm a player, I only need one copy of a cart, hence No Label Variants.

- For Manuals, I have a 7" tablet within my Atari area, containing all my cart manuals in PDF format. Hence, No original physical Manuals.

- I do try and get decent carts, in decent condition with full undamaged labels.


I have a copy of this http://www.digitpress.com/lists/dplite_atari_2600.pdf as my general games list. I modify the PDF when I get new games, highlighting the relevant checkbox in Acrobat. Prints out on 2 pages back-to-back and good to have in the pocket when game hunting in the wild. If the game isn't on the list, I simply add it in Acrobat.

Also, check out the AtariAge Atari 2600 Top 100 games. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/62626-top-100-2600-games-of-all-time/ Gr8 list of good players to purchase.


Like GeekDragon, I'll have just over 170 when the last purchase arrives :)


Don't forget to have fun! :grin:

Edited by spriggamortis
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- I'm a player, hence simply want to have a nice, large collection of carts to choose from and enjoy on original hardware. So CARTS ONLY, no boxed copies. I use these .. http://www.retroprotection.com/Atari-2600-Cartridge-protectors_c261.htm for protection and neat cart stacking


Those are nice...are they open on the label end? I need something that'll let me pull carts from the middle of a stack and not mess up the stack in the process.

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The first thing you want to do is avoid is chasing carts. There's thousands upon thousands especially if you include label variants, bootlegs, PAL/NTSC conversions, homebrews, and foreign translations/knockoffs. It will make you nuts and burn you out and you won't like Atari anymore.


Having said that, there's a couple of ways to go about it.


1- Collect all your favorites.

2- Collect what was published by the major publishers, Atari, Activision, Imagic, 20th Century Fox.

3- Collect most of the early games, and as time goes on branch off and become selective and pick only favorites.


Alternatively, you can just grab some favorites, and get a Hamony cart to experience the rest. This is an SD card -to- VCS cartridge + co-processor. You can have access to thousands of games. And not only that, you can play some of the latest homebrews for free. But trust me, if you're into carts you'll want to get some of them from the AA store. Some are very good and will totally blow you away. And then there's emulation. Get Emulator Stella, and play all the games right on your PC.





4- Collect about 100 or so carts, and pick the rest up through emulation or Harmony. This way you'll be able to experience all the games you could ever possibly want. And you'll have a nice combo of convenience, versatility, and real hardware! And you won't burn out or get endlessly frustrated trying to find some rare ones.

Edited by Keatah
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Welcome to the forums, retrospectivecollector.

Like Keatah said, try to collect your favourites first and then the major publisher games.

If you truly want to collect every original Atari 2600 game (which will take a lifetime), try to complete this list:

Good luck!


Edited by Rom Hunter
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Alternatively, you can just grab some favorites, and get a Hamony cart to experience the rest. This is an SD card -to- VCS cartridge + co-processor. You can have access to thousands of games. And not only that, you can play some of the latest homebrews for free.

Yeah, the Harmony cart is by far the quickest and cheapest way to experience the Atari 2600 games. I have had problems selecting the paddle games on the Harmony cart though so I tend to keep the original carts around for the paddle games I like to play.

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These two goals


"Enjoying nostalgic fun with your mom"


"Collecting everything"


are in direct opposition with each other.


The best time to get lotsa Atari games for cheap was about 20 years ago, when they turned up in flea markets and thrift shops. Now it's all online.


The best Atari cartridges, by and large, are dirt common and almost worthless.


If I were you, I'd focus on the "fun" aspect and leave the checklists and completionist tendencies out of this.


All Activision games are great, most Parker Brothers games are fun, and a good proportion of Atari releases are, too. You'll probably find other manufacturers and homebrewers you like along the way.


Also, as with everything, a large proportion of the library is unplayable garbage. I would try to avoid spending large amounts of time or money on those titles, but I'm not trying to "collect them all," either.

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While I appreciate the enthusiasm of 'Gotta collect em all!'... Realistically it's only a matter of time before that's reigned in. A short amount.


Still, I like to remember that each game that came out at the time was equated to about $50 worth of someone's dedicated entertainment income. That's a pretty deep simplification of these titles, but gives you the proper perspective of just how much of an entertainment investment every single title actually was... In theory.


Looking at it that way, it would be perfectly logical to presume you can have days or weeks of fun with even the humblest of titles... Say Air Sea Battle... Given the right effort and circumstances.


So yeah, I hope that perspective helps you build your collection, as opposed to to starting with the 'Obsessed Collector' archetype who quickly goes toward: "I've got to have AIR RAID because it's rare as h*t t*ts and massive STATIS!"


You'll have an easier and more enjoyable time starting a collection with the slow-down-and-appreciate-it perspective.... I think. Appreciate each title, or hate it... After all... The customer was modeled to have spent about $50 of their hard-earned cash on it once.

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Indeed. It's important to consider the times and how fast society operated.


Back in the 1970's when the VCS got started, we had no choice except to get a couple of games every month or so. We learned about new games via monthly magazines, weekly Saturday morning cartoons, and perhaps official Atari catalogs every quarter or so. We had time to work through the games. Getting a hi-score was a big deal. Late-night strategy discussions about Superman and Othello and Space War were all the rage.


Today, we have faster than instant access to information about 1000's of titles, and the ability to buy them (never mind the cost) just as fast on ebay. If you dive into it it's completely overwhelming. Today we play games for a matter of minutes or seconds, rarely bothering to get into the finer points.

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Absolute Entertainment: 4

Activision: 44

Salu/Activision 1

American Videogame: 1

Amiga: 1 (+ Off Your Rocker)

Answer Software: 2

ATARI coloured box: 56 (+ 3 with renamed titles)

ATARI siver box: 38

ATARI kids box: 7

ATARI red box: 23 (incl. boxed 32 in 1 cart, + 2 with renamed titles)

ATARI Pepsi Invaders: 1

Avalon Hill: 5

Bit Corp: 9

Bomb: 4

CBS: 7

Coleco: 13

Commavid: 7

Data Age: 8

Epyx: 3

Exus: 2

First Star 1 (or 2 incl Boulder Dash)

Froggo Games: 6

Gakken: 3

Games by Apollo: 10

HES: 1

Imagic: 17 (+ Atlantis Competition cart)

ITT Family Games: 8

Milton Bradley: 2

M Network: 16

Mythicon: 3

Mystique: 3

Parker Bros: 21

Personal Games Company: 1

Salu: 1

Sancho: 6

Sears: 3

Sega (Bally): 9

Skills Screen Games: 1

Sparrow: 1

Spectravideo (vision): 13 (incl. Compumate tapes)

Starpath Corp: 12

20th Century Fox/ Sirius: 17 (18 incl Save the Whales)

Technovision: 3

Telesys: 6

Tigervision: 10

Telegames: 3

TNT Games: 1

Ubi Soft: 1

Universal Games Corp: 1

US Games: 14

Video Gems: 5

Wizard Video Games: 2

Xonox: 4 double enders




Red Sea Crossing

Air Raid


Tooth Protectors

Rescue Terra 1

Condor Attack

Mega Boy

Eli's Ladder


Color Bar Generator


Bachelorette Party

Burning Desire


Jungle Fever

Cathouse Blues

Knights on the town

Lady in Wading

Philly Flasher


Cat Trax (released in Video Game Brain)


Videosoft: 6


HALO 2600

Edited by high voltage
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Spriggamortis's advice is great.


I haven't collected for a few years now, and I don't have my database with me at the moment, but I think I have just over 400 carts with a couple of complete manufacturer's sets in that (one of them is Spectravision, and I think my Activision is complete as well).


I deliberately don't collect label variations (although if I got one in a lot I would keep it), and I only collected PAL unless the game wasn't released PAL - that can help as there are some games that are very rare in NTSC that are common in PAL (Asterix and Obelix spring to mind).


If you're a bit OCD like me, and love completing things....then Atari collecting may be insanely frustrating as it never ends. I stopped when it was costing me tens-to-hundreds of $ to buy a single cart I needed - like Chase The Chuckwagon, I eventually paid about $40 for a Chuckwagon cartridge I knew to be completely dead, just so I could fill the hole in the Spectravision set knowing I would never be able to play it.


Bit mad really. But luckily my young kids love video games, and we like playing together, so there's great value in it.

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