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44 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

The Atari 2600's 45th Anniversary Countdown continues tomorrow with all the classic 2600 games released to the public in 1980 such as Space Invaders, Boxing, Video Pinball, Dragster and Adventure! What is your favourite game from 1980?

Do you have a complete list we can choose from? :ponder: 

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2 hours ago, Nathan Strum said:

Do you have a complete list we can choose from? :ponder: 

You bet! Here's all the Atari 2600 games released to stores in 1980*

 

Space Invaders Mar 15, 1980
Adventure Apr 3, 1980
Video Pinball Apr 10, 1980
BASIC Programming Apr 11, 1980
3-D Tic-Tac-Toe Jun 1, 1980
Golf Jun 11, 1980
Night Driver Jun 12, 1980
Circus Atari Jul 20, 1980
Dragster Aug 12, 1980
Boxing Aug 12, 1980
Checkers Aug 17, 1980
Fishing Derby Aug 17, 1980
Maze Craze Sep 10, 1980
Video Checkers Sep 10, 1980
Dodge 'Em Sep 24, 1980
Championship Soccer Sep 27, 1980
Skiing Dec 18, 1980
Bridge Dec 25, 1980
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EVERY Atari 2600 Game released in 1981!

 

The Atari 2600's 45th Anniversary Countdown continues tonight with all the classic 2600 games released to the public in 1981 such as Asteroids, Missile Command, Kaboom, Warlords and Ice Hockey! What is your favourite game from 1981? (full list below)

 

Mon Jul 25, 2022 @ 8PM PT | 11PM ET | 3AM GMT+1DAY
WATCH LIVE: https://twitch.tv/zeropagehomebrew/
WATCH LATER: https://youtube.com/zeropagehomebrew/

 

(WATCH AT 1080P60 FOR BEST QUALITY)

 

 

Spoiler
Action Pak* Jan 1, 1981**
MagiCard Jan 1, 1981**
Video Life Jan 1, 1981**
Steeplechase Mar 4, 1981
Stellar Track Mar 4, 1981
Othello Mar 7, 1981
Laser Blast Mar 12, 1981
Missile Command Mar 13, 1981
Tennis Mar 15, 1981
Video Pinball Apr 10, 1981
Warlords Jun 10, 1981
Freeway Jul 9, 1981
Kaboom! Jul 9, 1981
Asteroids Jul 13, 1981
Super Breakout Oct 4, 1981
Ice Hockey Dec 7, 1981
Stampede Dec 7, 1981
Skeet Shoot Dec 27, 1981

 

* Action Pak is a packaged re-release of Othello, Dodge 'Em, and Breakout so we won't be playing it.

** Anything that shows Jan 1, 19XX was released during the year but the exact date is unknown. Similarly anything that show Month 1, 19XX was released during that month but the exact day is unknown.

 

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On 7/21/2022 at 11:53 AM, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

What is your favourite game from 1980?

Going to have to go with Space Invaders. But it's really interesting watching you play through the games of that era, and how within a pretty short span of time the 2600 went from games that looked like Golf to ones that looked like Skiiing. I was surprised at how much fun Soccer seemed. I'd always dismissed it, based solely on its lumpy visuals. Plus, not a huge soccer fan. ;) 

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21 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

The Atari 2600's 45th Anniversary Countdown continues tonight with all the classic 2600 games released to the public in 1981 such as Asteroids, Missile Command, Kaboom, Warlords and Ice Hockey! What is your favourite game from 1981? (full list below)

Okay... now it's getting more difficult. 1981 was the year I bought my 2600. August 10, to be exact:

 

2600-receipt.thumb.jpg.516034fb2a133c961c37d39748d41970.jpg

 

It came with Target Fun (aka Air-Sea Battle), and I bought Missile Command (I think...) to go with it. Either that, or Tank Plus (aka Combat) since I was expecting Combat to be the pack-in game, and was disappointed it wasn't. I think we worked some sort of deal out at the store, but I don't recall now.

 

A few weeks later I also bought Laser Blast. *cough* :roll: 

 

A friend of mine at work tried to warn me off of it... but I was hypnotized by the pretty laser effects. So... pretty...

 

Anyway... '81 was the year Activision really started pulling away from Atari in terms of graphics, but Atari also started bringing out heavy hitters like Warlords, Missile Command and Asteroids.

 

I never got into Kaboom! (I was terrible at it), and didn't have enough extra players around to get into Warlords. So I'll pick Asteroids as my favorite for the sheer number of times I played it back-in-the-day (and I built my own controllers for it, too). Also, mad props to Stellar Track for absolutely nailing a port of the computer classic Star Trek. In recent years I've played Ice Hockey more than anything else on that list - mostly to see how many points I can stomp the computer by in game 3.

 

Also, James - you were wondering on a previous show why Sears changed the names of some of the Atari games they published. It wasn't due to copyrights  - it was Sears' practice at the time to re-brand things as their own. That's just what Sears did (which is why it was years before I realized my electronic football game was actually by Coleco). It's hard to really fathom the depth of it now, but in its day, Sears was the dominant retailer. Period. As Amazon is now, Sears was. But when it came to arcade ports, the original titles carried more weight than if Sears had re-named them to something else. Like Missile Command becoming Rocket Fun! or Asteroids becoming Space Plus! For licensed titles (Superman, Space Invaders), Sears likely couldn't have changed those anyway.

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The 1980 stream was interesting to me for 2 things:  1.  Compared to what had come out previously, the Space Invaders port was really, really good and a sign of where Atari would make its big bucks with the 2600 (arcade reproductions), and 2. The Activision programmers were really, really talented at writing games for the 2600.  The amount of polish in their initial offerings stood out over what Atari was offering at the time.

 

Also, I'm not sure when Video Pinball was actually released as some places say 1980 or 1981, but to ease your marathon I'll mention you did play that one in your 1980 stream (unless it was revised and released as the same title?)

 

The trip down memory lane was also handy for me to remember when I actually got a 2600 - I had gotten one for Christmas along with Asteroids (which probably remains my favorite 2600 game from the original era) & Warlords.  I also remember the next year getting Raiders of the Lost Ark for Christmas, which would place me getting the 2600 back in 1981.   

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6 minutes ago, littaum said:

Also, I'm not sure when Video Pinball was actually released as some places say 1980 or 1981, but to ease your marathon I'll mention you did play that one in your 1980 stream (unless it was revised and released as the same title?)

Some of the dates are going to a little fuzzy as a lot of the information seems to be lost to time. For this massive playthrough I'm getting dates from the RandomTerrain website where it lists the earliest reference found for the game being advertised for sale. It seems to be extremely comprehensive and is the best information I've found for exact dates.

 

Here's the listing for Video Pinball which shows the game's earliest published release date as April 10, 1981, which I've updated on my spreadsheet. We won't be playing it again tonight because we already played it for 1980 but I already had a note to mention the correction. I've now gone ahead a year in my prep so hopefully that won't happen again! Thanks for the heads up!

 

40 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

Also, James - you were wondering on a previous show why Sears changed the names of some of the Atari games they published. It wasn't due to copyrights  - it was Sears' practice at the time to re-brand things as their own. That's just what Sears did (which is why it was years before I realized my electronic football game was actually by Coleco). It's hard to really fathom the depth of it now, but in its day, Sears was the dominant retailer. Period. As Amazon is now, Sears was. But when it came to arcade ports, the original titles carried more weight than if Sears had re-named them to something else. Like Missile Command becoming Rocket Fun! or Asteroids becoming Space Plus! For licensed titles (Superman, Space Invaders), Sears likely couldn't have changed those anyway.

I bet it's hard for younger people now to believe Sears was so dominant at one point. I remember being excited when the Sears Christmas Wish Book came in the mail and circling things in it that I'd never get! Hahah.

 

I still find really strange they would rename the games! I bet some children were not too happy when they thought they were getting a new game, popping it in and then discovering they already had the game under a different name! What a let down that would be.

 

- James

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TWO EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERES

 GODS & THE CHAOS ENGINE  

TUE JUL 26, 2022 @ 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT+1Day

WATCH LIVE: https://twitch.tv/zeropagehomebrew/
WATCH LATER: https://youtube.com/zeropagehomebrew/

 

Tomorrow on ZeroPage Homebrew we have TWO EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERES of The Bitmap Brother's classics Gods and The Chaos Engine for your Atari Jaguar! These two ports originally from the early 90's will soon be available from AtariAge but you'll be able to get a look at them tomorrow for the first time as we play both of them live on ZPH! See you there!
 
Games:

493439621_20220726-LetsPlay.thumb.jpg.5e089e61be79af5fa64a143c268bd416.jpg

 
 
 
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1 hour ago, johnnywc said:

Wow - lots of good ones in the list!  Asteroids, Missile Command or Ice Hockey are my top 3, with Asteroids being the top. :thumbsup: 

34 minutes ago, TyleStyle said:

 My favorite game from 1981 definitaly has to be Ice Hockey by Activision. Plus the commerical for the game is funny.

I'm really looking forward to Ice Hockey, it's such a great two player game!

 

46 minutes ago, Cafeman said:

Of those on the 1981 list, my favorite is probably Stampede.    Followed by Kaboom! and Missile Command. 

I wish I was better at Kaboom! I still don't have my patch for it! ? One day...

 

- James

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12 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

Going to have to go with Space Invaders. But it's really interesting watching you play through the games of that era, and how within a pretty short span of time the 2600 went from games that looked like Golf to ones that looked like Skiiing. I was surprised at how much fun Soccer seemed. I'd always dismissed it, based solely on its lumpy visuals. Plus, not a huge soccer fan. ;) 

I was pleasantly surprised by Championship Soccer last show as well! The game is incredibly intuitive and the triangle formation of the players moving together really works. I had a lot of fun with it and it's something that I would pop in the console again at some later point. Another one I would play again would be Dodge 'Em because I know that there's a lot of room for improvements in my strategy.

 

The quality and complexity of games on the 2600 is really astounding in how quickly they got better within the first few years. Especially if you compare what is able to be accomplished on modern systems from beginning to the end of their lifespan, the progression of complexity moves a lot more slowly. You MIGHT notice minor improvements in visuals but those only really seem to improve each time a new generation of consoles come out, even comparing the first games and last games within a consoles lifetime it's not appreciably different. Just take a look at Combat vs Pitfall II, it seems like one's TOO simple for the console and one's way too advanced for it!

 

- James

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1 hour ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

The quality and complexity of games on the 2600 is really astounding in how quickly they got better within the first few years.

It's especially astounding given that the 2600 was designed to be replaced in '79. If Atari had followed through, you'd would've already been done hours ago.

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22 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

It's especially astounding given that the 2600 was designed to be replaced in '79. If Atari had followed through, you'd would've already been done hours ago.

Damn you Atari! That would have been much easier than playing 450+ games! Hahah.

 

- James

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2 hours ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

I was pleasantly surprised by Championship Soccer last show as well! The game is incredibly intuitive and the triangle formation of the players moving together really works. I had a lot of fun with it and it's something that I would pop in the console again at some later point.

Pele's Championship Soccer (as it was called back in the day ;) ) was a favorite at the Champeau household ... my brothers and I really had fun with it, and I thought the fireworks animation when you scored a goal was the coolest thing! :cool: 

2 hours ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

Another one I would play again would be Dodge 'Em because I know that there's a lot of room for improvements in my strategy.

 

Dodge 'em is a great zone game; once I start playing it's usually 20 games or so before I give up.  If I could change one thing it would be to make it so you can reset with the button after a game is over to make it more "couch compliant". ;)  

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4 hours ago, johnnywc said:

Pele's Championship Soccer (as it was called back in the day ;) ) was a favorite at the Champeau household...

Same here. And after I had beaten the computer, I started to play on my own goal, because I wanted to see what happens when you roll the score. :) 

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+1 for another household that enjoyed Pele's Soccer back in the day. My brother and i would have heated matches that would leave us not talking to each other for days and sometimes even a push and shove fight.. Yet we always went back to it lol. Simple game but the two player gameplay was spot on

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6 hours ago, TwentySixHundred said:

+1 for another household that enjoyed Pele's Soccer back in the day. My brother and i would have heated matches that would leave us not talking to each other for days and sometimes even a push and shove fight.. Yet we always went back to it lol. Simple game but the two player gameplay was spot on

No matter how good the visuals and audio get with video games over the years, gameplay will ALWAYS be the most important!

 

- James

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