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Stack Game (Atari 2600)


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Over the past couple of days I got bored and made one of those stacking games for the Atari 2600. If you've ever seen a stacker arcade machine, you probably already know how this works. Essentially, all you need to do is time your button presses to stack the "blocks" as high as possible. The block platform gradually shrinks if you don't time your button presses perfectly, so accuracy is key.




When making this I made a conscious effort to stay below one kilobyte. As of now, there are 45 unused bytes of ROM, and 58 bytes of unused RAM (including the call stack). I don't think this game is particularly interesting or original (it wouldn't surprise me if someone already made a 2600 version of this kind of game), but I hope you find it amusing regardless.


As per usual, download is below, and you can watch gameplay footage here.




Edited by bluswimmer
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The game now has PAL60 and SECAM60 versions, included below in this zip file. Additionally, the game's been optimized a bit further, so there's now 103 bytes of ROM free. Not that it matters, of course, since the game is still exactly the same.


URGENT EDIT: I just realized that the game doesn't work with the harmony cartridge due to the weird filesize. I've "expanded" the game into 2 kilobytes, but the game still has over a kilobyte free.



Edited by bluswimmer
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We'll be checking out Stack Game on tomorrow's (Tue Jun 30 <- NEW DAY) ZeroPage Homebrew stream LIVE on Twitch at 6PM PT | 9PM ET | 1AM GMT! Hope everyone can watch!








Edited by ZeroPage Homebrew
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On 6/28/2020 at 5:29 PM, bluswimmer said:

Additionally, the game's been optimized a bit further, so there's now 103 bytes of ROM free.

I think you could optimize the score routine a lot, because the game doesn't need 6 digits, IMO four digits should do. Which then would open the option to become the 1st 1K SaveKey game.


Or you could use the bytes for adding something to the gameplay, like: 

  • different scoring e.g. extra points when you match a tile exactly (the more in a row, the more extra points); scores increase with height. 
  • some eye candy, like rainbow colors for the stack.
  • maybe a bonus tile, which, when perfectly aligned, increases the stack width a bit.
  • some tension building sound
  • a two player variant, e.g. one player plays the left half of the stack and the other one the right half, both have to press buttons with each tile or alternatively
Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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1 hour ago, Omegamatrix said:

I like your game, Bluswimmer! It's challenging and fun.

Have you considered making a two player version for a little head to head action? I mocked this with the picture you posted:

Oooh, a plus one for this! The more two player games the better, this looks like a great option to have!


- James

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