Atari 2600 S

Alien Brigade – By Atari

screenshot

  Santa's Helper - By Scott Dayton

Sometimes there are helpers and then there are overachievers. Well, count Nerkle, Santa’s new assistant elf among the latter. He is just a machine! You see, a few years ago Christmas was almost ruined thanks to a meanie called Oswald. Thankfully, a group of Atarians was able to help save Christmas back then and things are pretty much back to normal in the North Pole. This year, though, things are pretty busy and Santa had to get some additional help. Here is where Nerkle comes in. Oh, he is a hard worker but he is so excited that he has been assigned sled loading duty that he is just going about it way too fast! He is just flinging toys like a nutcase and there’s no stopping him! The Atarians are needed once more! That means you, player! Can you help save Christmas yet again? Santa’s Helper is a Christmas version of Activision’s Kaboom! and it retains that game’s basic gameplay. There were two separate releases of the Santa’s Helper (2005 and 2007) with the second version having some additions. Nerkle flings a total of eight different items for the player to pick up (Christmas gifts, Christmas trees, candy canes, Rudolph dolls, piggy banks, rubber duckies, snowman plush toys, and Santa dolls). All of these items are well rendered and easily identified as the player tries to collect them. The graphics are otherwise simple but colourful and Nerkle, of course, sports a green suit and elf’s hat. If you enjoy Kaboom! you are certain to enjoy Santa’s Helper!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

 Seaquest – By Activision

Having developed games that explored the cold Arctic region (Frostbite) and the vastness of space (Megamania), Steve Cartwright takes us into the last unexplored region of Earth, the oceans... As Captain of the Seaquest you control a yellow submarine who must destroy wave after wave of dangerous sharks and enemy submarines as you attempt to rescue your treasure-hunting divers. Though your submarine is equipped with unlimited torpedoes, it does have a limited oxygen supply so keep an eye on your oxygen meter (at the bottom of the screen) and be sure to surface before you’re out of air. Should your oxygen supply grow too low, an alarm will be set off to warn you it is time to surface. Be careful, though, because surfacing before you’ve collected six divers (the maximum your sub can carry), you lose a diver! So, carefully plan what you’re doing. Sharks and submarines will make your sub explore on collision but the subs also fire torpedoes your way, so be sure to say to their aft. In addition to the enemies underwater, you have to be watchful of a surface Patrol Sub that is ready to hunt you down. Watch where it is and make every effort to surface as far away from it as possible. Sequest is another great shooter for the Atari 2600. In true Activision fashion, the game has bright and colourful graphics (with their characteristic sunset sky), excellent sound effects (I love the sound of the torpedoes firing), and nice animation. The divers look great as they swim and your sub even has a working propeller. If you like horizontal shooters, Seaquest is for you.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

 Shield Shifter - By John Reder

Aliens have landed and they are not of the friendly kind! You are a member of the special forces team who has been assigned to search for the alien queens and destroy them. Destroy the queens and save the world! You have been given three fighter ships with which to engage the queens but, will this be enough? The alien queens are protected by three rotating shield layers. You must fire through these shields until you get a clear shot to destroy the queens. This will not be easy, though. The queens shoots back with her laser gun and they also drop sticky bombs on your path. Touch any of these bombs or get hit by a laser beam and gone is that fighter. If you manage to kill 10 queens, things get even harder as the next queen will move her ship closer to your fighter. Shield Shifter is a simple yet entertaining game for the 2600. It can be played against the computer or against a friend. The two-player mode is the best way to play because the players do not take turns fighting the queens. Instead, a player controls the fighter and the other player controls the queens! This makes for quite the fun game! Graphics are simple. The fighter ship is green and the queen is white. They get shot, they turn red (no explosions). Sound is also pretty basic but there’s no need for anything fancy to know what’s going on. The shields each have their respective color and rotate in opposing directions. This game is just plain, simple fun, particularly in two-player mode.

Review by TrekMD

7/10

screenshot

 Skeleton + – By Eric Ball

You are trapped in a maze that is full of undead skeletons that are looking to get some flesh on them. You must run through the mazes and find the skeletons before they find you so you can shoot them with your Undead Disintegrator and be rid of them. You must be careful, though, because these skeletons mean business and the only get bolder, stronger, and faster as you kill their friends with the maze. Skeleton+ is a 3D first person perspective maze game for the 2600 that represents an upgrade to the original release simply called Skeleton. This new version has been improved by the addition of a life and kill counter, an Undead Locator to track the skeletons, the option to hunt either five or ten skeletons per maze, and the addition of a number of difficulty settings that can be used to modify the gaming experience. A total of eight different mazes are programmed into this game. You will only be able to advance between mazes by eliminating all the skeletons in that particular maze. The graphics in Skeleton+ are simple but effective. The most important aspect of the game is sound, which works quite well as it is what clues you about the nearness of skeletons to your position. True that you can use the Undead Locator but the sound happens to be very helpful. Sound is even better if you have a modded Atari 2600 for stereo as you’ll be able to tell whether the skeletons are in front, behind, left or right of you. Definitely a nice title for the collection.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

 Skiing – By Activision

Do you love to ski? Are you curious about skiing? Well, here is your chance to enjoy this sport all year long, even if it is hot outside! Activision’s Skiing let’s you enjoy the snowy slopes in the comfort of your sofa without having to worry about getting frostbite! You have the choice of either a downhill run or a slalom run. In downhill runs you have to complete any given course as quickly as you can to make the best time. Four game variations are available, each increasing the distance of the run (i.e., 200 metres for a Novice hill, 900 metres for an Olympic hill) and with a set course. A fifth variation is available at the Olympic level but the program generates random courses. In slalom runs your goal is to go through all the gates without incurring any penalties. This also have four variations (Novide, Intermediate, Expert, and Olympic) with each variation increasing the number of gates (20 for Novice up to 50 for Olympic). The fifth variation here repeats the Expert level but with random courses being generated. The difficulty switches also either lock your skis to not turn horizontally (taking you off the course) or allow horizontal movement to explore more of the mountain. Skiing has nice, bright graphics with well rendered pine trees and flags. The skier is also nicely drawn and animated. This game is fun and has enough challenge to keep anyone interested. Even if you’ve never been on a ski slope (like me!), you are likely to enjoy this title.

Review by TrekMD

7/10

screenshot

 Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle – By Coleco/CBS Electronics

Oh no! Smurfette has been captured by the evil Gargamel! It is up to you, a brave blue Smurf, to rescue her from his castle and set her free. Gargamel is keeping Smurfette in a top shelf in his laboratory so you better be ready for some climbing to reach her. Of course, things are not so easy along the way either. You must travel through a forest, climb mountains, jump over rivers, and enter caverns. As if that weren’t enough, other dangers await you such as a black hawk, a snake, an enormous spider, and an owl. As you travel to the castle, you have to avoid these for any contact with them is deadly. You also have to be careful not to touch anything else. Even touching the fence in the forest is deadly! Once you reach Smurfette, the game restarts at a higher difficulty level. Smurf Rescue is a beautiful platformer for the 2600. The graphics are a bit on the blocky side but everything has tons of colour. Smurf and Smurfette are very well drawn and the character animation is smooth and well done. Because this game was likely targeting a younger audience, the first level is very easy to complete but, as the game gets to the higher levels, rescuing Smurfette is not so easy. One funny aspect of Smurf Rescue is the control mechanism for jumping. Instead of using the fire button, you make Smurf jump by pushing up on the joystick. Push up twice in a row and you get a giant leap (key to surviving since the first short jump is pretty much useless). If you press up a third time without pausing, you’ll perform another long jump. Smurf Rescue is an enjoyable title for the 2600.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

 Solar Fox – By CBS Electronics

There are some games that disappear into history and are not heard from again. One such game is Solar Fox, a game originally released into the arcades in 1981 by Midway and later ported to the 2600. It appears that centuries have passed and Earth is almost out of energy resources. Things are looking bad but there is one hope, the Solar Fox starship. You captain this starship as it travels to a distant corner of the galaxy where there are rich solar energy cells collected in intricate formations. These cells have the energy Earth needs and it is your job to collect them to safeguard the future. The solar cells are organized into matrices (also referred to as racks) that are arranged into 20 different formations. The cells themselves may be single or double cells, with the latter requiring to passes to be able to collect them. Unfortunately, some aliens do not like the fact that you are picking up the solar cells and they have sentinels to protect these. The sentinels constantly shoot fireballs at your ship to stop you from doing your job. In addition to the standard matrices, there are bonus stages for extra points that are time limited. Solar Fox is a fun and addicting game for the 2600. This port has been simplified some from the original arcade game but most people won’t even know as they may not be familiar with the original game. The graphics have the solar cells represented by simple rectangular shapes that have shifting colours and are arranged in different formations and the ship has a simple design. The sentinels appear on the outer edge of the matrices and fire nonstop. Don’t pass up this game, it is well worth your time.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

 Solaris – By Atari

The 2600 has had its share of impressive titles but none is as impressive as Solaris. So much so that it is hard to believe one is playing a 2600 game! From the text in the manual, it appears as though Solaris is supposed to be a sequel to Star Raiders since the evil Zylons are back trying to take over the galaxy once more. Though your real mission is to defeat the Zylons, your cover is simply that you are trying to find the planet Solaris so you can rescue the Atarian Federation Pioneers. The Zylons can’t discover your true motive or they’ll rush into Solaris and destroy the planet. Your goal is to beat them to that world while hyperwarping through 16 different quadrants, each with 48 different sectors, and facing many vicious enemies. Expect such nasties as the Kogalon Star Pirates, Planet Destroyers, and even a Cobra Fleet to challenge you. Use the full force of your StarCruiser to defeat them. Don’t worry, you have plenty of photon torpedoes for the mission and you better not let any Federation planets fall into Zylon hands on your way to Solaris! To say that Solaris is huge, is an understatement. The scope of the game is remarkable and it has both excellent graphics and sound effects tied to complex gameplay. The game uses star maps (one per quadrant) where you select your destination. You then move onto a planetary surface to attack enemies and rescue humanoids. This is followed by space battle areas reminiscent of Star Raiders. As you travel through planets you have to collect items, refuel, and find keys necessary to enter enemy bases. Solaris is an absolute must have for anyone with a 2600!

Review by TrekMD

10/10

screenshot

 Space Invaders – By Atari

The phrase “killer app” has been used to describe an app that makes a system a must have. If there ever was a killer app for the Atari 2600, Space Invaders was it! Space Invaders appeared in the arcades in 1978 and it promptly took the world by storm. Atari immediately sought out a license from Taito to create what became the very first licensed arcade port for the 2600. It was this port that made the Atari 2600 the successful console we all know and love. For those who have been living in a cave for the past three decades, Space Invaders is a game where the player takes control of a laser cannon that moves from left to right as it destroys wave after wave of invading aliens. The laser cannon has some protection by four static shields that get slowly disintegrated as they take hits from both the aliens and your own laser. The aliens march sideways and slowly move down the screen. If any of the aliens reach the bottom, the game ends. The 2600 version of Space Invaders made some changes to the graphics by changing the shape of the aliens and the laser cannon and introducing more colour. In addition to this, the number of aliens is lower as these aliens are larger in size than in the arcade. The gameplay that made the game such a hit was not only maintained but enhanced by the 112 variations included. Now there are invisible aliens, moving shields, zig zagging laser shots, simultaneous two-player action, guided fire, no shields, etc. Atari actually made an excellent game even better. Space Invaders is another title that every 2600 owner needs to have in their library.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

 Space Invaders Arcade – By Rob Kudla

Atari’s version of Space Invaders is certainly a classic and a must-have for any owner of the 2600. Despite its excellent gameplay, the game is not an exact replica of the arcade game because of differences in the graphics as well as sounds. Enter Rob Kudla who has hacked the game to make changes that allow the title to more closely resemble the arcade and Space Invaders Arcade was born. In this version the colours have been reverted to those of the arcade with white aliens, green laser cannon, green shields, and a red alien saucer. In addition, the aliens have been redesigned to look like their arcade counterparts, the cannon has also been redesigned, and the shields also compare better to the original arcade design. There still are some differences to the arcade as we only get three shields (vs the four on the arcade) and the green line that appears at the bottom of the screen on the arcade is missing. Nonetheless, the game does better match the arcade’s appearance. In addition to the visual changes, sound effects have been modified and the marching sound that is so characteristic of the arcade game is better emulated. None of the gameplay from Atari’s version has been sacrificed and all 112 game variations are available to select from. So, the invisible aliens, guided missiles, moving shields, cooperative play...all of it is here as well! If you don’t have Atari’s original version of Space Invaders and would prefer something closer in appearance to the arcade, this is for you.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

 Space Rocks – By Darrell Spice, Jr.

While on a routine stellar cartography mission, your ship’s warp drive experiences a malfunction and it sends you to an uncharted sector of space. As if that weren’t enough, you are stuck in the middle of an asteroid field requiring you to start firing at them if you are to avoid being blown to dust. To make matters even worse, the local aliens consider you a threat and they send attack saucers and Magna-Mines in order to eliminate you! This is not a good day for you! If all this sounds familiar that’s because Space Rocks is a clone of that beloved Atari title, Asteroids. Space Rocks, however, takes things up by several notches. When you start the game, you are welcome to a Menu screen with several options that let you change your gaming experience. These options are what make this title so great! You can choose one or two players (alternating, concurrent competing, concurrent cooperating), control by joystick or gamepad (i.e., Genesis/MD controller), visual style (simulated vector or solid), colors (multicolor or monochrome), play level (kids to hard), special functions (shields, hyperspace, or 180 degree turn), friction (yes or no), bonus lives (none or score level for these), and Manga-Mines (on/off). The latter are particularly challenging as they will break into multiple smaller, magnetic mines that will hunt you down until one of you is destroyed. If you are a fan of Asteroids, you owe it to yourself to get Space Rocks. There isn’t a better version of the arcade classic for the 2600. The game is also compatible with the Starplex controller, which recreates the arcade experience that much better!

Review by TrekMD

10/10

screenshot

 Space Treat Deluxe - By Fabrizio Zavagli

You live on a Class M planet that is rich in resources and where people live in harmony with natures and in peace. Peace, though, is a fragile thing. The inhabitants of a neighbouring planet in the same star system have consumed all of their planet’s resources. Unlike your people, these folks are greedy and they just take as they want which has led to the current state of their world. Knowing of the richness of your world, they’ve created an army of drones programmed to seek any food or worthwhile resource, take it, and enclose in a space trap for transport. Your planet was not ready for the attack and the drones have been successful at stealing foodstuff and storing it on their trap. Your people may be peaceful but they will not sit idly by as their resources are stolen. A new ship has been created to bring back what belongs to your world. You have been placed in charge of this ship and your mission is to leave the space base, cross the layers of orbiting drones, collect your food, and return it to base safely. The drones will not make this easy as they’ll speed up their waves as they try to capture your ship and, to make things tougher, they’ll lock the trap to force you to find a passkey to open its door before you can reach the food within. Space Treat Deluxe is a take on the Frogger formula that is fun, fast, and addicting. The game has bright, colourful graphics, excellent control, good sound, and 99 levels of challenge. This is an excellent title for the 2600!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

 Space War – By Atari

Spacewar was one of the very first digital computer games ever written. In the game, two players control starships (the needle and the wedge) that are trying to destroy each other while manoeuvring to avoid falling into the gravity well of a star at the centre of the screen. The ships are equipped with laser guns and a hyperspace drive to facilitate escape from the star. The only problem is that using the drive too many times overloads the engines and destroys the ship. This original game, from 1961, was never in any arcade but it did inspire various clones, including Space Wars from Cinematronics which was released to the arcades in 1977. In 1978, a version of the game was ported to the Atari 2600 with 17 variations that include combinations of one or two-player games, a Galaxy Boundary, War Drive, Space Sun, Hyperspace, and Starbase. These variations were divided into two “main” games: Space War and Space Shuttle. In Space War the goal is to achieve the highest score in a competition between two players. These games have limited missiles (eight) that may or may not be resupplied. Space Shuttle offers one or two-player variants where the goal is to get 10 points by docking with a Space Module. Sadly, Space War as not aged very well on the 2600. The graphics are very simplistic and uninspired. The ships both have the same shapes (triangles) but each in its own colour. Space is rendered in green and the star/starbase are just a yellow square. The explosions are not even real explosions. This game is in need for some serious hacking to improve its looks and to add an AI for better one-player game options.

Review by TrekMD

4/10

screenshot

 Sprint Master – By Atari

Super Sprint was an arcade top-view racing game released by Atari 1986. In the arcade up to three players can control cars and complete against computer drivers. The game has eight different circuits and the players advance after completing three laps in any given circuit. Atari ported the game to the 2600 in 1988 under the game Sprint Master with some modifications. Now only up to two players can play with nine different circuits of play. Your car is controlled using the joystick (it would have been nice if it used the driving controllers!). The game has a title screen that plays the theme music for the game and has a red animated car with menu selections at the bottom. The menu offers a choice of one or two players, whether the car crashes or bounces if it hits anything, and the number of laps per race. You are next taken to a screen where you can choose the circuit you want to race. Once your selection is done, you now get to choose between a standard blacktrop track, a dirt track, or an ice track. Once the race starts your goal is, of course, to complete the selected number of laps first. On any of the tracks you have to be sure to avoid the tar slicks, drive over blue boxes to gain traction, or drive over red boxes to get a speed burst. Sprint Master is a fun and entertaining game for the 2600. The graphics are nice and it is cool to see how the colours on the tracks change according to they terrain you select. Though I would have preferred the driving controllers, the joystick does the job once you get used to it. Overall a very good racing game for the console.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

 Stampede – By Activision

When most people think of playing cowboy the mostly think of playing with guns against some adversary. Well, but what are cowboys also known for? Herding cows, of course! That is precisely what you do on Activision’s Stampede. You saddle your horse, start ridin’ and get your rope so you can lasso all the cattle in the farm. The cattle comes in four different types: Black Angus, Light Brown Jerseys, Medium Brown Guernseys, and Dark Red Herefords. Each type of cow moves at a different speed but the Black Angus just sits there. You have to be very watchful to catch them! Stampede is a fun and addicting game for the 2600. The action is constantly scrolling to the right and you have to keep moving up and down in order to catch the cattle. Missing three cows ends the game, so watch it when chasing the cattle. In order to lasso the cattle, you have to be at the right height and distance and this is something you’ll learn quickly. One cool aspect of the game is that if you see cattle that may be getting past you, you can actually use your horse to nudge them forward, giving you an opportunity to catch them. Of course, no scrolling game isn’t complete without some sort of obstacle, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for bleached skulls on the ground. Hitting them is not helpful one bit! Stampede has four different game variations to choose from that add challenge to the game. This is a game many may overlook but it is definitely not one to miss.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – By Parker Bros.

It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy. Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighter led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth... Hoth, however, did not remain hidden to the Empire. AT-AT units have been sent to destroy the generator of the Rebel base and it is up to you to protect the generator on your Snowspeeder to give everyone a chance to escape. Can you stop the AT-AT’s in time? Empire is, perhaps, the best Star Wars game developed for the Atari 2600. Though the game graphics may appear simple, they portray Hoth rather well (after all, it is an ice covered planet) and the AT-AT’s lend themselves well to a simple pixelated design. To have a sense of how many AT-AT’s are heading your way, a scanner at the bottom of the screen shows you their location relative to yours. Each AT-AT requires 48 hits to be destroyed (as you damage them, their colour changes); however, you will periodically see flashing weak points appear on them. Hit the weak point and down goes the AT-AT. Be careful, though, as the walkers are not defenceless and their weapons are rather accurate. Empire plays a nice version of the Star Wars theme when the action starts and you’ll get to hear it again if you manage to survive for two minutes. You Snowspeeder glows and becomes invincible with Force energy. Uses this opportunity to barrage the walkers with your weapon! Remember also to land your Snowspeeder for repairs if you get hit. Star Wars fans must have this game!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

 Stella's Stocking - By John Payson, Fred Quimby, David Weavil, Chris Read, Robert Mundschau, David Vasquez, Dave Exton & Darrell Spice Jr.

Looking for a Christmas game for the 2600? How about five games in one cartridge? Stella’s Stocking is a Christmas game collection for the 2600 containing five very different titles to enjoy: Cold War, Tossing Cookies, Stay Frosty, Elf Dash, and Grandma’s Revenge. You select the game to play from a very nicely rendered menus screen that opens up with a beautifully rendered fireplace as Christmas music plays. Cold War is a snowball fight game where two players control two snowmen each as they throw snowballs for various rounds. The control scheme gets some getting used to but a fun game. Tossing Cookies requires the player to control Santa as he collects cookies that will be used to catch reindeer on a second screen. There are only 90 seconds to collect up to nine cookies before the screen changes to the reindeer capturing part of the game. There are 12 levels to complete. Stay Frosty is, perhaps, the title I enjoy the most. Here you control a snowman who has to put out fires on ledges using his body while also collecting ice cubes to keep his body solid. Let him melt completely and the game is over. Elf Dash is another fun title where an elf is tasked with collecting 40 items that Mrs. Claus requires while avoiding the touch of several “guard toys” walking the platforms in each room. This game is fast paced and lots of fun. Lastly, Grandma’s Revenge involves driving a car (well, grandma is the driver) in order to run over the reindeer on the road. Things get tricky as the dead reindeer clutter the roads. Power ups can make the car faster or larger or help repair damage. With its variety, Stella’s Stocking is another very good Christmas title for the 2600!

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

 Suicide Mission – By Starpath

Starpath must have really wanted to create their own version of Asteroids for the SuperCharger to take advantage of the extra memory this add-on gave the 2600. Unfortunately, licensing likely got in the way so instead they created a clone of Asteroids entitled Suicide Mission. In Suicide Mission you pilot a ship that has been miniaturized to enter the human body and attack a viral infection near a patient’s heart. The viruses have formed large clumps that you are able to break apart using penicillin torpedoes. As you hit the clumps, they break into smaller parts until the individual viruses are moving around. These individual viruses can be easily destroyed with one torpedo hit. Most of the virus particles are more concerned with infecting host cells and will pay little attention to your ship. There is, however, a different type of virus that will target your ship directly and you must destroy it before it manages to stop you from completing your mission. Suicide Mission is an effective clone of Asteroids that shows what the SuperCharger can do. The graphics create pseudo-vectors of your ship and your enemies that would not have been possible otherwise on the 2600. The virus particles slither about the screen and change shape rather impressively, adding to the visual quality of the game. Your ship can fire salvoes or single torpedoes, depending on the difficulty switch setting and it is also equipped with shields. The shields, though, heat up the ship’s systems and can make the ship blow up so you have to be careful when using them. Because you’re in the blood stream, the background color changes and the ship’s forward motion does not have momentum. A worthy title for the 2600!

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

 Super Breakout – By Atari

You’re alone on your mission on the space shuttle, moving through space at incredible speed and suddenly your cockpit is filled with a flash of light. You check your instruments and there is nothing on your space radar. When you look out, a force field with a band of bright colour has appeared. More flashes and the force field continues to grow until it has multiple coloured layers. The radar detects nothing, what are you to do? This fancy story is the background Atari created for Super Breakout, an update of their original wall breaking game formula. Super Breakout has five different game variations for one or two players to choose from: Breakout, Double, Cavity, Progressive, and Children’s. Breakout plays just like the original game and the goal is simply to clear all the bricks on the walls. Double keeps the same gameplay of Breakout but you have double paddles and two balls to control. Cavity introduces open spaces between the brick layers in which balls are trapped until you clear a way for them. You have double paddles to play. Progressive is for one player only and here there are walls of bricks separated by open spaces. As you hit the bricks, the walls move down toward your paddle and their colours change. The Children’s versions have slower movement of the ball for ease. The new types of games introduced in Super Breakout are a welcome change from the original but the gameplay dose fall short when compared to other 2600 titles like Fireball and Off The Wall.

Review by TrekMD

6/10

screenshot

 Super Football – By Atari

After completing the run of RealSports games, Atari started a new game series under the “Super” brand. Only two sports titles were released with this branding, with Super Football being one of them and, boy, is it a super game! Atari’s Super Football portrays the game very differently from any other attempt on the 2600. Instead of looking at the football field from above with sideways players, the field is rendered in pseudo-3D. The players are rendered in multiple colours, they are small, well animated, and even scale properly as they run in the field. There is some flickering but with 10 characters in the field, this is not a surprise. The footballers the player controls have a different colour scheme also so they are easy to identify. The game offers four skill levels and you can play solo or against a friend. At the top of the screen there’s a nicely detailed scoreboard that displays your score, yard line, yards to go, quarter, and time remaining per quarter. The scoreboard is red when the ball is on the defensive half of the field and blue when on the offensive side. When the game starts, the teams move into position in the field and then the player selects the formations to be used. Offensive and defensive formations are detailed in the manual, so you’ll need it to be able to decide on your moves. Once a formation is selected, the fire button activates the action. Kick offs, field goals, and punts are incorporated into the game and there’s even a pause feature (the BW switch). Super Football is indeed super and highly recommended.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

 Surround – By Atari

Welcome to the world of Surround! Here you will compete against other players with the simple objective of surrounding your opponent until they run out of space. Except there is a little catch, the trail you leave behind you can also trap you so you have to be smart so you don’t end up trapping yourself! Surround is a 1977 title for the Atari 2600 that has very simple gameplay, graphics, and sound. Atari tried to keep it interesting by offering 12 different variation of the game with play for one or two players. In addition a Video Graffiti “game” is included for the player to draw on the screen. Surround games have four features: speed up, diagonal movement, erase (you can use the fire button to not leave a tail), and wraparound. Different game variations have different combinations of these to add to replay value. Unfortunately, Surround is not going to keep everyone entertained. The game is simple and easy to learn and play but it is also nothing special. I suppose the entertainment value will depend on the person against whom you are playing. The computer does not represent much of a challenge, so single player games are not as entertaining. Video Graffiti does let you draw and “write” on screen but you can’t really do anything fancy with it. The resolution just isn’t high enough for it. To at least have some fun with Surround, surround yourself with friends and challenge each other to see how can survive the longest.

Review by TrekMD

4/10

Next Page: Atari 2600 VCS T-U