Pinball

The Game: A virtual pinball machine is presented, complete with flippers, bumpers, and the ability to physically “bump” the table to influence the motion of the ball. Per standard pinball rules, the object of the game is to keep the ball in play as long as possible. (Ralph Baer, 1978 – unreleased prototype) Memories: Ralph […]

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Polo

The Game: Climb onto your trusty four-legged ride for a good old fashioned game of horse hockey. Try to knock the ball into your opponent’s goal, but don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t defend your own. (Atari, 1978) Memories: One of the earliest Atari VCS games to go unreleased, Polo was never […]

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Bradley Trainer (a.k.a. “Military Battlezone”)

The Game: As the pilot of a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, you wander the desolate battlefield, trying to wipe out enemy tanks and helictopers without accidentally firing on your own allies. (Atari, under special contract for the United States Army, 1981) Memories: You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the arcade business who’d complain that […]

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Pick Axe Pete

The Game: As Pete, you start out in the center of a multi-tiered mine – not at the bottom – and your boulder-smashing pick axe begins to deteriorate after about one minute. Then you either have to jump over or duck under the onslaught of falling rocks, or you’re toast. Falling to the lower levels […]

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Impossible Mission / Programmed Trip

The Game: On an enclosed grid, you control a robotic drone whose job is to collect certain items on the grid and deflect enemies away from those items. If you can plant obstacles – which deflect your enemies with 90-degree left or right turns – that lock your pursuers into an inescapable infinite loop, all […]

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Attack Of The Timelord! (Terrahawks+)

The Game: The game begins as the skull-like face of Spyruss the Deathless (the Timelord of Chaos, no less!) taunts you (well, only if you had the Voice), and then a bunch of pesky spaceships pops out of a vortex to shoot at you. They shoot at you rather a lot. Fortunately, you can shoot […]

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RealSports Basketball

The Game: Two players each control one man in one-on-one, full-court action. Whoever has the highest score by a predetermined time limit wins. (Atari, 1983 [unreleased]) Memories: Atari’s RealSports series was created to challenge the upper hand Intellivision’s sports games had gained over the blocky, primitive virtual versions of the same sports on the Atari […]

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Battlezone

The Game: As the pilot of a heavy tank, you wander the desolate battlefield, trying to wipe out enemy tanks and landing vehicles. (Atari, 1983) Memories: If Atari’s 2600 version of the arcade wargame was a pleasant surprise, the unreleased 5200 edition of the same game is almost a revelation. Combining adaptations of the menacingly […]

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Fantasy

The Game: Pirates have kidnapped your girlfriend, Cheri, and it’s your job to rescue her, from landing your hot air balloon on the deck of the pirate ship and trying to free her, to flying and climbing your way through the jungle to rescue her from jungle animals who have abducted her from the pirates. […]

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Flash Point

The Game: A zombie infestation has overrun the city. The player, in a mobile unit bristling with weapons, must venture into the infested areas and eliminate the zombies – or die. The center of the infestation screens features a green area surrounding the player’s vehicle; this must be preserved as much as possible while fighting […]

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Killer Bees

The Game: You control a solitary swarm of “good” bees, trailed by a couple of handy ray guns on the same vertical axis. The game starts out with a bunch of dim-witted Beebots bumbling around the screen, which you can sting with your bee swarm until the ‘bots slow down and finally expire, marked by […]

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Lasercade

The Game: You’re manning an experimental laser in a shooting gallery, trying to zap objects as they cross a screen at the far end of the room. A direct hit scores points, but the clock is always ticking down and any objects that haven’t been shot down will remain in play until they’re eliminated. At […]

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Looping

The Game: What if you were out to perform daring, air-show-style aerial acrobatics, and someone was shooting at you at the same time? Wouldn’t that be dandy? Lucky you, that’s what you’re doing in this game. With a mandate to DESTROY TERMINAL, you set out to obliterate an airport terminal protected by armed hot air […]

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Pac-Man

The Game: As a round yellow creature consisting of a mouth and nothing else, you maneuver around a relatively simple maze, gobbling small dots (10 points) and evading four colorful monsters who can eat you on contact. In four corners of the screen, large flashing dots (50 points) enable you to turn the tables and […]

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Planet Of The Apes

The Game: It’s not a good idea being a human on Earth of the future, in a world ruled ruthlessly by intelligent, verbose, violent apes. Or, in this case, persistent, pixellated apes. The player controls a hunted human trying to stay out of the apes’ damn dirty paws. If the human falls into the apes’ […]

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Power Lords: Quest For Volcan

The Game: As superhero Adam Power, you’re the pilot of a space sled on patrol around the explosive Volcan Rock, and what better cover for the bad guys? An enormous laser-eyed space serpent is coiled around the mountain, and you have to take it down single-handedly. Once you’ve baked the snake, you land your sled […]

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Robot City

The Game: Four robotic tanks search methodically through a maze, trying to hunt you down. If you wind up in a straight line across or above/below the robot tanks, they will fire, even if a maze wall is in the way. Your job is to evade their fire, use the robots’ logic against them (i.e. […]

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Robot Rubble

The Game: Robots descend from the mountains with one mission in mind: they’d like to fry you. In fact, they’re pretty adamant on that point. You’re armed with a weapon that can fling anti-robot grenades at them, but you have to account for a trajectory that can be affected by your own movement; mountainous outcroppings […]

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