As with Donkey Kong (from Coleco) a year later, I remember the critical drubbing the 2600 version received upon release. And I was one of them. I enjoyed the arcade game like the rest of the world back in 1981, and with Atari having the ubiquitous rights for the home version (and generally doing a good job overall), what could wrong? Plenty. I hated the new scoring scheme (e.g., 1 point instead of 10, 5 instead of 50, etc.). It made it feel like I hadn't accomplished anything after the game was over. Also I disliked putting an eye on Pac-Man (maybe Atari didn't want kids to think Pac-Man was blind?), and that items were renamed -- monsters became ghosts, energizers became power pills, etc. In fact, I remember that so strong was Atari's "influence," if you will, that after the 2600 version came out, anyone playing Pac-Man in the arcades were now referring to the new naming schemes. What also made this game awful was the poor color scheme and headache inducing flickering, not to mention the crude sounding sound effects. And there wasn't even an attempt to have the classic theme song to start the game; it just sounded like a couple of random notes that didn't even sound anything like a tune.
Oh my... this confirms my fears, and opens up a whole host of possible conspiracies between Atari and the Chinese.
All of these games are the same as on this http://atariboxed.com/index.php?go=detail&modul_refnumber=1627 and even the title font is the same. What this likely means is that Atari, in their transition from producing Game Cartridges in El Paso to Hong Kong, made a deal with the devil: they would let this Chinese printer clone/steal all of its games with impunity (and sell then anywhere but North America) in return for producing cartridges for quite cheap. 2600 Compatible and Silver cartridges could have been molded from the same plastic in the same factory! I bet that if you melted it down and chemically analyzed it, it would be a perfect match! This isn't so outlandish when you consider how Tax Avoiders was created to dupe investors. Or how the makers of the Dendy, a Russian "Clone" of the Famicom, became the official distributors of the SNES in Russia.
The only 2600 cartridge I still own from the early 80's, and the game that had me actively trying to earn the patches that Activision would send with a picture of your score on the screen. Since first-person-shooter games are so popular now, we have Starmaster to thank as being one of the pioneers of the genre.
I have one of the boards as well. Not the entire display, just the board and a few cables. I am ready to let it go if anyone is interested.
One of the best arcade translations done for this system. It was released it in January 1983 (yes, *after* Christmas), making it the sleeper hit of the year. The programmer cleverly hid his name in the manual.
An absolute travesty on so many levels, and for me the biggest letdown by far for any home arcade conversion. It's rather amazing that it looks, sounds, and plays nothing like the original. Tod Frye has often said he didn't understand why people complained about issues like the tunnels being on the wrong sides, or that the colors were completely wrong.. and a dozen other issues... but that had he known, he would have fixed them. He also claims having support for 2 players used up a lot of the available RAM he had, but that haivng it was an "essential part of Pac-Man" and thus refused to drop it, as if we were talking about a co-op feature like with Warlords. Anyone else would have dropped the 2-player option very early in the dev process, realizing what the restrictions were with having only 4K. As for the color scheme, look at all the previous coin-op ports that were done. For Frye to say, "Nobody knew what was important" is nonsense. Clearly everyone else knew what was important, and the rules weren't as unclear or unknown as he likes to claim - if you're doing a coin-op conversion, the objective is to COPY the arcade game as closely as possible. Brad Stewart and Rick Maurer managed to duplicate nearly every aspect of early b&w games like Breakout and Space Invaders. "No one knew?" EVERYONE knew. Everyone but him, apparently. If the game was purely b&w (w/o even the use of colored overlays, like Air-Sea Battle or Asteroids), then sure, take advantage of the fact the system has color. But to take a game like Pac-Man and not only put a colored background in it but change all the colors, when part of the visual appeal of most games back then was to see (primary) colors against a black background. How come he didn't put a colored background in his 400/800 Asteroids? Most of his VCS games (Pac-Man, SQ FireWorld, Aquaventure, Save Mary) have awful coloring schemes. Sorry, but to spend 6 months on a 4K game and have it look or sound nothing like the game it's based on is still just as unforgivable, even 36 years later. He can come up with all the excuses he wants, but Tod did a shit job on it and was clearly not the right person. When he threatened to leave Atari during the development unless they offered him more money, Atari should have let him walk, and had someone else work on it (or contract out someone else to do it, which is what they did with Ms. Pac-Man). And where was Atari's Marketing with all their play-testing when this game was turned in? Chances are, nobody in Marketing cared how it looked or played, as long as it had the name. So although it's clear Tod didn't care about such things, he was far from the only one at Atari.
Imagine playing Asteroids without the ability to shoot anything, instead being limited to simply flying around the rocks. Now imagine sitting around playing with a pile of rocks. Neither are enjoyable, but at least you didn’t pay for the rocks. Btw, the designer's best times listed in the manual are insane, and most likely impossible. We've yet to see anyone complete the easiest course in under 1 minute, or the hardest course in under 4 minutes - 1:07 and 6 minutes respectively are about the best we can do. Let Jim Jacob come forward and prove me wrong!
Well, I am surprised there's an actual atari 2600 version of Turbo.
This was one of the most addictive games for the Atari 2600. Truly would've been worth to adapt as a coin op game. This game was so popular that Howard Scott Warsaw should've made a sequel if Atari allowed him to.
A horrible, pointless game that did not make any sense. Previous adventure games such as Adventure, Haunted House, and Superman were excellent games. Swordquest was the game that finally made me give up on the 2600.