Basketball (Atari 2600) & 3 other games

As much as I like winning (who doesn’t?) at sports (I’m a guy) there’s something incredibly not fun about playing out a full game of Basketball.  Now, I”M not sure if it’s just my cartridge, but after the first basket was scored, my opponent just stood there dribbling, looking at me while the background colors changed.  It was very strange.  It’s almost like I can’t call this a game at all, but it was momentarily fun.

Scores: all 2’s



3-D Tic Tac Toe

Once you hit a certain age (for me, it was once my daughter hit a certain age) TIc-Tac-Toe is sort of pointless.  It’s not very hard to figure out where your opponent is going next with only a few rows or colums available to score your 3 in a row on.  So, anyone past the age of 5 has mastered this game.  Atari did something different with it but not altogether good: They added a 4th Row!!!!!  Either Genius or Insipid.  They also gave you four boxes to use, so the computer is putting O’s in every box as you try to figure out what this grid actually means.  I mean, how do you get 3 in a row with a game that has 4 columns?  This was mind numbingly dumb idea and the game is awful.

Scores: play ability- 1   Graphics- 0 (it’s a grid with 9 squares, come on!)  Music- 0   Replay Value- 1   Originality/ Story- 0

.4 % (yikes)


Defender & Defender II

Another Atari space game: it’s fun, you shoot at clusters and other ships ( I think ) with your laser blaster and avoid being hit.  You get several lives to try and master the game but I”m sure just like space, it’s endless.  There’s no shortage of these games but Defender was a more popular one.  Measuring it against the rest of Atari’s offerings it stands out as a fun and easy tutorial on fast paced play in a challenging environment.  You start with 5 ships and fly as a team, taking out everything in your way, and after each wave, you have the chance to get some of your lost comrades back.

Defender II isn’t near as much fun.  There’s double the amount of enemies clogging your way and the shooter is now moving horizontal instead of vertical and your area of the shot is much smaller, unless you use the multi-shot which still shoots too narrowly to be that effective.  It’s not quite the same game and lost a lot of playability from the first one but the graphics are much clearer and colors brighter.

Defender: Playability- 6   Graphics- 3   Music- 1   Replay Value- 6   Originality- 3  Score: 38%

Defeder II: Playability- 4  Graphics- 6   Music- 2   Replay Value- 4   Originality- 2  Score: 36%

Atari Rankings:


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