Atari Marathon Madness!

1st thing: is this ad real?

Ok- as I’ve been playing old Atari games, I’m finding there isn’t much to say about them, at least ,not as much as a game from Nintendo and Sega, as Atari games usually have 1 function or 1 goal, not multi-layered; I mean the controller was a joystick and a button!  So, I played a bunch of these and wanted to record some quick thoughts on all the games in my continuing quest to cover every game I can find in these systems


A Mysterious Thief

Can’t tell if I”m the thief or I’m chasing the thief?  the Jumping up levels on this game is atrocious; sometimes you can, other times you can’t.  It took me like 15 minutes to figure out the catch to it, then it wasn’t as bad as originally though.

Playability- 5.5   Graphics- 4    Music- .5     Replay Value   4.5    Originality- 3    Final: 35%


Clown Downtown

This took 1 min. to play through the whole game.  You’re  clown, walking through I guess downtown even though there’s like mountains and shit in the background and you just avoid the policeman , that’s it.  Game has like 4 screens  That being said, it’s fun to continuously beat this; like the shortest game ever.

Playablity- 6.5   Graphics- 7    Music- 2    Replay Value- 10    Originality- 4.5    Final: 60%



I loved the idea of this game; each screen there’s a maze in front of you and the game scrolls down; you have to find your way through it before the screen catches up to you and it changes on each screen.  Needed some much-loved Atari sound effects though.

Playability- 6    Graphics- 3    Music- 2     Replay Value- 4     Originality- 7.5   Final: 45%



This is Space Invaders; let’s be honest.  Only difference is different enemies will fly down at you from the alien horde and try to kill you that way instead of staying in a group like a phalanx attack. Fun stuff.

Playability- 7.5    Graphics- 5    Music- 6     Replay Value- 7     Originality- 3.5   Final: 58%


Ice Hockey

You know, for a 4 man hockey game (which I’ve never seen done) this game does a lot of things right; once you get the puck so far up screen, you auto-switch to your goalie and he can come way out of the box and shoot it down to your other player.  Tough AI on this but really fun.  Graphics were a little blocky even for Atari though.

Playability- 6.5      Graphics- 4     Music- 4.5     Replay Value- 5      Originality- 3    Final: 46%


Lock n’ Chase

This was a Pac-Man ripoff but done really well.  the hallways are wider but you get no invincibility from the pills so it varies a bit but it’s Pac-Man.

Playability- 7    Graphics- 3.5     Music- 4.5     Replay Value- 6   Originality- 2.5    Final: 47%



This is a favorite of a lot of Atari players; I love the idea of it; two warriors riding ostriches or something akin to that and fighting like the knights of olden days.  I just don’t like anything about it other than the repeating gameplay.  Sound effects are bad, graphics on the lower side and that damn winged asshole that flies over the top of the screen annoys me to no end.

Playability- 6     Graphics- 4     Music- 2      Replay Value- 5     Originality- 6.5    Final: 48%


Joust Pong

I think this was a homebrew- a game created by a fan from their own hardware; it’s exactly what the title says; pong with the bird back to annoy the ever loving piss out of you.  Instead of adding another layer of challenging play , it just cramps the style of what makes Pong so fun.

Playability- 3     Graphics- 1     Music- 1    replay Value- 1      Originality- 5     Final: 24%



This may also be called Name this Game; it’s nothing like what you would expect.  You’re a diver swimming along the bottom of the ocean and above you is the happiest god damned octopus you’ve ever seen; and he’s enormous.  Well, there’s also a shark swimming and each time he hits the end of the screen, he drops a level and comes closer to you.  It’s a shooting the target game and I was hitting the sweet spot on this; and kudos to the designers because if you hit the shark too many times in a row out of the gate, they’ll start him somewhere else.  I couldn’t quit playing this, but it’s really simple with goofy graphics that are fun to look at.

Playablity- 7      Graphics- 6      Music- 3     Replay Value- 5     Originality- 5    Final: 52%


Oscar’s Trash Race

Oscar, that lovable old Grouch from Sesame Street comes at you with a learning game; i’m not sure how many learning games were on Atari but if there’s one thing the Street does right; it’s that.  Not sure what age this is aimed at but it was completely simple to play and not that engaging, but maybe it’s just aged badly.

Playability- 2      Graphics- 4     Music- 2     Replay Value- 6     Originality- 5     Final: 38%


Shootin’ Gallery

Another hit the target game but with tons more variables to make it fun.

Playability- 6       Graphics- 5.5     Music- 5     Replay Value 7      Originality- 4.5    Final: 56%


Zoo Fun

The graphics are so awful it took me a while to figure out what I was doing; you’re rescuing zoo animals that have escaped and bringing them back to their cages.  Again, very simple gameplay; great game to have your young kids start out on .

Playabilit- 4.5       Graphics- 2       Music- 1.5     Replay Value   4.5      Originality- 6     Final: 37%


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