AtariAge, the premiere home of all things Atari consoles, has several new homebrew cartridges available for the Atari 2600 VCS, as well as a special edition of Atari 7800 Beef Drop, complete with enhanced graphics and POKEY chip sound!
Also, be sure to check here and here for information of a very impressive looking 1989 unreleased 85% complete prototype of Missing in Action (based on the "classic" Chuck Norris film) for the Atari 7800, also available for purchase or free ROM download for use with a Cuttle Cart 2 or emulator. (Keep in mind that emulation does not yet display the game properly, so the screenshot to the left and any that you see right now not taken directly off of a TV screen do not show off the game to its fullest)
The full release with all the details:
Our friends over at AtariAge have incredible online store deals for the Atari VCS 2600 and Atari 7800 Pro System going on now. Check out the new homebrew stuff! Information below:
It looks like yet another high quality homebrew title has been released for the venerable Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS), this one based on the famous board game, "Connect Four". Nothing terribly earth shattering, but it looks great, has slick packaging and is priced at only $20 through our friends at AtariAge.
Four-Play is a classic board game that has finally made its way to the Atari 2600. Four-Play has easy to learn rules, but don't expect to become a master as easily! Red and Blue take turns dropping marbles into an upright board. The first player to align four marbles horizontally, vertically, or diagonally wins! Pit your wits against the computer A.I. at four difficulty levels, or play against a friend in two-player mode.
Includes cartridge and full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats, please specify above when ordering.
While this is hardly breaking news, it's been interesting to follow some of the drama around the "Atari 2600 Plug 'N Play Keychain" series from "Basic Fun". The first part of the drama involves the company's falling out with engineer Curt Vendel, most famous for being the lead on the "Atari Flashback" and "Atari Flashback 2.0" products, and launching "Awesome Arcades". The second and more relevant part of the drama involves the simple fact that these products, amazing form factor and low price aside ($15 each), are awful simulations, seemingly ignoring all the progress made over the past few years in TV Game quality (in fact, reverting back to the NES-on-a-chip of the first Flashback, which has been proven unable to properly simulate Atari 2600 games!). Perhaps "Basic Fun" should have just went with the quality product that Curt had originally delivered for them, rather than scrapping it and doing the products on the super cheap!
While the "Atari Flashback" was a weak simulation of both the Atari 7800 and 2600 systems using the readily available NES-on-a-chip as the platform, the "Atari Flashback 2.0" rectified this by incorporating a clever Atari 2600-on-a-chip, almost perfectly emulating the original hardware. After that and the prior "Commodore 64 30-in-1" (which essentially featured a C-64-on-a-chip), it's hard to go back to the kind of innaccuracies that are present in these keychain devices. Bottom line, the bar has been raised and we truly have the right to expect more, based simply on precedent and the countless other TV Games devices out there that do offer more authentic experiences, even of latter day systems like the Sega Genesis or arcade machines.
Thanks to our friends at AtariAge, two new homebrew games for the Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) are now widely available. While "A-VCS-tec Challenge" has been made previously available in a limited run (my original blog about it here) - though sourced from Europe - this is the first time I'm aware that this new, original arcade conversion of "Lady Bug" is available for sale.
Though it looks like it makes unusual use of the bottom screen and may have a little too much detail in its visuals, fans of top-down console shooters going all the way back to Carol Shaw's legendary River Raid for the Atari 2600 VCS should keep an eye on Nibris's upcoming Nintendo DS game, Raid Over the River.
Here's the official press release from the Polish developer (note, the Nibris Website appears to be down at the moment):
The Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) homebrew author of Mental Kombat, Simon Quernhorst, has just released A-VCS-tec Challenge, a conversion of Paul Norman's (of Cosmi and Forbidden Forest fame) classic Aztec Challenge for the Commodore 64 (C-64). A-VCS-tec Challenge features an updated modification of the first two levels from the original Norman game and music by the talented Paul Slocum, who really knows how to push the Atari 2600's sound hardware.
Sadly, the 50 copy run of the limited boxed edition with tons of extras is a bit out of my price range (thank you, Euro conversion rates!), but if you're interested, ordering begins promptly on July 1st. I guess I'll be looking out for regular editions available from US sellers. In any case, read all about the fascinating details here.
Ah, there's nothing I like more than great new games for truly classic systems like the Atari 2600 VCS and Coleco ColecoVision. Atari 2600: "AStar" is a puzzle game from the same guy who did the superb "Fall Down"; "Conquest of Mars" is a translation of "Caverns of Mars" originally on the Atari 8-bit computer systems; "Rainbow Invaders" is a fresh update of the "Space Invaders" concept; and "Wolfenstein VCS: The Next Mission" appears to be a take off on the "Venture" concept. ColecoVision: "Cosmo Fighter 2" and "Cosmo Fighter 3" are re-releases of some of the earliest homebrew titles for the system. I can't wait to check these out further!
The record for completing the Atari 2600 (Video Computer System (VCS)) version of David Crane's Pitfall! (Activision, 1982) in the quickest time has been shattered. The new record is now 1 minute and 28 seconds left with no deaths! For anyone who has played the game, they know this is an incredible accomplishment, particularly after all these years and all the countless games played by countless people.
It seems the world record breaker used a map to help himself out. All hail the power of the map...