Playstation 4 and Xbox One are on the way and the question no one is asking is who gives a shit? Games have pretty much gone downhill since Atari 2600. Today’s games may have cool graphics and storylines and extended gameplay and all this stuff, but compare that shit to Pacman and what do you have? No time to answer! On to awesome Atari games!
The entire point of Pitfall is to not fall into pits. Or gators. Or scorpions. I think you had to avoid logs as well. You would go from left to right or right t left at your leisure avoiding these things. Each screen was a pit, or a gator pond, or some such similar shit and you just jumped over it all. Over and over and over. It never ended. Literally. There was no end to this game. I played for hours once as a child, confident I would find the end, and it never happened.
Wikipedia has some bullshit about how you can win the game that involved collecting all the treasures and never losing any points that sounds like utter crap. The game didn’t end, deal with it. Because games with endings are always anticlimactic. Pitfall was always about the infuriating thrill of never getting anywhere. It’s a metaphor for life.
This game is often considered one of the worst games ever and that’s saying something in a world that gave us games like Mario’s Missing. Mario’s Missing? Who gives a shit, Nintendo? Maybe design a system sometime that isn’t completely and utterly dependent on the repetitive adventures of an Italian stereotype dipshit plumber. We all loved Super Mario Kart but enough is enough, every shitty Nintendo system is 50% Mario, we get it already.
That said, ET took apparently 5 months to design and was rushed out to meet the demand that they expected the movie to produce. Nowadays you can look at an Atari game and assume you could design it in a week, but I guess 5 months was fast back in 1982. Whatever the case, the game was diabolically awesome insofar as it couldn’t have made less sense. What the hell did it have to do with anything? How did the gameplay even work? Was there a point? Literally no one could answer any of those questions. No one.
One of the quintessential games of the Atari generation, asteroids was a triangle shooting pixels at blobs whilst drifting. Shit never ended. You drift, you shoot, blobs go from big to small and you try not to smash your ass into them. Eventually you do. How did your shitty little spaceship end up in the worst neighborhood in space? No one knows. Was it your job to do this or were you just saving your ass? Doesn’t matter. Just keep shooting and drifting you son of a bitch.
Pixel cowboy vs pixel cowboy, sometimes with pixel walls and pixel cacti in the way. I played the shit out of this game when I was a kid and had no idea there were better things to do than play Atari. Of course one day I got a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros 2 and the Legend of Zelda in that gold case and the Atari got thrown in a corner like grandpa because living in the past is what suckers do. Wait, did that contradict the beginning of this article? Eh, whatever. Outlaw was awesome, anyway.
If Asteroids was too in depth for you, Missile Command was around to take up the slack and be everything you need a game to be. It had lines and a cursor and flashes. Put the cursor on the line and click so that it flashes. Keep doing it. Never stop doing it until you get to the level in which it is literally, humanly impossible to catch all those friggin’ lines because they’re too fast and you’re obviously drunk since you’re playing missile command.
Beat ‘em and Eat ‘em
Some of you are aware that, for whatever reason, Atari flirted with the idea of “adult” gaming back in the day, which is to say they produced a handful of pornographic games. And by that I mean theoretically pornographic because we’re still talking about Atari here and it wasn’t easy to make that shit sexy.
Most famous of the bunch, arguably, thanks to numerous write ups on numerous websites was the terrible idea “Custer’s Revenge” which featured naked General Custer with a pixel boner raping Native American women tied to cacti. That was the whole game.
Less offensive on a basic level but equally as confusing was Beat ‘em and Eat ‘em. Given that I just told you it was a pornographic game, the name means exactly what you think it means. There’s a naked man on a roof with a jackhammer penis whacking off. You used the paddle controller (remember that thing? From Pong?) and made two naked ladies run around on the street below with their heads back and mouth open catching the errant spooge. This literally, really happened.