RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Mar 21st 2013 at 04:35:18 PM by (singlebanana)
Posted under 2600, Atari, best games


After pondering the merits of the various paddle titles out there for the Atari 2600, I started thinking about other games that I would recommend for the system.  When it comes to Atari 2600 games, value (monetary and fun) or "bang for your buck" is an important factor for beginning collectors and others who primarily collect for other or multiple systems (i.e. without a specific Atari 2600 focus).  I tried to narrow the cost down to games that I typically find in the wild for $10 or less, so it will not include those loose $20 copies of Star Raiders that you see on Craigslist.....sorry to disappoint some of you.

I am beginning with a list of my top 25 "bang for your buck" 1-player games and following that up my favorite 10 multi-player games for the system. Multi-player games were the best when I was growing up; back then, we didn't have the internet and I have fond memories of going over to friends' and relatives' houses to play.  But,........I digress.     

I am also including a list of few other harder-to-find, or more expensive games (yet most of them are still around $20) that I really enjoy playing should you be so inclined to shell out more cash or sweet tradez. None of these recommendations are in any particular order of my preference, I simply compiled this list while going through our database and looking over my collection.





Perhaps you are a member of the post-2600 generation and want to get into the system, or maybe you played Atari growing up, didn't play a lot of the games, and simply want to rekindle that magic.  Either way, I hope these suggestions are helpful.  If you have other suggestions for games or disagree with some of my picks, constructive criticism is always welcome. Wink

Banana's Bang For Ya Buck Titles:

Berzerk - A good port for the 2600, I put many hours on this one as a kid, fun shooter until Evil Otto shows up...

Asteroids - It doesn't get more classic than this, a must own

Galaxian - a fun shooter and the closest thing to Galaga you'll find on the 2600

Defender II/Stargate - much better than the original Defender, the other is okay, but if you have to choose one, go with this

Frogger - fun, classic, Frogger....enuff said

Yars' Revenge - an Atari 2600 classic, frantic at higher levels, sometimes hard not to zap yourself

Vanguard - a nice little 4-way cavern shooter (see my blog review)

Taz - simple, addictive, and when the pace gets going, very challenging

California Games - the best of the 3 "Games" collection, surfing isn't so good, but hacky sack, the U-pipe, and the BMX downhill are loads of fun

Seaquest - a fun little shooter, collecting the divers and surfacing for air gives an added dimension to gameplay

Solar Fox - a really tight game of speed up, slow down, and dodge from all directions (see my blog review)

Frostbite - Crabby turned me onto this title, a favorite of his childhood and very fun

Millipede - A little better than Centipede, + the DT applies a bit more strategy

Super Breakout - Better than the original, a must own for any 2600 enthusiast

Turmoil - a nice little, typically unknown multi-level, horizontal shooter, check it out

Space Cavern - annoying sounds, but fun shooter, monsters coming from the sides add a fun dimension (see my blog review)

Phoenix - a neat shooter (see a pattern here) with several different boards, no extreme variance like Gorf, but still fun (Crabby destroyed me at this in our challenge about a year back)

Missile Command - pretty good port, work seeking out a roller controller, but surprising good with the ole Atari stick

Dark Cavern - neat maze shooter with varying enemies (see my blog review)

Spider Fighter - my favorite shooter for the 2600, fast and furious, Activision does it again

Lock 'N Chase - a fun Pac Man clone which allows you to drop barriers to block off enemies in chase

Kaboom! - a great paddle game that drops bombz

Moon Patrol - a decent arcade port, multi-tasking you jumping and shooting proves to be quite a challenge

Mouse Trap - another Pac Man clone meets cat and mouse, a nice game, since Pac Man has horrendous and Ladybug only made it to the Colecovision

Pitfall! - a classic must own, stand directly on alligators' eyeballs por favor


Multi-player Bang For Ya Buck:

Warlords - might be my favorite game for the Atari 2600, a great for parties 4-player

Combat - probably gets a bad rap because it's so common, but a very diverse and fun 2-player for the 2600

Entombed - a fun vertical scrolling maze racer with monsters, dead ends, and wall breaks, great solo play as well

Frogs and Flies - silly, but fun, grabbing the other player's fly is the best.....oh, that didn't sound right.....

Joust - classic Joust, great port, see who can nab the most eggs

M.A.D. - in a sense, like Missile Command, versatile, since one player plays the shooting station, while the other controls dropping the bombs on their opponent

Maze Craze - a really fun, quick action maze racer

Boxing (Activision) - silly, but punching people in their digital face is always fun, matches to 100 are typically tight,  but don't get caught in the corner

Surround - think Tron cycles, the goal is to build up your wall on the grid and make others crash into yours or their own

Freeway - A fun Frogger like racer where you dodge traffic by only moving vertically and see who can make the chicken cross the road most, who knows why they do it?



Great Games For Over $10:

Pengo - a fun block pusher, a worthy port of the arcade version

H.E.R.O. - a downward maze crawler, with a helicopter pack, bombs, and a mission to rescue trapped peeps

Frankenstein's Monster - a bit of girder and ladder game, destroy Frankenstein before he destroys you (see my blog review)

Tapper  - fill patrons glasses, catch emptys and throw them back at them, fast-paced fun (see my blog review)

Death Trap - I've heard that others hate it, but I like it, dodging the electric bolts is aggravating at first until you get the hang of it

Jawbreaker - one of my favorite games on the 2600, somewhat of a Pac Man clone with more horizontal movement (see my blog review)

Ram It - colorful blocks, don't let them close in on you

Montezuma's Revenge - a neat temple explorer....once you figure out the pattern of the rooms and the correct use of items (see my blog review)

Pitfall II - more range of motion than the original and lots of fun, I hear it even has an ending???



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Comments
 
Great list!  I personally would like to add Demon Attack and Blueprint to single player, though I can't fault you (there are just too many games on that system).  Your list reads like a shopping list, too.  I can name off more than five games I'd like to add to my wishlist.  This also makes me want a 5200 and/or a 7800.


 
Nice selections. If you like Frogs and Flies I'd highly recommend the superior Intellivision version, Frog Bog. By looking at it no one would think it is fun, but I still enjoy the two player mode to this day.
 
Glad to see Phoenix on the list. I had a lot of fun playing that with you guys.
 
I've had much fun with the games I own that you have listed and I have to completely agree with you on those. I'll keep an eye out for the ones I don't own that you listed in the wild.

I think the main reason I've fallen in love with this system is because you can get a lot of enjoyment out of most of the games in a very short period of time. The games are simple to pick up and play and fun to play when you don't have a lot of time to spare. Though if you have all the time the world you could play these games forever simply for the high score.

I love your 2600 blogs, keep 'em coming.
 
@bombatomba: I actually had Demon Attack on my list, but it didn't make the cut of 25.  I had to limit myself somehow and it seemed like a good number.  I already had so many shooters, so in favor of variety, I cut it. Good recommendation that I support. I haven't played  much Blue Print, but it looks pretty fun. Kind of a memory/assembly game.  Pressure Cooker also missed the cut and I think it is a superb game.

@Duke.Togo: Yeah, silly and easy concept, but a fun two player.

I will try and keep these blogs going as I can.  Individual game reviews are nice, but I've noticed that I tend to gravitate toward games I like. Smiley
 
Do a review of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I know you have it.
 
@Shadow Kisuragi: Errrr.....yeah.  That would mean I would have to play it, right? Smiley
 
Some nice choices in there, especially with Super Breakout, as I usually play one of each variation (progressive, double paddles) over the years.  H.E.R.O. was really spectacular.  Ram It was misunderstood by some friends who couldn't figure out to totally clear out a side, and plus it gets pretty gripping in the later rounds as you're waiting for a line to blink so you can shoot it and add to the clock!

Yes, Pitfall II does have an ending, although it's pretty brief.

Escape from the MindMaster is SUPERB, although obviously (I don't think?) you haven't played that one.  But of course, there's so damn many for the 2600 it's not even funny...
 
@Vectorguy: Yeah, I have not played Escape from the Mindmaster yet, but recently purchased a Supercharger and am excited about checking out a few of those titles.  I've heard good things about it though.
 
I love these blogs, gives me something to look for when I'm scrounging through 2600 carts.  Also it saves me some pain and suffering when weeding through the crap titles for the hidden gems Cheesy
 
All the mentions of Demon Attack makes me urge anyone who likes the Atari version to try the Intellivision version.  That version kept the boss scene from the PCjr version (which is by far the best version available, but it's kind of a pain to find), albeit in a modified form, whereas the 2600 version scrapped it entirely.  If it's available, I recommend the PCjr version, but if it's not, the INTV version is far superior to the 2600 version (at least in my humble opinion). 
 
@engel762: Keep in mind, that these are just a few titles that I have chosen to recommend. There are several other great titles out there and I'm always available and willing to talk about the merits/drawbacks to all of them.

@the_wizard_666: I've actually never played the INTV or PCjr versions of Demon Attack, but knew the game was available in multiple formats. Interesting that there is a boss scene; I'll have to check it out on YouTube. I'll definitely be on the lookout for a INTV copy, so thanks for the recommendation. Smiley 

Another decent shooter that did not make my list and easily could have is "Gorf." It, like Phoenix, has multiple mini games and a sort of boss battle on the last screen. My only knock on it is that the firing is slow, but still worth a cheap pick up.
 
@singlebanana:  PCjr version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo-r_75pLvs
Intellivision version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WTtfK__lwg

Save you from looking up videos Tongue
 
@the_wizard_666: Heh, I actually ended up buying a CIB copy if Demon Attack for the INT the afternoon after you mentioned it. I'm a sucker for shooters and can't wait to check it out.
 
Very nice list. I have a few of those in my personal collection, all very good indeed.

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