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

Posted on Mar 20th 2013 at 03:21:39 PM by (singlebanana)
Posted under paddle, Atari, 2600, controller, games, recommendations, Winker, Thinker, Stinker

As most of you know, I recently sold a large lot of Atari 2600 games to help raise a little funding for the site.  Our own Razor Knuckles was the proud recipient of this lot and I am happy to say that it greatly bolstered his 2600 collection and has sparked what I have seen as a genuine interest in the system.  As an Atari 2600 collector, it makes me smile knowing that others (especially those much younger than me) are still enjoying this system, even though is greatly.....er......"graphically challenged" when compared to more modern systems.

Recently, Razor Knuckles picked up a few more games and some paddle controllers, which he proudly displayed in the "small scores" thread.  I asked him to PM me if he wanted some paddle recommendations, but after thinking about it for a bit, I decided that since it had been so long since I posted an Atari review (and to get Zagnorch off my back Wink....see I did the wink thing, so it's cool), I would give some opinions on paddle games for the 2600.

Please note that I have put these games into 3 categories which I have affectionatly dubbed "Winkers" (great games, must haves for collectors/non-collectors), "Thinkers" (okay games, for those with a low level of collector commitment), and "Stinkers" (terrible games, serious collectors need apply only).  I have excluded several games including: card games, board games, prototypes, homebrews, and very expensive, rare titles like Birthday Mania, Beat 'em and Eat 'em, and Music Machine.  Enjoy and please leave feedback.....unless your handle begins with a "Z."  Wink


Warlords - hands down the best multi-player game on the console, if you can get 4 players at a time and a few brews, it makes for a great night. Selfish plug: If anyone happens to come across a Warlords cocktail at a good price, let me know.

Kaboom! - Simple, but lots of fun. The action gets intense rather quickly.

Night Driver - Maybe the best driver for the 2600. Think early Rad Racer.

Super Breakout - The better, more colorful of the two Breakouts

Astroblast - Retitled from Astosmash for release on the 2600, it's a great shooter.

Steeplechase - whoever thought that horse-racing could be fun?  Nice multi-player.

Tac-Scan - Enemies are a little repetitive, but it's a fun shooter.

Pong Sports/Video Olympics - It's Pong. You gotta have Pong.


Guardian - Not a bad shooter, but the laser is slow and elongated, which takes a lot of practice to make hits count.

G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike - Neat, but gets repetitive and boring. Co-op play is pretty good.

Demons to Diamonds - lots of people rank this among the better paddle games and for the price, a good pick up. Just not my cup of tea.

Circus Atari - Fun game, usually cheap. Gets old quick, but worth popping on occasion.

Eggomania - Poor man's Kaboom!  Blasting the bird after catching all of the eggs is super difficult and more based on luck than skill; could have done without this feature.

Breakout - Cheap and still fun. You should own the original, but it's predecessor is better.

Picnic - A neat game, but another that is hard to control the firing.

Solar Storm - Another elongated blast shooter with slow action. Can be fairly annoying.

Street Racer/Speedway II - Basically a vertical version of Grand Prix, but nowhere as good. 2-player mode can be fun though.

Canyon Bomber - Though I do think the canyon bombing play option of this game is rather boring, as others pointed out (and they are right), the sea bombing game is a pretty fun 2-player.  (thanks guys! Smiley )


Encounter at L5 - A shooter where you control the arch of the shots, but can't move the vessel.......hmm.

Bugs - Want to have more fun killing bugs? Miyagi say, "Try catching them with chopsticks."

Warplock - A super frigidity shooter, pretty bad.

Star Wars: Jedi Arena - You will hate this even if you are a Star Wars fan, horrible controls.

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Spot on with the paddle games, old boy.  Man does Bugs suck..

Raz is on the Atari boat?  Hooray!  Now we have to get him to join the O^2 gang... 
The Sea Bomber variations on Canyon Bomber's fun though (one of which is two player competitive)!
I still need to find the racing paddles for my Atari 2600, and a heavy sixer, and a vader, and a junior... and.. and... *coughs*
...and I have racing paddles, and a heavy sixer, and a vader, and a junior, and most of the titles banana mentioned... Tongue

Rich, you have my wife looking up Pinball tables locally now. I don't need to rekindle her interest in Atari 2600 right now, though we may need to fire up the Steeplechase cabinet we have - yes, we own an original 1978 standalone Steeplechase cabinet, but it was damaged in the flood and needs some restoration work done as a result.

Also, I'm always on the lookout for a Warlords cocktail cabinet FOR MYSELF. I've come across one once in the area when we were shopping around for an arcade cabinet, and it was one of the cabaret cabinets. Those cabinets are so weird and make me both confused and sad. Definitely recommend Warlords as a multiplayer title, and alcohol and friends definitely makes it worthwhile. Especially when you put the bottles/glasses on the cabinet and add additional obstacles Smiley

EDIT: Now I want to get one of the original Surface tables and program a Warlords variant that takes into account glasses/bottles on the table to bounce off.
i really need to get a 2600 someday, it's a big gap in my collection that i have nothing atari.
I have to admit I've NEVER played Atari 2600 ever in my life up to about two weeks ago. In all honesty I knew I was going to win your auction, so while the auction was still pending I searched out a 2600 locally for dirt cheap since it was listed as broken on a Craigslist ad. Anywho I got it to work with a simple cleaning.

I really dig the 2600 and it's somehow sniped it's way into the forth place spot in my collection. I could care less about graphics (Although some of the games haven't aged well) , it's the principal of the game that counts.

I will keep your recommendations in mind. I will keep on collecting for this awesome system.  Funny how a 25 year old enjoys such a primitive system.

Thank you for this blog.

@Shadow Kisuragi: Agreed, those Warlord cabaret cabinets are weird and only 2-player.  You gotta go 4-player and cocktail.  That Steeplechase cab sounds really cool, I'll have to check it out online. Let me know if you are looking for a pin in Florida and which one.  I know several people down there and they actually have their own local forum.  I can provide this info if you want it.

@techwizard: Yeah man, a 2600 is a must. Add one to your collection, you won't regret it.

@Razor Knuckles: Glad you are enjoying it, keep up the collecting.  You should check out my blog backlog for some of my 2600 game reviews.  Need to do more....
I sometimes find myself wanting to play my 2600 more often, but I tend to shy away from it when I think about having to muscle a big ass tube TV around to get to the coax at the back :/  I'm so lazy...
'Bout damn time you came back to this, and not those silly pinball  machines.

Now I just need to browbeat Crabs into writing up another "Unloved" blog...
I still hook up the ol' 2600.
Hey man don't hate on Canyon Bomber!
Wow, I am getting smashed on this Canyon Bomber pick.  You are right though, I totally discounted the sea bomber game on there and it isn't bad as a 2-player game.  Good call and criticism.  Will move it up to thinker Smiley
Nice list, and I think you are pretty spot on. The glaring omission is the amount of laughs you'll get the first time you splat your player in Circus Atari.

Tac-Scan is great and doesn't get enough attention.
@Duke.Togo: Yeah I teetered (no pun intended) on the status of Circus Atari.  I like it, but I feel its simplicity would get old to many players.  A good game indeed, especially of you can get it for a good price.  And you are correct, Tac-Scan is very cool.

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