Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon

The fanciful/deceptive artwork on Atari 2600 game packaging wasn't just a marketing come-on. It was an essential component of the gameplay itself, often the only way for us to know whether a certain clump of squares was supposed to be a dragon, a spaceship, or a linebacker. Peruse the gallery of kitsch classics below (all from boxes for Atari-manufactured games - no Activision, Imagic, etc.) and see how many you can name. One thing is certain: all of them were much more exciting than the games themselves.

Answers can be found by clicking here. Please post your answers, or arguments, below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.

ThunderThighs


quality posts: 548 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

I've reported the broken link for the answers (thank you dkeigley!). Should be fixed in the morning. Until then, you'll have to toss and turn as your mind reels to figure out if you have guessed the right answers.



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jchamber93


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jchamber93

1. Missile Command
2. Street Racer
3. Adventure
4. Casino
5. Brain Games
6. Haunted House
7. Circus Atari
8. Defender (I'm least sure about this one)

I think the last time I was really deceived by box or advertising art was when I was 12 and I bought F-15 Strike Eagle for my Commodore 64. The ad in the magazine looked so much better than the game I ended up getting. I still logged hundreds of hours with the game, but I was very disappointed.

Note: The company was Imagic, not Imago.

ALecs4000


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ALecs4000

8 Is definitely defender. I played the crud out of that game, albeit on my Atari 400, not the 2600 (game art was the same though).

Turken


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Turken

Number 6 was the one that stumped me. All the rest I either had or friends had when we were growing up. LOVED Circus Atari. Especially the little splat your guy made when you missed catching him.


mattsnever


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mattsnever

#6 Looks like haunted house or haunted mansion to me...

jchamber93


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jchamber93
ALecs4000 wrote:8 Is definitely defender. I played the crud out of that game, albeit on my Atari 400, not the 2600 (game art was the same though).



I did too, but it was hard for me to remember the art on the manual. To be honest, some of these are fresh in my mind from the Atari Anthology I have on my tablet.

This post does remind me of the days when video games took some imagination. I know that child psychologists, educators, etc say that video games stifle creativity, which I'm sure is true. But I have to think that the Atari 2600 stifled it a bit less since it took some imagination to see a baseball game when playing Home Run, for example.

kyrmada


quality posts: 1 Private Messages kyrmada

I love that the marketing environment was such that you could get away with simply naming a game "Adventure". It's like a multi-tiered genre nowadays.

Favs: Enduro, Joust, Tutankhamen

Slydon


quality posts: 17 Private Messages Slydon

Staff

The link should be fixed now. Go check your answers against the actual boxes!

Hi, I'm one of the writers. My powers are limited but I'll do what I can.

mikebbass


quality posts: 20 Private Messages mikebbass

Does my avatar give a hint at my dork-i-tude

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jpowerstech


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jpowerstech

yep, still have most of those carts in a box at home.

blueconversechucks


quality posts: 9 Private Messages blueconversechucks

Wow didn't know number 8 was called "Atari".

(Just poking fun at their font inconsistencies.)

alextoth


quality posts: 1 Private Messages alextoth

Got four out of eight. #1 is pretty obvious, and loving Circus Atari made that one was pretty obvious. The aliens beaming people up in #8 was a giveaway. Had no idea what #4 could be until I clicked the link. I love the artwork on that one.

narsil487


quality posts: 1 Private Messages narsil487

Gotta say my favorites for nostalgic reasons:

River Raid
Keystone Kapers
Kaboom!
Tanks (of course)


Never could figure out E.T.

inkycatz


quality posts: 105 Private Messages inkycatz
narsil487 wrote:Gotta say my favorites for nostalgic reasons:

River Raid
Keystone Kapers
Kaboom!
Tanks (of course)


Never could figure out E.T.



E.T. was sort of that zen type of game where if you tried at ALL, you lost.

I'm just hanging out, really.

narsil487


quality posts: 1 Private Messages narsil487
inkycatz wrote:E.T. was sort of that zen type of game where if you tried at ALL, you lost.



Well, I tried, and I definitely lost...

jgribb1


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jgribb1

How sad a lot are we? I never owned the 2600 but my cousins did! Now this week my college age daughter just txt me to mail her my sega genesis console and games to her dorm. I'm keeping my sega master system though!

I want my Baby Back ribs!!!!!

baillard


quality posts: 6 Private Messages baillard

Did you see the spoof on Robot Chicken for Adventure? http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=robot%20chicken%20adventure&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCYQtwIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.adultswim.com%2Frobot-chicken%2Fadventure.html&ei=9u0gT_a7OumriQLH_OTYBw&usg=AFQjCNEZ1DSDMsttAMRIsP8DUhfnEM-kXw

Where did I put my my quill and inkpot?

markhu


quality posts: 0 Private Messages markhu

Here's some really nostalgic scans of catalog inserts. I used to pore over these as a kid, trying to decide which one I would most like to play next time I visited a friend who had an Atari.

URL: http://www.huguesjohnson.com/features/atari_catalog_1982/index.html

--MarkHu