Computer Palace (Atari 400/800)

Computer Palace – Atari 8-bit mail order

Source: rom vol 1 issue 2

This is an advertisement for a computer mail order place called Computer Palace that specialized in software for Atari 8-bit computers. It comes from Volume 1, Number 2 of ROM magazine which was a short lived Atari 400/800 specific magazine. This issue would have been published sometime in late 1983.

The highlights to me are the ads for Fort Apocalypse, Miner 2049er and Pharaoh’s Curse. These were all games that were originally developed on the Atari 400/800 and probably among the last to be developed on Atari computers first (as opposed to ported from other systems). While Atari’s 8-bit computers were supported for another seven or eight years their popularity faded away after this point. The Commodore 64 had been recently released and it was less expensive and somewhat more capable. Most games would be developed on the Commodore 64 first for the next several years and ported to Atari if developed at all for that system.

There wasn’t a huge difference in capability between the Commodore 64 and the Atari 8-bit line. I attribute Atari’s decline more to their poor marketing and business decisions and mediocre support. Similar problems would haunt their video game systems too.

Synapse, the developer of Pharaoh’s Curse and Fort Apocalypse, did not survive past 1984. They developed most or all of their titles for the Atari 8-bit computers and then did ports whenever they released a title for another system. However, by 1984 most of their sales were for the Commodore 64 even though they were titles ported from Atari.