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  • Atari ’82 in Review


    Source: Atari Age – Volume 1, Number 4 – November December 1982

    This is an advertisement from the November/December 1982 issue of Atari Age. Atari Age was a magazine distributed to Atari Club members from 1982 until 1984. This particular ad is highlighting all of the Atari releases for the Atari 2600 in 1982. This would have been published before Atari would have known what a disaster Christmas 1982 and most of the following year would be.

    Many of the games on this list are quite good (Defender, Yar’s Revenge, etc.) but some were disappointments (e.g. Pac-Man) and others outright disasters (e.g. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial). E.T. is credited with being a major contributor to the video game crash of 1982/1983 which resulted from too many crappy games being shoveled onto the market. A very large number of E.T. carts ended up in a landfill.

  • Tron for the Atari 2600

    Tron for the Atari 2600, 1982


    This particular ad from 1982 is for two Tron games for the Atari 2600 by Mattel (which were also available on the Intellivision).

    The first game, Tron Deadly Discs, was released initially on the Intellivision in 1981 and later adapted to the Atari 2600. The idea is to defeat enemies by throwing your disc at them and blocking or avoiding the ones thrown at you.

    The second game, Adventures of Tron (or just Tron), was an adaptation of the arcade game of the same name. This was a fairly good adaptation on both the Atari 2600 and Intellivision given the limits of those systems. Both Tron games are must haves for fans of the film. I always preferred the Atari 2600 joystick to the Intellivision controllers so I would pick those versions of the games but both the Intellivision and Atari 2600 do a pretty good job with them.

  • Atari Space Invaders Tournament 1980

    Atari Space Invaders Tournament 1980. The world’s first electronic sports event, it attracted more than 10,000 participants.


    Space Invaders was one of the first true blockbuster video games after Pong. In Japan, where the game was developed by Taito in 1978, it even caused a shortage of 100-yen pieces (the coin used in arcade machines there). The game was no less popular in the U.S. so of course there was a port for the popular Video Computer System (Atari 2600). It became the first killer app for a video game console and was responsible for quadrupling Atari 2600 sales.

    In 1980, the year that Space Invaders was released for the Atari 2600, a tournament was held to determine the best Space Invaders player. Four people were picked from four regional competitions to compete in the final in New York. A total of 10,000 people participated from all of the regions combined. It wasn’t the first video game competition but the Space Invaders Championship was the first such event on a large scale and is the predecessor of today’s eSports.