• Tag Archives Atari 5200
  • Video Games Player (August/September 1983)

    Source: Video Games Player – August/September 1983

    The awkwardly named ‘Video Games Player’ was another short-lived early 1980s video games magazine that had the misfortune to begin around the time of the crash. The August/September 1983 issue includes:

    First Wave – News

    • Hot Gossip
    • The Video Games Gazette
    • Win An Arcade Game! – Enter our contest at your local 7-Eleven
    • New Products
    • Lights! Camera! Action! Roll ‘Em! – Here come the latest batch of games based on hit movies
    • What’s In Store For You – Who’s coming out with what
    • How To Turn Your Atari Into A Computer
    • The Hotline – The latest news as we go to press
    • Are You A Computer Nerd?

    Second Wave – Clues

    • Can You Survive? – We put you in a tricky situation
    • Beat It! – We show you how to rip apart Popeye, Pole Position, Keystone Kapers and Centipede
    • The World According To Q*Bert – We caught the lovable munchkin on a bad day

    Third Wave – Reviews

    • 1983 Golden Joystick Awards – We pick the games of the year
    • Video Game Buyer’s Guide
    • Colecovision Vs. Atari 5200 – Which super system should you buy?
    • Computer Game Buyer’s Guide
    • A Year’s Worth of Quarters – Winner of our Design A Video Game contest

    …and more!

  • Video Games (January 1983)

    Source: Video Games – January 1983

    Video Games is one of a number of short-lived video games magazines from the early 1980s. The video gaming magazine industry was born right around the time of the video game crash so many didn’t survive those early days. The January 1983 issue includes:


    • Video Games Interview: Bill Grubb & Dennis Koble – They left Atari to start up their own video game company in 1981. Two years later, Imagic is challenging Activision for the TV-game software crown. A candid conversation with two of the founders.
    • Zen and the Art of Donkey Kong – While the Chinese were worshiping dogs in 1982, we went nuts over a “stupid monkey” from Japan. Mark Jacobson has a few thoughts on the Donkey Kong phenomenon.
    • Confessions of a Pinball Junkie – Roger C. Sharpe has seen the enemy and it is video. The author of Pinball! yearns for the good old days when a flipper was a flipper, a bumper was a bumper, and every ball had a life of its own.

    Special Section

      Video Games’ Holiday Gift Guide – ‘Tis time to take out hte old checklist and do your Christmas shipping. Have a few video gamers on your list? Don’t leave the house until you see the stocking stuffers we’ve assembled.


    • Hyperspace – A few words of hype from the editor.
    • Double Speak – Some words of advice from our readers.
    • Blips – Analyzing Tron, Larry Kaplan calls it quits, coin-op ads on the tube, Custer’s Revenge, the Who takes on video, Rawson Stovall makes his move, Firebug gets hosed, free games at Beefsteak Charlie’s.
    • Book Beat – Phil Wisewell’s bark is as mean as his bite in “Rating the Latest Video Games Books.”
    • Soft Spot – Does Ken Uston ever sleep? Nooooooo! He’s too busy writing about video games. Some of his favorites – and least favorites – are the subject of this article. From Ken Uston’s Home Video ’83.
    • Coin-Op Shop – Hey, buddy can you spare a quarter? John Holmstrom knows the feeling after prowling the arcades for new, improved games. Have you ever heard of Q*bert? He has.
    • Score! – New department! Results of the first interstate video game face-off, the Astrosmash Shootoff and the world’s “largest” Pac-Man contest. Plus, some of the latest greatest scores.
    • Hard Sell – ColecoVision and Vectrex are as good as home game systems come. Reviews by Mike “How to Beat the Video Games” Blanchet and Perry “Stand Alone” Greenberg.
    • Bull’s-Eye – David Leibowitz returns with more words-to-the-wise from a Wall Streeter’s point-of-view. Topic: computers.
    • Comic Relief – Last time we heard, the bugs were ready to hook themselves a live one. Take Two: “The Zydroid legion.” By Matt Howarth and Lou Stathis.

    …and more!

  • Berzerk (Atari 2600/5200)

    Source: Atari Age – Volume 1, Number 2 – July August 1982

    Berzerk, as one of THE classic arcade games, of course received ports to Atari’s home video game systems of the day. First up was the Atari 2600 version in 1982 (the original arcade version had been released in 1980). Because Berzerk was a fairly simple game graphically speaking, the Atari 2600 manages a good representation. Sure, the colors aren’t quite as bright and the sounds not as rich but the game play is still there and it is easily recognizable as the same game. Game play is fairly simple as well. You control a stick figure that navigates simple single screen mazes while avoiding evil robots. You and the robots are armed with lasers and the walls are electrified. Getting touched by a laser, robot or wall will kill you. Your goal is simply to make it to the other side of the screen to progress to the next one.

    The one big thing that the Atari 2600 version was missing, however, was speech synthesis. The arcade version of Berzerk was the first arcade game to feature speech synthesis but this was not something the Atari 2600 could easily handle. However, there was a hacked version of Berzerk for the 2600 released in 2002 that had speech added. When Berzerk was ported to the Atari 5200 the year following the 2600 release, speech was added. The Atari 5200 also features slightly better graphics as you might expect. However, because of the crappy Atari 5200 controllers, it really isn’t as much fun to play as the 2600 version despite its other advantages.

    The only other official port of Berzerk was for the Vectrex. An Atari 8-bit port was planned that would have been identical to the Atari 5200 version (but with better controllers) but for some reason it was cancelled.

    If you collect original cartridges for the 2600 or 5200 then this is definitely one to pick up. It’s a fun game and pretty easy to find. There aren’t a lot of options for playing this game as I’m not aware of any re-releases of the original. The Atari 2600 version or a hacked version for the Atari 8-bit computers is probably the best way to go to play on original hardware. Otherwise, the original arcade version is the way to go if you are using emulation.

    The ad above is for the Atari 2600 version of Berzerk and is from the July/August 1982 issue of Atari Age. The screen shot is from the Atari 5200 version of the game.