• Tag Archives Atari 800XL
  • Atari Football (Atari 8-bit)

    Atari Football, also known as just Football and most commonly RealSports Football, is a very early and very rudimentary football video game. I mean very rudimentary. It plays kind of like the old LED handheld football game by Mattel with slightly improve graphics. Limitations include:

    • Players cannot go out of bounds
    • Players cannot fumble the ball
    • No penalties
    • No extra points (touchdowns are an automatic 7 points)
    • No kickoffs
    • Only 5 players per side
    • No punt returns
    • Limited play selection (pass left, pass right, run or kick)

    ..and lots more.

    Despite all of these limitations, for the time it was released (1982), it was probably one of the best sports games out there. RealSports Football was also released on the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200. It does not appear that much effort was put into improving graphics or anything else for the 5200 and Atari 8-bit versions. Still, if you are looking to give it a try, the Atari 8-bit (and Atari 5200) version does offer slightly better graphics and sound…slightly.

    Obviously, football games and sports game in general progressed very quickly from this point. There isn’t much point playing this game against the computer since there are so very many much better football games out there. However, like many older games, it can still be a blast to play against someone else, at least for short bouts.

    While there are commonly annual sequels to sports games today, RealSports Football had no sequel. There were a number of other games in the RealSports lineup though, including baseball, boxing, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. The images above are from the Atari 8-bit computer version of the game.

    Atari Football 800 XL XE


  • Antic (February 1986)


    Source: Antic – Volume 4, Issue Number 10 – February 1986

  • Rescue on Fractalus (Commodore 64, Apple II, Atari 8-bit)

    Rescue on Fractalus (Commodore 64, Atari, Apple)


    Though it may not be as true today, in the 1980s you could almost always count on a Lucasfilm game (or Epyx game for that matter) to be of high quality. Rescue on Fractalus is no exception. It was initially developed for the Atari 8-bit line of computers (and the Atari 5200 which is essentially the same thing internally anyway) and later ported to other popular computers such as the Commodore 64, Apple II and even the Tandy Color Computer 3 (a rare high profile 3rd party title for that system). It was developed by Lucasfilm Games and distributed by Epyx, Activision or Atari depending on the version and location it was released.

    Commodore 64

    In Rescue on Fractalus, you pilot a spaceship through mountainous terrain looking for downed pilots to rescue. Once found, you must land close enough so that the downed pilot can make it to your ship before dying in the acidic atmosphere. To make matters more difficult, aliens take pot shots at you during you search. In addition, they will sometimes impersonate downed pilots in an attempt to get aboard your ship. One unique aspect of this game is that the terrain is generated using fractals (hence the name).

    Atari 8-bit

    This is definitely a challenging game but one that is well worth playing. Both the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 versions are good and are easy enough to find for emulation purposes if you can’t track down an original (or don’t have the equipment). This game would make for a great modern remake but alas there have been none. The most “modern” versions are a slightly expanded Atari XE/XEGS version with more levels and an unfinished Atari 7800 prototype that was discovered in 2004.

    A strategy guide and a little bit more info about the game can be found here: http://www.megalextoria.com/wordpress/index.php/2017/03/15/rescue-on-fractulus-atari-xe-strategy/