• Tag Archives atari
  • Video Games (December 1982)

    Source: Video Games – Volume 1, Number 3 – December 1982

    Video Games was an early 1980s video game magazine covering systems like the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Arcadia 2001, Vectrex and others of the time. The December 1982 issue includes:


    • Video Games Interview: Ken Uston – From stockbroker to blackjack whiz to video game maven, the celebrated author knows no bounds. An exclusive interview by Roger Dionne.
    • Programming for Dollars – Game designers are turning ideas into megabucks. Who are they, how do they do it and could you become one of them? Dale Archibald is on the case.
    • The Selling of Intellivision – The maker of Barbie has come a long way, baby. An inside look at Mattel and its prime-time duel with Atari. Also, a rare interview with George Pimpton. Susan Prince and Steve Hanks do the job.
    • The House That Pac Built – Space Invaders, Galaxian, Pac-Man, Gorf, Ms. Pac-Man, Tron! Midway Manufacturing has done them all. On the even of the Company’s 25th anniversary, Andrea Stone paid a visit to the coin-op Goliath.

    Special Section

    • From Cutoffs To Pinstripes – On Atari’s 10th birthday, Video Games brings you the company that started it all. An incredible report by Steve Bloom.


    • Hyperspace – A few words of hype from the editor.
    • Double Speak – Some words of advice from our readers.
    • Blips – Pac-Man gets a TV show, gamer clubs, Siggraph ’82, drugs in arcades, the latest and greatest high scores, why Wall Street is saying all those terrible things about video games.
    • Soft Spot – Perry Greenberg pulls no punches as he guides you through the ever-expanding software maze. Reviews of 16 brand new cartridges, including Atlantis, Pitfall and The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Book Beat – The mad, mad, mad world of a video game book author. Between hands of poker and the change of cartridges, Roger Dionne found the time to tell us how it’s done.
    • Coin-Op Shop – Eugene Jarvis returns with more expert opinions on the latest batch of quarter-eaters. Je also has a few things to say about Tron.
    • Hard Sell – The TV-game system that nobody knows. Introducing Emerson’s Arcadia 2001. Critique by Sue Adamo.
    • Comic Relief – Our resident funny men are back on the loose. John Holmstrom’s “Bernie,” Gene Williams’ “Joysticks,” and Peter Bugge “Video Kid.”
    • Outtakes

    …and more!

  • The KoalaPad

    Source: Family Computing – Issue Number 9 – May 1984

    Back in the 8-bit days there seemed to be a neverending supply of peripheral attachments you could get for your computer. After a disk and/or tape drive, joysticks, a printer, and perhaps a modem, the Koalapad was one of the more popular choices, at least among Commodore 64 owners. It was also available for 8-bit Atari computers, the Apple II and of course the DOS based PCs of the day.

    The KoalaPad was a touchpad of sorts that could serve two basic functions. The most popular function was perhaps as an art tool. Along with the pen/stylus that came along with it, you could use it to draw with the included KoalaWare graphics program. However, the more interesting functionality, at least for the time, was as a touchpad interface. Just like a touchpad on a modern laptop, it could be used to move a cursor around, select menu items, drag things around, etc. Sure, that’s nothing special today but at the time it was pretty novel.

    There were a number of other programs that ultimately supported the KoalaPad but I think the more popular were art programs, especially KoalaWare itself. There just weren’t too many GUI programs on 8-bit computers until things like GEOS came along a few years later. The KoalaPad was introduced in 1983 and was pretty well supported through 1984. However, by that time, the Macintosh had come along and popularized the mouse which would become the dominant interface device. But maybe if the Commodore 64 had stuck around a few more years we would all be using a KoalaPad 2.0 supporting gestures…

    The ad above is from the May 1984 issue of Family Computing.

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Atari 2600)

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    Platform: Atari 2600


    The Atari 2600 had a very long life that started all the way back in 1977. The last commercial games for that system were not released until 1991 (1992 in Europe). As a consequence, there were a large number of games that production started on but for one reason or another were never finished. Many prototypes have been found throughout the years, some quite playable and others not so much. One Such prototype is Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

    Apparently, Atari went so far as to license Snow White from Disney (or maybe it was part of some other larger licensing deal?) but managerial indecision about what kind of game it should ultimately be led to delays that eventually led to cancellation. It was thought that no coding was ever done until a prototype showed up on eBay in 2000.

    It turns out there were two prototypes (that anyone knows about so far anyway). The first is dated November 9th, 1982 and is about 50% complete and has parts that are somewhat playable though it doesn’t make for a very enjoyable game. The second, dated December 9th 1983 is a somewhat different game that is simpler but less complete.

    Screen shots above are from the more complete version.