Wings

Do You Remember Wings For The Atari 2600?

Wings was an 1983 game intended to be released on the Atari 2600. I say intended as while you might remember seeing the TV ad online – it was never released. Programmed by Stuart Ross for CBS Electronics. The Video Game Crash of ’83 scuttled it’s release. I have to say that judging by the television commercial it looks to have been rather in-depth.

[Via] Retro Commercial Forever

As you could see from the TV ad. You would have had to keep an eye on the various gauges of your aircraft. Power, Altitude, Airspeed, Fuel, in addition to the Compass, Radar, and Artificial Horizon.
Wings - Gauges

Wings was designed to be played using the Booster Grip. A device that would slip over your standard joystick. It would plug into the 2600 unit and give a player two buttons to operate. One button would control the engine throttle with the second button required to engage your weapons system. However I can’t say whether the third button – the one on the base of the joystick would have any use.
booster-grip-atari-2600-cbs-electronics

As was pointed out in the ad, the game had the addition of RAM Plus, which is how it was able to include so many features. RAM Plus was an additional chip on the cartridge board that would give the 2600 game more memory. Letting Stuart add those extra bells and whistles.

[Via] hyperspinbrasil

Here is an excerpt of an interview with Stuart Ross from Scott Stilphen of Digital Press.
“The game was basically finished (although marketing wanted clouds added…which were never implemented). We were about 2 weeks from having Wings ROMS manufactured when CBS pulled the plug. They even had some promotional material ready (hats and scarves), as well as a TV spot!”

Definitely make sure to follow that link to the full interview on DP for more about Wings. Furthermore when you hop on over you will get to see a bit of awesome behind the scenes photos. Of the development of not just Wings but Tunnel Runner. As well as the RAM Plus chips and even some of the merchandise Ross mentioned in that quote!

While the game was shelved before release – two prototypes have surfaced. Back in 2004 the prototypes were found and while buggy you could at least get a feel for what the finished product would have been like. Moreover if you would care to try the game for yourself, you can locate it on the Internet Archive!

What about other flight simulators for the Atari 2600 other than Wings?


I definitely wish that Stuart’s game could have seen the light of day – that it could have been completed. On the other hand I don’t think we should forget the most challenging flight simulator for the Atari 2600. Released in 1983 by Activision and programmed by Steve Kitchen was the amazing Space Shuttle: A Journey into Space. A game that required an overlay for the 2600 unit itself as all switches were used during gameplay!
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Seriously. Check out the instructions for flying the Space Shuttle – courtesy of AtariAge!

Overlay and Manual Images courtesy of AtariAge.

Overlay and Manual Images courtesy of AtariAge.


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[Via] High Retro Game Lord

Learn Why Larry Kaplan Left Activision In This 1983 Interview!

By the time that game designer Larry Kaplan broke off from Atari in 1979 due to the company not giving recognition to the hard work of its programmers, he had already cut his teeth programming the likes of Street Racer, Air-Sea Battle, Codebreaker, Brain Games, and Bowling. Kaplan became one of five co-founders of the Activision where he delivered Bridge and the megahit Kaboom!

[Via] CBGames
But in 1982, a year before Kaboom! would hit the one million sales mark he left Activision to work on what would become the Amiga computer before returning to Atari as Vice President! In this 1983 interview with Video Games magazine, Kaplan is pretty open about why he ended up leaving the company that he helped co-found.
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David Crane’s new (Jungle) Adventure

David Crane, best known for co-founding Activision and designing and programming such games as Laser Blast, Pitfall, Ghostbusters and Little Computer People, is back in the saddle again. In conjuncture with Pitfall’s 30th anniversary, Crane would like to create a modern, 2D “Pitfall-esque” adventure game titled “Jungle Adventure.”

Unfortunately he can’t call it “Pitfall 3” because he doesn’t own the rights to the name. However, based on some of the conceptual art Crane has posted on the project’s website, I think you can see Pitfall’s influence.

For more information about the game, check out the Jungle Adventure Kickstarter Page and the Jungle Venture website. Crane is looking to raise $900k to fund the game. If only Pitfall Harry had saved a few of those treasures he found over the years!

Video Review of River Raid for the Atari 2600

This weeks Atari 2600 game review is r review of the amazing title for the Atari 2600, River Raid by Activision. A slightly new experience every time, River Raid is another 2600 Classic. It gets a very deserved 5 stars.

The video format and all that fun stuff is a work in progress. If you have any video or animation skills though and would like to send me some advice or help with anything, please email me at retroist@retroist.com. You can subscribe to the Retroist YouTube channel here. More videos from people who are not me should be coming soon to the site, so keep watching.

Welcome Back, MechWarrior!

In Junior High-School my group of friends were all atwitter about a new game that our friend, Nick, had picked up over the weekend. It was called BattleTech. This wasn’t our typical lunch time RPG fare of Dungeons and Dragons or possibly Marvel Super Heroes from TSR…this was a type of board game, a map sheet that was made up with hexagon terrain tiles…and we were tasked with piloting towering Mechs capable of massive destruction as we waged war during those thirty minute breaks from ‘learning’.

As the weeks passsed we found our afternoons of worrying over our character inventory and gold pieces or Karma points had vanished, they had been replaced with new ‘character’ sheets were we tracked our armor levels on our Mech’s body parts and more importantly kept an eye on the heat levels of our vehicle. Something about the Sci-Fi trappings of it all really hooked all of us and those hooks were in deep as we all did our best to collect every book that the legendary FASA Corporation were publishing. It probably helped with artwork like this:

Then in 1989 as we were heading to High-School, MechWarrior was released by Activision, a MechWarrior being the title of the individual within the Mech naturally. Instead of crowding around that map we were now all crowded around our PC monitors, well those lucky enough to have a PC. In truth I did better with the computer game than I did in the actual board game…probably because I didn’t have to keep track of all those sheets of information.

Now it has been announced through this trailer that MechWarrior is getting set to return to PC gaming with an online and Free to Play form entitled MechWarrior Online:

[Via] Joystiq.Com