Though originally developed for the Commodore 64, Impossible Mission was ported to many system including the Atari 7800. Interestingly the Atari 7800 version has a confirmed bug that makes the game “impossible” to win (delicious); it places some of the code pieces underneath computer terminals, which the player cannot search (since attempting to do so will access the terminal). The manual is not much to look at “design-wise” but I like the level of detail. Manuals like this demand to be read.
I always considered the Activision games, the Cadillac of game for the Atari 2600. They were fun to play, had great manuals, and if you did well enough you could get patches to show off your achievement. One of the best games of this line was the driving game Enduro. As you can see from the manual above, they weren’t playing around with making the game for of an “experience”.
Now I know it doesn’t look like much by today’s standards, but take my word for it, this game was awesome. It was one of the first games I ever played where weather was a factor. If you were able to hold out long enough (5 in game days) a trophy would appear on the screen. You take a photo of that and send it it and … BAM … 8 weeks later you are an official “Activision Roadbuster”.