1981 Video Games

Care for a Glimpse of some 1981 Video Games at 7-Eleven?

It is a fact that the internet can be a most wondrous thing. Like when it gives us the opportunity to travel back to 1981. To get a fleeting glimpse at what video games were being offered at a 7-Eleven at that point in time. As in this case the video uploaded by Scott Evans acts as veritable time machine to glimpse some 1981 Video Games.

In addition to seeing and hearing for yourself that the kids of 1981 were definitely jockeying to get their initials on the high score board. It also seems they are more than a little curious as to why they are being filmed.

1981

As can be seen the kids are patiently, or not in some cases, waiting their turns to play. Furthermore you will even hear one of them asking another if they want to play doubles. Which is answered with a resounding, no. Thanks to the use of the convex mirrors situated in the store, we also are granted a few glimpses of the layout of a 7-Eleven back in 1981.

Of course the sight and sounds of some of the titles of the Golden Age of arcade games is the real draw. Seeing these kids enjoying the likes of Atari’s Tempest, Nintendo’s Donkey Kong, as well as Williams Electronics’ Stargate.

I can only wish however that the video was a bit longer. But by all means I am extremely grateful that it exists at all to say nothing of the quality of the video itself. However after watching the video a couple of times in a row. I do find myself completely trying to decipher what this young boy’s T-shirt says.

Is it possibly “Lord Highscore”?

Here is a question though- since this is in fact 1981. Why don’t these kids have their Super Slurpee scratch off cards?


Hot Wheels, Atari Style!

Have you ever wanted to re-live those Atari 2600 classics in the form of car liveries? If somehow you answered YES to that question, then Hot Wheels created these Atari-branded diecasts just for you! I’m completely smitten with these – the 2013 SDDC exclusive Asteroids “Beach Bomb” pickup above is all sorts of desirable, especially that arcade game packaging. The general release cars below for Tempest, Pong, Breakout, Centipede and Missile Command all lose the special packaging but are still great creations with fantastic artwork and I’d love to own the series.

And that 2600-branded GMC Motorhome with wood panels… on my…

HotWheels Atari

Learn more about the SDCC Asteroids vehicle over at Collecting Toyz. Read more about the rest at You Found a Secret Area!.

After 29 Years…You Can Finally Buy Tempest For Your Atari 5200!

tempest
About three weeks ago the always impressive AtariAge made available a port of the classic arcade game Tempest for the Atari 5200! Follow the link provided to secure your own copy from AtariAge. Another exciting bit of news is that cartridge was cancelled back in the day but in 1999 the prototype was found and the original programmer, Keithen Hayenga, finished up the job he started 29 years earlier.

From the Press Release: “The hit Atari coin-op finally comes home in this exciting and challenging 3-D game for your Atari 5200 System. You control the “Blaster”, patrolling the rim of an electric “tube” playfield, in a constant battle with the myriad enemies that are making their way up the tube’s rails.

Your enemies are fast, varied and devious. Each class of enemy has its own special attack. All you have are your wits, your Blaster and your devastating, but limited, SUPER ZAPPER. Destroy every enemy and you will warp through the liberated tube, on to an even more challenging one.

Tempest was Atari’s first color vector arcade game, released to arcades in 1980. Known for its frantic, addictive gameplay, Tempest was one of Atari’s most successful vector arcade games. Versions of Tempest were being developed for Atari’s 2600 and 5200 game consoles, but they were never completed or released commercially. A box for the 5200 version of Tempest is actually visible in the 1984 movie Cloak & Dagger.

For 15 years, the existence of an Atari 5200 version of Tempest was thought to be only myth. No prototypes had ever surfaced. A crude 2600 version had come to light, along with a prototype box. Then, in 1999, an unfinished working 5200 prototype appeared on eBay. The game was eventually dumped and the binary freely distributed around the Internet. Another decade has gone by since the game’s discovery, and the original Atari 5200 Tempest programmer, Keithen Hayenga, worked to complete Tempest so it could finally see the light of day in completed form!

You can read about the “unfinished” 5200 prototype on AtariProtos.com.

Additional Information

Tempest 5200 includes the game cartridge with glossy label, twelve page full-color, glossy manual, professionally offset printed box using chipboard paper stock, and cartridge insert to keep the cartridge in place. Only 250 boxed copies of Tempest will be produced! After that, the game will be sold without the box. If you want a boxed copy of the game, don’t wait too long!”

Number of Players 1 – 2
Controller Atari 5200 Joystick Controller or Atari 5200 Trak-Ball Controller
Cartridge Size 32K
Programming Keithen Hayenga
Additional Programming Ken Van Mersbergen, Dennis Debro
Graphics Michael Kosaka
Box, Manual, and Label Design George Reese, David Exton

Friday Flyers: Tempest (1982)

Programmed as well as designed by Dave Theurer (Missile Command) and released by Atari into the arcade wilds in 1982, Tempest, lays claim to the first arcade game title that would allow you to select which level you started at. Though most fans at the time, including myself, believed this was a space game, David Theurer has gone on record stating that the player was actually travelling through a hole in the ground. The setting was inspired by a reoccurring nightmare the game designer had, “with monsters from the center of the Earth that are trying to get out of the hole.”

Thanks as always to The Arcade Flyer Archive for the awesome scanned flyers you see below. Especially that Tempest coupon!

A big thanks to GlassDarkly for uploading the interview with Dave Theurer over on YouTube!