Friends, burning the midnight oil down here in the Retroist Vault tonight. I happened to look up at my desk calendar to see that today was in fact the 26th of the month, which naturally means it is once again Atari Day. That fan selected day of every month where those of us who recall the glory of Atari and appreciate it’s legacy celebrate by spreading the word or even playing some of the classic Atari titles. Although in this case we are going to be looking at what would have been a 1983 game for the Atari 2600 system – a game that was based on Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!
Now to be totally honest, I have to thank the always invaluable AtariProtos for the heads up on this game. It wasn’t just the likes of Snow White that sadly didn’t see the light of day, there was also Donald Duck’s Speed Boat, Dumbo’s Flying Circus, as well as Sorcerer’s Apprentice – although that last title did actually get a release. The only Walt Disney Atari 2600 game was obviously based upon the third segment of 1940’s Fantasia. The goal in that game was to catch falling stars while using the powers of Yen Sid’s magical hat to destroy passing meteors. If those stars start to slip past Mickey it will increase the water level in the basement below – forcing the Player to go downstairs and take out the enchanted brooms by running into them.
With Snow White, the game itself was never finished but that doesn’t mean the prototypes never made it into the hands of Atari fans. Thanks to AtariProtos again, it appears that there were only two prototypes ever manufactured, and one of those apparently ended up on eBay with a large price tag.
As for the gameplay for Snow White it is split into three levels. Starting with the Dwarf’s mine, you attempt to search out and collect the ruby in the mine – which will take you to the next level. While walking through the mine however you can also obtain diamonds, apparently this can be used in defense against the bat in the second stage as well.
On the second level you will play one of the Dwarves, who must cross a river by way of a log – the main goal is for the Player to reach the third outcropping, which will take you to the final level. The bat I just mentioned will attempt to drop rocks on the Dwarf’s head – although by using one of those diamonds you found in the mine you can ward off losing one of your lives. You have sort of a timer for the game, in the upper section of the screen below you can make out the evil witch attempting to reach Snow White and gift her a poisoned apple.
The third level is an evil forest, the trees move back and forth on this stage and if they happen to make contact with one of your Dwarfs…you get to go all the way back to the mine level. The bat is also present to make your quest more difficult but yet again you can ward off losing a life by spending a diamond. Apparently the goal in this level is to find a safe path through the forest – marked by a white line at the bottom of the screen. Doing so will result in the evil witch being chased off and the Dwarves began to dang a jig in celebration!