Friends, the homebrew community for the likes of classic home consoles like the Intellivision, Colecovision and of course the Atari 2600 are a dedicated one. For good reason as the gameplay for numerous games on those consoles still hold up today. Pitfall!, Keystone Kapers, Dragonfire, Space Invaders and so many more still provide an amazing amount of entertainment. Trust me, I’ve mentioned it on the Diary podcast before but the Atari 2600 couch is one of the more popular spots at the arcade. So it should come as no surprise that the option to deliver a hacked Atari 2600 horror movie game would be embraced by the homebrew community, right? For example, how awesome would it have been to have an official game for the 2600 based on John Carpenter’s The Thing?
While it is a fact that the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween both received games for the 2600 – the subject matter caused a bit of a stink and might have killed any other ‘slasher’ films getting a game on the system. That doesn’t mean however that those of us who grew up with the gaming system didn’t pine for the likes of an Halloween II Atari game!
Now that hacked Atari 2600 horror movie game was originally 1983’s Keystone Kapers by Activision – designed by the legendary Garry Kitchen. Halloween II comes to us by way of Tim Martin. As you can see from the GIF up above, the goal now is for players to fill the shoes of Dr. Samuel Loomis as he attempts to stop Michael Myers from going on a rampage in the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital.
Let’s take a look at another hacked Atari 2600 horror movie game by Tim Martin. This one is for Friday the 13th: Part 2, this particular game is actually a hack of Wizard’s 1982 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In this version of the game however instead of playing as Leatherface – you step into the work boots of Jason Voorhees and you are obviously stalking camp conselors at Camp Crystal Lake!
Our next Atari 2600 game to have been hacked is 1983’s Frankenstein’s Monster by Data Age. Although in this case the sprites have been altered to bear a passing resemblance to the 1988’s Pumpkinhead… and if I’m being honest here you kind of have to squint with one eye closed on this one.
Having said that though it’s still cool that someone took the effort to alter the game to fit that cult classic. Especially when an artist like Repentless takes the time to craft labels and obtaining artwork for custom carts – even if some of the artwork appears to have originated from Fright-Rags.
To finish up this article, let’s go from one of the hacked Atari 2600 horror movie game to 1983’s official Halloween release by Wizard Video!
You might see what got parents and various group’s dander up after you witness Michael take out one of the kids. Now in the game you naturally played as Laurie Strode, attempting to rescue the children in the house before Myers could reach them… or you.