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Reprinted with permission from the Atari 2600 Connection Newsletter:
Good Luck Charlie Brown prototype discovered
by Tim Duarte
Matt Lewandowski recently found an Atari 2600 game that has been previously undiscovered. Matt's brother bought several games for him at a flea market in Kenosha, WI. When he came home and showed them to Matt, one of the cartridges was a prototype version of Good Luck Charlie Brown (by Atari). The cartridge is black and the words "LOANER CARTRIDGE" is on the top of the front label. There are also two handwritten labels across the middle of the front label. One states "Good Luck, Charlie Brown" and the other is "18 Apr 84." Beneath the two labels is "Prototype Lab Consumer Division Software Dept." The Atari logo also appears at the bottom.
The actual game consists of one screen. Charlie Brown has to fly his kite while avoiding birds, balloons, rockets, and some other weird shapes. At the bottom of the screen, there is a wind gauge which tells how fast and which way the wind will push your kite. There is also a timer which counts up, but it doesn't seem to effect the gameplay. There are no sounds in the game, but the graphics are better than average. Pushing up and down on the joystick determines how much string is let out for the kite and moving left and right will change the position of the kite. Sometimes there are flashes of light in the air - which is most likely lightning. According to Matt, there doesn't seem to be any object to the game. It almosts sounds like the game was not completed and still had some things that needed to be added to the game. Perhaps Atari wanted to get the game out for an evaluation, even though it was still in its rough stages.
There is another game based on the Peanuts characters - Snoopy and the Red Baron (by Atari). This game was released, and is not very common. This may be due to the fact that it was released in 1984. Perhaps they decided not to bother with Good Luck Charlie Brown because the 2600 market was beginning to dwindle.
Matt wrote in to "pass this on to other collectors also provided a videotape of the game as well. Dan Skelton kind enough to grab a screen image from that video so all you readers can see what it looks like. If you would like to contact Matt, you can reach him at: