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AtariAge at 2005 vgXpo Dallas

AtariAge at 2005 vgXpo Dallas

2005 vgXpo Dallas

2600 Demos

We'll have several work-in-progress and prototype Atari 2600 games for you to try out at the 2005 Dallas vgXpo! In addition, several homebrew authors will be at the show demonstrating their games. This is a great opportunity to play some new games being developed as well as ask homebrew authors questions about the games and developing for these classic game consoles. Several of these games are near completion and are available for pre-ordering in the AtariAge Store.

Ixion
Atari 2600
 

Ixion

 

Ixion is a port of the unreleased 1983 Sega coin-op of the same name, Ixion is an interesting game that doesn't seem to play like anything else in the 2600 library. Your goal in Ixion is to grab the five white squares scattered across the screen and spell the word Ixion before your time runs out. At the start of each level only certain squares are visible, and to get around more easily you must first reveal the missing squares. To reveal the missing squares, the player must move a brown sphere over an empty square. This sphere is normally stationary, but it can be moved by shooting or ramming into it. This sends the sphere bouncing around the screen, revealing squares and destroying enemies in its travels. After a short time of bouncing around the sphere will stop, requiring the player to move it again to reveal more squares. Learning how to move the sphere where you want is the key to mastering Ixion. Also moving around the game grid are enemy drones, which will attempt to destroy your ship. Unfortunately, their shots destroy tiles, making your path much more difficult to traverse. Enemy drones only take one shot to defeat, but will take out the tile they are on when they explode.

We'll have Ixion setup at our booth at the Dallas vgXpo so you can try your hand at it on real 2600 hardware. You can download Ixion here, read a thorough review of the game over at AtariProtos.com, and discuss the game in our Atari 2600 Forum.

Ixion
Ixion
 
Ixion
Ixion
     
Four-Play
Atari 2600
 

Four-Play

 

Four-Play is a new Atari 2600 board game by Zach Matley, which will be familiar to those who have played the popular game Connect Four. In Four-Play, two players take turns dropping marbles into an upright board. The first player to get four of their marbles in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally wins. A one-player version with computer A.I. is planned.

The game is played by moving your marble left or right with the joystick, and then pushing down to drop the marble. Pressing Reset will clear the board and start a new game.

Four-Play
Four-Play
     
Reflex
Atari 2600
 

Reflex

 

Reflex is a new game for the Atari 2600 by Lee Fastenau. It delivers breakout-style action for one or two players in three exciting modes of play! However, unlike other breakout-style games, you control two paddles that move around the playfield opposite each other. This new twist will certainly put your reflexes to the test!

Features include:

  • One-player, competitive two-player, and cooperative two-player modes
  • 20 unique level designs (more are planned for the official release)
  • Level selection
  • Joystick and driving controller support
  • Difficulty switch support for increasing the challenge
  • NTSC/PAL60/PAL50 support (separate SECAM version available)
  • Convenient video mode selection during power-on
Reflex
Reflex
 
Reflex
Reflex
     
Boulder Dash
Atari 2600
 

Boulder Dash

 

Atari 2600 programmer Andrew Davie (author of Qb for the Atari 2600 and 8-bit computers) has been hard at work developing a sophisticated graphics engine for the 2600, which he has been using as the basis for a Boulder Dash port to the 2600. Boulder Dash was a popular game on the Atari 8-bit computers created by First Star Software, who created several other notable titles on the 8-bit such as Astrochase, Flip and Flop, and Bristles. Boulder Dash found its way to many other platforms over the years (even an arcade game), but never to the Atari 2600 or any other Atari game consoles. In Boulder Dash you play the role of Rockford, who must collect diamonds in 16 dangerous caves, while avoiding falling boulders, dangerous butterflies, and other obstacles along the way. Once Rockford collects a minimum number of diamonds (different in each level), a gateway to the next level appears.

If you'd like to learn more about Andrew's Atari 2600 version of Boulder Dash (which he has been developing with the blessing of First Star Software), you can read this thread in our Homebrew Discussion Forum. Andrew has posted many movies and pictures from the game which should whet your appetite if you're a Boulder Dash fan.

Here's a movie that shows gameplay from every level in the game:

Boulder Dash
Boulder Dash
     
RPS
Atari 2600
 

 

The Atari 2600 won't win any awards for raw computing horsepower, but there is one game that's well suited to its AI capabilities: Rock, Paper, Scissors! You heard right, Billy Eno (author of Warring Worms: The Worm (Re)Turns) has developed a version of this classic schoolyard game for the Atari 2600. Would you believe that there's a World RPS Society that actively promotes Rock, Paper, Scissors, including tournaments held at both local and international levels?

Game play works as follows: The game is started when both players are holding their fire buttons down. This causes the fists to rise, or "start the prime." Once one of the players releases their fire button, the down stroke begins, which sets the timing of each of the subsequent "primes." During the final down stroke, or the "approach," the players choose their final throw by pressing left for paper, right for scissor, or nothing for rock.  The winner is indicated on the screen.

Game variations include a single-player mode, and for choosing the number of rounds to be played. With several computer opponents to choose from, you will never be short of competition. You can play Joe, your average player. Or get tough with Rocky. Then there is the ever wily Simon. And you can't forget, the ultimate RPS opponenent, Kasparov. Beat him, and only then can you consider yourself a master of the game!

RPS will be available soon after the Dallas vgXpo. You can pre-order RPS in our store, and it'll be shipped to you as soon as it's available.

Author Billy Eno will be present at the show, demonstrating RPS in person!

RPS
RPS
 
RPS
RPS
     
Man Goes Down
Atari 2600
 

 

Man Goes Down - no it's not rude, just an accurate description of the gameplay. You see, you control this little guy, negotiating platforms that continuously scroll up the screen. Get pushed off the top or fall off the bottom and it's game over. There's fruit and other goodies to collect along the way to help you on your journey down. There are 12 different items to collect in all! While simple in premise, this homebrew will have you quickly addicted as you try progress further and further!

AtariAge sponsored a Man Goes Down Label Contest to design an original label to be used for the game. One of Nathan Strum's many submissions was selected as the winning entry! You can view all the wonderful contest submissions here.

Man Goes Down includes built-in support for Richard Hutchinson's AtariVox. Man Goes Down uses the AtariVox to play speech during the game, to store the top five scores (with the players' initials!) and even remembers the preferred TV mode (NTSC/PAL/PAL60). You can listen to following audio samples from the AtariVox:

Man Goes Down will be available shortly after the Dallas vgXpo. You can pre-order Man Goes Down in our store, and it'll be shipped to you as soon as it's available.

Man Goes Down
Man Goes Down
 
Man Goes Down
Man Goes Down
     
Swoops!
Atari 2600
 

Swoops!

 

Swoops! is a collection of three 1K minigames that Thomas Jentzsch (Thrust+ Platinum) submitted in the 2004 Minigame Competition. Two of the games in this collection won first and second place in the 1K competition: Cave 1K won the category, and Splatform came in second place. All three of these games offer addicting gameplay that will keep you coming back for me! Swoops! contains a menu that allows you to select which game to play, and ultimately will contain a mode that will allow you to play all three games in succession. The games are:

  • Cave 1K - Can you navigate a helicopter through a treacherous cave at a nail-biting pace, avoiding obstacles in your path as well as well as the floor and ceiling? As you progress through the cave, the obstacles get closer together and your speed increases! How far into the cave can you get?

  • Splatform 2600 - Splatform is a simple, but fun platform jumping game where your goal is to jump from platform to platform while moving to the right as quickly as you can. You lose points for bouncing in place, giving you an incentive to keep moving!

  • Crash 'n' Dive - Help little Toto to survive while falling down an endless tunnel. Score points by collecting sequences of identical colored platforms and bonus platforms and avoid deadly platforms. Starts slow, but gets extremly fast later. If you can survive that long!
Cave 1K
Cave 1K
Cave 1K
Cave 1K
Splatform
Splatform
Splatform
Splatform
Crash 'n' Dive
Crash 'n' Dive
Crash 'n' Dive
Crash 'n' Dive
     
2005 Minigame Multicart
Atari 2600
 

2005 Minigame Multicart

 

Atari 2600 fans Chris Walton (cd-w), Fred Quimby (batari), and Bob Montgomery (vdub_bobby) have been hard at work creating 1K entries for the 2005 Minigame Competition. For the Oklahoma Video Game Expo they've put together a menu-driven cartridge featuring five of their games:

  • Hunchy - Hunchy is inspired by the classic arcade game Hunch Back (released 1982), which is loosely based on the novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1831) by Victor Hugo. You play the role of the hunchbacked bell-ringer Quasimodo in his quest to rescue the gypsy girl Esmeralda from the cathedral of Notre Dame. To succeed, you must jump across the roof of the Notre Dame, avoiding the guards and an assortment of missiles. There are 16 screens to complete, increasing in difficulty as you progress. Hunchy has an infinite number of lives, and you will need them all! You can learn more about Hunchy here.

  • Jetman - In Jetman you play a battle-hardened gas station attendant in outer space! Your job is to refuel the rockets as quickly as possible, while coming under heavy fire from forces unknown. Jetman is inspired by the classic Ultimate 8-bit game JetPac (released 1983). There are 16 space craft to refuel in increasingly hostile conditions. You can learn more about Jetman here.

  • Nightrider - As the Nightrider, you must ride for freedom or die! Hostile government forces are in helicopter pursuit as you make your futile bid for freedom. To stop or hesitate will mean certain death, but the rugged terrain will also bite you without warning. The faster and further you ride, the more your freedom is worth. You can learn more about Nightrider here.

  • Zirconium - An exotic alien species is invading our galaxy! The cubic zirconia, based on elemental zirconium instead of carbon, have tried to block your approach to their boxy mothership with their geometrically perfect space mines. You, as the intrepid space captain Joe Diamond, must think outside the box as you battle your way through their blocky blockade. Your ship's armor can only withstand a few collisions, so take good aim at the obstacles and don't miss the power packs spread throughout the galaxy! You can learn more about Zirconium here.

  • Rocket Command - Interterrestrial beings are erupting from the earth's core in an attempt to take over the surface! As the Rocket Commander, you have installed a battalion of rockets at the top of the volcanic crater where the magma beings are launching their craft. It's up to you to destroy these molten enemies before they launch into the sky! If your rockets destroy enough invaders, your leader will allow you to install more rockets to continue your campaign. You must be on your toes, because there's not much time to aim when you are down to your last few rockets! You can learn more about Rocket Command here.

  • M-4 - Back in 1977, Midway released an arcade game titled M-4. This is a pretty simple game, where you take control of a tank where your goal is to accumulate as many points as you can within a 90 second period of time. You can score points for hitting the wall (well, you only get one point for this), hitting an opposing tank, hitting a car, and hitting an airplane (which scores the most). Every time you or hte other tank gets hit, the walls are rebuilt and the tanks are retgurned to their starting positions. The timer then pauses for a moment, and the game then resumes. You can learn more about M-4 here.
Hunchy
Jetman
Hunchy Jetman
 
Nightrider Zirconium
Nightrider Zirconium
 
Rocket Command Rocket Command
Rocket Command M-4
     

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