The Atari 2600 is often considered the grand daddy of consoles. While it may not have been the first, it certainly was the first to break through to the mainstream. While Atari of old is long gone and this console is mostly a novelty for collectors, that has not stopped fans from programming their own games for it. What is great about this series of events is, there are some good titles made by fans. The flip side of that coin is, well, there is a lot of crap as well. I am going to focus on the more interesting games that have been released by fans – there is no time limit on this one so buckle up as we explore new Atari 2600 games
Let’s look at an attempt to bring Super Mario Bros from the Nintendo Entertainment System over to the Atari 2600 – Princess Rescue. While this is not a perfect port, that is just outside the realm of what the Atari 2600 can accomplish, it is still a great demake that retains a lot of the source material essence.
Mortal Kombat Netherrealm Journey is another “essence” demake of sorts. This one has you controlling a yellow sprite, presumably Scorpion, as he journeys through the Netherrealm world. There are traps, swinging ropes, and pits to leap across. Sure, it is more like that 2D side scrolling Mortal Kombat game than the one on one fighting game, but it still works well on the Atari 2600.
Wall Jump Ninja is an original title that brings home some modern gaming tropes. Mainly the nonstop, autorunning if you will, gameplay that is so prevalent on mobile devices. The minimalist graphics work great on the Atari 2600 allowing the hardware to focus on just color backgrounds and vertical black bars that represent walls you are jumping back and forth on. Wall Jump Ninja takes a cue from Flappy Bird as you are required to leap through holes to advance. There is no lollygagging around though as your ninja will slide down the wall, eventually to his death if you don’t jump. Also, there is a death beam of sorts forcing your advancement.
Since I brought up the mascot for Nintendo it is only fair to bring up the Sonic the Hedgehog style game for the Atari 2600. Zippy the Porcupine is all about the blue speed demon. Much like Princess Rescue, Zippy has a certain charm and feel that the source game offered fans on more powerful hardware.
Pac-Man 8k shows that had Atari cared one iota about their version of Pac-Man then a comparable port could have been released. While still not arcade perfect, Pac-Man 8k is a very much improved version over what fans got officially.
Halo 2600 is a demake of the popular Xbox franchise. Programmed by Ed Fries, Halo 2600 is nothing like its big brother, how could it be? What is here is an isometric action adventure game that was better than expected. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of Berserk.
Another entry and another original Atari 2600 game. Muderer Behind the Door is a little like Clock Tower in that you are doing your best to escape a murderer. There are a lot of doors and hallways to trek through in your quest to stay alive.
Flappy for the Atari 2600 brings the game craze from a few years ago to the classic console. What is interesting here is not the actual gameplay but the multiscrolling backgrounds – just look at them. I am personally sick of Flappy Bird clones but maybe, just maybe, someone out there rocking the Atari 2600 is not.
Space Cactus Canyon is a screen to screen adventure game about a sentient Cactus that must get off the planet. Can you avoid the humans and other creatures to accomplish this goal?
What list of new Atari 2600 games be without a scrolling shooter among the titles discussed? Super Cobra Arcade is just that, a scrolling shooter, even has some parallax scrolling. There is a bit of Darius here with bombs you can drop from your helicopter as you line up that perfect shot to take out ground-based enemies and of course, there is a forward firing gun. Worth a check out if you are a fan of scrolling shooters.