And then it happened.
The Atari 2600 craze died and with it all the great and not so great games that were produced, which came out to literally thousands of titles. At the time there were many who thought that the game craze itself was over.
Over the past several years, many of the Atari and Activision titles for the 2600 have been reborn for the PC. Fans of Space Invaders from the early arcade days and Atari days could now play their favorite game again. The question was, with new PC technology and how far we have come since those early days, would these games stand up? Would they play the same? If they did, would people realize just how crude they were? Would they care?
To get an answer to these questions you would have to ask for game players themselves and most likely if you asked 100 people you would get 100 different answers. The purpose of this article is more to understand why, in an age where we’ve developed games so complex and graphically stunning, we would want to play games that even during the time they came out were almost laughable.
Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe we, as a race of flawed human beings, don’t want to let go of our past. Maybe we just try to hang on and live out our teens just one more year, or month, or even day. Maybe there WAS something appealing about those old games that you just don’t get in today’s super techno games. Certainly if you take a small sample of the old Atari games that were updated for the PC, it is obvious that they did their best to retain the old look. In most cases they did. And if you plug in a joystick into your PC the actual playing experience is the same, or relatively close. Yes, some games didn’t transfer as well as others. Some they didn’t even bother to try because they were so bad to begin with. Others were intentionally updated. The reasons are unknown.
On thing is known for certain. If you were to go on the Internet and do a search for Atari 2600 for PC, you will find well over 100,000 listings. Many of the sites are reviews of the games themselves, of which there are countless ones. Then there are thousands of sites that sell many editions of games, each edition featuring a different selection of Atari 2600 titles. The choices one has is simple mind boggling. You could literally spend an entire day just researching Atari 2600 for PC games. That has to tell you something about the popularity of a game series that many people thought had died a long time ago.