Six Atari 2600 Video Soft Homebrews

Six new Atari 2600 games are now shipping. Each is a full release (box, manual) and is limited to 100 copies.

These are from game developer Video Soft, and all (with the exception of one) were intended to be sold to Amiga. The games were mentioned in company press releases from the early 1980s and were thought to have been just one of the many vaporware titles that never materialized. So it was quite a surprise to learn that not only did most of the titles announced exist in prototype form, but were developed enough to be playable – half of which appear to be complete!

What’s even better than that? Well, how about the opportunity to own a copy of them! After nearly 30 years, and with the cooperation of Digital Press, the games are at long last being made available! Thanks to the efforts of a few, dedicated Atari fans, the prototypes were archived, new artwork was created, and cartridges were produced, under agreement with Video Soft founder Jerry Lawson. Each cartridge includes both a box and manual, and production is limited to 100 numbered copies of each title (click on the thumbnail photos below for full-size pictures). Only 100 of each will ever be produced, and as each title is sold out, the ROM file for it will be released to the public with the condition it is not to be sold by anyone, in any form). We feel this arrangement should please everyone, from the casual gamer to the hardcore collector.

The games are: Genesis, Atom Smasher, Depth Charge, S.A.C. Alert, Ghost Attack and Havoc.

Apparently Genesis, Atom Smasher, and S.A.C. Alert are the most complete. They could have used a few more days or weeks of polish, but are more complete in comparison to a lot of 3rd-party titles from back then.

Depth Charge is complete for basically being half of a game. The half that exists is similar to Sea Wolf. The missing half would have been similar to Atari’s Depth Charge or Sega’s Sub-Scan. It would have been cool to see it completed, but unlike a market crash ‘victim’ like Atom Smasher, a change in company plans sunk Depth Charge before it was finished.

The Ghost Attack cart utilizes a menu program that was originally created for the Amiga Power-Play carts, and modified to run the 3 Ghost Attack prototypes separately. The first level is fully playable and after playing for a few minutes, it will auto-run the 2nd level. The collision-detection wasn’t completed for this part, so there’s no way to reach the 3rd part w/o running it from the menu. The 3rd part is playable but there’s no ending (but some music for it is in the code).

Havoc is close to being complete, but after reaching the end (it cycles back to the 2nd screen where it runs forever).

With regards to the 3-D games, don’t expect Avatar-like quality here the 3rd part of Ghost Attack and the 2nd screen in Havoc come close to pulling it off, but it seems the resolution is too low with the games to pull off the effect convincingly.

Ordering is here and there is also an official DP discussion thread here.

Each is $47.00 shipped or $230.00 for a complete set.

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