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The Games of the Atari Flashback Classics vol. 3: Part 3: 2600 Games

On 03/24/2019 at 12:21 PM by Cary Woodham

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So last we’ll look at the rest of the games on the vol. 3 collection of Atari games, these coming from the 2600.  I have to say that I don’t have as much nostalgia for the 2600.  I did play it a lot at friends and neighbors’ houses, but I didn’t own one myself until many years later.  Plus I just don’t think most of the 2600 library is that good.  I did like most of Activision’s games, and there were a few arcade ports that were decent, like Moon Patrol or Centipede.  But most of the Atari made games just didn’t grab me.  So if I gloss over a lot of these, now you know why.  Anyway, let’s look at the games on here.

Adventure II

If you put this and the original Adventure side by side, I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.  I guess the sequel has different mazes?  The duck dragon is still there.  I know that Adventure is supposed to be influential in gaming history, but I never got into it.

Air Raiders

Looks like an early flight sim, which isn’t bad for the 2600.  You shoot at planes that are just flying by and don’t seem to be attacking.  And boy you run out of ammo quick!


This is a neat little shooter where you dive down multiple screens, shooting fish and getting something at the bottom and bringing it to the top.  Can’t tell what it is because the graphics are so bad.  It’s hard because your diver is so big on screen, and the fish dissolve you with one touch.  And the water is hardly ever blue.  It’s mostly bright pink.  What are you swimming in?  Pepto Bismol?

Armor Attack

They might as well had called this Combat 2.  You control two tanks and alternate between them to destroy the other player’s tanks.  You can drive over different terrain and such.  Not bad.


Hey wasn’t this originally on the Intellivision?  You are a gun that can move left and right on the bottom of the screen and shoot at asteroids falling down from above.  Just simple arcade fun.

Dark Cavern

This is a maze game where you shoot these colored…robots I guess?  They can shoot back and it’s hard to avoid them, so you have to be careful.  You must collect ammo that appears from time to time and avoid other moving objects that won’t hurt you, but they will hinder you.  Like bugs that stun you or wavy things (ghosts?) that take your ammo away.  It would be more fun but it’s VERY slow paced.

Frog Pond

You are a frog and must hop left and right on the bottom of the screen on a log and you must catch flies with your diagonally shooting tongue for points.  It’s pretty fun and is the only game I’ve gotten the trophy for on the PS4.  It kind of reminds me of a game called Frog Bog on the Intellivision.  My cousin had an Intellivision when we were little, and I played that Frog Bog game with her for what felt like hours at a time when we would visit them in Alabama.

Frogs & Flies

And speaking of Frog Bog, I think this must be the 2600 version of it, because it looks exactly the same.  You and another frog must jump from two lily pads to catch flies before nighttime.  I like the Intellivision version better, though, as you can control your jumps more and it’s easier to get the flies with your tongue.

Holey Moley

This is just whack a mole.  It has a little keypad on the side of the screen, though.  Did the 2600 have one of those?  There are different animations of the moles when you hit them, which is nice.  The music in the background is very grating, though.

International Soccer

Just your typical early 8 bit sports game.  Very chunky graphics, too.


This is a two player split screen monster truck stunt game that reminds me of a proto-Excite Bike and it’s pretty fun, too.


This is a multi-level game where you are a robot trying to keep other robots from building a missile. The Yars’ Revenge bugs make an appearance here.  Even more interesting is that at one point, Atari wanted to make this into an A-Team game.  You controlled Mr. T’s head instead!  But neither that nor this game was ever released, so this is just a prototype.

Sea Battle

Some games I had to read the instruction booklets to figure out how to play, and this is one of them. But the instructions are written so poorly that the only thing I could figure out how to do is shuffle through blocky map screens, so I stopped playing.  After reading the instructions, I learned that a lot of these games were made by Mattel, makers of the Intellivision, so that explains some things. 

Space Attack

I love the original names they gave these titles.  Anyway, in this one you are either on a map screen or a first person space shooter screen.   I wish they would’ve just stayed with the space shooter screen as it’s more fun than the boring map screen.

Star Strike

There’s a neat 3-D effect in this game where it looks like you are flying through a trench like the Death Star in Star Wars.  Other than that it’s a pretty average shooter.

Super Challenge Baseball

How many baseball games did the 2600 need?  They weren’t that different.  Like the soccer game, this one has very chunky graphics and that’s it.

Super Challenge Football

This is another chunky graphics sports game.  They should’ve called them Super Chunk instead.  Did they make a new football game every year?  Things haven’t changed much, have they?

Sword Fight

You’re supposed to be able to swing a light saber and fight another player, and the graphics are pretty big.  But I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work.  I think it’s another prototype game.


It’s a maze game with graphics similar to Adventure.  You can shoot sometimes but I couldn’t figure out what to do otherwise.

Yars Return

I didn’t know Yars’ Revenge had a sequel!  This is just like the first game except you can shoot form all sides, instead of just from left to right.  I could never fully figure out how to play the Yars games, though.  They do have a bit of interesting history behind them.

And those are all the games on this collection.  Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane with these.  I wonder if they’ll ever make a collection with Atari 7800 games on it?  Later!  --Cary



Matt Snee Staff Writer

03/24/2019 at 08:46 PM

Yeah these aren’t really good. I used to love Yars Revenge but I never played it until I was collecting systems in my twenties.

Cary Woodham

03/25/2019 at 07:47 AM

Yeah this collection isn't as good as the others, that's for sure.


03/24/2019 at 10:36 PM

In going for achievements on these games I figured some of them out and got to like them. One was Aquaventure. You go down some 6 screens, grab a treasure and return before your air runs out. Those darn fish are a pain though.

I remember playing Frogs & Flies on the original system with my friend Mark and we had a blast with it. It's just a little bit simpler version of Frog Bog on Intellivision. I like the 2600 version a little better because of that. 

It's impossible to the get the achievement in Holey Moley without a keypad. Atari did have a key pad, but I never owned one. Mark got close though. It's just too hard to select a hole to bash fast enough with the joystick. 

Saboteur was interesting. I couldn't figure out what to do on the last screen and aiming your shots was tricky.

Sea Battle is my favorite Intellivision game. I don't think I played it here because it's strictly a two-player game. 

I got the achievment on Wizard by just shooting that purple spider thing a lot. I had no idea what I was doing. 

Cary Woodham

03/25/2019 at 07:49 AM

Is that purple spider thing that thing that looks like the glaive from Krull?  Man, the 2600 had horrible graphics.  I couldn't tell what things were half the time when I played it.  And I'm not that big into graphics in the first place!


03/26/2019 at 10:48 PM

Yea, that thing. I forget what it was called in the instruction manual and in the achievement description, but it didn't look like it at all. I had to guess. 

Cary Woodham

03/28/2019 at 07:59 AM

With old games like that, you need to have good instructions.  I don't think many of those instructions in this collection were written very well.


03/28/2019 at 11:42 AM

I dug in deep with those instruction manuals. Thankfully they included them. I needed them.

Cary Woodham

03/29/2019 at 08:30 AM

You have to have them to play some of the games, that's for sure.  I just don't think they were written very well.  Especially in comparison to say, the Activision Anthology collection.  Man that was a good collection!


03/29/2019 at 12:34 PM

I love that collection. WIsh They'd do another one. Activision made some of the best games for the Atari. 

Cary Woodham

03/31/2019 at 09:46 AM

I would love it if Activision would just port the Activision Anthology to modern consoles.  Especially since the last ones it was on were the PS2 and PSP (the GBA had a version, too).  It's such a good collection.


04/10/2019 at 11:13 AM

Yea, I've been wishing for that too. I have to break out my old PS2 to play it. Make it backwards compatible at least. 


03/30/2019 at 06:10 PM

My friend that owned a 2600 when I was a kid had Astroblast. I remember thinking it was a weird shaped cartridge. I didn't know that Mattel ported Intellivision games to the 2600. Their games are apparently actual Intellivision cart cases with adapters welded to them to make them fit in a 2600. 

A lot of the more memorable 2600 games were third party. Stargate and Vanguard were a couple of my favorites. I got the SNK collection in large part to play Vanguard on my Switch. I wish WB would do a Midway collection for Switch or PS4.  I also liked this shooting game called Turmoil that was made by Twentieth Century Fox.

I really wish they'd make some kind of deal wuth Doug Neubauer for a certain game, though. Sigh.

Cary Woodham

03/31/2019 at 09:48 AM

Everyone seems to really like Solaris.  Sounds like someone is sitting on a gold mine.

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