Information compiled by Duane Alan Hahn.
Pages in this Subsection
Super Breakout (Atari)
Spacechase (Apollo) BG
Space Jockey (U.S. Games) BG
Haunted House (Atari)
Pac-Man (Atari) [official release]
Grand Prix (Activision)
Demon Attack (Imagic) BG
Star Voyager (Imagic) BG
Trick Shot (Imagic) BG
Pac-Man (Atari) [small towns & rural]
Yars' Revenge (Atari)
Defender (Atari) [unofficially]
Defender (Atari) [official release]
Chopper Command (Activision)
Demons to Diamonds (Atari)
Math Gran Prix (Atari)
Lost Luggage (Apollo) SEBG
Space Cavern (Apollo) SEBG
Astroblast (M Network) EBG
Super Ch. Baseball (M Network) EBG
Super Ch. Football (M Network) EBG
Space Attack (M Network) EBG
Star Wars: TESB (Parker Bros) BG
Racquetball (Apollo) SEBG
Donkey Kong (Coleco) BG
Cosmic Ark (Imagic)
Fire Fighter (Imagic)
Riddle of the Sphinx (Imagic)
Frogger (Parker Bros) BG
Gangster Alley (Spectravision) BG
Planet Patrol (Spectravision) BG
King Kong (Tigervision) BG
Threshold (Tigervision) BG
Sneak’n Peek (U.S. Games) EBG
Word Zapper (U.S. Games) EBG
Star Raiders (Atari)
Final Approach (Apollo) BG
Guardian (Apollo) BG
Infiltrate (Apollo) EBG
Shark Attack (Apollo) EBG
Wabbit (Apollo) BG
Venture (Coleco) BG
Beany Bopper (Fox) BG
Deadly Duck (Fox) BG
Fast Eddie (Fox) BG
Worm War I (Fox) BG
Armor Ambush (M Network) BG
Challenge of Nexar (Spectravision) BG
China Syndrome (Spectravision) BG
Cross Force (Spectravision) BG
Tapeworm (Spectravision) BG
Communist Mutants (Starpath) EBG
Fireball (Starpath) EBG
Phaser Patrol (Starpath) EBG
Suicide Mission (Starpath) EBG
RealSports Baseball (Atari)
RealSports Volleyball (Atari)
SwordQuest EarthWorld (Atari)
Mouse Trap (Coleco) BG
Cosmic Swarm (CommaVid) EBG
Mines of Minos (CommaVid) BG
Room of Doom (CommaVid) EBG
Airlock (Data Age) BG
Bugs (Data Age) BG
Encounter at L-5 (Data Age) BG
Sssnake (Data Age) BG
Warplock (Data Age) BG
Frogs and Flies (M Network) BG
Lock 'N' Chase (M Network) BG
Bachelor Party (Mystique) BG
Beat 'Em & Eat 'Em (Mystique) BG
Custer's Revenge (Mystique) BG
Dragonstomper (Starpath) EBG
Escape … Mindmaster (Starpath) EBG
CocoNuts (Telesys) BG
Fast Food (Telesys) BG
Commando Raid (U.S. Games) BG
Towering Inferno (U.S. Games) BG
Condor Attack (Ultravision) BG
Karate (Ultravision) BG
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari)
Sky Jinks (Activision)
Carnival (Coleco) BG
Turmoil (Fox) BG
Dark Cavern (M Network) BG
International Soccer (M Network) BG
Amidar (Parker Bros) BG
Spider-Man (Parker Bros) BG
Cosmic Creeps (Telesys) BG
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Atari)
RealSports Football (Atari)
River Raid (Activision)
Gorf (CBS) BG
Wizard of Wor (CBS) BG
Alien (Fox) BG
Fantastic Voyage (Fox) BG
Mega Force (Fox) BG
Dragonfire (Imagic) BG
Jawbreaker (Tigervision) SEBG
Marauder (Tigervision) SEBG
Eggomania (U.S. Games) BG
Rescue Terra I (VentureVision) BG
Page last updated on: 2016y_08m_18d_0001t
Below is an incomplete list of Atari 2600 video game release dates by month in the USA for the year 1982 along with lists of popular movies, TV shows, Top 40 music, and so on to help summon your treasured memories of the Atari 2600 and the early 1980s with the bonus of recreating the magical feelings of that special time. If you were too young or not even born yet, this page might be able to help you get the feeling of what it was like back then.
Links that jump to other places on this page are blue. Links that lead to other pages online are red.
Quick List and Index
Many games are marked as a best guess. Some guesses are worse than others. Below is a list of the types of guesses that can be on this page.
Best Guess (BG): At least one magazine or newsletter mentioned the month a game was released or supposed to be released.
Extreme Best Guess (EBG): A vague mention of the release month in a magazine or newsletter.
Super Extreme Best Guess (SEBG): The Video Game Update newsletter only had a review for the game (no release month mentioned), so it's a semi-educated wild guess. The review could have happened the same month the game was released or the review could have been published a month or more later.
Desperate Super Extreme Best Guess (DSEBG): There might be an ad in a magazine to go on if we're lucky. It's a desperate semi-educated wild guess.
Remember, the date on the box, cartridge, manual, and copyright screen can be different from the actual release date. For example, Atari 2600 Pac-Man was released in March/April of 1982, but the box, cart, manual, and copyright screen have 1981 as the copyright date.
To help make your experience even more enjoyable, most items have a link next to them that will lead you to related search results at YouTube where you might find video game commercials, gameplay footage, music videos, and clips from TV shows or movies.
You Can Help
If you find a mistake, or have more information to add, such as month/year release dates for games, please contact me. Every little bit of credible information helps, no matter how insignificant you think it might be. Thanks for your help.
Best Guess using info from Video Games Magazine. According to The New York Times in April, this game was "just released." They probably should have said that the game was just re-released with the Quaker Oats name on the box. According to Video Take-Out, the U.S. Games version of Space Jockey would be available in mid-March. The April Video Take-Out said that Space Jockey was being shipped to them as the newsletter was going out.
“I Can't Go For That” by Hall and Oates YouTube
“Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner & Garcia YouTube
“Working For The Weekend” by Loverboy YouTube
“That Girl” by Stevie Wonder YouTube
February release according to THE RED-HOT NEW CARTRIDGES FOR 1982, '82 In Review from V1n4, and Analog Computing.
“I Love Rock 'N Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts YouTube
“Tonight I'm Yours” by Rod Stewart YouTube
“We Got The Beat” by The Go-Go's YouTube
“Do You Believe In Love” by Huey Lewis and The News YouTube
“Take Off” by Bob & Doug McKenzie (Rick Moranis amd Dave Thomas) YouTube
“Make A Move On Me” by Olivia Newton-John YouTube
“Mirror, Mirror” by Diana Ross YouTube
The Pac-Man Fever single was released in December of 1981.
From STARLOG (Jul 82 p31), "In February, Columbia Records released 'Pac-Man Fever,' by songwriters Buckner & Garcia."
The official release date was March of 1982, but our local Woolco in Roanoke, Virginia didn't get it until April. See April for more about that. And THE RED HOT NEW CARTRIDGES FOR 1982 release schedule actually says "available March/April."
Although the box, cart, manual, and copyright screen have 1981 as the copyright date, Atari 2600 Pac-Man wasn't released until March/April of 1982.
March release according to Activisions newsletter, catalog, and Videogaming.
“Freeze-Frame” by The J. Geils Band YouTube
“Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner YouTube
“867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone YouTube
“(Oh) Pretty Woman” by Van Halen YouTube
T.J. Hooker (March 13) YouTube
Cagney & Lacey (March 25) YouTube
9 To 5 (March 25) YouTube
A brand new company, with former ATARI & INTELLIVISION whiz kids running it! The first games (compatible ONLY with ATARI) have been announced for late April (the graphics are TERRIFIC!)
IA-3000 TRICK SHOT $18.20
IA-3200 DEMON ATTACK $23.60
IA-3201 STAR VOYAGER 23.60
IC-5000 VIDEO ACTION 23.60 [video storage center]
Get your pre-orders in now. These games will be hot!
More cartridges on the drawing board and plans call for cartridges for your INTELLIVISION system by the FALL!!
Another brand new entry to the cartridge makers! U.S. GAMES have some terrific things planned too. Again, only compatible with ATARI at this point but plans for INTELLIVISION compatible cartridges upcoming for Fall. Available in mid-March . . .
VC-1001 SPACE JOCKEY $19.95
VC-1002 HIDE & SEEK $25.50
Planned for May . . .
VC-1003 WORD GRABBER $25.50
VC-1004 COMMANDO RAID $25.50
SPACE JOCKEY is shipping to us as this newsletter goes out (19.95). Watch our next newsletter for a review. U.S. Games has restructured prices on all other games (prices supercede those in our current MENU). They are:
VC-1002 Hide & Seek 25.50
VC-1004 Commando Raid (summer) 25.50
VC-1003 Word Grabber (summer) 25.50
VC-1005 Missile Intercept (summer) 25.50
VC-1006 Catch (summer) 25.50
VC-1007 The Fly (fall) 25.50
VC-1008 Darts (fall) 25.50
In March 1982, Imagic released its first three games, Trick Shot, Star Voyager, and Demon Attack. Demon Attack quickly shot to the top of the bestseller lists and stayed there. Demon Attack money helped Imagic adapt to the changing market . . . for a while.
Q: Have there been ideas which Activision has found impossible to conquer, even with its obvious pool of talent?
A: That always happens. But what appears, initially, to be difficult to make work. eventually comes around and does work. Grand Prix, which we released in March, was developed over a year ago. But David (Crane) put it on the shelf and came back to it. You can't say of any particular concept that we have not completed and released that it may not come back around, a solution found to whatever problems plague it during the design.
The main reason my family bought an Atari 2600 was for Pac-Man and we brought that first Atari 2600 home on March 27, 1982. We had pre-ordered Pac-Man and got it as soon as it hit the store (Woolco in Tanglewood Mall Roanoke, Virginia). The official release date was March, and although other people in the country could buy it in March, it didn't get to our store until April, so that's why it's listed here under April. I was stuck playing Combat for at least a week until Pac-Man arrived at the store. See March for more information.
“Did It In A Minute” by Hall & Oats YouTube
“Get Down On It” by Kool & The Gang YouTube
“Empty Garden” by Elton John YouTube
“Don't You Want Me” by The Human League YouTube
“Ebony And Ivory” by Paul McCartney with Stevie Wonder YouTube
Diner (April 2) YouTube
Cat People (April 2) YouTube
The Sword and the Sorcerer (April 23) YouTube
I got to buy this game when it was new in May with money I earned. I was supposed to move some bushes for an old lady (my former step-father's mother). I caught a ride to Woolco, which was only a few miles away from her house, so I decided to walk. I thought I could find a shortcut through some woods, but instead, it took many hours to get there because I kept hitting roadblocks of all kinds: fences, trenches (full of bushes and trees) that were too deep and too wide to cross, vicious dogs, and so on. I don't remember how I finally got there, but I did get there somehow. I transplanted the bushes, got paid around $30 and her husband drove me to a department store so I could buy Yars' Revenge for $24.97.
Unlike Pac-Man, Defender was early, at least where I lived. Everything says Defender was supposed to come out in June. I even got a card in the mail from Atari Age magazine telling me that Defender was coming in June and that I should order it now, but I was glad I didn't because Woolco had it in time for my girlfriend's birthday (May 17). She loved Defender, but didn't have an Atari, so I was very happy that I got Defender early so she could play it on her birthday at my house. See June for more information.
“Rosanna” by Toto YouTube
“Let It Whip” by Dazz Band YouTube
“Tainted Love” by Soft Cell YouTube
“Hurts So Good” by John Cougar Mellencamp YouTube
“Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me” by Juice Newton YouTube
“Only The Lonely” by The Motels YouTube
Conan the Barbarian (May 14) YouTube
Annie (May 21) YouTube
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (May 21) YouTube
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (May 21) YouTube
Rocky 3 (May 28) YouTube
The official release date was June of 1982, but our local Woolco in Roanoke, Virginia got it a month earlier. See Defender in May for more information.
June release according to Activisions newsletter, catalog, and Radio Electronics.
“Do I Do” by Stevie Wonder YouTube
“Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor YouTube
“Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band YouTube
“Hold Me” by Fleetwood Mac YouTube
“Hard To Say I'm Sorry” by Chicago YouTube
“Even the Nights Are Better” by Air Supply YouTube
Poltergeist (June 4) YouTube
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (June 4) YouTube
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (June 11) YouTube
Firefox (June 18) YouTube
Blade Runner (June 25) YouTube
The Thing (June 25) YouTube
[TRIVIA: JOURNEY ESCAPE CARTRIDGE CONCEPT BORN IN JUNE OF 1982]
Rice said that because the Journey cartridge concept was born in June, it precluded an earlier release for the pre-Christmas season. However, Rice added, the cartridge would be timely as a result of Atari hardware sales during Christmas. He said surveys indicate that new Atari buyers purchase at least three cartridges during the first two months of ownership.
Rice noted that Data Age will eventually produce the Journey game for both the Coleco and Intellivision systems and is currently negotiating arcade rights. An arcade deal would mark the first time a home game was adapted for arcades instead of the other way around.
Parker Brothers certainly has had a phenomenal start with The Empire Strikes Back videogame: released in June, it has achieved over thirty million dollars in retail sales. That makes it one of the top grossing home videogames in history.
July release according to Atari Age order form, '82 In Review from V1n4, and page 4 of V1n2.
July release according to Atari Age order form, '82 In Review from V1n4, page 4 of V1n2, and Analog Computing.
Super Extreme Best Guess. Lost Luggage was reviewed in the July 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Super Extreme Best Guess. Space Cavern was reviewed in the July 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Late July release according to The Making of Atlantis documentary. Atlantis was supposed to be available starting in August according to the Imagic catalog.
“Your Imagination” by Hall & Oats YouTube
“Eye In The Sky” by Alan Parsons Project YouTube
“Take It Away” by Paul McCartney YouTube
“Vacation” by Go-Go's YouTube
“I Found Somebody” by Glenn Frey YouTube
“Love Will Turn You Around” by Kenny Rogers YouTube
“Blue Eyes” by Elton John YouTube
The Secret of Nimh (July 2) YouTube
Tron (July 9) YouTube
Six Pack (July 16) YouTube
Zapped (July 23) YouTube
The World According to Garp (July 23) YouTube
Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (July 23) YouTube
An Officer and a Gentleman (July 28) YouTube
Night Shift (July 30) YouTube
In July, the Beverly, Mass. manufacturer will introduce "Frogger," a home version of an arcade favorite, licensed from Sega Enterprises.
One month after the release of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Parker Brothers will ship Frogger, a Freeway-like challenge based on the Sega arcade game.
Defender (**** / ****) is now available. We have just seen 4 new games for the 2600. "Frog Pond" (*** ½ / *** - November) is a really cute game for kids as the frogs attempt to catch the flies. Scheduled for July is "Demons To Diamonds" (**½ / **) (formerly "Hot Rox"). In October, Atari will be issuing two new cartridges called "Swordquest" and "Earthworld". (both **½ / *** - we were not able to get hands-on play with them.) These are "Dungeons & Dragons" type cartridges. These two cartridges will come with comic books like "Yars' Revenge" had which will contain clues which might lead you to discovering one of 5 different prizes hidden around the U.S. There will be 4 jewelled vases containing precious stones (each vase valued at $25,000) and one vase (the grand prize) will also have precious stones worth $50,000. It will be up to you to read the clues correctly to lead you to the discovery of any one of the 5 prizes.
. . . .
SOME OF THE OTHER COMPANIES JUMPING INTO GAMES:
. . . .
PARKER BROTHERS (Atari-Compatible)
We were impressed with what we saw. Parker Bros. is committed & obviously has some good designers. First to come, "The Empire Strikes Back" (*** / *** scheduled for 7/1) pits the player's joystick-controlled snow sled against giant imperial walkers. "Frogger" (*** / *** scheduled 8/1) is based on the popular arcade game. You must guide your frogs across a busy highway & a treacherous river. We enjoyed this one.
Plans for the future look promising... "Spiderman" (we did not see cartridge) based on the popular comic strip, planned for October. "Amidar" (did not see) based on the arcade game, scheduled for Nov. In December [delayed until 83] we should see "Reactor" (**** / **** -- cartridge was not in finished form, however), where players are trapped inside a nuclear reactor. And, in the 1st quarter of '83, plans include "Super Cobra" (**** / *** -- unfinished cartridge); "Sky Skipper" (did not see); "Tutankham" (**** / ****) a search for lost treasure in a pyramid; & "James Bond Agent 007" (no cartridge shown at show). We feel Parker Bros, will make a positive mark on the games market.
. . . .
Intellivision has renamed their cartridges for Atari. Formerly called "Breakthrough", they will be released under the name of "M Network". The first games are scheduled for release in July. They are "Baseball" (**/**); "Football" (*½/**), "Astroblast" (**/**) & "Space Attack" (**/**). You will be disappointed if you are looking for Intellivision-quality graphics & play with these games. In our opinion, these are nothing more exciting than anything on the Atari market already. They will have a "Tron" game a little later in the year, with fairly good graphics.
August release according to Atari Age order form, '82 In Review from V1n4, page 11 of V1n2, Analog Computing, Arcade Express, Creative Computing, Video Games Player.
Super Extreme Best Guess. Racquetball was reviewed in the August 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
August release according to catalog. Released in September according to The Video Game Update newsletter. Riddle of the Sphinx was reviewed in the September 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Gangster Alley was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Planet Patrol was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update and Video Games Player. Word Zapper was reviewed in the August 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
“Someday, Someway” by Marshall Crenshaw YouTube
“Only Time Will Tell” by Asia YouTube
“Jack & Diane” by John Cougar Mellencamp YouTube
“Words” by Missing Persons YouTube
“Who Can It Be Now?” by Men At Work YouTube
Pink Floyd: The Wall (August 6) YouTube
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (August 13) YouTube
Friday the 13th, Part 3 (August 13) YouTube
"Taste the Thrill of Atari at McDonald's" promotion starts on 8/15/1982.
Parker Brothers released "The Empire Strikes Back" for the Atari VCS earlier this summer.
"Berserk" [Berzerk] will be published by Atari in August and should be in the stores before the end of the month. This is the home version of the popular coin-op from Stern Electronics that has been wowing the arcaders for the past two years. Just as "Berserk" comes to the VCS, a super deluxe version of this maze shootout called " Frenzy" is going into the arcades.
"Star Raiders" premiere date is September. It will be packaged with a new controller (much in the same way that "Indy 500" was marketed), and is priced at $39.95. The new controller is a keypad type with a disk. Company sources characterize "Star Raiders" as a mindblower, with outstanding visuals and hot play action.
A Supercharger for the Atari VCS is being marketed by Arcadia. This RAM cart plugs into the game slot to increase the graphic resolution capabilities of the VCS, making it possible to move more objects around on the screen simultaneously.
The Supercharger connects to an ordinary tape recorder, and games will be marketed on cassette for about $15 each. Among the releases is a wacky invasion game called "Communist Mutants From Outer Space", and a space pilot game that's said to outdo "Star Raiders".
The Supercharger retails for around $70, and comes packaged with one game.
TIGER PLANS VCS CARTRIDGES
Tiger Electronic Toys is one of the newest entrants into the video cartridge sweepstakes! Tiger has formed a videogame cartridge division called Tigervision, for development and marketing of cartridges for the Atari VCS.
Long on the fringes of the electronic game business, Tiger plans to emphasize arcade-style action coupled with superior graphics. "Jawbreaker" has chomping sets of teeth eating candy dots in this maze-chase game. "King Kong" requires the gamer to rescue Faye Wray from Kong by climbing to the top of the Empire State Building, while leaping the bombs Kong throws. In "River Patrol", the gamer steers a leaky boat up the Congo, saving refugees and avoiding obstacles. "Threshold" is a vertical scrolling shootout in space, and "Marauder" requires you to maneuver through mazes while killing or avoiding the robot guards.
Randy Rissman, President of Tiger, says, "Tigervision's cartridges will aim to be among the best in graphic quality and play value."
Mattel Electronics has developed a new line of videogame cartridges for the Atari VCS. Mattel claims the new games, named the M Network, are designed to fully utilize the capabilities of the VCS. The M Network games use the themes of Intellivision cartridges, both currently popular games and carts that are soon to be released.
The first M Network cartridges entered distribution in mid-July. Some of the titles to be released in 1982 include "Astroblast", "Space Attack", "Super Challenge Baseball", "Super Challenge Football", and "International Soccer". The company plans 11 M Network games in 1982.
Mattel promises appealing game themes and advanced programming techniques for the new videogame series. Joshua Denham, President of Mattel Electronics, says, "M Network offers owners of Atari VCS units access to markedly improved graphics, gameplay, and extended enjoyment."
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation has formed Fox Video Games, Inc., to develop and market a line of cartridges for use with the Atari VCS. Four new games will be marketed in the Fall.
Sirius Software designed four new games for Fox. In "Deadly Duck", programmed by Ed Hodapp, crabs bomb a duck with bricks, and the duck must shoot back with a gun. "Beany Bopper", programmed by Grady Ward, has a stun-fire laser for the gamer to shoot at propeller beany-creatures. In "Worm War I", programmed by David Lubar, gigantic worms terrorize a city. The gamer fights back using a tank. "Fast Eddie", by Mark Turmell, challenges arcaders to gather treasure by climbing up and down ladders to different levels, while evading Sneakers trying to run him down and stomp on him.
The brand name "Vidtec," seen on the scrolling shoot-out "Space Jockey," will soon be relegated to no more than a minor role, if that. The company, which operates as part: of the Fisher-Price division of Quaker Oats, will henceforth emphasize the name "U.S. Games." The next cartridge from the company will be "Towering Inferno," a firefighting action game in which the player must race through a burning skyscraper to save residents and douse flames.
Gabriel Industries, the toy and game division of CBS, Inc., has formed a new unit, called CBS Video Games. CBS, Inc. and Bally Manufacturing Corp. have an agreement which allows CBS Video Games to manufacture, market and develop home video games for the Atari VCS and the Sears Video Arcade.
The first two games, licensed from Bally/Midway, are going to be wowsers: "Gorf", one of the all-time top coin-op games, challenges the gamer to battle robots, ships, lasers and torpedos in a multi-mission space fandango. "Wizard of Wor", the popular dungeon game, calls on the arcader to face monsters in constantly changing mazes.
Both games will be available for Christmas. Industry sources are being close-lipped about future releases, but predict spectacular hits coming in the near future.
Coleco began shipping cartridges for the Atari VCS at the end of July. "Donkey Kong", "Venture" and "Carnival" are the first releases, followed by "Zaxxon" and "Turbo" sometime in September or October. "Mousetrap" and "Smurf" will follow in time to be on the shelves before the Christmas buying season.
Coleco's new cartridge for the Atari VCS, "Donkey Kong", has proven to be unplayable on Model #2600 of the VCS. The cartridge works fine on new consoles, but it turned out to be unusable on older versions. (You can tell the difference by the location of the difficulty switch. Older models have the switch in the front of the console.) Even though roughly 90% of the cartridges would represent no problem to the consumer (since most VCS consoles are the newer models), Coleco decided to recall all "Donkey Kong" carts from distribution. "It was just an oversight, and requires only a minor modification in the game to make it work," says Coleco spokesman, Mike Katz. The company felt it was preferable to make the change in all cartridges, rather than waiting for dissatisfied individual customers to return unusable games to the retailers. Mike Katz estimates that the recall will affect tens of thousands of game carts, but promised the corrected cartridges should be back on the market the second week in August. After that, there'll be no problem.
APOLLO, LIKE ITS NAMESAKE, SHOOTS FOR THE VIDEOGAMING STARS!
Despite the downbeat reviews Apollo garnered for Skeet Shoot, its first videogame, no one's going to nap through four cartridges the company recently put on the market. Indeed, like Shakespeare, author of the world's best literature, and who, by the way, was castigated as an "upstart crow" after his own first work was performed—Apollo intends to create classics. Lively, unique, fraught with color and exotica, the newest of the Atari-compatible games suggest that the Texas-based manufacturer is well on its way.
Apollo is a subsidiary of National Career Consultants, a company founded by entrepreneur Patrick Roper. For eleven years NCC has successfully produced and distributed educational and career guidance films to high schools and colleges. Unfortunately, government belt-tightening has limited the funds available to many of NCC's customers and, early last year, NCC had no choice but to cut back on their film operation and branch into other fields. Initially. the firm considered distributing dramatic works on videocassette, but discovered that the major studios and producers of popular entertainment were already committed to other manufacturers. As for creating their own feature-length motion pictures, the high cost of such an undertaking was prohibitive. However, NCC was not unaware of the booming videogame industry; the decision to diversity in that direction was reached in October of 1981, after market research and the obvious growth of the field indicated that there was room for a newcomer.
Roper decided to concentrate solely on software, adding a computer programmer to the existing staff of NCC and rushing the company's first game to the market by December of last year [December 7, 1981]. "All in all, Skeet Shoot wasn't a spectacular game to start off with," concedes Emmitt Crawford, Apollo's director of public relations. He acknowledges that the graphics were flat, little more than a box flinging pellets at a small saucer. To make matters worse, a high percentage of the cartridges had to be recalled due to image roll. But Skeet Shoot managed to cash in on the lucrative Christmas buying season and, more important, made dealers and consumers alike aware of the new company.
One month after the inauspicious debut of Skeet Shoot, the company released the better-conceived, more topical Spacechase. This time, both the graphics and subject were worth writing home about. As commander of three Mark 16 starcruisers, the player is required to beat back alien raiders who, materializing from hyperspace, mercilessly fire neutron missiles and heat-seeking proton missiles as they attack from all sides. With its scrolling planet surface and fast-paced action, Spacechase was an immediate hit. Crawford says it's presently back-ordered to the tune of nearly 200,000 cartridges "and," he marvels, "even Skeet Shoot is still hanging in there," with several thousand orders waiting to be filled as Apollo's production schedule allows.
Today, Apollo has a staff of five programmers plus thirty production people to handle cartridge assembly. To ensure continued prosperity, Apollo has endowed the four new games with an individualistic blend of mystery, fantasy, and even humor, traits which are helping them to secure a following in the marketplace. They plan to release a new game every four to six weeks.
Space Cavern is the trendiest of the games, the saga of an astronaut on a mission to a mysterious planet in a remote quadrant of the galaxy. The pioneer's assignment is to chart a maze-like cave inhabited by a monstrous hydra whose tentacles generate twenty million electron volts. Iridescent eyes appear throughout the game, but the player can never tell until seconds before contact which pair of eyes will materialize into the deadly monster. The space explorer is armed with a pistol which can shoot horizontally and vertically. affording full protection from two aerial nasties and one ground-based creature. A particularly impressive touch is the way the astronaut's skeleton lights up whenever the monster strikes, after which the explorer demolecularizes, ending the game as a pile of dust.
Lochjaw is a slightly more out-of-the-ordinary game, as players send their divers to a Spanish galleon which lies at the bottom of a seabed. As the waters ripple around them, colors trickling through, the divers must enter a yawning hole in the ship and recover a fortune in diamonds, one gem at a time. This is accomplished by navigating through a maze—the one tired motif in this excellent game—where in due course the diver is assaulted by a pair of sharks as well as a saurian relative of the beast from Loch Ness. The sharks travel at random, one considerably faster than the other, while the sea serpent has the capacity to home in on and pursue the diver. To thwart the animals, the diver can have at them with a shark gun or crawl into a shark cage. There is also a cave which acts like a dimensional warp, enabling divers to escape any predator. However, like the hyperspace mode in Asteroids or Astrosmash, there is no way of knowing exactly where the cave will hurl you. Chances are good that it will bear you from one danger quite literally into the jaws of another.
Unquestionably the most charming of Apollo's new games is Lost Luggage. It would not be inaccurate to dub this the first "comedy cartridge": the player is at an airport as the suitcases arrive via conveyor belt. Suddenly, the luggage flies from the carousel and the player must catch it. Miss the suitcase and it opens, spilling all manner of personal effects over the ground.
Last of the current Apollo releases is Racquetball, a faithful recreation of the indoor sport seen from the players' point of view rather than the sidelines.
Apollo maintains that these games barely hint at the novel cartridges and accoutrements soon to appear. Roper informed this magazine that six additional cartridges will be released by December. "No licenses," he reports, "all our own ideas," and Apollo has already made available the first personalized cartridge. For $99.95, you can have Space Chase programmed [ad] so that your initials will flash on the screen when the mother ship is destroyed. It's ideal for businesses, which Crawford indicates have been their biggest client. using the electronically embossed games as premiums. Apollo also expects to release software for Intellivision consoles by mid-1983, and may yet enter the videocassette field using the medium for educational purposes. "We've even briefly considered using videocassettes to offer strategies for our games," Crawford notes. Preparing games for computers is another of Apollos short-range objectives, though they have no plans to enter the arcade field.
The people at Apollo realize they've got to burn the midnight oil if they're going to compete with the giants like Atari and Coleco. Crawford admits the battle will be a rough one, but feels up to the challenge. "We're in good shape because we got in ahead of a number of companies. Even though they're conglomerates and pretty stiff competition creatively, we think there's ample room for everybody. Besides," he observes, "what you need in this business is more than a big budget. You have to have games that people want, and we think we've got just that."
The Atari version of DONKEY KONG has just released while the Intellivision version will not ship until the end of August.
. . . .
M NETWORK from Mattel (Atari-compatible) has just shipped ASTRO-BLAST, FOOTBALL, BASEBALL (see reviews this issue), and SPACE ATTACK, a space action game which pits you against computer-controlled alien invaders.
. . . .
TIGERVISION (Atari-compatible) Two games scheduled for release around August 1 (we have no experience with this company so cannot attest as to whether they tend to meet their release schedules). The first is KING KONG (retail 31.95), in a scenario reminiscent of Donkey Kong, but, from what we saw at the Summer Show, it does not begin to measure up to either the arcade version or the Coleco version of Donkey Kong. Their other new release is THRESHOLD, also scheduled for August 1 (retail 22.95) which has you flying a space attack ship through the galaxy encountering different enemy forces. Watch for reviews of these games in the next newsletter.
September release according to Atari Age order form, page 9 of Atari Age V1nN3, Analog Computing, and The Video Game Update. Star Raiders was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
September release according to Activisions newsletter and catalog.
David Crane talks about programming PitFall!
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Final Approach was reviewed in the November 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Infiltrate was reviewed in the September 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Shark Attack was reviewed in the September 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Wabbit was reviewed in the November 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Venture was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Armor Ambush was reviewed in the January 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess based on The Video Game Update. Communist Mutants From Space was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess based on The Video Game Update. Fireball was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Phaser Patrol was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Suicide Mission was reviewed in the December 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
“Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa/Moon Unit Zappa YouTube
“I Ran (So Far Away) ~ A Flock Of Seagulls YouTube
“Gloria” by Laura Branigan YouTube
“Heart Attack” by Olivia Newton-John YouTube
“Don't Fight It” by Kenny Loggins/Steve Perry YouTube
Eating Raoul (September 24) YouTube
Amityville II: The Possession (Sept. 24) YouTube
The Powers Of Matthew Star (September 17) YouTube
Tales Of The Gold Monkey (September 22) YouTube
Family Ties (September 22) YouTube
Bring 'Em Back Alive (September 24) YouTube
Silver Spoons (September 25) YouTube
Pac-Man Saturday Morning Cartoon (September 25) YouTube
Knight Rider (September 26) YouTube
Matt Houston (September 26) YouTube
Square Pegs (September 27) YouTube
Cheers (September 30) YouTube
Starting this issue is Billboard's Video Games chart, designed to help record and tape dealers as well as video retailers track the fastest-growing items at retail, as indicated by the Electronic Industries Assn., which reports sales to dealers nearly doubling each year.
PAC-MAN GOBBLES UP SATURDAY T.V.
"Pac-Man", an animated television series, will air on September 25, on ABC's Saturday morning children's schedule. "Pac-Man" will also star in a prime time kiddy holiday special later this year.
The series, long on cute but probably as sensible as most Saturday cartoons, features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac, and Pac-Baby. They live in Pac-land along with the family dog, Chomp Chomp, and Sour Puss, a sly cat. This utopia is threatened by Mezmaron, a meanie who wants all the power pellet trees in the forest. Mezmaron's assistants are the ghost monsters Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, along with a girl-ghost named Sue.
PARKER BROTHERS ROLLS NEW GAMES
The "Monopoly Playmaster" enhances electronically America's favorite boardgame with lights, sounds and visual effects. The Playmaster is said to speed up the game by managing dice rolls, sales and repurchases of property, and bank loans.
A two-week ad blitz started August 23 introduced the "Monopoly Playmaster" in New York and Chicago, with a series of 10-second spots highlighting the features of the unit.
Meanwhile, "Frogger", Parker Bros.' latest cartridge for use with the Atari VCS, has hopped into the stores, and "Spiderman" will be swinging along sometime in November.
"EMPIRE" BIG HIT
Parker Brothers projects $30-million in retail sales of "The Empire Strikes Back" videogame cartridge in its first year. The cartridge, usable on the Atari VCS, will be followed next year by another Star Wars Saga game. The next George Lucas movie in the epic adventure, "Revenge of the Jedi", will be released in May of 1983. The next Parker Bros. game will coincide with the debut of the 20th Century Fox movie.
VIDEOGAMES GO TO THE MOVIES
Three videogame manufacturers benefited from record movie attendances during the 1982 summer season. Activision, Mattel and Atari all bought cinema commercial packages from Screenvision, which has 1600 theater affiliates nationwide.
Activision started it, with ads for "Chopper Command" and "Star Master". Mattel ordered four weeks of two-minute "Tron" ads, run at theaters playing the Disney feature. Atari followed with ads for "Dig Dug", and will begin movie promotions of "Yars' Revenge" in October.
Retailers found a high number of defective cartridges among the initial shipment of M-Network, Mattel's new series of games for the Atari VCS. Seems the games couldn't be properly inserted into the VCS because of poor construction of the casing. To get them to play, some people cracked open the plastic housing and plugged the program board directly into the entry slot by hand.
Arcade Express talked with Mike Doepke, Mattel's Director of Marketing of M-Network. Mike explained there had been a problem in production of the housing and some batches were shipped before the flaw was corrected. Most of the faulty cartridges went to West Coast dealers who have since been advised by Mattel to return them, so hopefully most are now out of circulation. But anyone who buys a defective game should return it to the retailer or direct to Mattel.
In addition to the problem with the casing, a small portion of the initial ROMS were incompatible with older models of the Atari VCS. Once Mattel engineer's realized this, they made the small modification necessary to make the games playable. But a few of the non-compatible games are in circulation. These won't play on the VCS with the difficulty switch in the front of the console, and should be exchanged for playable versions.
ARCADIA TO CHANGE NAME
Arcadia is the company marketing the Supercharger for the Atari VCS, a RAM cart that increases the graphic resolution capabilities of the VCS, making possible games that move more objects on the screen simultaneously. And the Arcadia 2001 is a new videogame system from Emerson Radio Corp. Names too close for comfort, you think? Well, so did they, and Arcadia is going to have to come up with a new moniker. Seems that the Emerson Arcadia 2001 beat the Supercharger onto the retail shelves, and they have first dibs. No word yet on the new name, but watch this space.
Spectravision doubled its line of game cartridges for the Atari VCS with the shipment in September of two more titles. "The Challenge of Nexar" is an arcade-style action game that Spectravision's President Josh Kalter says requires constant movement by the arcader. "You can't sit still in this game," says Kalter. "It's really different." The other addition to the line is "Tape Worm". The slithery creature crawls around the screen eating vegetarian prizes while avoiding spiders and birds.
DATA AGE GIVES FREE RECORD
In a unique marketing move, Data Age will provide distributors and retailers with free records to pass out to customers on Sept. 17, 1982. On that date, 3½ minute stereo discs will be given away by dealers to promote the Data Age product line. Data Age has 5 videogames: "Sssnake", "Warplock", "Airlock", "Bugs", and "Encounter at L-5". Elements of each game are contained in the record produced by Craig Hundley, creator of special electronic music for films such as "Star Trek: The Movie", "The Black Hole", "Firefox", and others. The disc, called "Mindscape", is said to "blend the imagery and action of Data Age's first five videogames"
Telesys has found a new way to attract attention. This fall, the company is sending boxes of used tires to hundreds of game distributors. Each tire is attached to a note saying, "Enclosed is a 3000-pound gorilla's favorite toy which he has just noticed is missing." The tires, ranging from Toyota to truck-size, introduce "CocoNuts", a game for the Atari VCS which calls on the gamer to avoid thrown nuts with a little help from the gorilla.
Telesys heralded its own entry into the game industry by mailing large satin purple pickles to distributors. The pickles went with "Fast Food", its first VCS-compatible cartridge. Arcaders feed a gobbling mouth acres of burgers, popsickles, shakes, and, of course, pickles.
The third game in the Telesys line, which a company spokesman describes as "non-violent, with broad appeal" is "Cosmic Creeps". Earth is threatened by meanies, and the gamer must get to the space station and hold back the baddies while civilization escapes the doomed planet. All three games should be in the stores by the end of this month.
(Based on projected release dates by manufacturers. May change without notice.)
Beany Bopper (Fox)
China Syndrome (Spectravision)
Cosmic Avenger (Coleco) [unreleased]
Cross Fire (Spectravision) [renamed Cross Force]
Deadly Duck (Fox)
Fast Eddie (Fox)
Final Approach (Apollo)
Firefighter (Imagic) [August 1982 according to Activision]
Megamania (Activision) [October 1982 according to Activision]
Riddle Of The Sphinx (Imagic) [August or September 1982]
Star Raiders (Atari)
Tank Battle (M Network) [probably a working title for Armor Ambush]
Worm War I (Fox)
Note: Any program noted with an “x” indicates it has shipped prior to our going to print. May not be in national distribution yet, however.
. . . .
Arcadia Corp. [Starpath]
Arcadia Corp. is introducing the SUPERCHARGER, a hardware unit for use with Atari's 2600 VCS. It's described as a unit which increases memory capability from 128 bytes to 6272 bytes, which expands its ability for graphic resolution, playfield complexity and game options. The SUPERCHARGER is inserted into the Atari system like a cartridge and has a cable which plugs into a standard audio cassette recorder. Included with the SUPERCHARGER is one game cassette, PHASER PATROL (retail $69.95). Other game cassettes planned for initial release are FIREBALL, SUICIDE MISSION, and COMMUNIST MUTANTS FROM SPACE (all sugg. retail of $14.95). Planned for October are 2 other cassettes, LABYRINTH [Escape From the Mindmaster] and EXCALIBUR [Dragonstomper]. The SUPERCHARGER will be found at a major department stores and other chains such as Zodys through 1982 and will start distribution to specialty video stores in 1983. Plans call for release of 3 cassettes per quarter.
October release according to Atari Age order form and '82 In Review from V1n4.
October release according to Atari Age order form, '82 In Review from V1n4, The Video Game Update, and Video Games Player. SwordQuest EarthWorld was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
October release according to Activisions newsletter. September release according to catalog and The Video Game Update. Megamania was reviewed in the September 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter. Might need to be moved to September.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Mouse Trap was reviewed in the November 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Mines of Minos was reviewed in the January 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best guess. Room of Doom was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Frogs and Flies was reviewed in the November 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from Video Games Player and Billboard's 10/23/82 Video Games chart. Lock ’N’ Chase was reviewed in the October issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Dragonstomper was reviewed in the January 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Extreme Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Escape From the Mindmaster was reviewed in the December 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. CocoNuts was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Fast Food was reviewed in the October 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Commando Raid was reviewed in the November 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
“Love Me Tomorrow” by Chicago YouTube
“Nobody” by Sylvia YouTube
“Mickey” by Toni Basil YouTube
“Rock This Town” by Stray Cats YouTube
“Steppin' Out” by Joe Jackson YouTube
“Pressure” by Billy Joel YouTube
“Muscles” by Diana Ross YouTube
“I'm So Excited” by Pointer Sisters YouTube
My Favorite Year (October 1) YouTube
First Blood (October 22) YouTube
Halloween 3 (October 22) YouTube
Monsignor (October 22) IMDb
Remington Steele (October 1) YouTube
Voyagers (October 3) YouTube
Tucker's Witch (October 6) IMDb
Newhart (October 25) YouTube
St. Elsewhere (October 26) YouTube
ARCADIA VIDEO GAMES
Announced in April, the company plans to have four games and its Supercharger unit ready by August. What's unusual about all of this is that the games are recorded on cassette tapes ($14.95 each) and must be played back by first plugging the Supercharger ($69.95) into the VCS, then connecting it to a portable tape player. Not only are the cassettes cheaper, but the graphic resolution is of extremely high quality. Fireball, Suicide Mission, Communist Mutants from Space, Excalibur (not the film) [Dragonstomper], and Phaser Patrol are Arcadia's initial game titles. The last game comes complete with the Supercharger.
Ultravision enters the videogame software biz this month with two 32K VCS-compatible cartridges. "Karate" was designed by Joseph Amelio, a man who ought to know. Amelio has 25 years experience in martial arts, and holds a black belt. The expertise he has in that field is carried over into this unusual hand-to-hand combat. The referee starts the match, and two fighters courteously bow to each other. Players score points when their on-screen counterparts land kicks or punches to the opponent's head or stomach. Each match has five two-minute rounds. The on-screen fighters wear white robes and belts that go through color changes to indicate their achievements, from white to red, brown, purple, and finally to the coveted black belt. An unusual dimensional approach allows fighters to move around each other rather than being superimposed as they pass next to one another. "Karate" can be played solitaire or by two gamers.
The second release this month is "Condor Attack", a very fast invasion game described as being for the champs. October brings a strategy action game, "Quest For the Idol", and "Spider Kong", a climbing game. Ultravision expects to market eight games by Christmas, all with superior 32K graphics and arcade-quality sound effects.
"When you score, you score" is the slogan for the Mystique/Swedish Erotica games reaching the market in October. Some of the titles retailing for $49.95 are "Bachelor Party", "Beat 'Em & Eat 'Em" and "Custer's Revenge" (with a naked general running a desert obstacle course to ravage an Indian maiden). The relatively poor reproduction of body parts on TV screens is said to soften the sexual impact of the games, and the packaging has been subdued in order to make them more suitable for mass retailing. Backers of the venture expect X-rated games to be a huge category, just as live-action movies are a big part of the videocassette industry.
The Supercharger for the Atari VCS went on sale in 40 Broadway Department Stores in Southern California at the end of August, and the company describes early consumer reaction as "exceptional". The $70 Supercharger, which increases graphic resolution capabilities of the VCS, comes with one game, "Phaser Patrol". Three additional games, "Communist Mutants From Space", "Fireball", and "Suicide Mission" will be marketed this fall for $15 each.
"Consumers came in, took a look, then came back and bought, reports Ken Hall, a spokesman for Arcadia. The Supercharger next goes on sale in Northern California, then Chicago, New York City, and Detroit. It should be in 10 major markets before Christmas.
Meanwhile the company is still seeking a new name, since Arcadia was previously tagged by Emerson for the Arcadia 2001 videogame system. The new moniker should be chosen soon.
U.S. Games/Vid Tech.
The company was recently bought by Quaker Oats and, appropriately enough, its first cart challenges you to eat a bowl of cereal before it becomes soggy. (Just kidding.) Space Jockey has been out since January and six more games are expected by the year's end. So far we know that Word Zapper involves spelling in space; Sneak'n'Peak is video hide'n'seek for the pre-school crowd; and Towering Inferno features a burning building (bet you never would have guessed). Commander Raid and Missile Intercept are two of its other titles.
(Based on projected release dates by manufacturers. May change without notice.)
October [compiled from Oct 82 and Sep 82 availability updates]
Airlock (Data Age)
Bugs (Data Age)
Coco Nuts (Telesys)
Commando Raid (U.S. Games)
Encounter at L-5 (Data Age)
Enhanced Baseball (Atari) [RealSports Baseball]
Failsafe (Atari) [unreleased]
Fast Food (Telesys)
Frogs And Flies (M Network)
Minds Of Minos (Commavid) [Mines of Minos]
Mousetrap (Coleco) [Mouse Trap]
Sssnake (Data Age)
Towering Inferno (U.S. Games)
Warplock (Data Age)
Note: Any program noted with an “x” indicates it has shipped prior to our going to print. May not be in national distribution yet, however.
We inadvertently miscredited two cartridges in the September issue. TAPEWORM and CROSSFIRE (renamed CROSS FORCE) shipped in September are by SPECTRAVISION, NOT TIGERVISION. SPECTRAVISION also announces the late Sept. release of a new title, NEXAR (All cartridges are Atari-compatible). [They also miscredited China Syndrome.]
Raiders of the Lost Ark has been moved up to a November release to make way for the December release of E.T., another release coming out of the Steven Spielberg deal. The SUPERGAME (5200) is still scheduled for release about mid-October. Quantities will be extremely limited throughout the balance of 1982. The unit will retail for $249.00.
. . . .
The Campbell, Calif.-based company [Data Age] introduced its first five game cartridges Oct. 1.
This new company began distributing its Atari-compatible videogames in October. The first five releases were:
Sssnake, in which you must overcome pterodaetyls, trachodons, and other dinosaurs in order to reach an ancient fortress. There, deadly snakes try to invade your hiding place, snakes which you must cut down to size.
Encounter at L-5, not the game we suggested in last issue's You Read It Here First, but a battle between space colonists and invaders from the Megalon Solar System. (Never mind that Data Age places the human colony beyond the orbit of the moon, when L-5 is a point between the earth and the moon. It's easy to become disoriented in space.)
Bugs, a struggle between astronauts exploring subterranean hives on an alien world and the creeping monsters which dwell therein—including the defense-penetrating Super-Drones.
Warplock, more star wars, this time between your space Cruiser and intergalactic pirates.
Airlock, a clever variation of the multi-level game popularized by Donkey Kong, as the captain of a disabled submarine must retrieve keys to free the crew before the craft takes on too much water; all the while, the officer must dodge torpedoes which have come loose from their bays.
[Anything not for Atari VCS has been removed from their list. Also remember that their list is incorrect in places.]
Parker Brothers—The Empire Strikes Back and Frogger.
U.S. Games—Commando Raid.
Apollo—6 new games.
Tigervision—Jawbreaker and River Patrol [delayed].
U.S. Games—Maze Chase [Entombed], Squeeze Box, and an untitled game.
U.S. Games—Space Jockey [already released in January and March] and Guardians of Treasure [Name This Game].
Atari—Demons to Dragons, Volleyball [October], and Frog Pond.
Parker Brothers—Sky Skipper.
Apollo—six new games.
U.S. Games—Weird Bird [Eggomania] and Gopher Attack [Gopher].
November release according to my own experience, page 11 of V1N4, '82 In Review from V1n4, The Video Game Update, The Video Game Update, and Videogaming. Raiders of the Lost Ark was reviewed in the December 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Dark Cavern was reviewed in the November 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. International Soccer was reviewed in the November 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
“Whatcha Gonna Do” by Chilliwack YouTube
“It's Raining Again” by Supertramp YouTube
“Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye YouTube
“Maneater” by Hall & Oats YouTube
“Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley YouTube
“Rock The Casbah” by The Clash YouTube
“You Can't Hurry Love” by Phil Collins YouTube
“The Girl Is Mine” by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney YouTube
“Down Under” by Men At Work YouTube
“Africa” by Toto YouTube
ARCADIA HAS NEW NAME
Arcadia Corp., the company producing the Supercharger, has chosen its new name. The firm henceforth will be called Starpath Corp. The Supercharger is a cartridge expanding game-play capabilities of the Atari VCS by adding Random Access Memory. Starpath is also marketing a line of games utilizing the expanded qualities of the Supercharged VCS.
Additional venture capital and bank financing totaling $8 million will enable the firm to double its personnel over the next few months, and to gear up to be "a major competitor in the home video game business," says Alan Bayley, President of Starpath. The change of name resulted from confusion with Emerson's Arcadia 2001 videogame, and "because some people thought the name Arcadia suggested that we make games for arcades," according to Bayley. "We needed a name that will allow us to eventually go beyond our present business of making arcade-quality games for the home."
Turmell: My best game is Turmoil, which is coming out this month for the Atari VCS.
The first two Atari-compatible cartridges [from CBS] have been announced for release before Christmas. GORF and WIZARD OF WOR, both licensed from Bally/Midway, are two of the more popular arcade games to come to the home unit (retail expected in the$25-$30 range). GORF challenges you to confront the Gorfian Empire in a multi-mission space competition. Repel robot attacks, laser ships, and torpedo-firing fighters! WIZARD OF WOR dares you to descend into the labyrinthine dungeons of Wor to outshoot and vaporize monsters, beat the Wizard and emerge victorious. Worriors outwit the monster Worlings in constantly changing dungeon mazes. Special Radar Screen reveals invisible monsters.
(Based on projected release dates by manufacturers. May change without notice.)
November [compiled from Dec 82 and Sep 82 availability updates]
x - Alien (Fox)
x - Amidar (Parker Bros)
x - Carnival (Coleco)
x - Condor Attack (Ultravision)
Cosmic Creep (Telesys) [Cosmic Creeps]
Dark Cavern (M Network)
x - Enhanced Volleyball (Atari) [RealSports Volleyball was released in October.]
Frog Pond (Atari)
Intl Soccer (M Network)
x - Karate (Ultravision)
x - MegaForce (Fox)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari)
x - Sky Jinks (Activision)
Spider-Man (Parker Bros)
x - Turmoil (Fox)
Note: Any program noted with an “x” indicates it has shipped prior to our going to print. May not be in national distribution yet, however.
A fifth arcade-based game, Amidar, was shipped in November.
This November, Atari will be releasing a new home videogame based on the hit motion picture Raiders of the Lost Ark. . . .
December release according to my own experience, page 3 of V1N4, '82 In Review from V1n4, The Video Game Update, and STARLOG. E.T. was reviewed in the December 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
December release according to Atari Age order form, '82 In Review from V1n4, and The Video Game Update. RealSports Football was reviewed in the December 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
A kid at school let me borrow this game to play during the 1982 Christmas break. I was surprised because the game was new and he barely had time to play it before he let me take it home. By the way, this game kind of snuck in. It wasn't in the November/December issue of Atari Age magazine, then it popped up in the next issue like "Oh yeah, this game was also released. Hope you didn't miss it." Well, the November/December issue of Atari Age does slightly mention Vanguard in the Captain's Log: "Please don' t call the telephone number listed in Atari Age—that's just for orders. There's nobody there to tell you about games or service . . . or when Vanguard is coming out."
In the September/October 1983 issue of Atari Age magazine they said that Vanguard was released in January of 1983, so maybe some stores got it early and put it on the shelves before they were supposed to. I played it near the end of December 1982, so that's why it's listed under December instead of January of 1983.
Vanguard was reviewed in the January 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Vanguard was number 8 on VIDEO TAKE-OUT'S TOP 10 SELLERS list in the January 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update, The Video Game Update, Arcade Express, and Video Games Player. Wizard of Wor was reviewed in the December 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Super Extreme Best Guess. Jawbreaker was reviewed in the December 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Super Extreme Best Guess. Marauder was reviewed in the December 1982 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter.
Best Guess using info from The Video Game Update. Eggomania was reviewed in the February 1983 issue of The Video Game Update newsletter. [Might have been released in January of 1983.]
Best Guess using info from Videogaming.
“Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant YouTube
“Shock The Monkey” by Peter Gabriel YouTube
“Allentown” by Bily Joel YouTube
“Heart To Heart” by Kenny Loggins YouTube
Gandhi (December 8) YouTube
48 Hours (December 8) YouTube
Sophie's Choice (December 10) YouTube
The Toy (December 10) YouTube
Tootsie (December 17) YouTube
The Dark Crystal (December 17) YouTube
VID GAME FIRM APOLLO FILES CHAPTER XI
The Nov 12 Chapter XI bankruptcy filing by Richardson, Tex.-based Games By Apollo is being attributed to pressure for payment from the Company's advertising agency, Benton & Bowles.
The video game software manufacturer owes its agency $2.5 million, a figure representing only half of the year-old firm's total debts. The bankruptcy filing occurred one week after Benton & Bowles obtained a temporary restraining order prohibiting Apollo from disposing of its inventory in any way.
The agency wanted to sell the inventory itself, to pay the $2.5 million debt for ad services. But rather than appear in court to respond to the temporary restraining order, Apollo filed Chapter XI.
Apollo president Patrick Roper has said he expects the company to reorganize and return in smaller form.
THREE TITLES FROM ACTIVISION STRESS ADVENTURE & WHIMSY
Activision will ship three titles in the next quarter that should follow their established route of whimsy combined with action-adventure, a formula that has proved successful for that company in the past. "River Raid", the first game designed by Carol Shaw, requires the gamer to pilot an assault jet over a constantly changing river course, destroying gunships, helicopters, jets, bridges and oil depots. The course features 48 different river sections, sometimes clear and wide, and then so choked with islands that flight corridors shrink to a single wing span. "Spider Fighter" is another first game, this time from designer Larry Miller. A single player uses a bug blaster to dodge hostile arachnids before they steal his crop of fruit. Described as frenetic, a whorl of on-screen activity uses arcade-like features such as bonus points for surviving an insect wave with no loses, and a demonstration mode when the game ends. The third Activision release, "Sea Quest", was designed by veteran programmer Steve Cartwright, who also gave us "Barnstorming" and "MegaMania". The player controls a submarine to locate his team of scuba divers with their treasures. Then the arcader must rescue the divers from man-eating sharks and pirate subs, getting them to surface before the air supply runs out.
"River Raid" will be shipped in December, "Spider Fighter" in January, and "Sea Quest" will follow in February.
LATE BREAKING NEWS FLASH
Games By Apollo, the Texas-based firm making VCS-compatible cartridges, has filed for Chapter 11 (bankruptcy). This is the first major software company to hit the rocks.
PARKER BROTHERS RELEASING 16 NEW GAME CARTRIDGES
Parker Brothers, the General Mills toy and game manufacturer which successfully launched a video game line in June, plans the release of 16 new cartridges in 1983.
Keyed to movie, comic and arcade licenses, they will be supported with a major advertising program that will reportedly cost the company about $30 million.
In another 1983 direction, Parker will enter the computer software market, hoping to capture a market that is expected to double in size to about $500 million next year, with an anticipated 4.5 million personal computer homes. Parker will offer game cartridges compatible with such computer systems as Atari, Commodore, Texas Instruments and, possibly, IBM and Apple.
Following the introduction of four games since June—expected to generate about $75 million in sales by Christmas—Parker plans a January release of a second "Star Wars" cartridge, "Jedi Arena," followed by "Revenge Of The Jedi"—the next "Star Wars" film—in May and a fourth cartridge based on a similar theme in late summer.
Also due in January is "Super Cobra" and, during the year, such other arcade games as "Reactor," "Sky Skipper" and "Tutankham."
In March, the company will attempt to reach boys and girls ages four and eight with two entries, "Strawberry Shortcake" and "G.I. Joe."
Currently, all Parker cartridges are compatible with the similar Atari and Sears systems, but other systems, including Intellivision, are expected to also be able to play the firm's software.
Parker's introductory cartridges were "Frogger" and "The Empire Strikes Back," which the company says have had a combined sales in excess of three million units. A November release consisted of "Amidar" and "Spider-Man."
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Just when you thought it was safe to go into your local video store, briefed on what's coming from Atari and budgeted accordingly, your money is being tempted away by the first games of Spectravision. The cartridges will fit your Atari unit and, one hopes, your budget.
Currently on sale are:
*Gangster Alley, in which the player must gun-down criminals who appear randomly at windows in an abandoned warehouse—and at the same time be wary of Nitro Ed, who skulks about the roof of the building dropping grenades. As the game progresses, the player is forced to continue battling from daylight into night.
*Cross Fire, a space game in which the player must destroy the evil Morpuls which have been menacing the planet Tzoris (a Yiddish word meaning "troubles"). Not only must the player liberate the galaxy, but she or he must continually monitor energy and temperature gauges.
*Planet Patrol, a game which sends the player flying across alien terrain destroying enemy bases and dodging missiles. On occasion. the pilot must descend to refuel or rescue fallen allies. As in Gangster Alley, play carries from daylight to darkness.
*Tape Worm, a food hunt wherein Slinky the worm, Spanky the spider. and Beeky the bird all try to eat the player, who is moving about the screen trying to gobble down fruit.
*China Syndrome is the name of a disaster game set in Spectraville, where an earthquake has cracked the core of a nuclear power plant. Players must recover loose particles of radiation, doing so before there is a meltdown.
The New York based company expects to release new games early in 1983, although no plans have been formalized as yet.
Due this month [November] from Atari is the Raiders of the Lost Ark cartridge ($27.95), where the player takes on the persona of Indiana Jones. In order to get to the coveted Ark, Indy must, as in the movie, survive several rounds (13) of tough environments and situations.
Atari's E.T. ($39.95) is still slated for a December release. Again, following the film, E.T.'s spaceship lands on Earth where he is instantly pursued by the FBI and scientists. In order to radio back to his ship, E.T. must gather the pieces of his phoning device.
Comic/game fans will be happy to know that come November, Parker Brothers will be releasing a Spider-Man cartridge for owners of Atari's VCS and Sear's Video Arcade.
The object of the game is to move Spidey up a high-rise bulding where he must diffuse sizzling super bombs. By pushing the joystick forward, Spidey's web becomes activated and permits him to swing past the criminals appearing in the windows. Players must monitor the web fluid, which can only be replenished if he reaches containers on the building and towers or catches the criminals with web fluid. The ultimate nasty, the Green Goblin, is also out to do Spidey in. The cartridge will retail for between $25-$30.
In addition to Frogger, Empire Strikes Back and Amadar [Amidar], Parker will be releasing Reactor (this fall) [wrong], Super Cobra (January), Star Wars (January), Tutankam (April) and Sky Skipper (April).
(Based on projected release dates by manufacturers. May change without notice.)
December [compiled from Jan 83, Dec 82, and Sep 82 availability updates]
x - Alien (Fox)
Chips (Ultravision) [Unreleased]
x - Dragonfire (Imagic)
Enhanced Football (Atari) [RealSports Football]
x - Fantastic Voyage (Fox)
x - Gorf (CBS)
Quest For The Idol (Ultravision) [Unreleased]
x - River Raid (Activision)
Six Pack (Fox) [unreleased]
Spider Kong (Ultravision) [unreleased]
Wierd Bird (U.S. Games) [Weird Bird was renamed Eggomania]
x - Wizard of Wor (CBS)
In the arcades, Stern's Berzerk game has a large following. When Atari released their home VCS version of Berzerk back in August. the demand for the game almost cleared the shelves.
VENTURE VISION GOES TO SPACE
Venture Vision, a new outfit in Texas, is looking at the stars for inspiration for a new line of VCS-compatible games. The first release, "Rescue Terra I", designed by Dan Oliver (who programmed "Space Caverns" when he was with Games by Apollo) is in shipment for holiday shoppers. This multi-level-screen game features space pirates, asteroids, robot interceptors, and force fields.
VentureVision will introduce two new titles at CES, both described as space games. A new programmer, Robert Weatherby, is working on the CES releases with Dan Oliver. The company promises a line of high-quality action games.
Text below from Arcade Express (January 30, 1983)
IMAGIC'S VCS GAMES TAKE TO THE AIR
In one way or another, flight is featured in the four games for the Atari VCS to be released during the first half of '83. "Dragonfire", which is already on the market, pits a prince against a winged fire-breathing monster. "Escape From Argos" puts Jason on the back of the flying horse Pegasus as he battles the Furies. "Sky Patrol" puts the player in an observation balloon gliding over World War I enemy lines. And, there are bullets flying all over the place in "Shootin' Gallery", a kideo program designed for ages 5 to 9.
In December, Fox shipped its first movie games—Alien, Megaforce, and Fantastic Voyage. The latter is a direct translation of the 1966 science-fiction classic. In the game, you try to save a dying scientist by guiding a miniaturized submarine through his bloodstream. Combating white corpuscles and other natural catastrophes, you must safely and speedily maneuver yourself to a blood clot lodged near the brain and destroy it.
QUITE A VENTURE
Small videogame companies are taking it on the chin. Astrocade is virtually extinct and Apollo's rise from the ashes of bankruptcy does not seem to be holding.
Yet, in November, Robert Hesler of Grand Prairie, TX, started up a new videogame company called VentureVision. Hester owned an Atari 2600, and founded his company with a starry-eyed, "If they can do it, I can do it."
Using some of Apollo's ex-employees—a programmer and sales personnel—he put together his first release, Rescue Terra I and released it in December. The purpose of the game was to navigate meteor storms, destroy space pirates, battle robots and force fields, and reach the planet Terra I. The game sold well at a modest $19.95 . . .
Atari 2600 Game History: 1982
Information Compiled From the Following Sources
My family's calendars from 1982 and 1983. We wrote down almost everything back then.
The Billboard Book of Top 40 hits (5th Edition) by Joel Whitburn
The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (5th Edition) by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh
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