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8/3/2006: Atari 2600: Basketball, Keystone Kapers, Pele's Championship Soccer

Posted: August 7th, 2006, 9:59 am
by thrust261
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Basketball (Atari 1978) C-
6/21/1999
This primitive basketball game is best known for its hilarious graphics including a square ball and players with one stationary leg and one blinking leg. Despite the poor visuals however, the potential for fun does exist. Basketball is a one-on-one free-for-all where you race up and down the court trying to steal the ball before your opponent can get a shot off. There's something to be said for simplicity in video game sports. The frantic pace keeps things exciting, and even the computer opponent is a worthy challenge. Basketball was also featured in the movie "Airplane", which makes for interesting trivia.
One or two players


Keystone Kapers (Activision 1983) A-
8/14/1999
This Atari 2600 classic features brilliant graphics and addictive game play. I think everybody who remembers this one from back in the day has very fond memories of it. Controlling a keystone cop with a large helmet and billy club, you chase a crook through four department store levels. The faster you catch him, the more bonus points you score. The chase begins on the first floor, and you can use elevators and escalators (very cool) to move from floor to floor. Along the way you must avoid numerous obstacles including radios, shopping carts, toy airplanes, and bouncing beach balls. Your cop can run, jump, and duck. It sounds pretty standard, but not many games allowed you to duck in 1983! The graphics are colorful and detailed, and the crook even wears a striped outfit! I only have two complaints. First, there should have a stage select option. Second, the elevators are so narrow that it's difficult to line your man up in time to squeeze into one. But overall Keystone Kapers is a game everyone seems to love.


Pele's Championship Soccer (Atari 1980) D
8/14/1999
I don't like Pele's Championship Soccer too much, mainly because it's so hard on your wrist. You control three players who move in unison on a vertical, scrolling field. The action is long and laborious. It's tough to maintain possession of the ball because it's constantly getting stolen. The goalie is controlled by the computer, who does a decent job of blocking most kicks. There are 54 variations, but none let you set the time. I can't say that I enjoy playing this.
1 or 2 players