Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thursday Thirteen 196: Atari

Long before Nintendo, Game Boys and wii, there was Atari. My family had about 30 different games, some played more often than others. Here are a few that I remember.

1. Pong — Yes, I admit it. The first video game we ever owned was Pong.

2. Pac Man — I rolled this one a couple of times. It was the best-selling Atari video game ever.

3. Ms. Pac Man — Though I came close a few times, I never managed to roll this one. Turns out, there was a flaw in the software that prevented players from doing so.

4. River Raid — This was my all-time favorite. My friend Angie and I used to have intense battles with this one. The player controls an airplane in a top-down view over a river and gets points for shooting down enemy planes, helicopters, and ships. By flying over fuel-stations, the plane's tank can be refilled. The player can shift side to side and change the speed of the plane. Sections of the river are marked by bridges.

5. Space Invaders — Of course. Object: Shoot the aliens before they reach the bottom of the screen and take over the Earth.

6. Barnstorming — My mom bought this one for my dad, and though he wasn't much into electronic games, we actually did get him to play on occasion. The object: pilot a biplane through a series of barns in the shortest time possible while dodging windmills, weather vanes, and geese. Bumping into anything slows down the plane for a couple of seconds, increasing the overall time.

7. Steeplechase — Try to jump your horse over fences and other obstacles without crippling him. Not as easy as you think!

8. Combat (also known as Tank Plus) — This was a 1-4 person game. Sort of a "capture the flag" with tanks. Great for slumber parties!

9. Raiders of the Lost Ark — This one was impossible to play. We never got very far in it and eventually gave up on it.

10. Frogger — This is one my mom liked.

11. Asteroids — Another must-have arcade game. Object: shoot and destroy asteroids and saucers while not colliding with either, or being hit by the saucers' counter-fire.

12. Q*Bert — I almost forgot about this one, which was Baby Sister's favorite. It was a platform game that featured two-dimensional (2D) graphics. The object: change the color of every cube in a pyramid by making the on-screen character jump on top of the cube while avoiding obstacles and enemies.

13. Tennis — Odd that this is the only sports one I can remember (aside from Steeplechase). This is one Younger Sister played a lot.

Inspired by this post from Savannah.

(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)

Maddy Barone * Adelle Laudan * Journeywoman
Alice Audrey * Bratty * Shelley Munro
Xakara * Pamela * Sandra Collins * CountryDew
Kimberly Menozzi * KS Manning * Harriet
Skylar Kade * Janice Seagraves * Paige Tyler
Mama Zen * Jana * Debbie Mumford
Jennifer Leeland * Darla M Sands * Colleen


Journeywoman said...

I loved Atari. I ruled at Space Invaders and I loved Qbert

Happy Tt.

Bratty said...

I remember Pong! Loved it. Also loved Legend of Zelda, but that was a bit later. Haven't owned a video game player in a long, long time. Can't even remember the last time I played!

Alice Audrey said...

I played a lot of these, but not on Atari. They got turned into computer games.

Shelley Munro said...

Nope, none of these are familiar. They sound like fun though.

Xakara said...

I rolled pac man too! It reminds me how unfair it is when I judge the time my husband-like-person spends on WoW. *grin*

Happy TT,

13 Distractions

Pamela said...

I loved PacMan! Today's video games are way too complicated for me.

Sandra Collins said...

man I remember some of these - great Thursday Thirteen

Adelle Laudan said...

I'm not a big video game player. I did play some pac man when it first came out and vaguely remember Qbert. I like games like tetris, that's about the extent of my video game knowledge lol

Happy T13!

CountryDew said...

I had an Atari and played many of those games, too. Pong was also my first game. Great memories!

P.S. you can play some of these on the PC now at

Kimberly Menozzi said...

I was never much good at video games, but I remember some of these pretty well - my family actually had an Atari so we could play them! I felt so upscale at the time. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I loved my Atari. My brothers and I thought we were rocking it when my parents got us that one year for Christmas. Now it's like a dinosaur compared to the games on the DS, etc.

I wonder whatever happened to the console...hmmm.

I am Harriet said...

I've been know to enjoy a few of those myself :)

Enjoy your Thursday!

Maddy Barone said...

I never got into playing video games. But I remember Pac Man and centipede. Or was it millipede? I guess I don 't remember after all!

Paige Tyler said...

LOL! I totally remember those! My favorite was defnitely Joust!


My TT is at

Mama Zen said...

I was thinking about my old Pong game the other day while I was watching my daughter play Xbox Kinnect. Things sure have changed!

Heather said...

Journeywoman: Space Invaders, one of the original arcade games, will always be a favorite.

Bratty: I don't remember Legend of Zelda. The only game player I have now is my Nintendo DS. I tried my BIL's Nameco arcade games, but the controls just aren't the same and playing it made my hands cramp.

Alice: Can't say I've ever played any of these on the computer. The only computer games I have are Scrabble and Mahjong.

Heather said...

Shelley: Really? Not any of them? Wow! I thought everyone was at least familiar with Pac Man and Space Invaders. Huh...

Xakara: Into gaming, is he? While I used to be able to sit and play those games for hours, I cannot say the same today. Probably a good thing, LOL.

Pamela: I hear you! It seems like there's a lot more violence in many of the games, too (says the girl who was addicted to River Raid).

Jana said...

I never owned an Atari but my cousin did. He used to bring it to our house and let us beat him at Pacman. Gosh, I loved that thing. Mostly 'cause it was my cousin's and we were playing it together. Ah, memories. ;-)

Heather said...

Thanks, Sandra. really takes one back, huh?

Adelle: I'm not that into video games the way we were as kids. All I have now is a Nintendo DS, and I only have a handful of games, plus "100 Classic Books" to go with it.

Anita: I have tried playing a couple of the older games on PC, but an not as quick on the keyboard keys as I was the actual video controls. Takes a lot of time and practive, I guess. *g*

Kimberly: Yeah, I remember that feeling. It was the same way you felt when your family finally got thier first VCR or microwave, wasn't it? *g*

Heather said...

KS: Yes, it seems ancient and so outdated now, but all this modern technology had to come from somewhere, right? Younger Sister took the Atari and all the games with her when she moved a year after college, no idea whatever happened to them.

Harriet: Video games can be fun, no? Especially when the time is shared with friends and family.

Maddy: Centipede was another fun one!

Paige: Hmm...I don't think I ever heard of Joust. Sounds like it could be fun, though.

Mama Zen: Great minds think alike, huh? Xbox is another system I have never played.

Jana: Happy to remind you of good memories. *G*

Darla M Sands said...

What fun! Thanks for sharing.

Janice said...

My hubby use to have an old Atari game. And he had some of these too.

Debbie Mumford said...

Ahhh...Frogger! The memories...

Skylar Kade said...

So I never played these on Atari, but I loved Space Invaders on Gameboy. The old brick one :P

Jennifer Leeland said...

I used to go to my best friend's house and play atari. There was one where you tried to trap your opponent (or the computer) and you'd blow up if you ran into a wall. I forget what that one was called.
And pong. LOL!

Alice Audrey said...

Most of them I played on an Apple about 20 years ago. Some came in a PC game pack about 10 years ago.

Heather said...

Darla, Janice, Debbie: Glad to rekindle memories for so many of you. *WG*

Skylar: Ah, but it's just not the same on a Gameboy. lol

Jennifer: That sounds vaguely familiar, but can't say what game it was for sure. I think one of the best things was going to friend's houses to play games you didn't have. For slumber parties, it seemed like everyone would bring a favorite to share.

Alice: Ah, game packs. Have never had one of those. About the only game I play on the computer anymore is Spider. *g*

Tatiana Caldwell said...

Great post! I remember all of these except Barnstorming. This reminds me just how long I've been an avid video game fan.

Heather said...

Tatiana! Good to see you back among us! Barnstorming was actually pretty fun, though not very popular. I remember there being a lot of new games out around that time.