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‘Tis The Season To Play Gremlins!

The Professor

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Our friends at The Retroist have posted an article on Atari's Gremlins in celebration of Atari Day!


While another December 25th has come and gone and some of you will be packing up the Family to brave the department stores for exchanges and ways to use those gift cards you collected this Holiday…it also means today is the 26th which is of course a chance to celebrate all things Atari!What better way to do that than taking a look at a game that is just perfect for this Holiday Season? Atari’s Gremlins!


Check out the full article here: http://www.retroist.com/2015/12/26/happy-atari-day-tis-the-season-to-play-gremlins/








[Via] The Retroist

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That's a really good point Rick! ET Phone Home for the Atari 8-Bit Computers is often overlooked. It was a good adventure game that was well-themed and showed that the ET franchise had potential at Atari if treated properly.


When the $25 million dollar license fee was paid for ET, the thought was that ET would be used for more than just the 2600. They did a nice job with ET Phone Home on the Atari 8-Bit Computer line, but it likely suffered due to the negativity surrounding ET on the 2600. Likewise, an ET arcade game was planned by Atari and later canceled.


ET Phone Home on the 800 also highlights just how much of 2600 ET's failure stemmed from Atari's most lethal problem in my view: failure to introduce a worthy successor to the 2600 much earlier than they did.


ET, and Raiders of the Lost Ark before it, were essentially Zelda-like adventure games. They told an adventure story, and they were trying to do Zelda-like things with picking up on-screen items, carrying them around with you, and calling them up when needed. In Zelda on NES, this was done using the Select button to call up different items in Link's bag which were represented by easily understood icons and text. The 2600, with its one fire button, rudimentary graphics and text, made this type of gameplay far less intuitive.


Had Atari introduced a more current video game system that was easy to play, affordable, and moved their user base to this new platform earlier on instead of clinging to the 2600 into 1983 and beyond, a litany of problems could have well been avoided.

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Excellent points.  And from what I've read, that's exactly what Nolan Bushnell wanted to do (replace the 2600).  And he was shown the door in response.  It's really quite interesting how bad decisions are made, but they don't manifest themselves fully until much later.  Momentum carried Atari a long way; but without innovation, they died. 

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