I’d have to say that my boyfriend and I have been pretty lucky when meeting up with people from online classifieds ads. Sure, we’ve run into the occasional smooth-talking reseller, but we’ve always had our wits about us. I’ve mentioned this before, but buying games as often as we do, we frequently run into the same people again and again. Sometimes this can be pretty awkward if we’ve had a mediocre or negative experience with someone, but oftentimes we meet some interesting people. Conveniently, one of these kind folks sold us some great Atari 2600 and Colecovision games a few weeks ago. He was getting rid of them because he didn’t have any nostalgia for that generation of gaming and showed us his game room that was packed full of GameCube and Playstation games. I’d peg him at about 22-25 years old.
There were 86 games in total here, and fortunately not too many were doubles of ones we already had. After a thorough cleaning and de-gunking of everything, we tested all of the cartridges in our faithful composite-modded Atari 2600 light sixer. Now, I normally don’t meet up with many cartridges that don’t work, but there was a small pile that built up during testing that we cleaned and cleaned and still didn’t work by the end of it all. Oink! and Jungle Hunt were two of these games, and the third one was the Smurf game. Smurf looked as if it had been opened up before (the screws were exposed from under the label), and when we looked inside of it, its PCB was snapped into pieces and part of it was missing! I was pretty sad about that even though the game is supposed to be terrible. One fun moment I had was testing out Journey Escape. An 8-bit rendition of Don’t Stop Believing by Journey started to bleep-bloop out of my stereo, which then lead to me shattering all the glassware in my house while belting out the tune. What an unexpected surprise!
This person that originally owned these games also seemed to have an incredible love for the game Venture. There were three separate copies of the game: The Atari 2600 cartridge, the Coleco cartridge made for the Atari 2600, and a straight up Coleco-only cartridge. Venture looks like a pretty cool game based on what little I’ve seen of it. I’m interested to see the differences between the various releases!
There was another person selling Atari games on the classifieds, and I was particularly intrigued by his ad because he had some rare ones in there! The three rare ones were by Spectravideo, and they run at an 8 or 9 rarity rating on the Atari Age website. The games are Master Builder, Bumper Bash, and Gas Hog. All three looked to be in great condition and fired up on the first try. As far as Atari games go these ones were a bit pricey, but I’m happy I got them!
There were other games to be had as well, and only two of them were doubles: Centipede and Mario Bros. My other Mario Bros. cartridge is a bit of a dud. It goes into my Atari and never, ever wants to come out again. There’s something wrong with its insertion mechanism, so this new one is a nice upgrade. Flash Gordon and Mr. Do! were also two games I was hoping to run into sooner than later, and here they are! Mr. Do! has some especially good music and gameplay that I’ve always wanted to try out. It reminds me of a weird Dig Dug, and Dig Dug is pretty amazing!
Another wonderful game in this bunch was Star Wars: The Arcade Game. I already had at least two copies of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by this point, but I had always wanted to find the other. Both games have the iconic Star Wars theme song at startup, but The Arcade Game’s ditty is a little more detailed. I kept resetting the game to listen to it while testing its functionality, much to the chagrin of my partner who was cooking supper in the next room. It’s amazing what they could smash into a little cartridge back in the 80s.
Lastly, there were some boxed games that the guy threw in for an extra $10 at the door, which I was happy to pay for. I had often seen these M Network games boxless with no label art and wondered if their boxes and manuals were any more appealing than the weird, ugly cartridges. I was quite pleased to see that that is the case! Both Armor Ambush and Lock N’ Chase came with manuals and other inserts, but Air-Sea Battle came only with the cartridge. Many of my Atari games are loose, so it’s definitely nice to get some more boxes for my shelf!
Because I didn’t grow up with Atari like many other people around my age, I’m always learning about new games that I might like to try out sometime. Hopefully my search for these kinds of games continues to be fruitful! In the meantime, I have lots to play!
Thank you very much for reading!