Classifieds: It’s Raining Atari

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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

-GG

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10 Responses to Classifieds: It’s Raining Atari

  1. benez256 says:

    Wiiiiiiiiii I was waiting so bad this post! I’ve already gave my like even before reading it 😁

    And now I’m gonna read it…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hundstrasse says:

    It’s posts like this that make me want to start collecting. Must be so much fun digging through a fresh find, cleaning them up and uncovering hidden gems! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  3. thedeviot says:

    A LOT of great stuff here. The Atari 2600 is a great system to collect for. You can get a lot of great games cheaply, and even a lot of the rares (Not counting stuff like Air Raid, or Red Sea Crossing) are affordable. Of course H.E.R.O., Beamrider, and River Raid II, have still evaded me. There are also a TON of great homebrew games out there, many of which can be purchased from Atariage. One of these days, I need to invest in Zippy The Porcupine. Sonic on the VCS. And it’s good.

    Out of your haul, I’m sad to hear Smurf is busted. That’s a game a lot of people give crap to, but it’s actually pretty good. The 2600 version is quite ambitious considering the video hardware, and lack of memory available. The same game was on Colecovision, which was obviously the superior version. Still, they made it work on the VCS, and it’s pretty responsive. Cool game.

    You also nabbed a few uncommons in these lots. Mr. Do! is a game you don’t see every day, the Spectravision games are also fairly uncommon in the wild. Star Wars Arcade is also less visible, and costs more than the usual $1-$5 you’ll find commons for. I don’t recommend being a completionist, but keep in mind the Red label versions of games are a little bit rarer than the text, box art, or silver label versions. Especially the first-party red label versions of games that were once third-party games. Red label Venture is exactly the same game as the Coleco Venture, but the Red label Atari version goes for an extra couple of quarters. One of the rarest Red label games is BMX Airmaster. Not a lot of 2600 games are expensive. But this is one of the 2600’s Little Samsons. Again, I wouldn’t go trying to get say, Coleco published Donkey Kong, AND Red Label Atari published Donkey Kong, unless you’re a completionist (Gotta have them variants for a truly complete collection!), but if you’re in a retro store, see both, and know you don’t have Donkey Kong? Well then go spend the extra dollar on the Red label one.

    Anyway, great haul here! Hopefully you’ll be able to stream some of them at some point. Berzerk is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s simple, yet so far ahead of its time when considering it inspired Castle Wolfenstein, and did procedurally generated levels 30 years before that became a popular thing for games to do. Plus it’s got electrocution death walls, lasers, and Evil Otto. What’s not to like?

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      I always look forward to your responses on these posts because they’re so informative! I never knew that red label variants were a little harder to find, so that’s now inside my noggin rolling around with everything else. I’m glad you mentioned BMX Airmaster, because that’s likely a game I’d look right over if I ever did see it in person. These little tips will help me out at some point when I’m staring down a giant box of Atari games!

      I am definitely hoping to do some streaming of these games sooner or later. Maybe over my Christmas vacation this year! I’ll have some time to fiddle with settings and get some nice looking video going. My boyfriend was testing his Neo Geo the other day for streams, so I might be able to do some of that as well. Fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Red Metal says:

    In hindsight, it’s weird seeing a non-bootlegged cartridge of a Nintendo game that isn’t on a Nintendo console.

    Liked by 1 person

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