All Your Protos Are Belong To Us!


A true arcade classic, Venture was a smash hit when it was released for the 2600 by Coleco.  Today we have an early demo that shows how the game was shaping up in its earliest stages.  While there may not be much gameplay implemented, the demo shows some interesting differences.


Demolition Herby may not be one of the better known 2600 titles (I'm sensing a theme here...), but it's actually quite a bit fun.  At it's heart Demolition Herby is an Amidar clone, but it improves on the formula with a few interesting twists of its own.  Be sure to check out the new Demolition Herby page and give it a spin on your own 2600.  You'll be pleasantly surprised.


One of the more uncommon games for the 2600, Entombed is a simple vertically scrolling maze game that gained some notoriety over the past few years due to its unusual maze generating algorithm.   Programmer Paul Allen Newell has graciously made three of his early maze generation demos public.  These early demos served as the basis for what eventually became Entombed (which was finished by a different programmer).  Paul also provided a late WIP version of Entombed itself when it was still called Zombie.  Check them out why don't cha?


Programmed by Todd Marshall of Wickstead Design, 3-D Zapper was to be a 3-D shooter that utilized those Red/Blue glasses that everyone has a pair of somewhere in their closet.  Unfortunately the idea never got past the demo stage, but that demo can now be played thanks to generosity of Todd Marshall who still had the rom in his possession. So head over to the 3-D Zapper page and check out this interesting tech demo.


It's update time!  Thanks to the generous patience (and amazing memory) of programmer Warren Robinett, AtariProtos has been able to update the Elf Adventure page with new and more accurate information about the development of this mysterious game.  Was it really meant to be a direct sequel to Adventure?  Does a fire breathing dragon lurk within the game?  Was the game ever completed?  You'll have to read the updated review to find out!


And now for something completely different (well sort of different anyway).   Shootin' Gallery was a semi-clone of Carnival by Imagic but it was never released in PAL format (not officially anyway).  However recently a PAL prototype of the game has surfaced and appears to be complete.  Was the 40 year wait worth it for PAL 2600 owners?  You'll have to read the review to find out...

Spitfire and Xari Arena Updates

Thanks to the generous efforts of John Hardie, AtariProtos is happy to announce three new prototype reviews.  First is an interesting mid-level prototype for the 3-D 5200 game Spitfire.  This new prototype falls in-between the two previously known versions and provides an interesting look at how the game was slowly coming together.  Secondly we have two different prototypes for Xari Arena.  These two prototypes are dated within the same week as the most well known version of the game but have some interesting differences.  John also provided two new RealSports Baseball prototypes which will be reviewed soon.


Today we have not one but two completely new prototypes to put you in informational overload.  First up is Intuition, an obscure 'brain training' game from Tigervision that was recently found an a used book shop.  Second we have Tumbleweeds, a unique demo made for Atari's unreleased Puffer exercise bike peripheral.  Check them out, won't you?


Ok wrong series, but the name is still quite relevant.  As many of you know, the 7800 version of Impossible Mission is best known for, well, being impossible!  Due to a bug the released version of the game is indeed impossible to beat, but did you know that a fixed version was made but not released?  Check out the new Impossible Mission page for more details.


Monkey Music is the original unreleased version of what eventually became the equally unreleased Grovers Music Maker.  While the prototype has been known to exist for many years, the rom for Monkey Music has not been made public.  This has finally been rectified due to the generous efforts of John Hardie who was able to locate the rom in his personal collection and has released it for all the enjoy.  Be sure to check out all the new info on the Monkey Music page as well as a completely overhauled Grovers Music Maker page.


One of the more interesting discoveries from the Atari CED In-House 2nd Quarter 1983 promo documentary was the presence of a completely new and unknown Atari 5200 game.  AtariProtos has been able to gather some information about this game and how it would have played.  Unfortunately the name of the game is still a mystery, but it's possible that it never was assigned an actual name.  Be sure to read all about this fascinating 'new' discovery.

WIP Madness!

Several years back a video surfaced of the Atari CED In-House 2nd Quarter 1983 promo documentary.  This video shows off games being worked on at the time for the Atari 2600 and 5200, many of which are in various states of development.  I've decided to make new pages showing off these WIP versions, even though actual prototypes have yet to be found. 

Atari 2600
Krull, Bugs Bunny, Xevious

Atari 5200
Pengo, Tempest, Xari Arena, Sport Goofy, Road Runner

A Plethora of Updates

Thanks to the efforts of gaming historian Frank Cifaldi, was gifted a large number of Atari 2600, 5200, 8-Bit, and 7800 prototypes to review.  These prototypes came from the collection of a reviewer and seem all be from the years 1983-84.  While most of these prototypes were the final versions (not surprising given that they were review copies), there were a several with some differences. 

One of the most interesting things about this collection was the presence of several early Atari 7800 prototypes.  As most people are aware, Atari 7800 prototypes are very uncommon, so it's a rare treat to come across so many at one time (and for early titles too).  This update also includes a new earlier version of Astrochase and some new information on the MindLink game Bionic Breakthrough thanks to the efforts of Thomas Jentzsch.

Check out the following new* pages and expect more Atari 7800 reviews to come soon.

Atari 2600
Pitfall II, Millipede, Solaris

Atari 5200
Zaxxon, The Dreadnaught Factor, Beamrider, River Raid, Keystone Kapers, Megamania, Kaboom, Q*Bert, Ms. Pac-Man, Joust, Super Cobra, Mr. Do's Castle, Gyruss, Frogger II, RealSports Baseball, Moon Patrol, Dig Dug, Berzerk, Xevious

Atari 8-Bit
The Dreadnaught Factor, H.E.R.O, Zenji, Pitfall II, Frogger II, Joust

Atari 7800
Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, Robotron: 2084, RealSports Baseball

* The amount of 'new' may vary.  Please consult your doctor before reading.  Side effects may include disappointment, confusion, and an overwhelming desire to fire up that old Atari again.

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