Monday, April 14, 2008

Atari 2600 MEGA Sound Quiz

Here's a doozy of a sound quiz for you. I have collected thirty sound samples of games made for the Atari 2600 video game console.

Your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to identify the games by the sounds and clues I have given you.

Sound 01
The standard to judge all other Atari 2600 games by. And it even has an easter egg! The winning game sound at the end of the clip is probably my favorite sound effect from the 2600.

Sound 02
A fun game where you can fly around and grab bad guys who are stuck having to get around via the subway. My brother and I used to compete with each other to see who could finish the game the fastest. I think I got mine under a minute, but I can't remember for sure.

Sound 03
I like the spooky sound effects and the music bits on this game a lot. It's probably the most nerve-wracking game I have played on the 2600.

Sound 04
I would say that very few 2600 console-owners went out and purchased this game, but paradoxically, most of them played this.

Sound 05
Probably no one will get this one. I can't remember where we got this game. Maybe we got it used -- I don't remember buying it in a store. It wasn't made by Atari or the other relatively big game-producers (Activision, Imagic). It's got pretty crude graphics and sounds, but it's still fun to play.

Sound 06
This is a lesser-known title, I think. It's a great game, with nice sound effects, and awesome, awesome music.

Sound 07
This game is a descendant of Space Invaders. It's much more fun, too.

Sound 08
When Atari 2600 gamers brought this game home, they tasted the bitter disappointment of a poor translation of a popular arcade game to the home console. You can occasionally hear the sounds of this game in TV shows and movies, where it's used for sound effects when someone plays a videogame. In fact, I just heard it in a TV show a couple months ago. I don't know what's so special about the sounds that it gets reused years after the game came out.

Sound 09
A great driving game, and the sound played when you finish a level (at the end of this sound clip) always gives me a jolt of happiness.

Sound 10
Atari tried doing a big fancy contest, and planned a series of games around a fantasy concept. This was the first game in the series (which was later abruptly ended after the second title tanked). This is an awful, awful game, and I'm sorry for purchasing and playing it.

Sound 11
Let's go from a reviled game to a revered one. I would hope that many people would recognize this game, as it has some very recognizable, pleasant sound effects. There was a twenty minute time limit on this game -- I always wondered whether it was possible to win this. I played a sequel of this game on the Commodore 64 which did have a definite ending, and was very fun to play.

Sound 12
A nice flying-and-shooting game, a little similar to the arcade game Defender.

Sound 13
Another interesting variation on Space Invaders -- at one point you shoot red bowties! This game has some of my favorite sound effects heard on the Atari 2600.

Sound 14
A relatively obscure game. More swords 'n sorcery. It's sort of fun, but don't cancel any vacation plans to play it.

Sound 15
One of the classics. Addictive, exhilarating and entertaining.

Sound 16
I believe this was designed by the same guy who did Game #15. This is a pretty reviled cartridge among most gamers. If you can stop falling in those damn holes, it really isn't that bad.

Sound 17
This was a nice translation of an arcade game to the home console. It's a flying game where you can shoot up, down, left and right from your ship.

Sound 18
Another well-done arcade game translation. The death sound effect (near the end of the sound clip) is really jarring, just as it is in the arcade.

Sound 19
It took me this long to get to a sports game? Yeah, I guess so. Hopefully the sound effects should give a clue as to what sport it is.

Sound 20
Yet another arcade to console translation. Apparently Atari learned from their mistakes made on Game #8 (this game is a sequel to it), as this was done much better.

Sound 21
I regretted getting this arcade game translation. It sucked, and it sucked even more to see a really well-done translation of this game on the ColecoVision.

Sound 22
I'm not sure how many people played this. It was loosely based on a 1960's science fiction movie. This was one of the most enjoyable games I played on the 2600. It was really great.

Sound 23
I only recently played this on an Atari 2600 emulator. Of course, I had to include it, as it was a designed by a friend of this blog. I played it without first reading the instructions, but I still did reasonably well before dying.

Sound 24
Another obscure game, possibly. The character you move around is a mouth. That's it -- a mouth.

Sound 25
I remember seeing the ads for this on TV when I was a kid. Oh, I wanted this game *so bad*! But I never ended up getting it. It's kind of like Crazy Climber, with a superhero twist.

Sound 26
This is sort of a Missile Command ripoff, but an enjoyable game nonetheless. It had some great sound effects, too.

Sound 27
No music, no cutesy bleeps -- just wall-to-wall punching.

Sound 28
A great, hyper game where you could play with up to four players. Probably the only game using paddles (as opposed to joysticks) that I enjoyed playing.

Sound 29
A nice spaceship game with some decent graphics and sound effects. One nice twist was that when you got shot out of the sky you could still destroy your enemy by piloting yourself into them.

Sound 30
An arcade to home console translation, done relatively well. Still, nothing can hold a candle to the sweet, sweet original arcade game.


Answers posted!


p0nk said...

we had one of early ones of these a year or two before i left home for college. Only game I really remember was Space Invaders. Pitfall was a fun one that my brothers got later on.

SamuraiFrog said...

Oh, Atari 2600, it's been a long, long time. So long that I almost don't want to guess, just because I'm going to feel embarrassed if I'm wrong. But what the hey.

4. Combat
7. Galaga?
8. Pac Man
9. Pole Position?
10. Q*Bert
15. Asteroids
16. E.T. (I hated that game, and I also hated the Raiders of the Lost Ark game)
17. The music sounds like the Queen music from Flash Gordon. Was there a Flash Gordon game?
20. Ms. Pac Man
21. Frogger

Matthew Hubbard said...

I will recuse myself. Samurai, my former brother-in-law designed both the E.T. and Raiders games, and I agree with your assessment.

Becca said...

Okay I'm half way through listening but I'll start guessing now...

1. Centepede or Galaga?
3. Haunted House
11. Frogger
17. Buck Rogers
18. Hmmm Centepede? (did you ever notice how many Atari games sound the same?)
19. Bowling

Okay now I will go back to listening and perhaps guess more! What a fun quiz!

Splotchy said...

p0nk, one of the games you mention is in the quiz!

sf, nicely done on #4, #8, #16 and #20! I don't think there was a Flash Gordon game, but now that you mention it, I do hear the similarity. I really like some aspects of the E.T. game, but constantly falling down holes really made it frustrating. I think I might I have played Raiders at some point, but can't remember what the gameplay was like.

matty boy, but he designed Yar's Revenge, too, didn't he? One of the best games ever for the 2600.

becca, nicely done on #3 and #19!

Frogger is somewhere in the quiz, but not the ones that were guessed. There is a reasonably close approximation of its theme song in the sound sample.

Becca said...

22. War of the Worlds
27. Boxing
28. Circus
29. Dogfight

SamuraiFrog said...

Damn, I'm disappointed in myself. Is number 1 Space Invaders and number 30 Frogger? All of these sounds just jumble together in my head.

I can see number 12 in my head, too, down to every detail, and I can't remember the name of it for the life of me.

Splotchy said...

Becca, right on #27. A clue for #22 -- Raquel Welch.

sf, right on for #30. #1 isn't a space game. If you can tell me what kind of airborne ship you pilot in #12, I'll give it to you.

Splotchy said...

sf, oh one more thing. My clue might have been misleading for #15. It wasn't an arcade classic -- in fact, the game was only available for the 2600. I was just saying it was such a great game that it was a classic. I apologize for any confusion!

SamuraiFrog said...

No, you were clear, you just say classic Atari 2600 game and my first thought it Asteroids. I was completely addicted to Asteroids.

Is 22 Fantastic Voyage? Was there a Fantastic Voyage 2600 game?

I want to say number 12 is whatever that game was where you played as an F-14 or something and shot down UFOs...

Splotchy said...

sf, I think the 2600 had a pretty good translation of Asteroids, but I didn't include it in this quiz.

Hell yeah #22 is Fantastic Voyage. Hell yeah it was an awesome game, too. The beeping that you hear that eventually turns into a solid tone at the end of the sound clip is the patient's heartbeat. Wicked cool, eh?

Are you thinking of Time Pilot for #12? It's not Time Pilot. In this game, you fly a helicopter. The game was made by Activision.

SamuraiFrog said...

Oh, is it Chopper Command?

It wasn't Time Pilot I was thinking of; it was Space Adventure. So, obviously, it wasn't an F-14. I'm so old...

Splotchy said...

Man, I've never even heard of Space Adventure. Hmmm.... Adventure... Now that's a game I have played. Why I might have even included it on a recent quiz...

Yep, #12 is Chopper Command.

I'll probably get around to posting the answers to this quiz tonight.

Tom the Dog said...

I'm pretty sure #1 is Adventure.

Tom the Dog said...

11. is Pitfall (I knew before I even listened to the soundsbecause of the 20 minute time limit clue).

2, 3, and 10 sound so darn familiar! I'm still working on the rest, just want to post answers as they come to me.

Tom the Dog said...

13. is Megamania.

Tom the Dog said...

21. is Donkey Kong, and you're right, what a sucky translation.

Tom the Dog said...

Is 27. Spider-Man? And I think 28. is Kaboom.

Splotchy said...

Tom the Dog,

#1 - thank you, yes!
#11 - Yes!
#13 - Yes!
#21 - Yes!
#27 is Boxing, like Becca said, but Spider-Man is represented in the quiz.

Kaboom was a great game (that I unfortunately didn't own as a wee lad), but it's not on this quiz. The key to #28 is that you could have four players play at once. There weren't a lot of 2600 games that I remember where you could do that.

Tom the Dog said...

Whoops, I meant 25. for Spider-Man. Hope it's correct!

Tom the Dog said...

15. is Yar's Revenge. I think. They're coming to me slowly, but I'm getting them!

Man, I'm jonesing to play these games now! I actually still have my original 2600 console packed away, maybe I should go get it out.

Tom the Dog said...

Isn't 17 Defender?

From your clue, 28 must be Warlords, a game I never actually played.

And 2 is Superman, isn't it? I knew I knew those sounds!!! (If it isn't... whoops.)

Tom the Dog said...

I knew I'd get 10 -- it's Swordquest! I think I had the first two games, and I'm not 100% sure which one this is, but I'd bet it's Earthworld. If not -- Fireworld!

Splotchy said...


#2 - Yes!
#10 - Yes!
#15 - Yes!
#25 - Yes!
#28 - Yes!

#17 isn't Defender. In this game you didn't just shoot left and right, you could also shoot up and down.

Mickey Kawick said...

#5 Joust

Unknown said...

Ahhh, #11 was the one I was looking for...Pitfall, the best game ever. I remember the cramps in my hands...

Terrancio said...

#4 Don't remember the title, but it was about Tanks, very ugly!

Terrancio said...

#4 i don't remember the name, but it was with Tanks, very ugly... had it and didn't like it!