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October 2021 Retro Gaming Article


November 16, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari is launching 3 games on cartridges for the original Atari 2600

Atari XP
Nice to see Atari going back to a core competency and include Yars Return. You also get digital copies for your new VCS.
Out of nowhere I got an email from Atari talking about XP games on cartridges as if I'm supposed to know what that's all about. They definitely caught my attention. Never heard of 'em. What's XP and since when does their new VCS console have a cartridge slot. Well, that's what you get for naming your new console the same as your 50-year-old console. These new carts are for the old one (cool!) and come with digital versions for your new VCS. You can find out more at atarixp.com.

Atari XP Yars Return It's been about a year since the release of the new VCS, so they've released three rare games on cartridges for the old VCS. I'm down with that, but the whole thing seems a bit odd. No warning. "Hey, here are some cool carts for your old game console!"

Fortunately, I still have the 2600 VCS that my parents bought me when I was 12... along with the others I've picked up along the way. So, three new (old, actually) games on cartridges. Awesome!

They are offering:
Yar's Return - The sequel to the popular 1982 title Yars' Revenge, the best selling original game for the Atari 2600, released on cartridge for the first time ever.
Saboteur - a creative, multi-level shooter developed by Howard Scott Warshaw in 1983 but never released. Buy the official version now, available for the first time from Atari.
Aquaventure - Made in a period dominated by space games, this colorful and challenging undersea game was a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately the game was never released on cartridge, until now!

Atari's email referred to these three games as "the first series of collectible Atari 2600 cartridges." This seems to indicate there may be more in the future. Is Atari testing the waters or just flinging another idea at the wall. I'm guessing GameStop won't be stocking this new series.

Since these are rare games, this whole venture seems to target collectors who grew up with the original 2600. They may also be the major demographic of the new VCS sales. I don't know much about these games, but I believe Yars' Return is a sequel created by Curt Vendel when he was working on the Flashback 2. If this is "that" game, then I have no doubt it's awesome. I'm excited to buy it and see what this whole Atari XP thing is about!

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