Sunday, February 6, 2011

Game of the Week: Frogger for Atari 2600

Frogger (Atari 2600)Back during the gold age of video games, mainly the early 1980s, one fantasy of all fans was to have the home version of a video game be as close as possible to the arcade version of the game. This rarely happened, though some games were better than others.

Also, the Atari 2600, the best seller of all the home video games systems back then, didn't offer the strongest graphics in the world. This made it even more difficult for fans to get a home version of a game that was equal to the arcade version.

There are even legends of horror about games for the Atari 2600 that were so little like their arcade cousins. The most famous culprit in this mess was the Atari version of Pac-Man, which many fans hated because it was nothing like the arcade Pac-Man.

But every once in a while there was an Atari 2600 version of a game that was quite like the arcade version. Such a game was Frogger, the cartridge released by Parker Brothers for the Atari 2600.

Frogger for the 2600 had pretty good graphics, though admittedly those graphics were not as strong as the original arcade graphics. But the sounds for the Atari version were quite impressive, and on par with the arcade Frogger.

Most importantly, the gameplay for the Atari version of Frogger was downright dead-on that of the arcade game. And that arcade experience was what many gamers wanted at home back in the day.

Was the Atari home version of Frogger perfect? No, but then few Atari 2600 games ever were, mainly because of generally sub-par graphics. But one has to keep in mind the technology level of the time, and the Atari had a lot going for it in terms of the number of games available for it and often in gameplay.

All these years later, Frogger for the Atari 2600 still stands up well, and it is a common game owned by collectors and fans of the gaming system and the game itself.

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