In keeping with the nostalgia tone set by yesterday’s TRS-80 Model 100 post, I thought I would point out a NEW Atari 2600 game based on one of the most popular game franchises currently out. Halo 2600 was released this month for the Atari 2600 during the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. The game, developed by Ed Fries, formerly of Microsoft’s XBOX team, captures the very essence of what made gaming on the 2600 (aka Atari VCS) so much fun.
The game, which took Fries about six months to complete, was begun as an exercise in learning to program for such an antiquated and limited system.
In the game, you are the Master Chief and you must search 64 ‘rooms’ and gather up items (like your gun) and also shoot the baddies. The 64 ‘rooms’ are divided into 4 areas. Due to a bug, there is also a ‘hidden’ area outside the 64 rooms. Mr. Fries left the bug in the game as a kind of reward for anyone who completes the game.
According to Mr. Fries, both Bungie and Microsoft were ‘kept in the loop’ and offered up no objections to the project.
The game gets progressively difficult as you go through the various rooms and areas. Of course, being a 2600 game, you should not expect Master Chief to look like, well, Master Chief. You know it is him, but the graphical power of the 2600 comes no where close to even the 1989 edition of the Gameboy, let alone an XBOX. Don’t let that fool you, though. The game is quaint and addictive. The sound is decent and the price…well, for emulators, it is free. If you want a cartridge, you will either have to burn your own or get on AtariAge’s waiting list.
The Stella emulator, for Windows, Mac and Linux can be found here.