Chopper Command

Developer(s) Activision
Publisher(s) Activision
Designer(s) Bob Whitehead
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release June 1982
Genre(s) Scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single player

Chopper Command is a video game by Activision released for the in June 1982. It was designed and programmedby Bob Whitehead. One reviewer referred to it as “Db_ChopperCommand_frontefender in the desert”.

In Chopper Command the player controls a military helicopter in a desert scenario protecting a convoy of trucks. The goal is to destroy all enemy fighter jets and helicopters that attack the player’s helicopter and the friendly trucks traveling below, ending the current wave. The game ends when the player loses all of his or her lives or reaches 999,999 points. A radar, called a Long Range Scanner in the instruction manual, shows all enemies, including those not visible on the main screen.

Patch Requirements and Score:

ChopperCommand.jpg
If you reach a score of 10,000 points (or more) on the Cadet level, you will be eligible to join this prestigious organization. Just send us a picture of your TV screen and we’ll present you with a special “Commandos” emblem.

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This is an easy patch to get.  Only need to get through 4 waves.  This is good, because after that it starts to get very fast!
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Plaque Attack

Developer(s) Activision
Publisher(s) Activision
Designer(s) Steve Cartwright
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release NA: February 22, 1983
Genre(s) Shooter
Mode(s) 1-2 players alternating

In this game, the player is a toothpaste tube, and there are eight teeth to defend. Various types of food, such as hamburgers and french fries try to take out the teeth. The player fires toothpaste at food intent on destroying the teeth. If the food is allowed to touch a tooth, it begins breaking down the tooth. If the player is fast enough to shoot the piece of food as soon as it starts breaking down the tooth the player will be able

45570_frontto save the tooth. If not, the tooth will be broken down. The food comes in waves, and the movements become more complicated. Destroying the food scores points, as does the number of teeth left at the end of each wave, and the amount of toothpaste.

After a certain amount of points is scored, users gain bonus teeth. Bonus teeth are applied at the end of each wave. If all eight teeth are still present, the additional teeth will be placed on the sides of the mouth. Otherwise the teeth will replace any teeth lost. Play continues until all the teeth are gone, at which point the game is over.

Patch Requirements and Score:

PlaqueAttack
Can you reach a score of 35,000 points or more? If so, you can become a “No Plaque Packer”, a leader in the bitter war against tooth decay. Just send us a photo of the TV screen showing your score, along with your name and address,and we’ll send you the official No Plaque Pack emblem.

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MegaMania meets Missile Command.  This game isn’t too hard once you get the hang of it.  With a little more practice, I think I could do much better.

Seaquest

Developer(s) Steve Cartwright
Publisher(s) Activision
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release 1983
Genre(s) Shoot ’em up
Mode(s) 1-2 players alternating

Seaquest is an underwater shooter in which the player controls a submarine. Enemies include sharks and enemy submarines. The player must ward off the enemies while trying to rescue divers swimming through the water. The sub can hold up to eight divers at a time. Each time the player resurfaces, all rescued divers are empSeaquest_Cover.jpgtied out in exchange for points. To add to the challenge, the submarine has a limited amount of oxygen. The player must surface often in order to replenish the oxygen, but if the player resurfaces without any rescued divers, they will lose a life. If the player resurfaces with the maximum amount of divers, they will gain bonus points for the subs remaining oxygen. Each time the player surfaces, the games difficulty increases. As the game gets more difficult, the enemies increase in number and speed. Eventually an enemy sub will begin patrolling the surface, leaving the player without a safe haven.

Game modes include a single player mode, or an alternating two player mode.

Patch Requirements and Score:

Seaquest
Once your sea legs are steady, you can propel yourself into the “Sub Club.” Reach a score of 50,000 points (or more) and you’ll be eligible to join this prestigious organization. Just send us a picture of your TV screen with your name and address and we’ll present you with an official “Sub Club” emblem.
 

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I think this game is near perfect, and one of my favorite Activision titles.  Very underrated as well, in my opinion.  Getting the patch wasn’t too hard.

 

Spider Fighter

Publisher(s) Activision
Programmer(s) Larry Miller
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release 1982
Genre(s) Fixed shooter
Mode(s) Single player

b_SpiderFighter_front

Spider Fighter is a fixed shooter designed by Larry Miller for the Atari 2600 and published by Activision in 1982. The manual states that “Larry is the newe

st addition to the Activision design team.” He went on to create the Atari 2600 racing ga

me Enduro for Activision, released in 1983.

The object of Spider Fighter is to protect an orchard containing fruit—grapes, strawberries, oranges, and bananas—from four kinds of bugs.

Patch Requirements and Score:

SpiderFighter
If you score 40,000 points or more on the regular game level, you qualify for
Activision’s elite corp of Spider Fighters. Send us a picture of your TV
screen showing your score, along with your name and address, and we’ll send you
an official Spider Fighters emblem.

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I’ve not spent much time with this one in the past, but found it to be pretty fun.  I do feel like it doesn’t look much like an Activision title though, more like something you’d see from Data Age or Apollo.

Hockey

Developer(s) Activision
Publisher(s) Activision
Designer(s) Alan Miller
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release 1981
Genre(s) Ice hockey
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer(1-2 simultaneous)

Game Description:

Ice_Hockey_(1981)_Coverart.pngIce Hockey is a game of two-on-two ice hockey. One player on each team is the goalie, and the other plays offensive (although, the goalie is not confined to the goal). As in the real sport, the object of the game is to take control of the puck and shoot it into the opposing goal to score points. When the puck is in player control, it moves left and right along the blade of the hockey stick. The puck can be shot at any of 32 angles, depending on the position of the puck when it’s shot.

Human players take control of the skater in control of (or closest to) the puck. The puck can be stolen from its holder; shots can also be blocked by the blade of the hockey stick.

Patch Requirements and Score:

IceHockey.jpg
You’ll discover our Activision computer has a lot of practice skating and
scoring goals. So, if you beat him on Game 1, send us a letter and tell us
the score. Make sure a friend is watching as you outplay your opponent, so he
or she can sign the letter as a witness to your achievement. We’ll then send
you an official “All-Star” emblem.

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Not a great score but I won.  I find the puck aiming in this game to be very strange.

Barnstorming

Developer(s) Activision
Publisher(s) Activision
Designer(s) Steve Cartwright
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release 1982
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single-player

Game Description:

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The player must pilot a biplane through a series of barns in the shortest time possible while dodging windmills, weather vanes, and geese. Bumping into anything slows down the plane for a couple of seconds, increasing the overall time.

There are four levels of play determined by the game select switch. Game 1 is HedgeHopper (10 barns), game 2 is Crop Duster (15 barns), game 3 is Stunt Pilot (15 barns), and game 4 is Flying Ace (25 barns). In the first three games, the course layout of barns, windmills, and even geese do not change, making it easy to memorize the layout. Game 4 is the only game with a random course.

Patch Requirements and Score:

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If you beat a time of 33.3 seconds on game 1, 51.0 seconds on game 2, or 54.0 seconds on game 3, you can join our Activision Flying Aces.

 

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This game is HARD!  I just barely made it on game 1 with a time of 33.3.  It took way too many tries and this game really hurts my thumb!

Freeway

Publisher(s) Activision
Designer(s) David Crane
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release 1981
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) 1-2 player simultaneous

Game Description:

Freeway_Cover.jpg

One or two players control chickens who can be made to run across a ten lane highway filled with traffic in an effort to “get to the other side.” Every time a chicken gets across a point is earned for that player. If hit by a car, a chicken is forced back either slightly, or pushed back to the bottom of the screen, depending on what difficulty the switch is set to. The winner of a two player game is the player who has scored the most points in the two minutes, sixteen seconds allotted. The chickens are only allowed to move up or down. A cluck sound is heard when a chicken is struck by a car.

 

Patch Requirements and Score:

Freeway
Activision wants to recognize your traffic dodging achievements. So, if you’re successful in guiding your chicken through traffic at least 20 times in either Game Three or Game Seven, you can become an official member of the Activision “Save the Chicken Foundation.”

 

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I’ve really never played this game for any extended period of time, so this was a new experience for me. I was able to get 22 on Game 3.  At first, I was only getting around 10 points per game but after getting the rhythm down, I improved quite a bit.  Took many tries and I still feel its a challenging game.  A very nicely done title, especially for an early release.

River Raid

Developer(s) Activision
Publisher(s) Activision
Designer(s) Carol Shaw
Platform(s) Atari 2600 (original)
Atari 8-bit, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Intellivision, MSX, IBM PCjr, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64
Release 1982
Genre(s) Vertically scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single player

Game Description:

Viewing from a top-down perspective, the player flies a fighter jet over the River of No Return in a raid behind enemy lines.

The player scores points for shooting enemy tankersRiver_Raid_cover.jpg (30 pts), helicopters (60 pts), fuel depots (80 pts), jets (100 pts), bridges (500 pts), and (in non-Atari 2600 versions of the game) hot air balloons (60 pts). The jet refuels when it flies over a fuel depot. A bridge marks the end of a game level.

The player’s jet crashes if it collides with the riverbank or an enemy craft. In non-Atari 2600 versions of the game, tanks alongside the river also fire at the player’s jet. If the player’s jet runs out of fuel, it crashes. Assuming fuel can be replenished, and if the player evades damage, gameplay is essentially unlimited.

Unlike later scrolling shooters, there is little or no enemy fire in River Raid. Also, the player’s jet cannot maneuver up and down the screen, only left and right. It can, however, accelerate and decelerate.

Patch Requirements and Score:

RiverRaid
If you reach a score of 15,000 points or more, you are eligible to become an
official River Raider.
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This is one of my favorite 2600 titles so I thought I’d start with something familiar.  It took a couple tries but I was able to fairly easily get the required score.