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(MMGM)   The Great Atari Landfill Expedition, intended to dig up thousands of copies of the worst video game ever made, will begin on April 26. This would be a good time to leave New Mexico. Actually, it's always a good time to leave New Mexico   (mmgn.com) divider line 389
    More: Followup, Atari, Atari video game burial, ROM cartridge, Zak Penn, landfills  
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11921 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2014 at 9:47 AM (14 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-14 12:18:06 PM
Worst game ever?  When I first got to use a computer in the 5th grade (1975), it was actually a bulky teletypewriter with a paper Baudot-code reader and was connected to a mainframe with an acoustic coupler the size of a shoebox that blazed along at 72 baud or something like that.  There was one game that we played endlessly was Bagels.  You were supposed to guess a 3-digit number; if you guessed wrong, it would give out answers like "Bagels", "Pico", or "Fermi" depending on how many digits you got right and whether or not they were in the right position.  Hell, even Pong was mind blowing compared to Bagels...
 
2014-04-14 12:20:51 PM

FirstNationalBastard: Are there any copies of Custer's Revenge buried there?


there might be the superman game, which is objectively worse in that it's impossible to figure out what to do in that one.
 
2014-04-14 12:20:54 PM
Huh.   Apparenlty i hit add post.   Its gonna be one of those days I see.
 
2014-04-14 12:21:38 PM

Kougsy: I know it isn't Atari but Superman 64 has to be the worst game ever made.

I just got physically ill thinking about it.


Forgot about that one. Thanks, jerk.

/and you're right
 
2014-04-14 12:21:41 PM
I have no idea how Ancient Greece got into the game... or a flasher... but what the hell why not.

atariage.com
 
2014-04-14 12:21:54 PM

madgonad: ET and Raiders of the Lost Ark were not bad games. The adventure/RPG games of today are direct descendants. ET got a bad rap because it was rushed and was at the limits of what the 2600 could do. The games showing up in arcades were far beyond it.

I still have fond memories of playing and beating Raiders. Timing the parachute openings around that branch to get into the opening of the cliff was an actual accomplishment.


i loved the raiders game
 
2014-04-14 12:22:28 PM
Rapmaster2000 I remember not really understanding what I was supposed to do in between falling into holes over and over again.  "Oh, I'm in a hole again".

You're thinking of "Custer's Revenge" ;-)
 
2014-04-14 12:23:33 PM
cloudfront-assets.techliberation.com

I feel like I am at the game!
 
2014-04-14 12:23:45 PM
Alamagordo???  I thought that they were incinerated by dumping them into the throat of Capulin Volcano?

img.fark.net
 
2014-04-14 12:25:42 PM

way south: I owned this game.
It was terrible.

I wish I still had it so I could show the children how terrible it was.


Get an emulator.  Or you could probably find it cheap on eBay, despite so many copies being allegedly buried in a landfill, it was a very abundant game.  Seriously, I don't think I know anyone who had a 2600 that didn't have that game.
 
2014-04-14 12:26:04 PM

cgraves67: garandman1a: As this site is blocked at work, anyone care to share what this is about?

Some guys want to go to NM and dig up the landfill where Atari purportedly buried thousands of copies of the terrible 'E.T. the Extraterrestrial' game.


Thank you. I do appreciate the answer.
 
2014-04-14 12:28:15 PM

nekom: way south: I owned this game.
It was terrible.

I wish I still had it so I could show the children how terrible it was.

Get an emulator.  Or you could probably find it cheap on eBay, despite so many copies being allegedly buried in a landfill, it was a very abundant game.  Seriously, I don't think I know anyone who had a 2600 that didn't have that game.


http://www.virtualatari.org/soft.php?soft=ET
 
2014-04-14 12:29:48 PM
Gotta admit that the best. game. ever. for me was the Roller Coaster Tycoon series.  I actually won $3985 in contest money designing a coaster for RCT3.  Right now, the only game I really play anymore is the Platinum Edition of RCT3 which makes up for the glitches in the first version of RCT3 and is easily the apotheosis of the RCT series.  It's nearly a decade old, but still kicks the heck out of Farmville.

That won't be for long; I just ordered the complete Civilization IV package (with the 3 add-ons) off of Amazon and should be getting it around the time I return from Germany.  The only thing that sucks about the Civ series is that they kick my ass on all but the easiest settings, but the mind-blowing depth of the game keeps luring me back.

The SimCity series, up until the disastrous release of Sim V, was also a big favorite of mine.  I also loved SSG's Warlords series and wish they would work on a Vista machine.  Finally, it's a good thing I didn't discover Minecraft until too late or else I'd probably be addicted to it...
 
2014-04-14 12:30:07 PM

ObeliskToucher: Alamagordo???  I thought that they were incinerated by dumping them into the throat of Capulin Volcano?


Little known fact:  the Trinity shot's primary purpose actually was to vaporize beta versions of the game.
 
2014-04-14 12:31:08 PM

labman: Atomic Jonb: IIRC, Raiders of the Lost Ark had a really bad Atari game also.

And yes, let ET stay buried.

I liked Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Didn't care for ET and Pac Man was such a letdown it's not even funny.


I don't understand how Pac Man can be a letdown. It's about as simple as a game can get. What was wrong with it?
 
2014-04-14 12:33:03 PM

Kinetic King: Gotta admit that the best. game. ever. for me was the Roller Coaster Tycoon series.  I actually won $3985 in contest money designing a coaster for RCT3.  Right now, the only game I really play anymore is the Platinum Edition of RCT3 which makes up for the glitches in the first version of RCT3 and is easily the apotheosis of the RCT series.  It's nearly a decade old, but still kicks the heck out of Farmville.

That won't be for long; I just ordered the complete Civilization IV package (with the 3 add-ons) off of Amazon and should be getting it around the time I return from Germany.  The only thing that sucks about the Civ series is that they kick my ass on all but the easiest settings, but the mind-blowing depth of the game keeps luring me back.

The SimCity series, up until the disastrous release of Sim V, was also a big favorite of mine.  I also loved SSG's Warlords series and wish they would work on a Vista machine.  Finally, it's a good thing I didn't discover Minecraft until too late or else I'd probably be addicted to it...


My favorite game of all time:

cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com

In my opinion it was amazing, for it's time.
 
2014-04-14 12:33:58 PM
I'm old enough to have played ET on the Atari back in the day, and I agree it was frustrating.  But, we simply weren't conditioned to games that weren't instantly obvious through the gameplay.  The necessary information is all contained in the manual, and the rest is just learning the game and developing a strategy.   I played the game a few months ago after reading an online strategy guide--something else we didn't have back in those days--and with that knowledge, and decades of experience playing video games, it took me 5 minutes to beat it.  Getting out of the pits is simple once you know how to do it.   I've played far worse games on my Android phone.
 
2014-04-14 12:35:45 PM
Just waiting for Dr. Kurzweil to show up and tell us that ET was a quiet weapon for a silent war...

/ watch out for the bees. And the black helicopters chasing you through all that corn
 
2014-04-14 12:35:50 PM

jst3p: Imma let you finish, but a video game where you are a rock star running from love crazed groupies was the worst game of all time!

[videogamecritic.com image 640x420]


First video game I ever finished!

Er, actually, it just flips back to the beginning. But still, it felt like an accomplishment.
 
2014-04-14 12:35:55 PM

SuperChuck: labman: Atomic Jonb: IIRC, Raiders of the Lost Ark had a really bad Atari game also.

And yes, let ET stay buried.

I liked Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Didn't care for ET and Pac Man was such a letdown it's not even funny.

I don't understand how Pac Man can be a letdown. It's about as simple as a game can get. What was wrong with it?


If you saw the Atari 2600 version, you'd understand.  Instead of the usual arcade maze, there was this crappy, blocky maze that was hard to navigate.  The ghosts flickered because there wasn't enough memory to render all four ghosts at the same time.  As for SFX, Pac Man went "nang", "nang", "nang" that sounded nothing like the arcade version.  It was a turd of a game and even the Apple IIe version was vastly superior.  I can't even imagine the crappiness level of the 2600 version of ET...
 
2014-04-14 12:35:58 PM
I remember being completely demoralized by this game.  I thought I just sucked at games.
 
2014-04-14 12:38:01 PM

Kinetic King: SuperChuck: labman: Atomic Jonb: IIRC, Raiders of the Lost Ark had a really bad Atari game also.

And yes, let ET stay buried.

I liked Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Didn't care for ET and Pac Man was such a letdown it's not even funny.

I don't understand how Pac Man can be a letdown. It's about as simple as a game can get. What was wrong with it?

If you saw the Atari 2600 version, you'd understand.  Instead of the usual arcade maze, there was this crappy, blocky maze that was hard to navigate.  The ghosts flickered because there wasn't enough memory to render all four ghosts at the same time.  As for SFX, Pac Man went "nang", "nang", "nang" that sounded nothing like the arcade version.  It was a turd of a game and even the Apple IIe version was vastly superior.  I can't even imagine the crappiness level of the 2600 version of ET...


http://youtu.be/XdT0lrm4b2s

a.images.blip.tv
 
2014-04-14 12:38:08 PM
I'm still trying to figure out how I used to be so good at Yar's Revenge. I've played that game recently and don't remember it being as difficult as it seems.
Also, the worst game: Flag Capture.
 
2014-04-14 12:39:14 PM

ISO15693: [cloudfront-assets.techliberation.com image 640x400]

I feel like I am at the game!


we actually setup with like 6 guys a league and took turns playing home and away  each week

came out with a league schedule, team names, and get together each weekend  and play head to head

top team in each division made the playoffs

good times good times
 
2014-04-14 12:39:59 PM

SuperChuck: I don't understand how Pac Man can be a letdown. It's about as simple as a game can get. What was wrong with it?


Bad colors, flickery sprites, it looked nothing like the arcade game, and the noise PacMan made wasn't "wokka-wokka-wokka-woo-woo-woo", it was like someone was strumming a really big rubber band. Total fail from a look-n-feel standpoint.
 
2014-04-14 12:40:14 PM

Ambitwistor: ObeliskToucher: Alamagordo???  I thought that they were incinerated by dumping them into the throat of Capulin Volcano?

Little known fact:  the Trinity shot's primary purpose actually was to vaporize beta versions of the game.


Any fan of crummy 1950s monster movies knows, those ET cartridges are going to mutate into a giant radioactive Atari console that's going to run amok--first, eating Santa Fe, then taking a left at Albuquerque and heading off to eat other cities.  Worse yet, it will mega-suck and cause gamers around the world to literally die of boredom...
 
2014-04-14 12:40:19 PM
 Tyrone Slothrop: Plus it cost so much to make (due to licensing) that they would have had to sell more cartridges than there were consoles to break even. The whole thing was a major fiasco.

Supposedly the whole deal was just a ploy by Steve Ross to lure Steven Spielberg to Warner Bros...I'm sure if they realized it would crash their entire VCS market they'd be more careful.  It also birthed the "All Movie Videogame Movies Suck" Maxim, not that 20th Century Fox Games helped...(i liked Parker Brox 'Empire Strikes Back' & 'Spider-Man')
http://atariage.com/forums/topic/66637-ataris-landfill-adventures-i- no w-have-the-proof-its-true/page-55
 
2014-04-14 12:40:37 PM
And just for reference sake, here's a complete play-through of ET on the 2600:

http://youtu.be/_Bn192kSsMw
 
2014-04-14 12:40:37 PM
When I was a kid I lived next door to Ed Rotberg for awhile. He was one of the Atari coin op guys, pretty instrumental player. Wrote most of Battlezone, which was an amazing game for the time period, he had the arcade version in his study.

http://www.dadgum.com/halcyon/BOOK/ROTBERG.HTM

He was a pretty cool guy, huge Cubs fan. He got me interested in gaming and in computer. I am a Unix Sysadmin today. I wish I had known then what I know now, would have spent more time chatting him up and less asking how to make a ninja in Wizardry on his Macintosh.
 
2014-04-14 12:43:24 PM
All I ever used the Atari 2500 for was to CG over video.
My weapon of choice was the most venerable Commodore 64. Favorite game on that was Red Storm Rising.
 
2014-04-14 12:44:33 PM

H31N0US: Frantic Freddie: H31N0US: AxL sANe: Mmmmm - Green Chilis.

I'll always love Mew Mexico because they put green chilis on everything....

[www.nmgastronome.com image 444x261]

5 Star in Taos?

My brother used to manage the Five Star in Albuquerque.

BTW, we spell it "chile".

My brother used to manage the Five Star in Taos.


Then they probably know each other.
 
2014-04-14 12:45:14 PM

SuperChuck: I don't understand how Pac Man can be a letdown. It's about as simple as a game can get. What was wrong with it?


Pretty good:
media2.picsearch.com
Sound: [wakka-wakka-wakka]

Very meh:
www.consoleclassix.comSound: [punk punk pupunk]
Unbelievably irritating:
media3.picsearch.com
Sound: [pew! pEW! PEW! PEW! Pew! pEW! PEW! Pew! pEW!"
 
2014-04-14 12:46:56 PM
My father is heading the archaeology part of this, so I'm getting a kick and whatever.
 
2014-04-14 12:47:38 PM
spottymax Maybe they'll find the hidden dot and gold key

I like how after all he's done, he's got an Adventure screencap on his homepage, vintage stickin' it 2 The credit-hogging Man  http://www.warrenrobinett.com/

jst3p When I was a kid I lived next door to Ed Rotberg for awhile. He was one of the Atari coin op guys, pretty instrumental player.

He probably enjoyed helping you with the ninjas more.  If he went into workstuff you probably wouldn't be working in Unix
 
2014-04-14 12:49:32 PM

MooseUpNorth: SuperChuck: I don't understand how Pac Man can be a letdown. It's about as simple as a game can get. What was wrong with it?

Pretty good:
[media2.picsearch.com image 183x240]
Sound: [wakka-wakka-wakka]

Very meh:
[www.consoleclassix.com image 256x224]Sound: [punk punk pupunk]
Unbelievably irritating:
[media3.picsearch.com image 229x231]
Sound: [pew! pEW! PEW! PEW! Pew! pEW! PEW! Pew! pEW!"


Huh. I had the top one. Must have been a different Atari version. Maybe it was the 800 instead of 2600.
 
2014-04-14 12:50:20 PM
That reminds me, if you want to discuss crappy games, what about the electronic hand-held games that were popular in the 70s and early 80s?  Some of them literally had maybe a couple of control buttons and maybe 10 dull-red LEDs with maybe a football gridiron or something like that drawn over them.  Unbelievably lame, yet we played them...
 
2014-04-14 12:50:38 PM

kling_klang_bed: *squinting my eyes, making sure this isn't from I-Mockery*

Oh, there's worse games out there. I vaguely remember playing the ET game as a kid, but Legend Of Kage and any of the Ultima games are even worse, IMHO.


Bwhahahahahah. Now this is how you troll.
 
2014-04-14 12:51:28 PM

Rapmaster2000: I was so fired up for ET the video game.  I don't think we played it for more than an hour.  It sucked that bad.  Atari's Pac-Man port was garbage too.


I remember when it came out.  I was working as a dishwasher in a local restaurant and one of our servers worked at a department store.  She said when they opened the doors 300 people ran - RAN - to get to the counter as fast as they could.  That kind of thing was new to society.
 
2014-04-14 12:51:31 PM

corn-bread: On another note, anyone remember a 2600 game that was in space?  Like you had a couple fleets and you had to fly around and destroy an invading alien force?  I seem to recall the cool thing about it was that you could position and move your ships, but then when combat started the view shifted to first person from the fighters.

Anyone remember that, or am I having a bad 80's flashback??


star raiders and it had a nifty touchpad controller to turn on shields, targetting computer, and hyperspace
 
2014-04-14 12:52:23 PM

Ty Webb: This is happening in the town I grew up in, and subby is absolutely right - great place to see in your rear view mirror.


Lubbock, Texas?
 
2014-04-14 12:52:41 PM

Fano: star raiders and it had a nifty touchpad controller to turn on shields, targetting computer, and hyperspace


I miss Star Raiders.
 
2014-04-14 12:54:48 PM

TTBoyArDee: April 26 is my birthday. I got ET for my birthday when I was a wee pup. The expedition begins on my birthday this year. I can't help some sort of circle is complete.


My god, he's the one. SOMEBODY KILL HIM!
 
2014-04-14 12:55:42 PM
InsaneJellTroll My father is heading the archaeology part of this, so I'm getting a kick and whatever.

You warn him "Don't Look, Marion!"?
076dd0a50e0c1255009e-bd4b8aabaca29897bc751dfaf75b290c.r40.cf1.rackcdn.com
what a funny shot...Ark Opening As Metaphor
 
2014-04-14 12:57:41 PM

SuperChuck: MooseUpNorth: SuperChuck: I don't understand how Pac Man can be a letdown. It's about as simple as a game can get. What was wrong with it?

Pretty good:
[media2.picsearch.com image 183x240]
Sound: [wakka-wakka-wakka]

Very meh:
[www.consoleclassix.com image 256x224]Sound: [punk punk pupunk]
Unbelievably irritating:
[media3.picsearch.com image 229x231]
Sound: [pew! pEW! PEW! PEW! Pew! pEW! PEW! Pew! pEW!"

Huh. I had the top one. Must have been a different Atari version. Maybe it was the 800 instead of 2600.


Yep, 800 is a computer and could run considerably higher resolutions and color depth.
 
2014-04-14 12:58:24 PM
HooskerDoo Lubbock, Texas?

I can tell you what moment Buddy Holly wished he was  back there,,,
 
2014-04-14 01:00:06 PM
They won't find anything worth digging up. Atari ground everything to pieces before dumping and poured concrete over them afterwards.
 
2014-04-14 01:00:06 PM

Kinetic King: That reminds me, if you want to discuss crappy games, what about the electronic hand-held games that were popular in the 70s and early 80s?  Some of them literally had maybe a couple of control buttons and maybe 10 dull-red LEDs with maybe a football gridiron or something like that drawn over them.  Unbelievably lame, yet we played them...


Oh, yes. Mattel Soccer. I figured out a "corner kick" trick that would get me double digit scores. I also had a "sub hunt" game that basically consisted of moving arrow keys around until the "ping" of the "sub" got really fast, then you "dropped" a "depth charge". When you got above a score of "99" the two-element 7-segment display would continue on in hex until it go to "FE".

Good for wasting a rainy half-hour, not much more. Plus, the noise probably drove my mother crazy.
 
2014-04-14 01:01:36 PM

theflatline: UNC_Samurai: gilatrout: The fewer people like subby in NM, the better.

I have several friends that went to St. John's in Santa Fe. Based on everything they've told me, subby needs to troll smarter.

My parents got wind in the early 1990s that a buddy and mine were going to Mexico for spring break.  So my mother got my dad to plan a trip that included Santa Fe, on our way to Aspen to ski.

Santa Fe still stands out as one of the most poseurish/new age/hipster/fake places I have ever been.


I really like New Mexico, but you're right about Santa Fe. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
 
2014-04-14 01:02:06 PM

MooseUpNorth: Unbelievably irritating:


My best friend in 5th and 6th grade had a reasonably entertaining mini-console game that was like a mini Galaga. Far superior to that PacMan tabletop game.
 
2014-04-14 01:04:51 PM

theorellior: Kinetic King: That reminds me, if you want to discuss crappy games, what about the electronic hand-held games that were popular in the 70s and early 80s?  Some of them literally had maybe a couple of control buttons and maybe 10 dull-red LEDs with maybe a football gridiron or something like that drawn over them.  Unbelievably lame, yet we played them...

Oh, yes. Mattel Soccer. I figured out a "corner kick" trick that would get me double digit scores. I also had a "sub hunt" game that basically consisted of moving arrow keys around until the "ping" of the "sub" got really fast, then you "dropped" a "depth charge". When you got above a score of "99" the two-element 7-segment display would continue on in hex until it go to "FE".

Good for wasting a rainy half-hour, not much more. Plus, the noise probably drove my mother crazy.


Remember Simon?  That was in a class of it's own because it had colored buttons that lit up.  It would light up the buttons in a random order and then you'd have to press the buttons in the same order--it got dull after about 10 minutes.

Also, remember the rip-off versions of arcade games you'd see in places like the Minnesota State Fair?  During the 80s when the Midway games were run by a really sleazy group of carnies, you'd have a tent full of knock offs like Eat-Man or Star Invaders that were of questionable legal status...
 
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