10 custom Atari 2600 cartridges based on movie video games

Cavalcade Arcade

In May of last year I wrote an article talking about video games in movies that I thought were fake but were actually real. Then, CT over at Nerd Lunch used an image of a Nerd Lunch Atari 2600 cart for Episode 26 of the Nerd Lunch podcast. This immediately got me thinking about all those movie games I want to exist. So, I went out to the custom Atari 2600 label generator and just went buck wild.

Here are some of my creations (click the images to make them BIGGER).

Global Thermonuclear War
Global Thermonuclear War (War Games) – I did a bunch for WarGames. This was the first one that popped into my mind. How cool would this game be?

Falken's Maze
Falken’s Maze (War Games) – Another WarGames creation. The name of this game appears in the scene where David Lightman lists the games available from Joshua (aka WOPR). I think Eddie Deezen even tells Matthew Broderick to research Falken’s Maze to learn about the enigmatic programmer. Atari released a similar maze game called Maze Craze (from which I got the picture on the cartridge).

Joshua's Tic Tac Toe
Joshua’s Tic Tac Toe (War Games) – Essentially just a themed Tic-Tac-Toe game. This may seem a bit thin, but Atari actually released a 3D Tic-Tac-Toe game which could probably be re-branded and maybe skinned to match the movie game.

WarGames: NORAD
WarGames: NORAD (War Games) – This is not necessarily based on anything specific in the movie.  It could be a conglomeration of all the Joshua Games or maybe even a video game recreation of the final NORAD sequence in the film.  I just thought it sounded cool.

Starfighter (The Last Starfighter) – This is the actual game that is played by Alex in the movie.  Atari at one time developed this game and planned to release it but the final product was deemed cost prohibitive.

The Last Starfighter
The Last Starfighter (The Last Starfighter) – This is a video game based on the movie’s plot.

Cloak and Dagger
Cloak & Dagger (Cloak & Dagger) – Based on the Atari game Cloak & Dagger which was based on the 1983 movie starring Dabney Coleman and Henry Thomas. I talk a bit about this game’s history here.

Space Paranoids
Space Paranoids (TRON) – One of the games designed by Kevin Flynn and stolen by Ed Dillinger in the original TRON movie.

Star Fire
Star Fire (Midnight Madness) – An actual game by Exidy that was featured in the movie Midnight Madness. I thought this game was fake but found out it is, in fact, very real.

Starcade – I’m cheating a bit here, but this isn’t from a movie. This is an 80s game show that featured arcade games as part of the show (watch episodes here). It was amazing and I loved it. I thought it would be cool to have the main game be trivia questions about Atari games and in certain rounds you would actually play 2 min of different video games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, BurgerTime or Time Pilot. Things that are already licensed to Atari as a home game.  That would be AMAZING.


One Response to “10 custom Atari 2600 cartridges based on movie video games”

  1. .” on the Atari. Undoubtedly, “Spirited Heart” at $19.99, is about $19.98 more than it is worth. A no brainer: 1/5. …

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