ATARI Coin-Op/Arcade Systems
1977 - 1979

Atari Destroyer was a unique 1 player experience.   With a combination of realistic controls, sound effects and the use of 3D cardboard graphics overlaying the monitor the game gave the player a feel of playing a realistic sea battle game.    With sonar and explosion sounds from the left and right speakers the game had a fully immersed experience.... for 1977.       The unit could have variable time settings or set on demonstration mode.   It also offered "Durastress" reliability and "Instapart" 24-hour parts turnaround to keep the unit up and running.

Produced and sold under Atari's secretly owned competitor KEE Games, Super Bug gave racing fans a new twist on playing an overhead view racing game.   Designed by Howard Delman Super Bug had both Novice and Expert tracks and also had random track layouts to keep racers on their toes.   Another nice feature was multi-language text support.

       Nov. 1977

Howie Delman's second Atari project (Super Bug was his first),   Canyon Bomber was quickly converted for the VCS.   He describes it as "upside-down Breakout" and says it was a far superior two-player competitive game than when played one person versus the computer.  He modified the Sprint 2's circuitry, then programmed it.

April, 1978
Another Dennis Koble effort, Avalanche is a great example of a game that everybody has played but probably doesn't know.  There's no question that Activision's Kaboom (by Larry Kaplan, another Atari alumnis) was a rendition of Avalanche.  And while we're on the subject, Drag Race, which came out 10 months earlier, has since become Dragster, another Activision Title.
(Speaking of Activision, check on these great Activision patches!)

          October, 1978
The first of a slew of Atari sports games (introducing Le Trak Ball), Football was without a doubt the best of the bunch.  You had sweeps and keepers and down-and-outs and a video gridiron that seemed like it could go on forever.  For a quarter you got a minute-and-a-half, but fanatics were known to pop in 10 bucks worth and go the full hour.   The best Atari game since Super Breakout, which came out the month before.

April, 1979
Atari's next to last pinball game raised a few bushy eyebrows for the obvious reasons.  Seven feet high, and with cue balls to boot.  Hercules will forever be the Goliath of the pinball era.  Superman was Atari's last pin game and it was killed during the production run.

Lunar Lander is an interesting story for a lot of reasons.  It was game that had been around forever on PDP and IBM computers (only in text).  It was Atari's first game that utilized an XY hardware system (vector graphics).   It had already sold 5,000 units when Atari killed it to make room for Asteroids on the assembly line.   Collectors, take note:  Delman says that there are 200 Asteroids that went out in Lunar Lander cabinets, same art and all.

Video Pinball was an instant winner.   With fluorescent "disco" 3-D playfield, challenging targets, bumpers, slingshots, rollovers and drop targets Atari Video Pinball had it all, but without all the mechanical objects associated with classic pinball games.   Everything was produced on the video screen.   Even a pinball "nudge" feature is included to give a more realistic feel to the play action.

Atari SUBS was the first two-monitor video game from Atari.  The intriguing submarine battle puts each player in control of a search and destroy mission.   Using a realistic sonar locating image, accurate steering and firing controls, the players must act quickly to score hits.   The unique cabinet design allows each of the two players to use their own TV monitor.   In addition to the dual monitor, this was the first game with an operator optional add-a-coin or regular credit coinage mode.   In add-a-coin mode, the game can be set on eight different times per coin.

Sprint 4.   Atari racing with 10 user selectable tracks on a big 25" color monitor.   Realistic sound effects such as motor, screech and even crash sounds.   To add to the realism each player has life-like steering wheels, 4 speed shifters and gas pedals.