Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Adventure (Atari 2600)

I realized, after reading my last post, that I said I had played Companions of Xanth when I was a kid.  After seeing the year the game came out, I remembered, I actually played the game in my early twenties.  I must have combined my memories of reading Xanth when I was younger with playing the game.

To make up for that mistake, I'm posting a game I did fall in love with as a kid.  The first game I remember getting addicted to.  I swear, my brother and I could complete the level three mazes with our eyes closed.  We even had a little song for the dragons.  And yes, I hated the stupid bat!

Adventure is a 1979 video game for the Atari 2600 video game console and is considered the first action-adventure game. Its creator, Warren Robinett, also introduced the first widely known Easter egg to the gaming world.

Adventure was published by the console's developer, Atari, Inc. It was inspired by a computer text game, Colossal Cave Adventure, created by Will Crowther and later modified by Don Woods.

Despite discouragement from his boss at Atari who said it could not be done, game designer Warren Robinett created a graphic game loosely based on the text game. Atari's Adventure went on to sell a million copies, making it the seventh best selling Atari 2600 game.

At the time of the game's creation Atari did not credit any of its authors for their work. Robinett included a hidden message in the game identifying himself as the creator, thus creating one of the earliest known Easter eggs in a video game. According to Warren, a young player from Salt Lake City, Utah first discovered the easter egg and wrote in to Atari regarding it.

The total memory used by the game program was 4096 bytes (4 KB) for the game code (in ROM) and 128 bytes for program variables (in RAM). The Atari 2600's CPU was a 1.19 megahertz 8-bit MOS Technology 6507, which was a cheaper version of the 6502.

Because of a limitation in the Atari 2600's hardware, the left and right sides of nearly every screen are mirror images of each other, which fostered the creation of the game's confusing mazes. The notable exceptions are two screens in the black castle catacombs and two in the main hallway beneath the Gold Castle. These two hallway screens are mirrored, but contain a vertical "wall" object in the room in order to achieve a non-symmetrical shape, as well as act as a secret door for an Easter egg.

Not only was Adventure the first action-adventure game on a video console and the first to contain a widely known Easter egg, it was also the first ever to allow a player to have a stash of items, which required the player to select which one to use at any given moment, usually through keyboard or joystick input. Adventure allowed the player to drop one item and pick up another without having to type in any commands.


  1. I was too young to play it back then :) but sharing the same emotions concerning old-school games.

  2. Hm, i have an Atari emulator.

  3. Never actually played that game myself... But I enjoyed all the history in that post man... Who knew programmers were tossing in Easter eggs as soon as the Atarti!! Crazy haha

  4. lol it looks simple but i think it is a hard game therefore

  5. I've never played on an atari, looks interesting I suppose

  6. I don't know anything like that... But it sure is crazy how small and complicated those games used to be... :p

  7. I felt like such a young, not-knowing-any-classic-games kid when I read your post. It's been long since I felt this and I'm grateful for it. Nowadays I'm always the dinosaur just because I played games throughout the nineties.

    Also Adventure had great sound.

  8. I have never try this game i liked the video of it.

  9. That game is such a classic. :)