Atari 2600 MEGA Sound Quiz

Here’s a doozy of a sound quiz for you. I have collected thirty sound samples of games made for the Atari 2600 video game console.

Your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to identify the games by the sounds and clues I have given you.

Sound 01
The standard to judge all other Atari 2600 games by. And it even has an easter egg! The winning game sound at the end of the clip is probably my favorite sound effect from the 2600.

Sound 02
A fun game where you can fly around and grab bad guys who are stuck having to get around via the subway. My brother and I used to compete with each other to see who could finish the game the fastest. I think I got mine under a minute, but I can’t remember for sure.

Sound 03
I like the spooky sound effects and the music bits on this game a lot. It’s probably the most nerve-wracking game I have played on the 2600.

Sound 04
I would say that very few 2600 console-owners went out and purchased this game, but paradoxically, most of them played this.

Sound 05
Probably no one will get this one. I can’t remember where we got this game. Maybe we got it used — I don’t remember buying it in a store. It wasn’t made by Atari or the other relatively big game-producers (Activision, Imagic). It’s got pretty crude graphics and sounds, but it’s still fun to play.

Sound 06
This is a lesser-known title, I think. It’s a great game, with nice sound effects, and awesome, awesome music.

Sound 07
This game is a descendant of Space Invaders. It’s much more fun, too.

Sound 08
When Atari 2600 gamers brought this game home, they tasted the bitter disappointment of a poor translation of a popular arcade game to the home console. You can occasionally hear the sounds of this game in TV shows and movies, where it’s used for sound effects when someone plays a videogame. In fact, I just heard it in a TV show a couple months ago. I don’t know what’s so special about the sounds that it gets reused years after the game came out.

Sound 09
A great driving game, and the sound played when you finish a level (at the end of this sound clip) always gives me a jolt of happiness.

Sound 10
Atari tried doing a big fancy contest, and planned a series of games around a fantasy concept. This was the first game in the series (which was later abruptly ended after the second title tanked). This is an awful, awful game, and I’m sorry for purchasing and playing it.

Sound 11
Let’s go from a reviled game to a revered one. I would hope that many people would recognize this game, as it has some very recognizable, pleasant sound effects. There was a twenty minute time limit on this game — I always wondered whether it was possible to win this. I played a sequel of this game on the Commodore 64 which did have a definite ending, and was very fun to play.

Sound 12
A nice flying-and-shooting game, a little similar to the arcade game Defender.

Sound 13
Another interesting variation on Space Invaders — at one point you shoot red bowties! This game has some of my favorite sound effects heard on the Atari 2600.

Sound 14
A relatively obscure game. More swords ‘n sorcery. It’s sort of fun, but don’t cancel any vacation plans to play it.

Sound 15
One of the classics. Addictive, exhilarating and entertaining.

Sound 16
I believe this was designed by the same guy who did Game #15. This is a pretty reviled cartridge among most gamers. If you can stop falling in those damn holes, it really isn’t that bad.

Sound 17
This was a nice translation of an arcade game to the home console. It’s a flying game where you can shoot up, down, left and right from your ship.

Sound 18
Another well-done arcade game translation. The death sound effect (near the end of the sound clip) is really jarring, just as it is in the arcade.

Sound 19
It took me this long to get to a sports game? Yeah, I guess so. Hopefully the sound effects should give a clue as to what sport it is.

Sound 20
Yet another arcade to console translation. Apparently Atari learned from their mistakes made on Game #8 (this game is a sequel to it), as this was done much better.

Sound 21
I regretted getting this arcade game translation. It sucked, and it sucked even more to see a really well-done translation of this game on the ColecoVision.

Sound 22
I’m not sure how many people played this. It was loosely based on a 1960’s science fiction movie. This was one of the most enjoyable games I played on the 2600. It was really great.

Sound 23
I only recently played this on an Atari 2600 emulator. Of course, I had to include it, as it was a designed by a friend of this blog. I played it without first reading the instructions, but I still did reasonably well before dying.

Sound 24
Another obscure game, possibly. The character you move around is a mouth. That’s it — a mouth.

Sound 25
I remember seeing the ads for this on TV when I was a kid. Oh, I wanted this game *so bad*! But I never ended up getting it. It’s kind of like Crazy Climber, with a superhero twist.

Sound 26
This is sort of a Missile Command ripoff, but an enjoyable game nonetheless. It had some great sound effects, too.

Sound 27
No music, no cutesy bleeps — just wall-to-wall punching.

Sound 28
A great, hyper game where you could play with up to four players. Probably the only game using paddles (as opposed to joysticks) that I enjoyed playing.

Sound 29
A nice spaceship game with some decent graphics and sound effects. One nice twist was that when you got shot out of the sky you could still destroy your enemy by piloting yourself into them.

Sound 30
An arcade to home console translation, done relatively well. Still, nothing can hold a candle to the sweet, sweet original arcade game.

UPDATE:

Answers posted!

Arcade Quiz (Swords ‘N Sorcery)

I’m going to strike while the iron is still hot!

It’s time for another arcade sound quiz! This may very well be the last one (but one never knows, I guess).

All of these games share a common theme.

Each game has some degree of medieval swords ‘n sorcery flavor. If you knew any geeks in high school that were into Dungeons and Dragons, or you yourself were that geek, there’s something for you in each of these games.

I’ll give you the year the game came out, along with the sound sample.

May King Arthur himself guide your fair steed! What, too much?

Sword 1 (1982)
One of my all-time favorite games. If I would have waited around a little longer in the sound sample, you would have heard a scary-ass pterodactyl.

Sword 2 (1983)
This wasn’t a joystick game — it was point-and-shoot. I sucked at it. ‘Nuff said.

Sword 3 (1985)
Not only did I suck horribly at this game, but everybody else did too. The makers of this game should be kicked in the shins for how hard they made it.

Sword 4 (1985)
This is a fun multiplayer game (up to four people at once!). I’m not sure if it was cool to be the Elf or not. I probably watched other people play the game more than playing it myself.

Sword 5 (1987)
I was really terrible at this game, but it was kind of addictive. For some reason, one of the monsters you had to fight threw juggling pins at you. I still have no idea why.

Sword 6 (1989)
I had a lot of fun playing this game, though its sequel was even more fun. And you haveta love those death screams. Oh, baybee!

UPDATE:

Answers posted!

Arcade Quiz (Mano a Mano)

I was asking myself, what have I done for Evil Evil Genius lately? Well, I know what I haven’t done.

Yes, it’s time for another arcade sound quiz!

All of these games share a common theme.

In each game, you control a protagonist that uses his or her bare hands to lay some serious smackdown on some deserving fools (or as Mr. T would say, “foos”).

I’ll give you the year the game came out along with the sound sample. A few of these games have some relatively primitive voice samples, for all you primitive voice sample fans out there.

Mano a Mano 1 (1982)
This game is pretty fun. I think the music should give it away.

Mano a Mano 2 (1984)
I would rarely get past the third level (okay, to be honest, the second level would give me lots of trouble too), but this game was tons of fun.

Mano a Mano 3 (1987)
Believe it or not, though I am the first to admit I am a terrible arcade gamer, I could easily finish this game on one quarter. Yes, I used the magic elbow move that basically made you unstoppable.

Mano a Mano 4 (1988)
This game might be a little obscure. I used to play this at the Spaceport arcade when I was going to school at University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. No, I did not have any friends.

Mano a Mano 5 (1992)
I was working in an arcade while I was at school down in Carbondale, but I stayed away from this game. It scared the crap out of me with its complicated controls. I started playing a couple years ago via the MAME emulator. I suck at it, but it’s fun. If you can recognize this game, I give you permission to give me crap for not doing a fatality.

Oh, I just thought of one more that I wanted to include!

Mano a Mano 6 (1984)
I wasn’t very good at this game (surprised?). This game’s controls were a little unusual, and in some ways were a precursor to Mano a Mano Game #5.

UPDATE:

Answers posted!

Arcade Quiz (The Power Of Assisted Flight)

With this post I revisit a feature I left off way back when (May 2007 for those keeping track). Yes, it’s time for another arcade sound quiz!

All of these games share a common theme.

In each game, you pilot some kind of flying craft (airship/spaceship/etc.).

I’ll give you the year the game came out, to make it very slightly easier. Even if you’re not really into arcade games, I find the sounds themselves quite pleasing, in an experimental kinda way.

Ship 1 (1979)
A classic vector graphics game, and still a lot of fun after all these years.

Ship 2 (1981)
A game for all you cool “weekend warrior” arcade game players. For many casual gamers, it would be a choice between this game or Ms. Pacman — in most bars you could probably find both.

Ship 3 (1982)
Wow, do I suck at this game. It was one of the first to introduce a 3D-like perspective. Oh, and I sucked and continue to suck at it.

Ship 4 (1983)
This game is a little reminiscent of Tempest in that your ship rotates in a circle shooting at oncoming ships. The game’s background music actually uses some snippets from a Bach piece, to excellent effect.

Ship 5 (1982)
I wasn’t so good at this game, but it was quite a bit of fun. Plus, you got to fight all sorts of interesting aircraft, from biplanes to UFOs.

Quiz answers have been posted!

Arcade Quiz (He’s Got A Gun!)


All of these games share a common theme.

They all have protagonists which take care of business the American way, with a gun.

I’ll give you the year the game came out, Fellow Travelers Of The Internet.

Gun 1 (1980)
I didn’t realize how many chunks of silence there were in this game. This game has some harsh, unfriendly sounds. And that smiley face bouncing towards you? That’s the grinning maw of death.

Gun 2 (1981)
This game might be a tough one to identify. You might have even forgotten that this game existed, but when you see it hopefully you’ll have an “a-ha” moment. If not, you might want to contemplate what you are using those brain cells for, anyway.

Gun 3 (1983)
Here it is, my all-time favorite game. Full disclosure — you don’t just have a gun at your disposal to eliminate your enemies. You can also kill them by jumping on them with your ass.

Gun 4 (1986)
This is another very fun game, one which I suck at, and wish I was just a wee bit better. It’s really fast-paced, and has a lot of energy and excitement. Well, within the world of mid-80’s videogames it has a lot of energy and excitement, at least.

Gun 5 (1988)
I was kind of leaving videogames at this point for the magical world of reality, but I did play this a little, mostly because the graphics were kind of advanced for the times. Here’s a hint — two (count ’em, two!) people mention the name of the game in this sound snippet.

Are these quizzes over yet? I thought we were almost finished.

UPDATE: Answers are now available here.

Arcade Sound Quiz (Wheels)


Part 2 in my continuing videogame sound effect quizzes.

All of these games share a common theme.

They all have protagonists which are on some sort of contraption that uses wheels.

Wheels 1
Hopefully, the voice synthesis is a giveaway. If not, there’s a picture of the game in this post (I was probably driving a little too fast).

Wheels 2
This takes place in the location where I offered a free trip to in my previous quiz.

Wheels 3
If you don’t recognize the previous two games, you probably aren’t going to recognize this one. It came out a little later than the above two. You can get a clue as to the game by the voice samples the protagonist throws out. This was an unusual “driving” game in that you used handlebars instead of a joystick or steering wheel.

Wheels 4
I’m not sure how many people have played this game. I do remember it from the halogen days of my youth. I’m mostly including it because of the catchy tune.

Wheels 5
This was one of my favorite games as a kid. It used a trackball. There is a Pacman sound in this game — for some reason the Midway company thought it would be a good idea to throw that yellow freak in a couple more of their games to boost sales. This game is especially appropriate for Bubs due to his fixation on the vocation of this game’s protagonist.

Post yer answers in the Comments section if you have a hankering, or just want to tell me how it would be more interesting for me to post about my busted fingernail (it’s almost completely healed after falling off in late winter!).

UPDATE: Answers posted here.

Arcade Sound Quiz (Awww Cute)


I have always been amazed at the unique sounds and catchy music that designers and engineers in the early videogame industry were able to put in that first generation of quarter-eaters.

So, here’s the first in a small series of videogame sound effect quizzes where you too can marvel at their genius.

A clue for this quiz — all of these games share a common theme.

They all have protagonists that are so cute your mom would pinch your cheeks if she saw you playing them.

Click on the “Awww Cute” links to hear the sweet, sweet sounds.

Awww Cute 1
Awww Cute 2
Awww Cute 3
Awww Cute 4
Awww Cute 5

Just post yer answers in the Comments section. If anyone gets stumped, I’ll grudgingly give out some clues.

The first person who gets all the answers right wins a SPACESHIP TRIP TO THE MOON!

Assuming nobody gets hurt here, the next quiz will focus on driving games.

UPDATE: Answers to this quiz have been posted here