Jamie Lendino, the Editor-in-Chief of ExtremeTech, recently released (June, 2018) a new book on the Atari 2600 titled Adventure: The Atari 2600 At The Dawn Of Console Gaming. It is his second Atari-related book and is the follow up to his earlier (March, 2017) Atari 8-bit computer book,
Breakout: How Atari 8-bit Computers Defined A Generation.
Adventure: The Atari 2600 At The Dawn Of Console Gaming covers the history of games available for the iconic Atari 2600 console. The book also briefly frames the history leading up to the launch of the Atari 2600. With the stage set, the book then walks the reader through the continuing history of the platform, through the chronological releases of important, influential and
technology-advanc- ing games. Lendino doesn’t attempt to cover all the games produced for the platform, which, with the newly released homebrews and recent hacks, now numbers in excess of 500 software titles. It leaves out the vast majority of clones and poorer quality games, unless they are so industry-changingly bad, they can’t be left out. We all know which titles are being refer- enced here.
The book navigates through the Atari 2600’s launch titles, the arcade ports, and the best- selling original titles.
It wades into the threat from third-party game developers such as Activision and Imagic. It mentions competing consoles from manufacturers such as Magnavox, Mattel, Coleco, and even Atari- itself, and the impact of the growing home computer market with its much more capable hardware. It also dives into the role of the Video Game Crash of 1983 (also known as Atari Shock in Japan).
Make no mistake about it, other books and articles cover the history of Atari and the Video Game Crash of 1983 in much more excruciating detail. What this book does well is explain how the Atari 2600 contributed to it, was affected by it, as well as how the 2600 influenced console gaming history in its own right.
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