Atari 2600 Game
Produced by: Atari
Year of Release: 1977
Programmer: Joe Decuir
Pull out your Atari 2600 paddle controllers. Because it is time to play some Pong. Not just normal Pong either. We have got 50 versions of Pong, simulating 9 different sports. So much Pong that your ears are going to bleed, and you are going to wake up in the middle of the night screaming. After you play this game you are never going to want to play Pong again! Yet somehow they managed to get all of this Pong in only 2K of data.
Video Olympics for the Atari 2600 has every minor Pong variation that you could ever imagine. This was one of the first first Atari 2600 games released. But it was also one of the most fun. You can't get much more basic than the games offered on this cartridge. But the fun factor overrides the simplicity.
This game is best played with at least 2 people. But the cartridge also has several 4 player games also. All nine games have the same basic goal, that is, knock your ball into the other players goal. There are however a few "special moves" in this game that standard Pong and Breakout do not have.
Whammy. Performing the "Whammy" will put a sharper return angle on the ball. To do this you simply press the red button just as the ball makes contact (and keep it pressed in to continue the move).
Catch. In some variations you can catch the ball by pressing the button as the ball hits the paddle (the same way you do the Whammy). Keep the button pressed to hold the ball. You must move slowly while you have the ball. Otherwise it will fall off. On a side note, Atari actually trademarked the word Catch to prevent other people from making Pong games and using that word in them. Reminds me a little of Amazon.com and their patents.
Jump. In some of the variations you can make your paddle jump. It is easy. Simply press the red button on the controller before the ball makes it over the center line. Be quick, you will warp right through ball If you press it too late.
The following chart is from the manual. It shows the various games, and which special moves are available in each one.
/ | \
/ | \
| | Super |
| Pong(R) | Pong(tm) | Foozpong(tm)
Game Number | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | 9 10 11 12 | 13 14 15 16 17 18
Number of Players | 1 1 2 2 4 4 4 4 | 2 2 4 4 | 2 2 4 4 4 4
Speed-Up | X X X X | X XX | XX XX XX
Whammy(tm) | X X X X | XX XX | XX XX
Catch(tm) | | | XX
| Foozpong(tm)| Hockey
Game Number | 19 20 21 22 | 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
Number of Players | 2 2 4 4 | 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4
Speed-Up | XX XX | XX XX XX XX XX
Whammy(tm) | | XX XX XX
Catch(tm) | XX XX | XX XX
|Quadrapong| Handball | Volleyball
Game Number | 33 34 | 35 36 37 38 | 39 40 41 42
Number of Players | 4 4 | 2 2 4 4 | 2 2 4 4
Speed-Up | XX | XX XX |
Whammy(tm) | | XX XX | XX XX
Catch(tm) | XX | |
Jump | | | XX XX
Game Number | 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
Number of Players | 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4
Whammy(tm) | XX XX
Catch(tm) | XX XX
Jump | XX XX
There were 3 different label variations on this title (2 with pictures and 1 with text). Sears also produced a clone of this game entitled Pong Sports. This game is valued at around $2 USD. As always, games with boxes and manuals are worth more.