Atari 2600 Game
Produced by: Atari and Sears
Model Number: CX2617 (Atari) or 99848 (Sears)
Rarity: 2 Common+
Year of Release: 1978
Programmer: Uncredited

Why carry around a bulky Backgammon set, when you can now fit Backgammon in your pocket? You can play anytime with Backgammon for the Atari 2600.

This is the Backgammon, properly implemented. This is nothing fancy, but it does get the job done. The Acey Deucey variant is also included. The manual to this game is a wonderful reference on the rules and history of this game. I can't node the whole thing because of silly laws, but I will include an excerpt from the beginning.

From the manual

Backgammon, in some version, has been played in various parts of the world for over 5,000 years. It is possibly the oldest war game still being played. It is suggested in early writings that the game was originally designed to train soldiers for combat, as backgammon has all the intricacies of any war game: strategy, position, and timing. It is both a game of skill and luck, which probably accounts for its longevity.

The most ancient possible ancestor to be found so far dates back to the ancient civilization of Sumer. The Egyptian Pharaohs played a similar game. Game boards were found during the excavations of King Tut's tomb that akin to backgammon. The ancient Greeks and Romans played different forms of the game were mentioned in many of their writings. A form of backgammon was played in the Middle East long the Crusades. In fact, it is believed that the Crusaders brought the game back to Britain with them, where it flourished in the eighth and ninth centuries.

The earliest written mention of the name "backgammon" was made in 1645, in a description of a game that is very much like backgammon as it is played today. The rules of today's game were set down by Edmond Hoyle in 1743.

The object of all the variations of the game, from its beginnings to now, is to move you game pieces around the board and bear them off before your opponent does.

Collectors Information

This game was sold under both the Atari and Sears brand names. There are two label variations of the Atari version (1 with text, 1 with a picture). The Sears version had a text label. This game is valued at around $2 USD. As always, games with boxes and manuals are worth more.