THE GAMES THE 7800 PLAYED
These are all the commercially released Atari 7800 games and the verified unreleased titles that were in production at the time of the 7800's lifespan.
Pack-in for some outside the USA releases of the 7800, made up of older 2600 games (some of which are the same games with slight graphics changes). Games are selected by turning the system on and off!
Decent if not terribly exciting WWII flight simulator, which is a conversion of the computer title originally made by Accolade.
Aces of Aces
One of the later, and more interesting (and better produced) 7800 games. Alien Brigade is also one of the more difficult 7800 games to find due to the system reaching towards the end of its lifespan. Alien Brigade is a first person style shooter reminiscent of Taito's operation Wolf. Game features some very nice graphics as well as some rare (for the 7800) cut scenes.
Originally titled Asteroids 3-D (due to the nicely rendered pseudo 3-D graphics), Asteroids for the 7800 is a nice if slightly boring version of the Atari space shooting classic. There is a great two player version allowing players to go head-to-head.
Developed with Lucasfiilm Games, Ballblazer is a fun and innovative split screen futuristic sports game... which plays a bit like one-on-one soccer. Only one of two 7800 games that have the POKEY IC chip allowing for the best music and sounds of any 7800 game. One of the very best for the 7800, originally designed to be launch title and exclusive for the 7800 for at least 6 months.
Dismal and boring light gun game with limited appeal. One of the 7800's worst games.
Sports games are a rarity on the 7800, and Basketbrawl is probably the best of the lot. This is an original title mixing street brawling with the game of basketball. Sports some nice options and background graphics, and is one of those later 7800 games that shows off what the system is capable of when properly programmed. An Atari Lynx version was also developed.
Another Atari arcade classic, and the 7800 version is very well done. An attempt is made here to mimic the playfield to a bit more of the traditional vertical style like the arcade.
Based on the Apple II version of the game, and not the more interesting Sega arcade game version. Game features some nice parallax scrolling but pales in comparison to the Sega Master System version.
Commando is a special game for the 7800. First, it's a great translation of what was (at the time) a fairly popular arcade game not from the Atari catalogue. Secondly it is only one of two Atari 7800 games with the POKEY sound IC chip installed creating a much better audio experience than most Atari 7800 games. One of the few 7800 games which trumps the NES version of the same title.
Another original but terrible Atari 7800 light gun game, a far cry from the better light gun offerings from Nintendo or Sega.
A nice and competent translation of the Exidy arcade shooter, which is compatible with the Atari light gun.
Unreleased but rumored to be finished, Crystal Castles has yet to be discovered in a prototype form by collectors. This would have a been a great addition to the 7800 library and plays to the strengths of the system. Possibly might have not been released due to the lack of a 7800 trackball controller. Hopefully a version of this will be uncovered at some point in the future.
Rumor has it that Dark Chambers (called Dandy when released in 1983 for various computer systems) was the original inspiration for the arcade game Gauntlet. Dark Chambers is a nice looking but boring dungeon crawler that gets very old very quickly.
Heavily publicized in 1984 as a launch title for the 7800, Desert Falcon is a so-so isometric shooter in the vain of Sega's Zaxxon. Has some nice looking graphics and good ideas but ultimately falls flat.
Another solid arcade classic for the 7800, the only let down is the terrible sound effects. One of the games that would have been an original 1984 launch title if the system had been released in 1984 as originally planned.
Decent but not mind blowing conversion of the Nintendo arcade classic. For some reason it doesn't include all four arcade levels.
Donkey Kong Jr.
Much like the 7800 version of regular Donkey Kong, Jr. is a decent but not perfect conversion of the Nintendo classic arcade game.
A good try at converting the arcade classic to the 7800, but suffers from some strange animation and poor sound effects. Despite these faults it is a faithful adaptation of the arcade game and a really good attempt. One of the few 7800 games that had a timely release of a (at the time) current arcade hit.
7800 version of the Atari Lynx game, which was shown at the 1992 CES trade show but never released. Game art elements have resurfaced but unfortunately the game prototype has yet to appear. Looks like this side scroller would have been a nice addition to the 7800 library and collectors are hopeful it will one day surface.
32 in 1
A version of the Taito arcade classic was announced originally (and shows up in Atari internal memos) around 1984 during the initial 7800 release and production. It is unknown how far in development the game got, a 2600 version prototype has surfaced and is semi-complete.
Forward thinking flight simulator for the 7800 is a bit stale to play, yet still interesting. The 7800 does a fairly good job with early polygon style graphics despite the rather small playfield view out of the cockpit window. An ambitious but not entirely successful game.
Ambitious but clunky attempt at making a racing/adventure style game. Has some nice graphics but the gameplay can be a bit of a drag. Probably the best opening intro scene of any Atari 7800 game. One of the later and more unique (and better done) 7800 games that came out towards the end of the 7800's life.
Very haphazard adaptation of the Accolade computer boxing game. The punishing control scheme doesn't help the situation. The graphics are much worse than the Atari 8 bit computer version of this game despite the 7800 being more powerful graphically.
Fantastic adaptation of the Atari arcade game (originally developed by GCC). Food Fight was originally planned to be an Atari 7800 exclusive. One of the best of the early 7800 releases.
Decent conversion of the Namco shooter classic, which suffers from a bit of slow down from time to time. Galaga would have been an early 7800 exclusive in 1984 that could have really helped the system, but it wasn't released until late 1986/early 1987.
Submarine simulator based on the same named game by Accolade produced for home computers. An early prototype version has been found, but is not playable.
Another announced arcade classic which unfortunately was never released. No prototypes have surfaced, the status of the production is unknown.
Announced early in the development of the 7800, but no prototype has surfaced. Both 2600 and 5200 versions were completed and released in 1984, so there is good reasoning to think a prototype fo the 7800 version might still be out there somewhere.
Miserable one on one ice hockey game, based on the Sente arcade game of the same name. One of the worst games for the 7800, even the box art is terrible.
Another late in the 7800's life game which is fantastic. Solid translation of the arcade classic, and a rare 2 player cooperative 7800 title to boot. Ikari Warriors can be hard to find so be prepared to have deep pockets to find a copy for yourself.
Nice looking and playing conversion of the Epyx computer game of the same name. Unfortunately due to a programming error the North American version of the game is missing the final "piece" of the puzzle needed to win the game, making the game truly impossible to finish! The overseas PAL version of the game doesn't have the error.
Odd original title for the 7800 which is sort of a combination of the classic games Breakout and Kaboom. Doesn't quite work but the graphics are nicely done.
Another solid arcade classic conversion for the 7800. Atari made Joust for a large number of systems and this version for the 7800 might be the best conversion.
Terrible conversion of the martial arts computer game originally published by Broderbund. Everything from the graphics, sounds, to terrible play mechanics are a let down. Maybe the worst 7800 game of all time.
Decent translation of the side scrolling arcade beat-em up game originally by Data East. One of the few 3rd party 7800 games, and like most hard to find today.
Announced early in the 7800's production, a version of the Broadbund classic would have definitely been a nice addition to the 7800 library. A screenshot exists in older PR material for the system but it appears to be a mock up and not actual gameplay. It is unknown how much if any development went into this game since no prototypes have yet to surface.
Solid conversion of the Nintendo 2 player classic arcade game, with the only downside being the typical awful 7800 sound effects. I personally think this version is superior to the NES version of the game.
Mat Mania Challenge is a conversion of the very popular (at the time) arcade wrestling game produced originally by Taito. The 7800 version unfortunately is a mess with sloppy animation and an overarching feeling that no one cared to make a good game. This could have been a neat 7800 exclusive but it becomes yet another missed opportunity for the 7800 instead.
Mean 18 Golf
Impressive golf game, which is a conversion of the Accolade computer title. The 7800 version has some limited options (only one golfer, only one course), but does feature some nice graphics and gameplay. The NTSC version of the game is very difficult to find and can fetch high prices from collectors.
Interesting and unique 3/4 perspective RPG action game featuring Grandpa Munster from the 60's TV show! One of the great playing and well made games that came out towards the end the 7800's life. Game features some fantastic large sprites, tons of unique places to explore, and the premise is just very unique. A password save would have been nice but otherwise a great and unique game for the 7800.
Another arcade classic translation which was planned (according to Atari memos and internal documents) during its original planned launch in 1984. The game has been verified to have been in production, but it is unknown if it was ever finished.
Missing in Action
Sadly unreleased but luckily discovered as a 85% completed prototype, Missing in Action is a great side scrolling beat-em up game. Game features some great graphics and play mechanics, and is based on the Chuck Norris film of the same name. Game was cancelled due to Atari no longer supporting the system, and is again proof of how great the 7800 is when it is properly programmed.
According to Atari memos this game was finished and ready to go, but no prototypes have surfaced. For those of you who might not know, this would have been an adaptation of the 1981 Irem arcade title.
Poorly executed motorcycle game which seems to reuse elements of the 7800 game Pole Position II. What looks like on the surface to be an attempt to create a Road Rash style game just comes off as an unplayable mess.
Very nicely done version of the arcade classic which would have blow minds if the system had been released in 1984 as originally planned. This was one of the 7800's launch titles in 1986-87 when the 7800 finally came to stores. Unfortunately for Atari most kids were more interested in saving princesses from castles.
Maybe the best known of the 7800's later titles just due to the, well title. Ninja Golf is exactly what it says it is, a ninja combat game mixed with playing golf. The gameplay itself is fine but nothing special, but the game features some of the best graphics on the 7800. Another one of the late in the 7800's life unique titles that took advantage of the power of the 7800 very well.
A nice if unexciting conversion of the Electronic Arts basketball computer title, starring Dr. J and Larry Bird. Sports titles are rare for the 7800 and this is one of the better ones. That neon orange floor in the game doesn't help the situation however.
Pete Rose Baseball
One of the two baseball titles for the 7800, Pete Rose plays a more complete version of the game when compared to Realsports Baseball but still suffers in the gameplay and presentation aspects. The game looks ok initially but the animation is choppy and the infielders move like they are on drugs.
The 7800 is woefully underpowered to faithfully recreate this arcade fighter which uses digitized graphics. Only a crude demo of this game exist, which appears to be very early in the development phase of the game. Pit-Fighter was cancelled due to the cancellation of the 7800 by Atari, but there is no way this would have worked.
Shooters are a rarity on the 7800, and Planet Smashers is a pretty good game overall. Game has the typical power-ups and special features all modern shooters have, but why does the space ship look like an airplane? There is also the typical low quality audio unfortunately. This is a tough game to track down since it was one of the very last games released for the the system.
Another rediscovered prototype that shows what the 7800 can do if someone cares enough to explore its potential. Beautifully done vertically scrolling shooter based on the Atari ST computer game of the same name. A working prototype exists, and was made playable on the 7800 hardware (it was found on development files on disks) by the hard work of 7800 fans.
Pole Position II
The pack-in for most 7800 systems sold around the world. Pole Position II is a decent translation of the Atari released by Namco produced arcade racing classic. The graphics sometimes have a strange pastel coloring to them, which is a problem with many 7800 games due to the 7800's built in color pallet.
Faithful and well done translation of the Bally-Midway monster arcade beat-em up classic. The 7800 version looks great and plays just like the arcade. Rampage allows for 2 player co-operative play and the ability to choose between all three monsters that are in the arcade. One of the best, if not the best (although there aren't many) 3rd party 7800 releases. The 7800 version is superior to the NES version in every aspect other than the audio.
The Atari 7800 version of the Atari Games arcade game was cancelled early in production due to the death of the 7800 system around 1992. A very early production prototype has surfaced but is in a very early phase of development.
Very basic baseball game that takes zero advantage of the Atari 7800 capabilities. Even if this had come out in 1984 (was originally planned) it would have seemed primative.
Rescue on Fractalus!
Second of the Atari/Lucasfilm Games meant to be part of the original 7800 launch in 1984. Development was evidently stopped once the Tramiel family bought Atari in 1985 and was not finished later due to the game requiring an additional memory chip. An early prototype exists and is fairly impressive.
According to Atari documents, this game was mostly finished but was a victim of Atari no longer supporting the 7800 system. No prototypes of the game have surfaced.