The Genius of Atari 2600 Box art – from the Atari 1981 product catalogue

Unsurprisingly, its the amazing artwork that dominates, selling the games themselves (and what a contrast it is when you see the chunky pixel screenshots of the games in the bottom right hand corner of each double page spread). If you invested enough belief in the power of the art, it gave new life to the relatively simple visual stimulus when you actually played the game. Defender, in particular, is stunning – the Atari 2600 iteration of Williams classic arcade game, however, could not do justice to its arcade origins. But the console cart had the better art.

Courtesy of flickr, and the photostream of jasonsantamaria

3 thoughts on “The Genius of Atari 2600 Box art – from the Atari 1981 product catalogue”

  1. Lovely!The images did add to the fun of the games which to be honest were often (though not always) a bit piss poor though. So many times I rented a cartridge from the video shop to find the game was rubbish. Pacman was pretty good though but one you got the hang of it could go round the clock.The Atari was certainly a milestone in gaming though as a few years earlier the tv games offered little more than that tennis game in various forms – with a wall it = squash and with 2 bats per side became football and so on.There was an other company that made games too for the atari but forgot their name- think they made super cobra and a sort of galaxians/pheonix type game.

  2. Renting Atari cartridges were the only way I could get access to some of the better games – stuff like Pitfall would be taken out for weeks on end through summers of 83 and 84 (until the Amstrad CPC464 came along). Parker Brothers and Activision were two of the prominent 3rd parties who made games for the console – Parker tended to bring out the licensed stuff like the star wars and marvel games. Activision had the playable stuff though. Pitfall sticks with you.

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