Friday, July 24, 2009

Haunted House

A blast from the past.

During the early 1980’s I had a serious addiction, one that threatened my school grades, wasted my time and had the potential to destroy my future. The addiction was my Atari 2600 video game system. During the early 80’s Atari was the thing even though Intellivision tried to tell you otherwise.

My Atari 2600 addiction caused me to accumulate over 100 game cartridges. One of the things I really loved about the games besides playing them was the great artwork that adorned the cover. Airbrushed scenes of violence and mayhem that just screamed “buy me.” A game that I used to love was “Haunted House” first released in 1981.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the game:

“The house has three floors and a basement. The player's character may pick up only one of three items at a time (a key to open doors, a scepter to ward off evil spirits, or the urn) and must avoid a bat, a tarantula, and the ghost of Mr. Graves himself. If the player is hit by the monsters nine times, the game ends. If the player escapes the house with the urn, the player wins.

The items (and house layout in higher difficulties) can only be seen when the player uses the 'fire' button on the joystick to light a match, illuminating a small radius directly around his character; this can be done an infinite number of times, although the match only lasts for a limited amount of time before being snuffed out. If a monster enters the same room as the player, a howling wind from the monster will blow out any lit match.

Haunted House has a total of nine different levels which make the game more challenging; in particular, later difficulty levels make the walls of the house itself invisible unless the player lights a match.”

The artwork on the box rocked and despite the primitive graphics the game was a lot of fun. If you don’t believe me you can play the Java version of the game online here.

To see more Atari 2600 artwork check out this site.


Dixie said...

OhmyGOSH, what a way to make me feel OOOOOLD Scott! hahaha Wow. Just WOW.

PumpkinBrain said...

That brings some memories. I had an Atari when I was 5 and I played to it until I got my Nintendo at 9 years old. I think we still have that Atari stacked somewhere in the basement of my parents. I wonder if it's still working? I haven't played Haunted House, my favorites games were Pac Man, Plaque attack and Pressure Cooker.


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