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Cover art of Video Olympics
Multiplayer (1 to 4 players)
Video Olympics is a video game cartridge programmed by Atari, Inc.'s Joe Decuir for the Atari 2600. It is one of the nine original launch titles for that system when it was released in September 1977. The game is a port of Atari's popular Pong series. It was also released by Sears for their Atari 2600 clone (the Sears Video Arcade) under the title Pong Sports.
The games are a collection of "bat and ball" style games, including several previously released by Atari as coin-ops in the early 1970s. The games are played using the 2600s paddle controllers, and are for one to four players (three or four players requires a second set of paddle controllers).
The cartridge and its individual games were reviewed twice in Video magazine. In the Winter 1979 issue of Video, the cartridge was reviewed as part of a general review of the Atari VCS where it received a review score of 8.5 out of 10, and its constituent games were characterized as "old standbys" but "still lots of fun".:33 A more thorough review appeared in Video's "Arcade Alley" column in the Summer 1979 issue where the release was generally praised for "tak[ing] Atari's Pong concept and explor[ing] it to the limit." Individual games were singled out as well, with praise for Volleyball and Robot Pong (described as "astonishingly good"), and criticism for Handball (for its use of a visually disturbing blinking paddle rather than an absent paddle to indicate inactive players), and Basketball (described as primitive compared to Atari's own 1978 version of Basketball).:42
Video Olympics includes 50 games and variations.:30 Some of the more notable games include:
- Pong - The classic table tennis simulation.:42
- Super Pong - A Pong variation where each player has two paddles.:42
- Robot Pong - A solitaire Pong variation.:42
- Pong Doubles
- Quadrapong - A four-player, four-wall Pong variation.:42
- Foozpong - Based on Foozball, this Pong variant has the players control a vertical three-paddle column.:42
- Handball - A Handball simulation.:42
- Ice hockey
- Hockey III - An Ice hockey simulation where players can catch and shoot the puck at the opposing goal.:42
- Basketball - A Basketball simulation.:42
- Volleyball - A Volleyball simulation where the traditional (Pong-style) left-right volley is swapped for a top-bottom volley. Players can volley or spike.:42
- Kaplan, Deeny, ed. (Winter 1979). "VideoTest Report Number 18: Atari Video Computer". Video (Reese Communications) 1 (5): 30-34. ISSN 0147-8907.
- Kunkel, Bill; Laney, Frank T. II (Summer 1979). "Arcade Alley: Atari Video Computer System". Video (Reese Communications) 2 (3): 42, 43, and 66. ISSN 0147-8907.
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