Video Olympics

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Video Olympics
Volympics.jpg
Cover art of Video Olympics
Developer(s)Atari, Inc.
Publisher(s)Atari, Inc.
Designer(s)Joe Decuir[1]
Platform(s)Atari 2600
Release
  • NA: September 11, 1977
Genre(s)Sports
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Video Olympics is a video game programmed by Atari, Inc.'s Joe Decuir for the Atari 2600.[1] It is one of the nine original launch titles for that system when it was released in September 1977. The cartridge is a collection of games from Atari's popular arcade Pong series. A similar collection in arcade machine form called Tournament Table was published by Atari in 1978.[2]

Video Olympics was rebranded by Sears as Pong Sports.

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot of the 'Hockey' game

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).

Reception[edit]

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".[3]: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).[4]:42

Games[edit]

Video Olympics includes 50 games and variations.[3]:30 Some of the more notable games include:

  • Pong - The classic table tennis simulation.[4]:42
  • Super Pong - A Pong variation where each player has two paddles.[4]:42
  • Robot Pong - A solitaire Pong variation.[4]:42
  • Pong Doubles
  • Quadrapong - A four-player, four-wall Pong variation.[4]:42
  • Foozpong - Based on Foozball, this Pong variant has the players control a vertical three-paddle column.[4]:42
  • Soccer
  • Handball - A handball simulation.[4]:42
  • Ice hockey
  • Hockey III - An ice hockey simulation where players can catch and shoot the puck at the opposing goal.[4]:42
  • Basketball - A basketball simulation.[4]: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.[4]:42

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers". dadgum.com.
  2. ^ Tournament Table at the Killer List of Videogames
  3. ^ a b Kaplan, Deeny, ed. (Winter 1979). "VideoTest Report Number 18: Atari Video Computer". Video. Reese Communications. 1 (5): 30–34. ISSN 0147-8907.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 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.

External links[edit]