Star Raiders – Ready Player One Video Game Replay

A first-person view out of starship cockpit.

Atari released Star Raiders for the 2600 in 1980. Somehow, someway … I never played it, yet based on Wikipedia’s accounting, it inspired many of the games I love including Wing Commander, and Star Wars: X-Wing. In the novel Ready Player One, it gets a single mention alongside such 2600 classics as Yar’s Revenge and The Empire Strike’s Back as well as the … Read more

The Empire Strikes Back – The Ready Player One Video Replay

An 8-bit snowspeeder flies toward an Imperial walker.

Parker Bros.’s The Empire Strikes Back Atari 2600 game is – according to Wikipedia – the first-ever Star Wars licensed video game. It takes place on the ice planet of Hoth, with the player on a doomed mission to destroy imperial AT-ATs (aka imperial walkers) before they can reach the rebel base. It plays a minor role … Read more

Kaboom! – Ready Player One Video Game Replay

A lone bomber stands at the top of the screen, against a grey background, ready to drop bombs into the green void below.

Activision’s bomb-dropping Kaboom! plays a minor role in the Ready Player One novel, appearing on a single line with classic Atari 2600 games like Combat, Space Invaders, and Yar’s Revenge. In the real world, it was released in 1982 and sold over a million cartridges by 1983. Me? Despite its documented fame, I didn’t play Kaboom until I started the Ready Player One … Read more

RPO Replay: Swordquest

The Ready Player One Replay is an ongoing exploration of the games that inspired the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Love it or hate it, there’s value in revisiting our geeky roots. Quote “You’re holding Swordquest: Earthworld,” I continued. “The first game in the Swordquest series. Released in 1982.” I smiled wide. “Can you name … Read more

RPO Replay: Tron – Deadly Discs

The Ready Player One Replay is an exploration of the games that inspired the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Quote After I beat Aech at three rounds of Tron: Deadly Discs, he threw down his Intellivision controller in disgust. — Ready Player One p. 40 Game Play Tron – Deadly Discs is a single-player game for Atari 2600 and … Read more

RPO Replay – Defender

The Ready Player One Replay is an exploration of the games that inspired the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Source Gunfire wasn’t uncommon in the stacks, but it still shook me up. I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep, so I decided to kill the remaining hours until dawn by … Read more