The company best known for its development for the Atari Lynx color portable machine (by R.J. Mical and Dave Needle of Amiga computer fame) was also one of the few software houses that produced Atari 2600 (and 7800) software long after the video game crash of 1984. What inspired it to take part in a losing proposition is anybody's guess, but at least its games were respectable -- if not stellar -- efforts.

Basically, the company took its most popular computer franchise and ported them over to the 2600. Summer Games, Winter Games and California Games were best-sellers on the Atari computers and Commodore 64 were highly regarded alternative sports titles, and Epyx did nothing to tarnish the series' reputation with its 2600 tranlations. The fancy visuals and most of the cinematic sequences were left off in the 2600 version, but the repetitive yet addicting gameplay was thankfully retained. The Atari 7800 versions of the same titles were also well received by the few players that owned the machine as well. Epyx later went on to work on versions for several other systems, including the Atari Lynx and Super Nintendo.

As a result of Atari's failure with the 2600 and 7800, Epyx's games did not sell well. Toy retailers such as KayBee were soon dumping Atari cartridges for a dollar a piece in the late 1980's. And with the Commodore and Amiga user base shrinking faster than a snail doused with salt, Epyx ran into some financial and managerial problems in 1989. So Epyx sold its prototype Handy system to Jack Tramiel of Atari (later known as Lynx). Atari was unable to successfully market the Lynx against Nintendo's comparatively slow, monochrome Game Boy and the rest is history. Epyx filed for bankruptcy sometime in 1991.


  • California Games
  • Summer Games
  • Winter Games

Go to previous page