Sensing that the video software market could be successfully
penetrated by an agressive company with quality on its mind, Imagic
began in July 1981 as the second third-party Atari 2600 software
publisher. And Imagic released a string of winners for the 2600 up
until the crash of 83/84. In 1983, the company celebrated its
anniversary having accomplished $75 million in sales and a reputation
for quality, confirmed by both industry awards and consumer
In many ways, Imagic was similar to Activision. The
Numb Thumb was an Imagic club that gamers could join
for a nominal fee, and a newsletter was sent out to its subscribers.
Additionally, patches were awarded to those who attained a certain
score for games (similar to Activision's promotion). Finally, Imagic
had its share of hotshot game designers in its stable, with Rob Fulop
leading the way with blockbusters like the critically acclaimed
shooter, Demon Attack.
Imagic's downfall -- along with many other companies during the
classic era -- was its failure to adapt to the changing market
climate in 1983. They were staunch supporters of the Intellivision
(several of their designers were ex-Mattel guys) when the system
was on its last legs, and even released two games for the Odyssey2!
Furthermore, they were late in the ballgame in moving into the
growing computer software market whereas Activision was quick to
support the Commodore 64, IBM PC and others.
Laser Gates had the same exact graphics and play
as Inner Space, a game programmed by Dan Oliver and
previewed by VentureVision at the Las Vegas CES in
January of 1983. Apparently, Imagic bought the rights to the game
shortly after VentureVision went out of business.
Cubicolor, the Rubik's Cube-inspired puzzler designed
by Rob Fulop, was never released by Imagic as the company focused on
space shooters and other popular genres that were surer bets to sell
at the time. However, Fulop eventually released the game himself in
the early 90s, but only 50-60 copies of the game are known to exist.
Flap (not released, renamed Wing War)
Hop To It (not released, renamed Quick Step)
Microsurgeon (not released)
Riddle of the Sphinx
Safecracker (not released)
Sky Patrol (not released)
Tarantula (not released, renamed Subterrania)
Wing War (PAL release only)