10. I, Robot

    It's been years since I've seen this game last, so I can't say for sure EXACTLY if this is still one of my favorite games. However, I have an obsession to find this game again, be it in a classic arcade, or being sold off at an auction. Eventually, I *will* find this game again, and when I do, the classic arcade community will definitely hear about it. DO YOU HEAR ME???
9. Boxing
    This Activision title may be rather basic, but no other game can match the physical pain it induces in the thumb. 'Nuff said.
8. Kaboom!
    My father is technically inept. There's no question about it - but boy, when we got Kaboom for Christmas, he really went to town.
    It's really hard to say this, but this is a videogame my father can beat me at. Which brings us to number 7:
7. Super Breakout
    My parents were not videogame people, but when they gave me Super Breakout for Christmas, even my mother got into it. Their favorite mode was "Progression," you know, where the wall slowly closes in on your paddle, gaining speed with every hit.
    I sometimes feel bad about the evolution of the videogame industry, leaving my parents and their precious paddle-games behind. I don't think they've willingly played a videogame ever again.
6. Surround
    I was introduced to this game WAY late in Atari's life, initialy by my best friend. But it didn't tickle my fancy, so I let it go.
    However, one of my friends I met while in high-school plopped this game into my system, and explained to me "Thunder Road," the forming of a two vertical walls in the center of the screen, with just enough room for you to fit in and, while holding the fire button, have created an impenetrable force field.
    He also wrote a heavy guitar song based on the monotoned background music. He's a weird soul...
5. Xevious
    This game was the deciding factor of me either buying a 2600jr to replace my busted VCS, or going all out and getting the NEW Atari 7800 that just hit the shelf in 1985.
    I played this game for hours in the arcade, and when I saw the back of the 7800 box with the Xevious mothership staring back at me, I had to buy this system. Unfortunately I had to wait a few months - Unbeknownst to me, Atari had a funky release schedule, and Xevious was delayed until right before Christmas.
    But, eventually I got this almost-perfect Xevious, and spent hours going through the game while a snow-storm brewed outside.
4. Slime World
    Truly the Lynx's finest hour. The game may be incredibly boring, but wait until you play the ultimate, pre-Doom 8-player version. Extremely fun, and a great party game (especially with a few beers...)
3. Decathlon
    Yep, Track & Field edged out this older Activision title, but not by much.
    My favorite memory is discovering the bug/feature/trick in the Pole Vault event: Even running as fast as you can can't get your player over the bar everytime. But if you "pump" the button as your athlete sails through the air, every "pump" will give the guy a little more height. Eventually, you can actually have him fly off the screen, cruising over even the most impossible bar heights.
    Eventually, though, after a few dozen attempts and an incredibly high bar placement, the game gets confused and issues point values like 12$!3 or 1/2 /13. Finally, the game will go completely bonkers, and the athelete will eventually float over the tarmac until the power switch is flipped.
2. Track & Field
    There's a term my friends and I created for the action of somehow "borrowing" an Atari cartridge from a friend, and discovering years later that you still have possesion of this item, with the original party having no idea that you are the new owner. The word is "hutzel."
    Track & Field for the 2600 is one of many games I've hutzelled over the years...but it is by far the greatest hutzelled gem in my collection. Not only does it come packaged with a neat replica of the arcade buttons, it's limiting graphics actually retains a near-exact port of the gameplay.
    Now, I wonder who this actually belonged to...
1. Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
(2600, 5200/Activision)
    I have a very special place in my heart for this game, as well as a touching story.
    When the 2600 version came out, I spent hours, days and weeks perfecting my skills on this top notch cartridge. I threw my joystick across the room in victory when I finally finished the game PERFECTLY - i.e. all gold bars and the three required treasures, all without taking an unfortunate trip to the red-cross. I must've let the game cycle through its screen-saving colors for days, annoyingly gloating to my family and friends of my victory.
    A few days later, I discovered that one of my good friends received the 5200 version for his birthday, and was having trouble making it up the Condor Cavern (self-titled stretch of caverns to Quickclaw). So, I biked on over to his house, ran down to his basement and prepped myself for the now-typical Pitfall performance.
    Boy, what a learning curve. The game looked and sounded exactly like the weaker brother, but those mushy joysticks took a lot of effort to get used to. But, my endurance conquered - and after a few deaths, I picked up the Diamond and Rhonda, and started up Condor Cavern.
    I discovered the downside of the 5200...the jump button I was using stopped working. I couldn't figure this out, but then I realized there was another button underneath. Luckily, that one still functioned.
    Anyway, I finally made it up to Quickclaw (but picked up the rat, natch). I went over to that scaredy-cat, jumped into him (virtually sticking him in my pocket), and watched Pitfall jump up and down in victory, and I smugly put the controller down. My friend was amazed at my skill, and I sat back with a grin on my face. We heard a voice calling down the staircase, "Steven, time for dinner!" and I reached over to the power-switch.
    It was at this time that I discovered that Pitfall stopped jumping up and down like a maniac. A monolith-type figure rose out of the ground, and Pitfall ran INTO it. Whammo! A whole new level. We were both amazed, but it was I who was floored. Huge caverns, drunk bats.. I couldn't believe it. I was also asked to leave because my friend had to eat his supper. He hit the power switch...sort of a metaphor for what happened next.
    I went on vacation the next day...and my friend was moving away the next week. That was the last day I ever saw my friend, the last time I played the 5200, and the only time I witness the hidden level in Pitfall II.

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