Atari 2600 Adventure: The First Video Game Easter Egg is Just the BEGINNING!

Adventure is a video game developed by Warren Robinett for the Atari Video Computer System (later renamed Atari 2600) and released in 1980 by Atari, Inc. The player controls a square avatar whose quest is to explore an open-ended environment to find a magical chalice and return it to the golden castle. The game world is populated by roaming enemies: three dragons that can eat the avatar and a bat that randomly steals and hides items around the game world. Adventure introduced new elements to console games, including enemies that continue to move when offscreen.

The game was conceived as a graphical version of the 1977 text adventure Colossal Cave Adventure. Warren Robinett spent approximately one year designing and coding the game, while overcoming a variety of technical limitations in the Atari 2600 console hardware, as well as difficulties with management within Atari. As a result of conflicts with Atari’s management which denied giving public credit for programmers, Robinett programmed a secret room that contained his name within the game, only found by players after the game shipped and Robinett had left Atari. While not the first such Easter egg, Robinett’s secret room pioneered this idea within video games and other forms of media, and since has transcended into popular culture, such as the climax of Ernest Cline’s book and film adaption Ready Player One.

Adventure received mostly positive reviews at the time of its release and in the decades since, often named as one of the industry’s most influential games and among the greatest video games of all time. It is considered the first action-adventure and console fantasy game, and inspired other games in the genres. More than one million cartridges of Adventure were sold, and the game has been included in numerous Atari 2600 game collections for modern computer hardware. The game’s prototype code was used as the basis for the 1979 Superman game, and a planned sequel eventually formed the basis for the Swordquest games.

In this video, Jon plays through a full game of Adventure including (of course) finding that Easter Egg!

#atari #atari2600 #playthrough #genxgrownup

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