Friends, while obviously compared to games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla or the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, the titles that were produced for the Atari 2600 might these days appear to be rather quaint. However I truly do feel the gameplay for many of the Atari VCS titles are more than solid – as I have mentioned on the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast – that is why Players visiting the arcade spend so much time playing the 2600 when they have 175+ arcade titles to also enjoy. With original games like Adventure, Dragonfire and Pressure Cooker to name a few – these titles show off that many 2600 titles had imagination in spades. Off the top of my head though there are two in particular that stand out for possessing incredibly bizarre elements – those two would be Megamania by the legendary Steve Cartwright for Activision and Turmoil – which was released by 20th Century Fox games and created by Mark Turmell (Smash T.V., NBA Jam).
To be absolutely honest you have to give Activision credit for securing The Tubes for their television commercial – however there is just as much energy and bizarreness on display with this ad for Turmoil!
I actually didn’t have the pleasure of playing Turmoil on the 2600 until after the arcade picked up a copy – as a matter of fact it turns out it was ported to the Commodore VIC-20 and 64, MSX, as well as the Atari 400 and 800 home computers too. The goal for the game is for the Player to pilot their starfighter down the center of the screen – blasting the oncoming enemy forces that are racing across the left and right sides of the screen while attempting to avoid a collision.
When all is said and done I would have to say that I think it’s a much more complicated title than Megamania – although both are still extremely fun… and feature food products. In addition, thanks to Willie of Arcade USA‘s new video you can get an in depth review of Turmoil and see how challenging the game can get.