Fantastic collection of 1980s videogame TV commercials

Originally published at:


Yar’s Revenge! I have no idea why I loved that have so much, but the packaged comic book might have helped.


I liked Yar’s Revenge a lot as well. Although I didn’t have the comic. The gameplay was just fun for its time.

Those were the days when the graphics alone wouldn’t sell the game.

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and a classic Atari rap.

The ad to re-generate enthusiasm for the 2600 console after the wild success of Nintendo was burned into my long term memory, for some reason. I never even had one.


Was is that one? I’m not going to watch an hour of video ads.
The 2600 was insanely ubiquitous, it was THE console for the 80s. But my mom was, if anything, slightly negative on TV and computers, plus we were poor, so ignoring video gaming was an easy choice for her to make. I’m honestly not even mad. Although, my babysitter had a Colecovision which was the coolest console at the time, and I played the fuck out of it for the few months she had me after school. And I remember being pretty impressed at how sophisticated the 2600 game Pitfall 2 was that my neighbor had. I guess that was one of the later games for that console?

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What in hell is this‽

I had to back up twice and inch my way through the first few seconds to confirm my brain hadn’t just gestalted the image into existence out of random nonsense.

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If anything, now TV shows are probably scrambling to buy ad-time in video games…


That would be Microsurgeon for the Intellivision:

It was pretty fun, for what it was.

ETA: But Swords & Serpents, Snafu and the AD&D games were the ones I probably played the most on that system

ETA2: Ooo! I take it back. TRON® Deadly Disks got a LOT of play time:

That was not an easy game to play with that controller.


Thanks. I’m still finding it kind of trippy.


That’s the one, it’s at about 3:15 into the video. It runs through my head a few times a year, tho I think the local Australian version had been modified to something like “at a real cool price/and we included a game/now isn’t that nice”.

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Also note the mention of the designer, David Crane. That was a thing Activision did. They were started by ex-Atari employees that didn’t like Atari’s policy that games had to be left anonymous.


Has there not yet been invented an machine learning thingamagoof to correct tracking problems on old VHS?

C’mon people. Get to work, fire up those tensor flows!


We played a lot of Tron, and Pitfall, Burger Time, and I spent a lot of time on the car racing game. And yes, those damn controllers were the catalyst of my love/hate relationship with Intellivision.

A lot of company owners go through this phase, though most at the beginning. Edison did not want to have artists named on his record company, and his movies were also supposed to not name any cast or crew. The main exception was when Steve Jobs made a directive that the dev team was no longer allowed to make Easter eggs in the “about” screen and to take all names off of it, which he tried to claim with how making Easter eggs was eating into developer time and how it didn’t respect the hundreds involved in writing modern software. (Note: I feel he was wrong about Easter eggs, they are more of a reward for programmers than most realise, a moment of levity after doing the drudge of the boring code bits.)


The thing is, a lot of Millennials seem to think that’s cool and even purposely add bad VHS effects to new digitally shot videos thinking that this makes their videos seem “old-timey”…

Those silly Millennials. Looking to the past for things that are cool.


You would never catch a Baby Boomer doing something like that.


How did we ever settle for such crappy graphics?

Because, it was all we had, and we liked it.

Cue the walking to school uphill both ways diatribe.


Well, the graphics on boardgames like Monopoly were in some ways less animated.