Rare, Never-Released Collectible 2600 Game Cartridges Launched With Atari VCS Bonus

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Gamers who are old enough to remember playing on an Atari 2600 will recall spending endless days and nights grinding games like Asteroids, Centipede, and Defender. With the introduction of the Atari VCS recently, gamers of all ages have been able to experience the 8-bit nostalgia that was early generation gaming. And thanks to AtariXP, you will be able to play some never-released Atari games from the 1970's and 1980's.

AtariXP is a publisher of collectible, physical games. It takes its name as a tribute to the Atari Program Exchange (AXP), which was a mail order catalog that sold software in the 70s and 80s. The company is offering three never-released titles from Atari for pre-order right now. Those are Yars' Return, Saboteur, and Aquaventure and all three will ship with a cartridge that is actually playable on the original Atari 2600 console from yesteryear.

Yars' Return is the sequel to Atari's 1982 Yars' Revenge, which just happened to be the best-selling original game for the Atari 2600. Some may remember playing as an insect-like character named Yar who destroyed barriers in order to blast his canon into the breach. In Yars' Revenge gameplay was always horizontal as enemies would attack from the right. In the yet to be released Yars' Return, that all changes as aliens will be coming at you from three different directions. This should make gameplay a bit tougher for all you OG Atari players.

The second of the never-released games is Saboteur, which was supposed to release in 1983. It is a creative, multi-level shooter that has you playing as a robot named Hotot. you are given the task of fighting a blue alien race that is utilizing your planet to launch a galaxy-destroying warhead. But you are not alone in the fight, as you will join forces with a yellow birdlike race to derail the alien's master plan. Along with your yellow cohorts, you will battle the aliens in an attempt to destroy the rocket, disarm the warhead, and prevent the annihilation of your home planet.

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The final game that is up for pre-order is Aquaventure. It will take you to an undersea cavern to retrieve a treasure. But you must do so before you run out of oxygen. Also, as you dive into the depths of the abyss you will encounter sea creatures that will try and delay your treasure hunt. You will be given the choice to kill the annoying sea creatures, but beware that will only spawn a replacement that will be faster and stronger. If you are fortunate enough to reach the sunken treasure, you will be met by a mermaid. Don't expect this mermaid to swim up to you and give you a peck on the cheek, however. No, she is going to swing that tail fin of hers to send you onto the next level. As you progress, the sea creatures get faster, and you have less oxygen to breath.

All three games are offered in two versions. The first is a standard edition in which you will receive a newly manufactured Atari 2600 cartridge with "strong gold-plated connectors" for $49.99. The second is a limited-edition package where you will receive the Atari 2600 cartridge, a premium poster, a printed instructional manual with bonus material, a collectible pin and badge, a certificate of authenticity, and a digital copy of the game playable on the Atari VCS. The limited edition will run you $149.99. All three of the limited editions will only have 1,983 units available in honor of the year each would have been released. You can pre-order both the standard and limited editions on the AtariXP website now.

Obviously, no one should expect to be blown away by the graphics or gameplay of these retro games, and having to shell out $149.99 to get a digital copy is...yeah. But if you're a collector, these might give you a feeling of nostalgia that takes you back to your childhood, or your parents' childhood, where 8-bit gaming ruled the world. 

*Update* Gameplay for Yars' Revenge was updated above with correct information.