Still got that Atari 2600 hooked up? Probably not, but fans of the company behind the classic game system may be interested in knowing that it is continuing its business of capitalizing on nostalgia by releasing a handful of new cartridges for the VCS next month. As detailed on the Atari XP website, Atari fans can get their hands on three never-before-released Atari 2600 game cartridges in the form of Yars’ Return, Saboteur, and Aquaventure beginning this May, all three of which will also be available as part of limited-edition packages. None of these titles were ever blessed with an official release, although they’ve been available to play at some capacity on various platforms over the years (e.g., Aquaventure exists on the Atari Flashback Classics compilation). Atari’s new cartridges feature illustrations on the front, as well as unique numbering for collectors.
Three New Official Atari 2600 Cartridges Are Coming This May (Gamespot)
Shipping this May, the three Atari 2600 games coming via Atari XP are Yars’ Return, Saboteur, and Aquaventure. In contrast to the basic labeling of original-era 2600 games, these limited-edition versions have detailed illustrations on the label. Yars’ Return, for instance, shows a big creature front-and-center with the environment in the background. None of these games got releases on the original 2600, though Saboteur was designed by Yars’ Revenge (and ET) creator Howard Scott Warshaw and had been planned for it. Yars’ Return did not feature his involvement, nor did Aquaventure.
One more game is planned for the program at a later date: Adventure. The legendary game did release on the Atari 2600, so we may get more popular games from the console in the future.
Limited-edition bundles for Atari XP games come with the cartridge, an “extended instructional manual with bonus material,” an enamel pin, a collectible patch, and a digital version playable on the new Atari VCS console. You can read more about the program on the official website, and you can check out Howard Scott Warshaw’s book Once Upon Atari to see how the legendary designer “killed an industry” that was already heading into a death spiral when he had to create ET in just five weeks.