Video Checkers

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Video Checkers

Video Checkers - 2600 - USA.jpg

Atari 2600 - USA - 1st edition.

Developer Atari
Publisher Atari
Published 1980-??-??
Platforms Atari 2600
Genres Board game, Single-screen, Strategy, Turn-based strategy

Video Checkers is a video game version of checkers developed by Carol Shaw and published by Atari for the Atari 2600 in 1980. The game supports human versus human, or human versus AI, and also has human versus AI in "giveaway" mode, where you try to be the first to lose all your checkers.

Personal

Since the game is just checkers, I made no attempt to buy or even play this game for most of my life. However, after making a list of winnable Atari 2600 games, I wanted to finish more of them, so I tried this one. On 2022-12-08, I beat the easiest AI difficulty in regular mode with 2 pieces remaining, and the easiest AI in giveaway mode with 10 pieces remaining, both with red moving first.

I don't own the game.

Review

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3 2 2 1 5

Best Version: Atari 2600

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • At level 9, the AI is extremely good for the time.

Bad

  • Although the game supports 2-player mode for regular checkers, for some reason, it doesn't for giveaway checkers.
  • I know not much can be done with the graphics, and they're certainly effective, but they still look bland.

Ugly

  • The game is just checkers. Other than the AI, there is nothing special here. It's more enjoyable, and much faster to just play on an actual board.
  • The audio is painfully awful.
  • Waiting 15 minutes for the AI to make its moves on the hardest difficulty is ridiculous.
  • The controls are pretty awful. You have to hold a diagonal direction for about a second before the game registers a move, and you can only move using diagonal directions on the joystick, so moving the cursor around the board is annoyingly slow.

Media

Box Art

The art is a collage of a checkers game with royalty playing it. It's a nice nod to being kinged, but the faces are a little off.

Documentation

Representation

Strong female character?FailThis games doesn't have characters.
Bechdel test?FailThis games doesn't have characters.
Strong person of color character?FailThis games doesn't have characters.
Queer character?FailThis games doesn't have characters.

Credits

Role Staff
Entire Game Carol Shaw
Cover Art Steve Hendricks

Links

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