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Skiing (Atari 2600)


Company: Activision
Year: 1980
Plataform: Atari 2600
Controller: Default controller of the console.


The red flags mark the desired goal.

Early 80s, programmers from Atari choose to found their own software company and Activision came to be, we have already talked about some of their games.

The winter sport of slalom using skis was the theme of many videogames during the first years of the industry. And Activision decided to make another one about that sport, being the author of the videogame the programmer of the other sport videogame included in the initial lineup of the company’s titles, Bob Whitehead, author of other games for other consoles and entries in this blog.


Where is the skier? Look at the tree at top right.

The videogame as we have already written about, simulares the sport of slalom or downhill using skies. Actually, the control schema is quite basic: the virtual skier is always going down, with joystick moving from left to right changes the direction to where the skier goes, but trying to clear the course in the least time possible.

Of course, there are hazzrds and situations, like crashing into trees, or being in a fully horizontal position and not advancing at all.

There are 10 variations of the videogame, split in 2 modes:

Slalom: In this mode, you have to clear the course in the least possible time. But you have to go between blue flags called goals, if the skier does not go thru the flags, there is a penalty of 5 seconds added to the time. The first 5 variations of the game belong to this mode, where the first 4 range from easiest to hardest with the flags located always in the same spots. However, the final one, change the location of the flags every new game.

Downhill: This mode is similar, but there are no gates. Instead there are obstacles that change from trees to avoid, or grey “spots” in te snow that must be jumped using the button of the joystick. The variations are the same, the first 4 range from easiest to hardest. Being the final one has the location of the obstacles change every game.


The videogame looks very basic, but requires a lot of precision. And every game are always quick, so the challenge to clear the course in less, and less time. The variations 5 and 10, which randomly change the location of items, gives the game a high replay value avoiding monotony in the same.

Finally, Activision sent patches to whoever accomplished certains conditions of the game and provided a photo of the TV with evidence. You can see an image of the patch of Skiing, with the condition being clearing the course of Slalom variation 3 in 28.2 seconds or less.

I haven’t made it yet, but I’ve been close, in case I made it, there will be an update in this entry.


Sport Icon designed by Smashicons of FlatIcon licensed by CC 3.0 BY.

Console Icon taken from Retroarch.

Patch, info about it and box imagen in datafile section taken from Atari Age

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