Alright, so even though I’m a bit of Retro Guru here on Marooners’ Rock, I will admit that my knowledge of anything prior to the NES is pretty hit and miss. While I can name off most of the consoles after the NES in order or release and spout off all the cool little features of each, I never had much interest in anything before that magical gray box. That’s mainly because prior to me being born, my father traded his Atari collection for the family NES.
So I missed out on a whole generation of games. Now, that I’m much older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve been pursuing gaming history in all its forms going as far back as I can. This led me to making a ton of friends, many of which actually hold World Records for a few Atari 2600 games. It was those friends that taught me all about the 2600 and Atari as a whole; their passion was infectious for this console I barely knew. Surprisingly, even in 2016, a new Atari 2600 game is being developed and its called BOSS.
BOSS comes from the minds of Dave Vogt and Jason Santuci, two incredibly talented gaming enthusiasts with a history of making retro games. Vogt holds several World Records himself, while also dabbling in Doom and Wolfenstein mods plus PC, Wii U, and Mobile indie development with a usual focus on retro inspired games. Santuci on the other hand has done a ton of work on the Atari 2600, as well as the Sega Genesis and PC. Together, the two friends pulled Santuci’s old game idea for BOSS out of the graveyard and pushed it into full production through Indiegogo.
The new game is essentially a collection of boss fights, in which the player controls a ship that has to battle these large enemies using their wits and skill. Each boss progressively gets more challenging, creating one of the few examples of a bullet hell shooter for the Atari 2600.
It’s incredible to see something as basic as the Atari 2600 given so much attention and passion. Seeing developers take a step back and accept the limitations of that console, who then create something unique with it, is truly inspiring. This is why I love the retro gaming community. The passion never dies.