Atari 2600 homebrew – DK Arcade 2600 and Space Rocks.

Have you played Atari today? – nope, in fact I haven’t fired up the woody since playing Star Castle (see previous blog post – and with my gear stashed away whilst we redecorate, it might be some time before its on the geek bench again. But…no matter, Stella is such an awesome emulator that’s been ported to so many platforms, I’m bound to have a few bits of kit lying around here that haven’t been packed away.

Have you played Atari today? – Yep indeedy-doo – thanks to Stella running on my Raspberry Pi via the Chameleon PI distro and  my keyrah attached so I can use my old Atari sticks. Phew – In fact, with the heap of spaghetti wires and bits all over the desk  it might have been easier just to unbox my 2600 after all 🙂 Nevermind, as long as you can game right?

There’s two Atari 2600 homebrew games I’ve been itching to try out since looking at some of the early release info last year. As you can probably guess from this posts title, the games are DK Arcade 2600 and Space Rocks.

I’ve always loved the original Donkey Kong game on the Atari despite Mr K looking more like a giant gingerbread man, putting up with some rather iffy collision detection and Mario’s comical shuffle across the screen (you wait until you see him climb up a ladder!) but it’s all about gameplay and as a kid I lapped this one up.

I could go for some coffee dunking gingerbread right about now!

Atari 2600_DK

There’s already an absolutely brilliant conversion of Donkey Kong in the making for the Atari 2600 in the form of Donkey Kong VS and if you haven’t tried it yet, head on over here to give it whirl –

This afternoon though, I wanted to check out the latest development of DK Arcade 2600 by AtariAge member iesposta –

It’s certainly looking and sounding impressive so far and even includes the short intro from the arcade original – how high can you try? Despite a little flicker on Kong, the barrels and Pauline (who I can’t seem to capture on the screenshot from Stella) everything moves really smoothly and the collision detection is a massive improvement on the original.


I must be loosing my touch though becaause I’m finding the first level to be incredibly difficult to play. Those barrels come at you at a fair old pace and in some instances, three in a row and no space in between. I’ll keep at it but for the time being a screenshot from level one is about all I can provide. Probably best if you check it out yourself whilst I hang my head in shame 😉

Asteroids, everyone can play this – even if you suck at Donkey Kong and Space Rocks improves massively on Atari’s original VCS game.   –

But before we get into the game, pause for a moment and check out the absolutely stunning box art created for Space Rocks – created by label competition winner Dave Dries.



Space Rocks mixes elements of classic Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe and provides the gamer with a nice selection of options to suit visual graphics styles and gameplay. Check out some of the options available for you to mess around with.




Going for the Vectrex Minestorm look here, I’ve chosen blue neon for my colour scheme.



Space Rocks is one damn fine game of Asteroids all right. Just a few seconds in and I’m grinning as I hear that iconic laser FX and the meaty explosions that follow as you reduce rocks to dust. You get the plod, plod ‘sound track’ that gets progressively faster as the clear the screen which urges you and piles on the pressure just as the original did. You get really smooth animation here, little jitter and just superb gameplay. So much so, i’m seriously toying with the idea of placing an order for this cart.

Ganging up on me already! – one Saucership and remnants of a broken Magna-mine…and don’t think I can’t see you attempting a flanking position!




2 player co-op and ‘fight mode’ should be a laugh too – In fact, at the next gaming meetup, I’d like to take along my Harmony cartridge and maybe we’ll have us a bit of a mini competition?



So yeah, despite not having my Atari 2600 to hand, I’ve still had a  fun few hours with these two homebrew title and If you haven’t played Atari today, then maybe you’d like to check these out yourself?



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