Atari's Forgotten Arcade Classics

As Atari turns 45 this month, a look at 10 of its little-known coin-op games from the early 1970s



Atari's Quadrapong traces its origins to another game called Elimination, released in 1973 by then-secret Atari subsidiary Kee Games. (Bushnell hatched Kee Games as a plan to get around exclusivity deals with distributors in the arcade industry.) Elimination/Quadrapong was the world's first four-player video game. Incidentally, it was also the first arcade game to ship in the low-profile, upward-facing cocktail form factor. Quadrapong plays a lot like it sounds – instead of two paddles, there are four (and four knobs to control them), and if the ball gets past your paddle, you lose. Bushnell has since said that Atari enjoyed creating games that encouraged social interaction in public places. To that end, Quadrapong succeeded brilliantly.

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