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



The first video game light gun was created by Ralph Baer and Bill Harrison in the 1960s, but the technology did not become well known until Atari released Qwak in November 1974. (It appears that Sega's Balloon Gun, released that August, likely beat Qwak to market as the first light-gun-based arcade video game). It's very hard to find any footage or even photos of Qwak in action, but players describe its gameplay as very similar to Nintendo's NES classic Duck Hunt. One duck flies out on screen at a time, and if the player shoot it, a hunting dog hops out and collects it. Mercifully, there are no reports of the dog laughing at you if you miss.

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