Birthday Mania (lost Atari 2600 game; 1984)
Birthday Mania is an Atari 2600 game developed in 1984 by a young programmer named Anthony Tokar. The game itself never had any commercial release, but instead advertised in the Newark Star Ledger newspaper. Consumers would mail a check to Tokar and would receive the game personalized with their name on the title screen. The game featured many birthday-themed activities including blowing out birthday candles and popping balloons.
The game itself only sold somewhere from 10 to 15 copies, only one of which has been found and verified by Atari collector Jerry Grainer. It is likely that these low sales were partly due to the North American video game market experiencing a severe decline from 1983 to 1985, an event referred to as the"Great Video Game Crash." Another more obvious reason for its rarity could be the fact that it had no commercial release. In 2009, a copy of the game surfaced and was put up for sale, with the highest known offer being $6,500. Though the offer was turned down by the seller. The game today is believed to be worth anywhere between $15,000 and $35,000.
On November 16, 2015, YouTube user Trevgauntlet uploaded a high-quality video of gameplay from Birthday Mania being played on the Stella emulator. According to the YouTube user, the footage is taken from a man named Thomas Jentzsch, though the ROM he owns has not been leaked online.
- Retro Games Collecteor article that appears to be the most credible source on the subject. Retrieved 7 Mar '18
- AtariAge forum thread on the game. Retreived 7 Mar '18