JimsToy (partially found Atari 2600 games from obscure developer; 1980s)

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A screenshot of the tank game, taken from the Atariprotos website.

Status: Partially Found (tank game)
Existence Unconfirmed (other games)

JimsToy is a game developer that made an obscure tank game for the Atari 2600 sometime in the 1980s. The game is infamous for using swastikas as enemies. The prototype was owned by a former AtariAge forum member who supposedly got it from a friend of his, whose mother apparently knew someone that "made games for Atari".[1]

The Tank Game

The gameplay involves controlling a tank. The joystick is used to make your tank go in all 4 directions & the fire button lets out a bullet from the tank. The game is like Commando where the scrolling doesn't happen by itself but only goes up. There are 2 meters on the top of the screen; a fuel meter on the top left & a "hits" meter on the top right. The right meter shows how many enemies you've defeated & the left meter shows how much fuel you have left. If you run out of fuel, then the tank will come to a dead stop. In order to reset the game, you'll need to hold down & press the fire button, implying that the programmer wanted to make it easier for players to restart the game as you only have one life in this build.

The game has you take control of a tank through a looping level. The level starts off in a desert of sorts with some grass & a lake alongside some red objects that can kill you, but the tank can shoot through them. The 2nd section involves you going through a bunch of mines that can kill you instantly. Unlike the red objects, they can't be shot through. The next section is a river with a tiny bit of land in the middle. The light blue water makes you slower while the dark blue water will kill you if touched. The next section has 2 squares, which can refuel your tank. The next section involves another river with a longer island than the previous. The final section before looping is an empty open area.

For a while, it was believed that this is a prototype of Milton Bradley's Tank Blitz, which is an unreleased 3rd entry of the Milton Bradley Power Arcade series.[2] However, there are some things that can disprove this, such as the fact that the game uses blatant swastikas, which would've been frowned upon in a game from a family-friendly company like Milton Bradley. Another fact to disprove it being Tank Blitz the 2 released games in the Power Arcade series, Spitfire Attack[3] & Survival Run[4](not to be confused with the unreleased Data Age game on the same console), are in a first-person view meanwhile this game is in a 2D top-down view.

With these 2 facts in mind, the game can be determined as being unrelated to Tank Blitz & was likely not made for Milton Bradley. The only known identification as to who made it is JimsToy, whose logo is seen at the bottom of the screen throughout the game, albeit with a bit of glitchy graphics that make up a lowercase "i". This is the only known game from JimsToy & it is not known to have seen an official release of any kind.

It is currently unknown how far this game was at this state. The only label on the EPROM is "VWO"[5]. What this means is also currently unknown. It is likely that more enemies were planned as well as other possible levels, but this is only speculation.

Other Games

As noted, the owner of this prototype reportedly got it from a friend whose mother knew someone who "made games for Atari". The quote implies that this "JimsToy" developer has made other games for the Atari 2600 back in the 1980s, but without anything else to go off of, it is currently unknown as to what those other games or if they can be found in some way.


External Links

See Also