Alpha Beam With Ernie

Alpha Beam With Ernie
Company: Atari
Model #:
Michael Callahan (Programmer) & Preston Stuart (Graphics)
Year: 1983
Part of the Children's Television Workshop Series


When Atari decided to create a children's series they needed several popular characters to slip into the games, naturally Sesame Street was one of the first places they looked.  Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Ernie, Big Bird, and Grover were all given their own games in the Children's Workshop Series (CCW).  A sixth CCW title called Count's Castle was also planned but never finished.



Being a children's game, the gameplay is quite simple.  You must help Ernie capture the letters with his "Alpha Beam" and guide them into the appropriate slots on the ship.  If you do a good job (i.e. you're not retarded), you're rewarded with a cute little animation of Ernie waving at you.  It doesn't get much simpler than this folks! According to Atari the magical formula for its children's games is:

One Part Creative Magic (Is this anything like LSD?)
+ One Part Technical Wizardry (Look at the pretty colors.)
+ One Part Educational Know-How (Umm. we're still talking about Atari, right?)
= Dynamic, Child-Appropriate Video Games! (Edutainment! Run!!!)



Strangely there's no mention of Bert anywhere in this game.  Perhaps Atari felt Bert's unibrow was just too creepy to put into a children's game, or maybe it was that they just didn't approve of Bert and Ernie's "alternative" lifestyle?  I suppose "Don't Ask, Don't Tell with Bert and Ernie" wouldn't get past the censors.


Version Cart Text Description
12/22/82 Alpha Beam 12-22-82 Early Version
5/16/83 Alpha Beam EPROM Cartridge Final Version


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