RealSports Football

RealSports Football
Company: Atari
Model #:
Rob Zdybel and Alan Murphy
Year: 1982
This game was endorsed by Ed "Too Tall" Jones


After the dismal failure of its Football cartridge, Atari needed a new football game to show players that the 2600 could indeed do sports.  RealSports Football was Atari's answer to the Intellivision's NFL Football game which had taken the gaming community by storm as one of the most realistic football games ever created.  Did Atari succeed in putting the Intellivision in its place?  Not really, but it was a nice attempt.


RS Football starts promisingly enough with nine animated players on the screen (a first for the 2600), and a pretty looking information display at the top of the screen.  The gameplay is fast and furious and doesn't suffer too badly from the flicker that plagued the original Football cart.  Each player has a wide variety of plays to pick from and most of the rules of football are followed.  So what's the problem?



The problem is that the gameplay is just so-so.  There's nothing really wrong with RS Football, but there are some minor annoyances that keep it from being a great football game.  The computers AI could use some beefing up as you can run the same plays and beat the computer time after time.  In two player mode the game evens out a bit, but the screen seems too crowded and you quickly get the feeling there's nowhere to run.  Passing the ball is more a matter of luck than skill, so the game quickly degenerates into a rushing contest.  If your player gets ahead of your opponent you can start tacking up the points as there's almost no way they can catch up.

While it's not a bad football game, RS Football certainly is nothing special.  The Atari finally got a decent football game with the release of Super Football in 1987, but even then the 2600 showed that sports games weren't its strong suit.  Still, anything is better than the original Football cart which even today can give kids seizures with its horrible flicker.  This game may have started out life as a simple demo called Red vs. Blue which showed several animated players running in place.  


Version Cart Text Description
?/??/81 Football Early demo
Very late beta


Football EPROM cartridge 9/2 Final Version


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