Once thought to have never even been started, Snow White turned up on Ebay back in 2000 with an ungodly reserve price. Even though the bids (which were in excess of $1,500) never met the reserve, the prototype was sold to an individual afterwards. While the game may not be complete, it gives us a glimpse at what Atari had in mind for their next Disney title. Your task is to guide the Seven Dwarfs through the enchanted forest as they search for Prince Charming who must save Snow White from the evil queen.
The first thing you'll notice about Snow White are the excellent graphics on the title screen. The Old English lettering is well done, considering how blocky the 2600's graphics usually are. The next screen shows how many dwarves you have in reserve, and how close the Queen with the poisoned apple is to Snow White. Since there are seven dwarves in the movie, you get seven attempts to save Snow White. The "Queen Timer" at the top of the screen is very similar to the one used in Dukes of Hazzard with Boss Hog and Daisy Duke. After your dwarf marches off, you are taken to the mine scene.
Your quest to save Snow White starts out in the Dwarf's diamond mine. You see a nice large-scale representation of your dwarf marching through a 3D looking mine. The mine walls may just blue blocks, but the lanterns are nicely rendered, and 3D effect is really well done. Every now and then you'll see little sparkling dots (diamonds), which you can collect to use against the bat on the next screen. You can collect up to 12 diamonds (shown in the upper right corner), but to exit the mine you must collect a ruby (red dot). If your playing the game in hard mode (difficulty A) there are small obstacles you must avoid in the mine and rocks will drop from the ceiling. I've also noticed a small bug in this screen, as sometimes your dwarf won't collect the diamond even though he's right next to it. This may mean that the diamond must touch your dwarf's hand which bobs up and down. Either way, after you collect the ruby you are taken to the river screen.
This screen is buggy but playable. On this screen you see a river running along the bottom with a log moving back and forth and a bat which will randomly teleport about. Your dwarf can only move on the banks of the river which are represented by three brown blobs. Your goal is to get to the bank on the far right side of the river, this is accomplished by jumping and riding on the log. If your dwarf falls into the river he'll drown and you'll lose a life (dwarves don't swim I guess). If your playing the game in hard mode (difficulty A) the bat will also attempt to drop rocks on dwarf causing him to fall into the river. You can scare the bat away with the diamonds you collecting in the mine by pressing the fire button as the rock is dropping. If you press the button before the bat drops the rock nothing will happen.
As I mentioned before this screen has a bug in it that affects the log. Many times when you attempt to jump on the log you'll end up in the river instead. There's no sure fire fix for this bug, but there are a few things you can do to help turn the odds in your favor. First, always jump on the center of the log for the sides of it seem to be buggy. Second, try and jump from the center of the bank. While it's still possible to make the jump from the left or right side, your odds seem to be best from the center. Once you're on the log try not to move around, there seems to be a bug which can cause you to fall off the log if you move around too much.
Once you make it to the right bank, you'll move into the evil forest.
The Evil Forest
This is the third and final screen in the game. On this screen evil trees will move in and out from the sides of the screen attempting to grab your dwarf. If the trees touch your dwarf, you'll loose a life and go back to the mine screen. The goal of this screen to to find the correct path out of the evil forest which is represented by a small white line which randomly appears at the bottom of the screen. Touching this line is rather hard, and it may take a few minutes until you succeed. If your playing in hard mode, the bat will drop rocks on you again as it did at the river. Once again you can use the diamonds you collect to stop the rocks after they're dropped.
If you successfully find the path out of the evil forest the Evil Queen will be chased off by Prince Charming and you'll be rewarded with a victory screen showing the dwarves dancing around while some cool music plays. There may have been a better ending planned as this is still an early prototype, but 2600 games were never known for complex endings.
Snow White was ultimately canceled due to managerial indecision. The marketing managers couldn't make up their minds on what kind of game they wanted, and were changing their minds daily (such as changing the game to a non-action title based around the magic mirror). Greg decided to shelve Snow White until management could make up their minds, and went to work on another 2600 game called Mark of the Mole (which also went unreleased). However Atari began to collapse and Greg left the company before Snow White could be finished.