What Is Gecko?

An Atari 2600 Homebrew video game. Not just any game on the Atari-this one allows you, and a friend (where available) to explore a massive, 100-screen maze of secrets, trying to reach the end of it all.

Inspiration for this game came from the simple fact that I bought myself an Atari Flashback 4 from my local Kroger one Christmas out of curiousity. I took it home to play it on Christmas Day to only find out how terrible a majority of Atari 2600 games were (a MAJOR contributing factor to the Video Game Crash of 1983 if you ask me).

I experimented with VisualBB (Visual Batari Basic), making Atari graphics from binary code, I found pretty fun to do. One thing lead to another, and I wanted to make my very own Atari 2600 game... the problem this was Basic-a completely alien programming language. I tried to get ahold of the programming language; but wasn't really... "clicking" with me.

All hope wasn't lost-In March 2019, I attended the Columbus Ohio Game Developer's Conference (COGG) in the hopes of where I can find someone who can help out with my game. And I did! With the aide of Robert Holmes (who previously made Baby for the Atari 2600) he can help make my dream a reality!

Why The Atari 2600?

The Atari 2600 is a very capable machine for making rather simplistic games. They are meant to be fun, and not really supposed to change your life. The game itself is meant to be rather simple on the eyes, easy to understand and fun to pick up & play. One thing leads to another, you're playing it NON-STOP! Just a joystick, and one button. That's all she (and by she, I meant the Atari 2600's development name: STELLAAAAAAA!!!!!) wrote.

The Game's plans are as follows: A top-down adventure game with up to 2 players (player 1 in green, player 2 in pink). The core mechanics are eating bugs for points or orbs/skulls for power-ups/power downs with the flick of a tongue. And to help give the game personality, 100 screens across 4 different "themes" of levels-Clay Underworld, Grass Overworld, Vast Skyworld, and The Grande Rainbow. At the end of every 25 screens: instead of bosses, there are instead: minigames of how many bugs can your lizard eat before the time runs out-just to help give a sense of friendly competition or a high score run.

The game uses an Atari 2600 joystick-comprised of five functions: Moving in 4 cardinal directions (even diagonally-almost like Secret Quest-only less bland), and using the fire button as a means to defend your lizard: eating flies, spiders, and even power-ups, or the occasion power-downs (just in case if things are getting a bit too hectic as the game builds up to it's end).

However, for those who don't have an Atari 2600 (or an Atari Flashback II-modified with a Cartridge Slot), you can also download this game for your computer-either Windows, Mac, or even Linux via Steam!

Are You Intrigued?

Then check out the press kit down below!

The Facts