Christmas Morning, 1982: Pac-Man for the Atari 400/800

Christmas Atari 1982

Pac-Man Atari 400 800

I forgot how big the cart boxes were for the 400/800. The console wars of the late ’70s and early ’80s were fought largely through package art and package design. Demo centers were few and far between, but we all saw the boxes faced out under glass counters or behind the registers. The 400/800 packages were bigger, Atari would have us believe, because the contents were more sophisticated. Pac-Man wasn’t just a game when played on the Atari 400 and 800. It was a “computer program.”

When I got my 800 in ’82 or ’83, it came bundled with Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.

(Photo via vigorito; box scan via Atari Mania)

5 Responses to “Christmas Morning, 1982: <em>Pac-Man</em> for the Atari 400/800”


  1. 1 narvo December 21, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    It’s true, they totally made their boxes bigger for the computer games. I bought Robotron 2084 for my 800XL and it was in an even bigger box, because it came with this plastic tray to hold the two joysticks in during gameplay. Yup, and right in the middle was that tiny little dinky cartridge. That was an awesome game, btw. I still have my 800XL and the Robotron cartridge somewhere I think. It’d be nice to bring it back.

    • 2 2W2N December 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      Robotron is one of my faves, for the sound effects alone.

      • 3 narvo December 22, 2015 at 5:01 pm

        Bigtime. Talk about an immersive game, right?

        From my experience, I would definitely rank Robotron’s in-game sounds as one of the defining and/or most memorable sounds of the arcade (others include Gyruss, Pole Position, Defender and Donkey Kong). It was such a chaotic game that there was no way one couldn’t hear it…

        • 4 Brad Conrad December 24, 2015 at 3:41 pm

          There was something about the sounds in those Williams games (video and pinball) that really made them stand out for sure.

          • 5 narvo December 26, 2015 at 3:51 am

            I think it was a combination of both the game sound design and the way they built their cabinets. They must have used good speakers, and somehow the cabs provided good amplification. I remember both Robotron and Tempest totally keeping me on my toes. Thumping bass and piercing high notes…! Same with Defender!


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