Atari Poop – Warlords
The first game to have been based on Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, Warlords (originally even titled “Princes”, but later changed to “Condottieri” because it sounded too wimpy, and then changed again because it sounded to Italian) is an Atari 2600 classic.
The plot of the game is as follows: your father, Frederick the Great, is a good and loved king. He even writes in his spare time, like his chapter by chapter refutation of “The Prince” titled “Anti-Machiavel.” Freddy has four sons; you (Agathocles), and your three brothers (Cesar Borgia, Hannibal, and Oliverotto). The four of you are nothing like your father as you are constantly fighting with each other and are generally super evil dicks, so the good king decides to say fuck it, kicks all four of you out of the country, and banishes you to some desolate forbidden land… let’s say it was Poland.
For some reason, once in this barren backwater realm you and your brothers decide to agree on something for the first time in your lives: how to divide the land between the four of you. Like the idiots that you are, you decide the image to the right is the best configuration. Yup, those are four castles, all facing each other. Apparently, the second after you decided to split up the land, you stopped trusting your brothers again and built your castle in such a way as to keep a constant watch on all of them. Your brothers, being just as paranoid and psychopathic as you are, did the exact same thing. This is where the game begins. Your goal is to pick away at your brothers’ castles’ defenses until you manage to kill them.
Originally, the game was going to be much more complex. Due to the 2600 graphical limitations, the ability to catapult the plague-ridden corpses of your dead citizens over the walls of your brothers’ castles in the hopes of infecting their citizens was sadly cut. The same fate befell the option to kill 10,000 of your citizens to get power-ups and the “organize a meeting to ‘reconcile’ with one of your brothers and then murder him instead” cheat. To be honest, you could fill a hundred “blog posts consisting of 90% lies & 10% actual facts about Atari 2600 games” with the awesome stuff that got dropped from this game.
In the end, what gamers got was nothing more than a variation on Pong. You use the paddle controller to move your “shield” and deflect the ball away from your castle and back towards your enemies. You could even use the button on the controller to catch the ball and send it back at a much higher speed at will when you release the button. Over all, this game was pretty fun, and with a friend, things could get even more fun and intense.