Atari Poop

Atari Poop – AtariAge and the War on Christmas

Someone call Fox News! They’ve been blaming video games for the wrong thing.  I’ve discovered the origin of the War on Christmas and it’s, a veritable breeding ground for godless monsters who hate Christmas. You heard it here first kids and it’s all true.

It all started back in 2003, the year AtariAge released it’s first “Holiday Cart.” That’s right, “holiday” not “Christmas.” It was as clear a universal declaration of war as the world has ever seen, but it was only the tip of the mankind-saviour-hating iceberg. The affronterists’ affront would continue, eventually spanning half a decade before coming to a halt.

Some of the more naïve of you might find all of this a little far fetched, so look at each cart one by one.

2003 AtariAge Holiday Cart

2003 AtariAge Holiday Cart
As soon as you see the cart, your eyes get offended even before your brain can figure out the specific reasons why. This is mostly due to the fact that virtually every single square inch of the image on the cart has something offensive about it. High heels, lace stockings with garter, her top barely covering her body, and the way she is almost straddling an Atari 2600 between her legs: All of it has as much to do with Christmas as that insufferable “Santa Baby” song (the 2nd worst “Christmas” song ever recorded, 2nd only to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”). It is nothing but puerile smut.
Inserting the cart and turning on the console (no pun intended on both counts there) will make your TV screen greet you with a pixelated version of the very same image. It exemplifies the crass commercialism of what used to be the holiest of holy days. Plus, it isn’t even a game! Some people will buy anything.

2004 AtariAge Holiday Cart: Holiday Qb

2004 - AtariAge Holiday Cart
Holiday Qb is, unlike the previous cart, actually a game. This is the only redeeming quality it has, for while it may contain a game, at least  the 2003 Holiday Cart was original, in that the image contained within it was made specifically for it. However, in 2004, AtariAge decided to spit on Christmas not by releasing a game that was nothing more than a port of an Atari 8-bit computer, but by essentially releasing what would be called a hack of a ported game were it not for the fact that the hack was created by the very same person who created and then ported the game.
That’s right, Holiday Qb is simply Qb, an Atari 8-bit game, ported to the 2600, and given some Christmas-themed graphical updates. This is the Spongebob Squarepants Snuggie of video games. It doesn’t even matter if the game is any good because once you’ve reached this point, the product exists only as an insult to your intelligence. You just know that the corporate execs over at AtariAge had a meeting to discuss how to cash in on Christmas and the result was a unanimous decision to create the most watered down product imaginable.

2005 AtariAge Holiday Cart: Reindeer Rescue

Reindeer Rescue

Reindeer Rescue is what AtariAge offered to the masses in 2005, and judging from the art on the cartridge, even the reindeer did not want to be in this game. Part of the reason could be that Santa appears morbidly obese. It is possible that he needs to “rescue” all his reindeer because they have all fled out of fear that, after eating every other edible thing in the North Pole (including the elves and Mrs Claus), he would soon eat them.

The game plays like a poor man’s Robot Unicorn Attack. Santa automatically runs towards the right and must rescue his reindeer, but in his way will be various objects that either fuel him (his energy metre represented by a string of Christmas lights that slowly go out bulb by bulb, thus needing constant replenishing, making Santa some kind of morbidly obese version of Master Higgins) or just give points. However, since you cannot predict when or where any of the items will appear, the game is more crap shoot than fun. Again, it’s like Robot Unicorn Attack, but without the sweet music, robots, unicorns, or anything else that makes that simple flash game addictive.

Derivative drivel with a story so stupid and cynical, even an atheist would roll his eyes and call it an insult to Christmas.


2006 AtariAge Holiday Cart: Toyshop Trouble

Toyshop Trouble


Now, if you thought, like I did, that the last game’s story was garbage, you’d probably better sit down because this one makes the last seem like a Greek epic. Apparently 3 elves are relaxing on the beach in the Bahamas, drinking and ogling the women like depraved morons. They can do this because one of them just painted all of Santa’s toys a nice, dull grey. Being complete assholes, they’ve left this mess for you to fix. It appears that only about 4 elves do all the painting for Santa.

Right away, this has a few implications.

  1. Of the 4 elves who paint all of Santa’s toys, you were the only one who wasn’t invited on this Bahamian trip. Either you’re an even bigger asshole than the other three, or you just suck and are the worst.
  2. I’m assuming Santa has been informed of the problem, so the solution given to you is either paint all of the toys yourself, or every little girl and boy in the world will be getting grey toys. It isn’t like Santa has an ultra-rapid form of transportation that he or someone else could use to zip down to the Bahamas and pick up the three jerks responsible for the whole mess.  In other words, Santa also thinks you’re the worst.
  3. The fact that you have to all of this alone coupled with the 4-elf paint crew indicates that Santa’s workforce is severely depleted. Could it be that Santa is a terrible human resources manager?

So, the story is everyone hates you, so save Christmas, okay? I say screw it! Turn on the game and just stand there doing nothing. Let Santa and the other elves handle it. You’re a good person and you don’t deserve this kind of treatment. If you don’t react this way, you’re doing exactly what the game and its creators want you to: Accepting that you are worthless, easy to boss around, and not deserving of any kind of respect.

When you think about it, this game has been the most sinister yet, not only attacking Christmas, but also the player and his or her self-esteem. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the people who played this game for more than 5 minutes ended up killing themselves. It’s bad enough that suicide rates go up around Christmas. Luckily for all of you, I only played the game for 1 minute and 39 seconds before turning off this gaming abomination.


2007 AtariAge Holiday Cart: Stella’s Stocking

Stella's Stocking

Stella’s Stocking marks a return to AtariAge’s smutty sexualization of Christmas, but they don’t stop there. Instead of just putting a pixelated version of the cart art in the cartridge, they decided to cram in 5 separate Christmas destroying games.


Stay Frosty

Faulty Christmas lights, likely made by children in China just like the rest of the mass-produced crap we find in places like Walmart, have set the “reindeer dust” (probably Santa’s stash of crystal meth) on fire and everything is gonna burn, I guess.  So you, a snowman for some reason, have to use your own body to put out all the fires. There are some random blocks of ice you can pick up by walking into them. They will help you not melt into a pile of slush and die.

No time like Christmas to teach children to put out fires with their own bodies. Hopefully, they’re wearing their nice, new, super inflammable pyjamas you just bought them. “Children burning on an open fire…”


Elf Dash

Santa’s gone to deliver toys and junk, while you, an elf named Holly, have to clean up a huge mess currently being created by the equipment that puts all the toys into Santa’s slay. Also, the elevators are on the fritz. Why? Well, it looks like everything in the North Pole has been mis-wired, half-assed, and is in a constant state of disrepair to the point where things fall apart on a daily basis.

To make matters worse, Santa’s workshop is so poorly managed, most of the elves have left, leaving the whole operation severely short-staffed. Finally, Mrs Claus has gone full blown psycho and is demanding you improve the decorations for the staff party.

You shouldn’t play this game in a show of solidarity.


Cold War

This game isn’t even remotely about Christmas! It’s a snowball fight simulator meant to teach children how to misbehave and indoctrinate them with all sorts of secular lies.


Grandma’s Revenge

I kid you not, this game is honestly a sequel to the worst Christmas song of all-time.  Several people at AtariAge had this thought go through their heads: “You know what would be a great idea for a video game? Let’s have kids kill reindeer!”

I honestly don’t think anyone could make a worse Christmas game…


Tossing Cookies

The rest of elves must be gone. Santa’s all alone. Even the reindeer are gone (with Mr Claus lying to himself with the story that they were scared off by a storm). Santa needs to get the reindeer back and the only way he can do so is to take the sleigh into the storm, dodging lightning, and collecting cookies…which you will use to lure…the reindeer…

That’s it. I’m done. They’ve outdone themselves, turned Santa into an old, lonely man that uses cookies to lure whatever he wants back to his place?! These people need help. And here I thought the most offensive thing about this game was going to be its title.




So there you have it. AtariAge’s 5 year war on Christmas. By the time 2008 came along, they just did not feel the need to release another cartridge. Their work was done. Half a decade of gratuitously sexualising, secularising, commercialising, degrading, and destroying Christmas had taken its toll on the world. Their initial efforts had spread and deluded thousands and then millions of others to join their war, so they chose to sit on the sidelines, sipping their holiday eggnog, munching on their secular cookies, and laughing all the way to the bank.

Now that I’ve shown you the truth about the origins of the war on Christmas and AtariAge, I can only hope it isn’t too late for us to wage a counter attack. I think the way forward for our side is clear. The only way for us to win this war is to fight fire with fire. We have but one course of action: Someone needs to make an Atari 2600 game about the birth of Jesus.