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Reviews are coming in!

 

"The documentary provides an enticing look into a world many of us dreamed about and some went on to join. The characters that made up the engineering teams of Atari in the early 80’s found their way into our living rooms through the games that inspired and entertained us all. Their labors produced a touchstone to which we may refer and a commonality that we will all share for the rest of our days. Once Upon Atari contains a portion of all of our history, so how can we not investigate that history further? Besides, I never told you about the “flying of the frog” or the programmer known for climbing the walls. You are going to have to get the video to find out!he documentary provides an enticing look into a world many of us dreamed about and some went on to join. The characters that made up the engineering teams of Atari in the early 80’s found their way into our living rooms through the games that inspired and entertained us all. Their labors produced a touchstone to which we may refer and a commonality that we will all share for the rest of our days. Once Upon Atari contains a portion of all of our history, so how can we not investigate that history further? Besides, I never told you about the “flying of the frog” or the programmer known for climbing the walls. You are going to have to get the video to find out!"

--James McGovern, RetroBlast

(READ THE WHOLE WONDERFUL REVIEW)

***

"Sure, you could flip to the Discovery Channel and ogle animals making sweet love after a marathon game session. But if you've still got pixels on the brain, why not 'drop that joystick and take a sec to find out where it all came from,' suggests Atari game designer and documentarian Howard Scott Warshaw...

The gist: An often tongue-in-cheek retro- spective of the people, players, and pixels behind the industry's first major-league player, Atari.

Why It's worth watching: Creator Howard Scott Warshaw--the programmer for Atari 2600 classic shooter Yars Revenge and infamous stinker E T. --persuaded all his '80s work buddies to join him for this lovingly produced blast from the past. The result: a stunning, behind-the-scenes bonanza about the megacompany that once ruled the gaming world, complete with tales of financial woe, run-ins with Steven Spielberg, and all the recreational drug use that went on in between."
--Jon M. Gibson, Electronic Gaming Monthly

***

No fancy quotes, but we've been told it is all good by someone who knows Portuguese.

(web thang notes: Our Brazilian friends awarded us with the highest number of hits in one day since our launch. THANKS BRAZIL!)
--Alexandre Matias, Folha Online

(Read the review)

***

"This documentary plays out like MTV's Real World, but with a cast like Revenge of the Nerds."

(web thang notes: hmmm cast of Revenge of the Nerds? let me see, Anthony Edwards, Robert Carradine, John Goodman? Hey, I'll join that lot, thanks! )
--Brian Lam
, Wired

(read the whole review)

***

"First came the flying frog. Next, walking on walls. The million-dollar paychecks arrived sometime shortly thereafter. As for Atari's internal corruption and inevitable descent into spiraling debt? Observers didn't have long to wait.

All these anecdotes and more — plus the storied tale of a pop culture phenomenon's meteoric rise and fall — are chronicled in "Once Upon Atari," a four-part documentary available for the first time as a complete series on DVD.

....Bottom line: A candid look at the golden age of video game development from the people who, by their own admission, barely survived it."
--Scott Steinberg, LA Times

(read the whole review)

***

"..What makes this film special is the inside interviews told first-hand from the actual game engineers who developed some of the world's most popular home video games. The stories are amusing, the cast of characters is quite unusual, and this self-produced video is extremely polished. If you're looking for a rare documentary gem about Atari, which you most likely will not see on store shelves, Once Upon Atari is for you. It's highly recommended."
-- Mike M.,
Digital Review

(Read the whole review here!)

***

".... Taking the trip back to the time of my childhood gaming days was really fascinating, and I'm glad Mr. Warshaw took the time to produce this series of documentaries. I'd really hate to ruin some of the great secrets contained in these documentaries, so I can't elaborate any more.

Ok, fine.

If nothing else, you have to hear how Tod Frye got sent to the hospital after injuring himself on the company sprinkler system. Seriously....."
-- Randy Miller III, DVD TALK

(Read the whole review here!)

***

"... it's wonderful to see and hear from the people whose games dominated my childhood. Among the myriad interviewees are Carla Meninsky (Dodge 'Em), Larry Kaplan (Kaboom!), Tod Frye (Pac-Man), Rob Fulop (Missile Command), and Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell; all of them are fascinating people, and all of them have great anecdotes to share, from Frye's self-inflicted sprinkler lobotomy to Jim Huether's naked hot-tub shenanigans. It's like sitting in on the best Classic Gaming Expo panel of all time. There's also a bonus clip with Nolan Bushnell discussing creative management, and a 2001 interview with Trip Hawkins, founder of the late 3DO Company.

Once Upon Atari is wonderful stuff, and the kind of programming that the tragic G4 cable network should be funding ...."
-- Zach Meston, PSE2 Magazine

 

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