Arcade / Atari 1978


Avalanche, developed by Atari, is a classic arcade game that emerged during the golden age of video gaming in the late 1970s. Released in 1978, the game presents a challenging and addictive experience where players control a paddle at the bottom of the screen, tasked with preventing an onslaught of boulders from falling and crushing them. As the boulders descend, players must skillfully navigate their paddle to catch and bounce the rocks back upward, earning points in the process.

Avalanche was conceived and developed by Atari, a pioneering force in the early video game industry. The game emerged during a time of rapid innovation, drawing inspiration from Breakout and Pong, two other iconic titles from Atari. Released in 1978, Avalanche quickly captivated arcade-goers with its simple yet compelling gameplay mechanics and became a staple in arcades during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Avalanche garnered positive reviews for its engaging gameplay and innovative take on the ball-and-paddle genre. Players were drawn to its fast-paced action and the strategic challenge of preventing an ever-increasing cascade of boulders. The game’s success contributed to Atari’s reputation as a leading force in the burgeoning video game industry during that era.

Avalanche inspired a few variants and adaptations, including home console releases and handheld versions. It shares similarities with other ball-and-paddle games but maintains its unique charm. Titles like Breakout and Super Breakout, also developed by Atari, exhibit gameplay elements reminiscent of Avalanche, showcasing the influence and impact of this classic arcade game.

As an arcade classic, Avalanche holds a certain level of rarity due to its age and the limited number of units produced. While precise production figures are elusive, the game’s scarcity has contributed to its collector’s appeal. In the retro gaming market, original Avalanche cabinets in good condition can command a premium, with prices varying based on factors such as rarity, condition, and historical significance.

Avalanche runs on dedicated arcade hardware typical of its era. The game utilizes a monochrome raster display, and repairs often involve addressing issues with the monitor, control panel, or power supply. The hardware specifications include a custom CPU, sound hardware, and specific input devices like rotary knobs for controlling the paddle. Spare parts for Avalanche are increasingly scarce, making maintenance a challenge for collectors and enthusiasts. Dedicated communities and online resources may aid in locating replacement parts and providing guidance for those seeking to preserve or restore these iconic arcade cabinets.

Arcade Video Game Price and Field Guide:

Dedicated Upright
Genre: Brick Buster

Upright (500-1,000 Manufactured)

Lower – 1750
Average – 2000
Higher – 2500

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