How to unlock all the secret games in Atari 50

Atari 50 is a magnificent interactive retro gaming museum as well as a great collection of classic games from days of yore. If you’ve spent any time exploring the game library in the package, you’ll have doubtless noticed several “Classified” entries in the list, each of which have a riddle attached to them.

These are secret games hidden within Atari 50, and they’re all unlocked in different ways. So today we’re going to tell you how to do just that!

Basic Math

Atari 50: Basic Math

Also known as Fun With Numbers, Basic Math for Atari 2600 was Atari’s attempt to convince concerned parents that the 2600 was more than just a simple games machine — it also had educational value. While you may scoff at its primitive presentation and straightforward gameplay today, it’s actually a fun little game to do a bit of brain training with — particularly if you take Atari 50 with you on the go via Switch or Steam Deck.

To unlock Basic Math, fire up the Haunted Houses game from the Reimagined section of the library. Play the tutorial level in Graves Academy. Before entering the elevator as you’re told, instead proceed around the corner to an apparent dead end. You’ll see a door with a sign saying “TEST” pointing to it. Stand on the mat in front of the door and your torch will go out. You’ll hear some strange noises for a moment, but keep standing still. After a moment you’ll teleport inside the classroom.

Pick up the test paper that’s sitting in the middle of the classroom and put it in the teacher’s in-tray on their desk at the front of the room. Don’t forget to pick up any objects you brought with you on the way out again!


Atari 50: Breakout

Breakout is the original single-player bat-and-ball game, and has inspired numerous clones over the years. Atari 50 gives you access to the original arcade versions of Breakout and Super Breakout right from the get-go, but the enjoyable Atari 2600 version — which features some interesting multiplayer modes — can be accessed too.

This time, fire up Neo Breakout from the Reimagined section of Atari 50. Your task sounds simple: just clear stage 6. It’s tricky, though, particularly since Stage 6 is rather fond of throwing distracting audio-visual “glitches” at you while you’re trying to clear it! A good tip is to try and avoid letting the ball hit the top wall for as long as possible, since that causes your paddle to shrink. And don’t forget you can move the paddle more quickly by either holding right trigger or using the right analogue stick.

Combat Two

Atari 50: Combat Two

Combat Two is an unreleased prototype from back in the day that builds on the tank battle mode from the original Combat for Atari 2600. Like its predecessor, it’s a two player-only game, but its improved visuals and gameplay elements such as terrain make it a distinct experience — plus its built-in level editor is hours of childish fun just waiting to happen.

Unlocking Combat Two is a tad tricky. Fire up Quadratank from the Reimagined section of Atari 50. Set the Map to Map 2, and the mode to Capture the Flag. Do not add any bot players, and set the weapons to “Rockets & Lasers”. You may also want to bump up the time limit in case you struggle with this one!

Your job here is to fire off a rocket and circle the Atari logo in the middle of the stage. In order to do this, you’ll need to increase your range to maximum, so smash crates until you find enough powerups. Then sit in the middle of the Atari logo, fire off a rocket and steer to manoeuvre the rocket so that it does a lap of the logo. You’ll know when you’ve done it right!

Race 500

Atari 50: Race 500

This fun little racing game for Atari 2600 (also known as Indy 500 back in the day, but renamed for licensing reasons) is an enjoyable time for one or two players, and is essentially an adaptation of Atari’s early Sprint games, released under their Kee Games label.

Unlocking this one is easy: simply fully explore all the Timelines in Atari 50. Note that this means you need to click in to each and every element to either bring up the full picture or watch the video. This includes the games — just playing the games isn’t enough; you need to actually bring up their cabinet or box art as well for them to be counted as “explored”.

The nodes on the Timelines will change colour when you’ve done it correctly, so you can easily find anything you’ve missed. When picking between the Timelines on the main screen, you can also see the percentage of each that you’ve explored, making it easier to find which ones you still need to work on.


Atari 50: Gravitar

The arcade version of Gravitar — one of the most notoriously difficult games ever created — is already available in Atari 50, but the excellent Atari 2600 port is also there for the taking if you know what to do. Despite lacking the original arcade version’s pin-sharp vector graphics, the 2600 version is actually a really solid port, and arguably a bit more accessible than its coin-operated counterpart thanks to its various game modes.

To unlock Gravitar, the requirements are pretty simple, but the execution may prove a challenge: you need to play up to Wave 3 of VCTR-SCTR, then defeat two special enemies (which are from the original Gravitar) in the Asteroids stage. There’s no particularly easy way to do this — but practice makes perfect! Try not to destroy all the asteroids before you achieve the unlock!

Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration is available now for PC via SteamNintendo SwitchPlayStation 4 and Xbox.

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Pete Davison
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