Had Atari Created the Smartphone

Had Atari Created the Smartphone.

Atari Smartphone Banner

Have you wondered what a smartphone screen might have looked like had the technology arrived at a different time? We have, and we have played this out over the recent past.

For example here is what a smartphone screen may have look like, had Facebook sold to Yahoo and way back when the offer was on the table. Also, here is what one may have looked like in the 1970s, and here the 1980s.

Yes our imaginations are running wild at 89 Prime. In this post, we are imagining what a screen may have looked like, had smartphone technology crossed paths with the Atari 2600 of late 1970s and early 1980s. We are in real Steve Jobs mode here, as he was employed by Atari in his early days, and changed the world with the iPhone many years later.

Without further ado, here is what we imagine a smartphone screen might have looked like had Atari brought it to the market:

Atari Smartphone


So Pac Man is a no brainer. A given considering it was the best selling video game for the Atari 2600. Yes, there was well deserved criticism between what was released into the home console compared to what people expected from experiencing at the arcade. With all that said, it is our opinion, that Pac Man has a well deserved spot on any list when discussing the Atari experience.


One of several classics from Activision, Pitfall,

Donkey Kong

As great as everything was about the idea of Donkey Kong, it is also the first game Mario appeared in. He originally went by the name of Jumpman, and looking back at all the character’s appearances, it was a real good idea to give him a name.

Adding to the legend, of Donkey Kong also survived lawsuits involving the King Kong and Universal. It survived and would have had a spot on our Atari smartphone mock up.


A hit from arcade to home console, this shoot-em up was one of the greatest of all times.

An interesting tidbit of info: At the time of this post, the Asteroids world record for points is held by  John McAllister with a score of 41,838,740. McAllister achieved this record on Monday April 5, 2010 with a game that began 58 hours earlier. This was streamed live, via Justin TV whose parent company re branded into what we now know as Twitch.

That is one dedicated human being. Tip of the cap sir, you played a role in contributing to what video game streaming is today.


Calm down Crypto fans, this is simply the destination to buy arcade credits. No white papers or blockchains here.

All this Atari talk creating nostalgia? Check out the Atari Flashback 8 Gold – Console at Target.


Influenced by Pong, concept through the mind of Nolan Bushnell, built by Steve Wozniak, and aided by Steve Jobs. Quite a resume starting right from the arcade version through a number of Atari consoles.

Space Invaders

Ya we have all the heavy hitters from back in the day. Another shoot em up, starting in the arcade and becoming a staple of quality Atari 2600 game collections.


From the golden age of video games, to the Seinfeld Show, to numerous sequels, Frogger gets a prime spot on our smartphone screen from another this imagined universe.


Another game from the Activision, here we have Kaboom. This game was unique in part as the paddle controller was needed to operate. Plenty of fun in this game with a crazy bomber dropping bombs as the player had to catch them in buckets. Miss a bomb, lose a bucket.

Kaboom became a staple of Atari consoles as it was later released on the 5200 and the 8 bit family of computers, therefore you can be sure it would be on plenty of smartphone screens!

Made with Visme

Q Bert

The visionary behind this game. When Q*Bert would get hit by an enemy, he would essentially cruse by via a chat bubble with special characters such as “@!#?&”. This was well before the internet hitting homes and a lot longer before the concept of a social media and hashtags.

People we’re still calling a # the pound sign, and @ was called.. Well, most people probably didn’t know what to call it, as it was not ingrained in day to day vocabulary as it is today. Our buddy Q*B understood something about the future of tech, many of us didn’t.

Kool Aid Man

For those who don’t know, Kool Aid (yes, the stuff you drink) came out with a video game for both the Atari 2600 and Intellivision. It is on this list, as it is a prime example of everything that was wrong with the video game industry at the time.

Oversaturation in the market, little to no control of gaming quality, and companies entering the market simply because they can, are all issues the Kool Aid Man game encompassed. Purina Dog Food even had a game named Chase the Chuck Wagon.. Ya, we’re not putting that on the list. Drawing the line somewhere.


Like Kaboom, this game needed the paddle controller to operate. 3 games on the menu consisting of Black Jack, Five Card Stud Poker, and Poker Solitaire, with the 4 players options on the Blackjack and Stud Poker games. Card games are a staple of desktops and smartphones alike. Perfect fit for the Atari Smartphone.


Yes, we had to do it. While E.T. the video game is synonymous with the video game collapse of 1983, it is part Atari’s story thus it gets a spot on the screen. And hey, seeing what has transpired in the video game market since the 83 collapse, the story turns out well in the end.

Speaking of stories turning out well in the end, we are done. Thank you for taking a trip down memory lane with us, even if this can only happen in an alternate universe.

In case you missed it, check out our Craft Beer and Lindt Chocolate Truffle pairings.