Make Your Own Fake Video Game Covers with the Atari 2600 Game Label Generator

It's no secret that many products rely on flashy packaging to boost their appeal to consumers, although some rely on it much more than others--such as a video game console with primitive graphics, a console like the Atari 2600.

Anyone who was around during the Atari 2600's arrival on store shelves a few decades ago will remember the artwork that went with its early games. Like the box art that was used to promote obscure, low-budget movies in VHS rental shops, the cover art samples on the boxes of Atari 2600 games were much more imaginative and colorful than the games themselves. Naturally, that was by design. According to Susan Jaekel, one of the artists hired by Atari to produce cover art for its games, "I never played the games, I was totally clueless about that. ... As I recall, I don’t know that they really gave me much direction. They just would tell me what the game was about, sort of loosely, and it was up to me to come up with a concept." (Go to the "How Atari box art turned 8-bit games into virtual wonderlands" article on for more details about Atari's approach to video game cover art.)

With that in mind, I decided to take a trip down memory lane to Atari 2600 games that never were. Thanks to Label Maker 2600, the online Atari 2600 game cartridge label generator, I followed Atari's style of putting together pictures and artwork with suggestive sounding titles to stoke the fires of imagination (before they are inevitably extinguished by blocky graphics, clunky sound effects and rudimentary game play). Click below to see my personal inventory of Atari 2600 games that don't exist--and probably never should. What game labels can you come up with?


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