Gary Larsen thought he had all the answers… and other retrogaming goodies!

Riddle of the Sphinx

Poor Gary… look at him, a veggie, zonked out. Totalled. This 1983 ad for Atari’s Riddle of the Sphinx tries to convey how hazardous video gaming can be.

USA. The Defenders 1983.

USA. The Defenders 1983.

Freedom! No more wires…  

The Camerica Freedom Stick needed no cumbersome, tangly old wires, and was happy to interact with a number of different console brands.

USA. Groo 47. 1989.

USA. Groo 47. 1989.

Bubble Bobble…. a classic!

 I spent a good many hours tackling this fun game. Also included on this ad are the titles Operation Wolf, Sky Shark, and Renegade.

USA. Groo 47. 1989.

USA. Groo 47. 1989.

Video excitement in the palm of your hand…

I love the artwork on this 1989 ad for Double Dragon from Tiger Electronics.

USA. Groo 57. 1989.

USA. Groo 57. 1989.

Another ad for Double Dragon –

Hawk & Dove N°11. 1990. US.

Parker Brothers… Frogger, Popeye, and Q*bert

Poor Q*bert… in this ad he’s suffered damage to his nose from a removed price sticker – ouch! Shame he doesn’t have his usual little speech bubble above his head with his expletive written inside. Maybe Frogger is the culprit responsible for the price sticker removal… and Popeye is racing off to exact a swift punishment? 🙂

USA. Marvel Alpha Flight. 1984.

USA. Marvel Alpha Flight. 1984.

UK. 2000 AD. 1983.

UK. 2000 AD. 1983.

UK. Eagle. 1983.

UK. Eagle. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget. 1988.

France. Pif Gadget. 1988.

UK. Eagle. 1983.

UK. Eagle. 1983.



Video gaming 1984 French style with Pif Gadget!

Issue 789 of the 1984 French comic magazine Pif Gadget devoted a sizeable chunk of its pages (including the cover) to the latest video game reviews and features, including some great video game adverts.


Cover design for Pif Gadget video game special 1984Cover for PIF Gadget N° 789, 1984. “Adventures in the world of video-games!”


There are several full-page reviews of games, each one with a panel showing a screenshot of the game plus a stylish artist impression of the main characters.


Burger Time

I haven’t included the Pif Gadget written reviews, instead opting to show the artist panels, the screenshots, and the five-star rating given for important game elements such as: Graphisme (game graphics), Intérêt (gameplay interest) and Bruitage (background sounds)

Frostbite Bailey's

Frostbite Baileys





Dink, Catapult, Scooby Doo, Mario, Dig-Dug, Zaxxon

Next up is a page showing six reviews. The article invites the reader to make their own video-game reviews just for fun and become video-reporters!

Various list;;;

Pitfall II

As well as the reviews, issue 789 also featured some cool adverts to compliment its video-game feature. This great Pitfall II ad proclaims: The triumphant return of Harry Pitfall!


Parker Video Games

And here we see a great Parker ad “At the heart of the action” with Frogger, Q*bert, Super Cobra, and others!

Parker Bros various

Nintendo handheld and tabletop games

The front endpaper shows adverts for sister publications Pif Poche and Placid et Muzo Poche, and the chance to win prizes of Nintendo Donkey Kong handheld games and Snoopy Tennis tabletop games.


Atari prizes!

and finally, an Atari advert with cut-out coupon to win Atari prizes!


To conclude, I think issue 789 of Pif Gadget has some neat features and gives us a good idea of how the video games back in the 1980s were perceived and marketed in countries like France. Thanks for looking 🙂


TVTA is pleased to present a selection of international adverts for Atari products.

Atari video games. France. 1984.

Atari. France. 1983.

Atari Pole Position. UK. 1983.

Solar Fox by CBS Electronics. US. 1983.

Atarisoft. 1984. US.

Atari 7800. 1990. US.

US. Firestorm 81. 1989.

Atari Advantage. US. 1989.

US. Firestorm 24. 1984.

Atari Moon Patrol. US. 1984.

Atari Moon Patrol. 1984. UK.

UK. Eagle. 1983.

Atari Colgate toothpaste promotion. UK. 1983.


Atari 2600. France. 1988.

France. Pif Gadget. 1983.

Atari River Raid. France. 1983.

Atari Phoenix. France. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget. 1983.

Atari Centipede. France. 1983.

Atari Centipede. 1983. UK.

US. House of Mystery. 1983.

Q*bert. US. 1983. Classic arcade game from 1982 developed by Warren Davis and Jeff Lee. Can you help Q*bert to alter the colours of the pyramid by making him hop from square to square and avoiding enemies along the way?

US. Weird War Tales. 1982.

Frogger. US. 1982. “Frogger’s first challenge is to cross a highway where reckless hot rods hurtle by, and huge trucks go thundering in his path. Every safe jump in this maze of motor and metal is a crucial step home.”

US. The Defenders. 1983.

Atari Super Cobra. US. 1983.

USA. The Defenders 119. 1983.

Atari Star Wars. US. 1983.

USA. Power Man and Iron Fist 86. 1982.

Atrai Star Wars. US. 1982.

US. The Warlord. 1983.

Atari Tron. US. 1983. Tron arcade game based on the 1982 sci-fi film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, starring Jeff Bridges who plays a computer programmer trapped inside the software of a mainframe computer.

US. NightForce. 1983.

Atari M Network. US. 1983.

US. The Defenders. 1983.

Burger Time. US. 1983. This MATTELL ELECTRONICS arcade game was originally titled “Hamburger” and was renamed Burger Time for the USA market. The game featured PETER PEPPER as the busy chef, and was available to play on systems such as the ATARI 2600, COMMODORE 64, INTELLIVISION and others.

USA. Amethysts. 1984.

Atari Bump ‘n Jump. US. 1984.

Parker Bros various

Parker Brothers titles. France. 1984.


Pitfall II. France.

USA. Marvel Alpha Flight. 1984.

Parker Brothers titles. US. 1984.

USA. The Defenders 1983.

Atari Imagic. US. 1983.

Imagic. UK. 1983.

Imagic. UK. 1983.

US. Legion of Superheros. 1984.

Atari presents Mario Bros. US. 1984.

US. Legion of Superheroes. 1983.

Atari Spider-Man. US. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget. 1984.

Atari promotion. France. 1984.

Brazil. Cebolinha. 1984.

Atari Ploc promotion. Brazil. 1984.

US. Starlog. 1983.

CBS Electronics for the Atari 5200. US. 1983.

Post updated with new images April 2020.