The Atari 2600, though revolutionary in its day, was a pretty simple system. This dictated that the games had to also be pretty simple. Take Barnstorming, for example. It’s a game about flying a biplane through a series of barns, avoiding birds and inconveniently-placed windmills. Your goal is to fly through ten barns and set a low-score record. Hitting windmills and birds just slows you down, so you don’t want to do that.

I like looking back on games like this and marveling at its simplicity. It’s almost like peering through a gateway to a simpler time. There is no deep, complex storyline, there are no cutscenes, heck, the main character doesn’t even have a name (as far as I know). It just takes a simple idea and recreates it in electronic form without getting too wrapped up in itself.

Sometimes that’s all it takes to be entertained for a few minutes.

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