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Brain Games was one of the few Atari 2600 games that used the keypad controller. It was released in 1978. Like many Atari games, the box artwork was more exciting than the game itself. The box featured this wizard in purple who was conjuring up a mystical cloud of numbers and coded symbols. The bottom of his wizard robe was morphing into a complex jigsaw puzzle.

Well, there was no wizard, no magic clouds, and no complex jigsaw puzzles. What one got was a collection of games that tested your ability to overstress your short term memory.

It included the Atari 2600 adaptation of Atari’s hand held and coin op Touch Me game. Most would recognize Touch Me as a version of Simon, but the coin op Touch Me predates Simon by several years. The other games included were:

Count Me: A game where you matched a sequence of numbers.

Picture Me: A game that required you to memorize four objects and then pick them out of a line up.

Find Me: A game that requires you to determine which item in a list does not belong.

Add Me: A game that requires you to add a column of numbers.

Play Me: A monophonic synthesizer you could play with your keyboard.

So yeah, Final Fantasy XII it was not.

Brain Games was programmed by Larry Kaplan, an early developer at Atari responsible for Atari’s early, lackluster games like Air-Sea Battle and Tank Plus. Kaplan moved on to Activision where he managed to create a respectable game called Kaboom!

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