Controller (1982)

by Christopher
4 minutes read


Controller: A Nostalgic Journey Through Air Traffic Control

Released in 1982 for the Atari 2600, Controller puts players in the shoes of an air traffic controller tasked with guiding planes to safety and preventing collisions. The game is a frantic and challenging test of multitasking and decision-making skills, and it remains a popular favorite among retro gaming enthusiasts.


Controller is played from a top-down perspective, with the player controlling a radar screen that displays the positions of planes in the airspace. The player must use the joystick to move a cursor around the screen and select planes, and then press buttons to issue commands such as “take off,” “land,” and “change altitude.”

The game becomes increasingly difficult as more and more planes enter the airspace, and the player must constantly monitor the radar screen and issue commands to avoid collisions. The game ends when the player either successfully lands all of the planes or when two planes collide.


Controller was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it is considered one of the best Atari 2600 games ever made. The game was praised for its innovative gameplay, challenging difficulty, and realistic graphics. Controller has been ported to a number of other platforms over the years, including the Commodore 64, the Apple II, and the PC.

The game has also been the subject of several remakes and sequels, including Air Traffic Controller (1998) and Airport Madness (2008). However, none of these games have managed to capture the same magic as the original Controller.

Cultural Impact

Controller has had a lasting impact on popular culture. The game has been featured in numerous TV shows and movies, and it has been referenced in songs and other works of art. The game has also been used as a training tool for real-world air traffic controllers.

Personal Anecdote

I first played Controller when I was a child, and I was immediately hooked. I loved the challenge of trying to keep all of the planes in the air and avoid collisions. I would spend hours playing the game, and I never tired of it.

Controller is a truly classic game that deserves its place in the pantheon of great video games. It is a challenging, rewarding, and fun game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Tips for Playing Controller

Here are a few tips for playing Controller:

  • Start by playing the game on the easiest difficulty setting. This will give you a chance to learn the basics of the game without getting overwhelmed.
  • Pay close attention to the radar screen and constantly monitor the positions of the planes.
  • Use the joystick to move the cursor around the screen quickly and efficiently.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different strategies. There is no one right way to play Controller.
  • If you make a mistake, don’t panic. Just try to recover and avoid making the same mistake again.


Controller is a classic Atari 2600 game that is still enjoyed by gamers today. The game is a challenging and rewarding test of multitasking and decision-making skills, and it is sure to provide hours of fun. If you’re looking for a great retro game to play, I highly recommend checking out Controller.

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