Epyx programmed this 1988 conversion of California Games themselves, and – to be honest – it’s actually not that bad, considering the Atari 2600‘s limitations.
Of course: some events are missing from the VCS version because cartridge capacity is so low. There’s no roller-skating or frisbee in this version. It features: footbag, half-pipe, BMX and surfing.
Footbag is quite close to the original. There’s a nice, big sprite of you, kicking the beanbag; a moving sky (wow!), and it feels good to play (which is the main thing).
Half-pipe is just as frustrating as the original, except with very blocky graphics.
BMX is a strange flick-screen affair that isn’t very good, the truth be told.
And surfing is okay. It looks a bit strange but does have some playability.
Overall, California Games on the Atari 2600 is lacking, and that’s to be expected. It does make you wonder, though, why they bothered converting it in the first place.