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Insert Credit: Halo 2600

Insert Credit: Halo 2600 (photo)

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Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.

For the week of August 2, 2010, you should insert credit into: “Halo 2600”

Completely by chance, it’s turning out to be a bit of a retro-centric week here on the IFC Games channel. But unlike the Insane Console History 2.0 video or junkboy’s demake art, you can actually play “Halo 2600.”

“Halo” has been the marquee franchise for both of Microsoft’s Xbox consoles so it’s fitting that the game’s the creation of Ed Fries, a former Microsoft VP. Fries used to be in charge of game publishing for the Xbox and has had a long history in various parts of the games business. When he decided to learn the programming language for the old Atari systems, Fries created a little version of Master Chief–the armor-clad bad-ass who’s the hero of the “Halo” games–as a lark. As he talked about the game with fellow developers at GDC and other laces, he was encouraged to turn his efforts into a complete game. The full game made its debut last weekend at the Classic Gaming Expo, where Fries celebrated by having an extremely limited run of 100 Atari 2600 cartridges available for sale. But, if you didn’t get one of those, you can also play the game here.

The simple controls-arrow keys to move, space bar to shoot-recall pretty well what it was like to use the iconic joystick controller of the old 2600 and there’s a cute yet accurate 8-bit rendition of the haunting Halo musical them on the title screen. The cool thing about “Halo 2600” is how much of the modern hi-res franchise’s feeling comes through in the measly 4 KB of data. You have to find a weapon at first and from there, the same feeling of cat-&-mouse gunplay where you’re chasing and being chased. And, even though Halo 2600 doesn’t happen in the first person , you still kind of have to aim, which happens by moving and shooting at the same time. And deft fingers will let you dodge bullets too, letting you feel like a pixellated version of the SPARTAN cyber-warrior. The 64-room map in “Halo 2600” draws its inspiration from the Atari classic “Adventure” and manages to create the same unique tension in the spare presentation of the game: Will this room have an enemy? Am I going the right way? Where’s the next shield power-up?

Chances are, you don’t have an Atari 2600 anymore. But, “Halo 2600” replicates the experience of that console’s best offerings while channeling the vibe of the present-day’s Master Chief adventures. Best of all, it’s FREE.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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