Pick ‘n Pile

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About Atari 2600 Pick ‘n Pile

Pick ‘n Pile is a Tetris-style puzzle game released for various platforms, including the Atari 2600. The objective of the game is to clear the playfield by matching and removing identical symbols. While the game shares some similarities with Tetris, such as the falling blocks and the need to create matches to clear the playfield, it has distinct gameplay elements that set it apart.

Instead of focusing on creating full lines of blocks, players must create horizontal or vertical matches of at least two identical symbols to remove them from the playfield. Players can move and rotate the falling symbols and swap adjacent symbols horizontally to create matches.

As the game progresses, the speed at which the symbols fall increases, making it more challenging for the player to create matches quickly. The game ends when the playfield is completely filled with symbols, and there’s no room for new blocks to fall. Scoring is based on the number of symbols removed and the combos created during gameplay.

Original Manual Content of Pick ‘n Pile


The object of the game is to make the highest possible score and to reach the highest screen.


For two players, when one player finishes a screen or loses a life, the other player begins using the same joystick.

A multitude of colored symbols are falling from the sky, and its your job to make them disappear. That’s the aim of this crazy game.
– Watch out for the devils!
– Work against the clock!
– Enjoy the excellent playability, superb graphics and sound effects in this hair-pulling, teeth-grinding, excitingly wonderful reflex game!
– Say adieu to your sanity . . .


1. With your TV off, hook up your video game system to your TV.

2. Plug your joystick in the right hand port.

3. Turn on your TV, and insert the PICK’ N PILE cartridge with the label facing away from you.

4. Turn on the video game system.

5. This will display game Title, then press fire button to display credits screen, pressing the fire button once more will display the option screen.

6. ‘Players’ will be highlighted, select 1 or 2 players by pressing the joystick fire button.

7. Move joystick down to ‘Tick Tack’ to select sound on or off.

8. Move joystick down to ‘Level’ to select easy or hard level.

9. To Start Game move joystick down and press fire button. (Should you make a mistake, pull joystick down, the cursor will then move back up to ‘Player’.)


The cursor can be moved with the Joystick.

– To move the cursor, move the joystick up, down, right, or left.

– To choose an object, press the fire button on the joystick.

– To make more symbols fall, press the select button on the console. (Please note that, when a symbols fall off the right hand side it will wrap round to the left hand side of the screen, if a symbol falls off on the left hand side it will wrap round to the right hand side of the screen.)

– To Restart the game press the reset button on the console.


The Screen is divided in to three parts:

1. The largest part of the screen is the main game screen.

2. The information grid is at the top of the screen and gives you the following information:
– Upper left is the number of lives which remain,
– Upper right is the time that remains to finish the screen,
– Upper center is your actual score,
– Below these numbers is the level you are playing

3. When you obtain a diamond, it is posted at the bottom of the screen on the Diamond bar.


Moving the objects is actually made by an exchange of two objects. To exchange two objects, move the cursor onto the object that you wish to move, press the fire button (the object will flicker which means that it has been chosen). Then move the cursor onto the second object and press the fire button again: the first will take the place of the second and vice-versa. An object can also exchange with an “empty” spot by following the same direction.


A screen is finishes when there are no longer any symbols on the screen. You must make them disappear in a limited amount of time. To make them disappear, you must pile symbols of the same shape in the same column. The column will disappear if all the symbols are identical (Bonuses can be mixed in with symbols in a column). 50 points are scored for each symbols in a column, that disappears.



On each screen, the symbols are three different shapes. You must put them in the same column to make them disappear.



Other objects can disappear with a column. They can replace the symbols to make a column. NOTE: for a column containing symbols and bonuses to disappear, a symbol must be placed at the bottom of the column.

Here is a list of the bonuses:

a) BONUS POINTS: They increase the number of points made in a column.

b) BONUS MULTIPLIERS: They multiply the total points in the column by the value written on them.

NOTE: when two bonus multipliers disappear in the same column, the greater value is used (for example: is x2 and x6 disappear, the total number of point of the column will be multiplied by 6)

c) HOURGLASS: When an hourglass disappear with a column, the time that remains to finish the screen is increased by 200.

d) DIAMONDS: When a column with a sum of more then 1000 points disappears, a diamond appears (value of 400 points) at the top of the column. When a column containing a diamond is cleared the diamond is placed on the diamond bar. When the bar is full (the line of diamonds reaches the right of the screen), your score increases.


a) BOMBS: To make a bomb explode, you must move it to the place where you want it to explode. It will make the 4 (below, above, right and left) objects disappear.

b) BLOCKS: These are the only objects which keep their balance without the help of other objects surrounding them. These objects can by very useful when building walls etc. . . .

c) DEATH-HEADS: These objects are very dangerous: when they touch the ground your time diminishes twice as fast. It is imperative to put them at the top of the columns. These death-heads can be destroyed . . .

d) FLOWER POTS: It is impossible to exchange a flower pot with another object.


There are 100 screens. (There are 2 levels, Easy begins at level 1 and Hard begins at level 50.)

– from level 1 to 19 and 50 to 69 you must stack the symbols 2 high to make the column disappear.

– from level 20 to 39 and 70 to 89 you must stack the symbols 3 high to make the column disappear.

– from level 40 to 49 and 90 to 99 you must stack the symbols 4 high to make the column disappear.

NEW LIVES: You’ll be awarded an extra life at every 100,000 points.

Pick ‘n Pile Atari 2600 game facts

GAME TITLE: Pick ‘n Pile

PLATFORM: Atari 2600

GAME ORIGIN: 3rd party





GAME GENRE: Strategy