“Save Mary” is the latest in the Atari XP series of limited-edition releases of actual 2600 cartridges. As described by Atari, the cartridges “are newly made in the United States of high-quality materials and manufactured to exacting standards.” “Save Mary” is not the first “new” game that has been rescued from the heap of canceled late-stage 2600 games, though: That was “Mr. Run and Jump,” earlier this year.
As for “Save Mary” specifically? The gameplay revolves around building a platform for the titular Mary to use to escape a flooding canyon. It was hyped up in the gaming press during its development, with even Atari founder Nolan Bushnell praising it in a 1989 interview in the first issue of Atarian, an Atari-centric magazine.
“Then there’s one called [‘]Saving [sic] Mary[‘] which I really like,” Bushnell told Atarian. “It is the first game in which you rely on construction rather than destruction to save the princess. You build towers at the base of a river gorge to keep Mary out of the water, which is constantly rising. You have an unlimited supply of building materials, but you can lose a life by either squashing Mary with a piece of building material or building so slowly that you fail to get her out of the water and she drowns. The guilt you feel is tremendous.”
“Save Mary” has been available to the public as a ROM dump for decades, though, as prototype cartridges were first discovered in 1997.