Category Archives: Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Video Pinball

Several games from the early years of the Atari 2600 were based on earlier dedicated video game hardware released by Atari — and Video Pinball is a good example.

Offering a simple but surprisingly enjoyable take on pinball — albeit one that only slightly resembles the real thing — Video Pinball is a fun game with which to while away a few minutes, especially if you don’t feel like working your brain too hard.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Retro Select: Traverse USA

There’s a lot of early arcade games out there that don’t get the love and attention they deserve — but Hamster’s Arcade Archives series has been going a long way to bring a lot of these forgotten classics back from the dead.

Traverse USA from Irem is a great example. I’d never heard of it before, but it’s actually a lot of fun. Combining top-down racing with some simplistic vanishing point dodge ’em up action, it’s a delight to play — and surprisingly addictive!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari ST A to Z: Ego

Ever wanted to play a puzzle game that featured the smiling face of John Major? I thought not, but we’re going to anyway.

Ego is an interesting puzzle game based on a game that claims to be related to the classic Repton series, but which isn’t really. You control an elephant-like thing as he attempts to reassemble digitised photos of minor celebrities and public figures from the mid-’90s. And it’s surprisingly fun!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Livewire

There are some people out there who, if you tell them that it’s “impossible” to do something, will do their best to do it anyway — and often prove that original naysayer completely wrong.

Such was the case with Livewire, a type-in machine code listing for Atari 8-bit that came about when ANALOG magazine’s Tom Hudson overheard someone saying that it would be possible to do a good version of Tempest on the Atari 8-bit. Challenge, as they say, accepted — and overcome with aplomb.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Video Chess

After my woeful performance at Video Checkers, I must confess I was kind of dreading Video Chess a bit. But things ended up going rather better than I imagined.

Turns out the special “Beginner” level available in the game is perfectly attuned to a strategically challenged moron like me — and I think I might have actually learned a thing or two about how to play more effectively along the way, too.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: Dizzy Panic

Although the Dizzy series from Codemasters and The Oliver Twins is best-known for its series of arcade adventures, it also experimented with a few other genres along the way, too.

One of these “Dizzy, but different” games was Dizzy Panic, a puzzle game all about sorting shapes. It’s extremely simple in concept but gets very, very challenging extremely quickly!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: K-Razy Shoot-Out

You like Berzerk? Then you’ll probably like CBS Software’s K-Razy Shoot-Out — though this is more than just a straight clone of the arcade classic.

Instead, it presents you with increasingly challenging shoot-outs against armies of robots — all against the clock. In the tradition of the very best arcade games out there, it’s extremely simple to learn, but tough to master. And very, very addictive!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Video Checkers

I am bad at checkers, or draughts as we call it over here, but I’m not going to turn down a chance to play an early game by Carol “River Raid” Shaw.

In fact, legend has it that Carol Shaw’s Atari 2600 version of Checkers put Activision’s similar effort to shame by such a significant degree that she was offered a job with the company. And the rest, as they say, is history. Now in commemoration of such a heartwarming story, enjoy my terrible attempts to beat the lowest difficulty level on a 41-year old video game adaptation of a very simple board game.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: Curse of Ra

We’ve reached the end of our second spell (no pun intended) with Epyx’s wonderful Temple of Apshai Trilogy; this time we take on the final part, Curse of Ra, on the Atari ST.

Westwood’s 1986 port of Temple of Apshai Trilogy for Atari ST is one of the more convenient and enjoyable ways to play the game. The mouse controls and menus work well, the ability to get the room descriptions with the tap of a key is wonderful — it would have been nice to have the treasure descriptions, too, but I guess there was only so much text they could squeeze in!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Jumpman Junior

The meaning of “platform game” has changed quite a bit over time; back in the earlier days of home computing, however, it had quite a distinct meaning. And Jumpman Junior from Epyx was pretty much a textbook example.

You have a single screen at a time. There are platforms and, often, ladders — hence the genre also being known as “platforms and ladders”. You have a thing to do — usually “collect all the thingies” or “get to the top”. And there are things trying to stop you — including the very environment you’re clambering all over! All of this is true for Jumpman Junior. And it’s still a highly enjoyable game today!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z