Category Archives: Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: RealSports Soccer

Yes, it’s yet another RealSports game! We’re nearly done, though. Hang in there!

This time around, we take a look at RealSports Soccer for the Atari 5200 which, like its American Football counterpart, offers a somewhat more realistic, in-depth experience, perhaps at the expense of some accessibility. It’s still a much more approachable game than either incarnation of RealSports Football, however!

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: Questron II

Several years after the original Questron, Strategic Simulations Inc. put out a sequel. This time around, it made it to Atari ST rather than the Atari 8-bit — but fundamentally, there was a lot that was quite similar about it.

Trouble is, the computer role-playing game genre had been developing at a rapid pace in the years between the two Questron titles; most notably, the Ultima series on which it was very obviously based had become much more complex and elaborate — particularly with regard to storytelling, and in incorporating more diverse, interesting objectives for the player to accomplish.

Questron II is still worth a look, though — particularly as its ST port is a very early title from the well-loved Westwood. 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: Water Ski School

My parents, I believe, still own a complete collection of Page 6 magazine, right from its very first issue as a publication primarily intended for the Birmingham User Group, up until its slow demise as an A5-sized subscription-only affair in the twilight years of Atari.

One edition which always stood out to me was Issue 23, whose cover sported a large image of a water-skier performing a stunt he didn’t quite seem to be ready for. The cover image was promoting the big type-in game for that issue: a machine-code game known as Water Ski School. Although I typed in a lot of games over the course of Page 6’s original run, for one reason or another I never got around to doing this one. Seems like a prime candidate to check out on Atari A to Z, then!

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: RealSports Soccer

In real life, I despise soccer, or “football” as we call it over here. But there have been a number of soccer games over the years that I’ve rather enjoyed — and RealSports Soccer for the Atari 2600 is one of them.

The reason for this is that RealSports Soccer for the Atari 2600 resembles real soccer on only the most superficial level, and is instead simply a highly enjoyable video game, particularly if you have the opportunity to enjoy it with a friend or two. Its mechanics, which make no logical sense from a “realism” perspective, make it a ton of fun — and I can attest from personal experience that this is a game that can produce genuine howls of laughter that stem from genuine enjoyment.

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: Paperboy

Porting an arcade game to home computers often wasn’t an immediate process back in the days of the 8- and 16-bit microcomputers. In fact, sometimes it took a good few years!

Such was the case with Paperboy from Atari Games, which first hit arcades in 1985 and didn’t come to Atari ST until a full four years later! Elite put together a rather solid port that played well, but which was regarded as somewhat “outdated” by reviewers of the time.

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: Valgus 2

Valgus 2 (or possibly “Valgus Squared”, thinking about it) for Atari 8-bit is an interesting and creative take on Tetris that, for once, doesn’t just knock off someone else’s game.

While superficially resembling Alexey Pajitnov’s official follow-up Welltris, Valgus 2 is actually a rather different sort of game, tasking you with surrounding a central piece rather than making lines on the floor of a “well”.

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: RealSports Football

Yes, yes, yes, it’s RealSports time again here on Atari A to Z Flashback, and this time around it’s another one I’ve been dreading: the 5200 incarnation of RealSports Football.

I was actually quite surprised to discover that the single-player “practice” mode in this one is a very good means of experimenting with the mechanics and figuring out what all those different “plays” are. As a result, while I’m not sure I’d say I necessarily had a good time, I certainly feel like I learned a bit more about digital American football from this game than any other simulation of the sport I’ve played in the past. Especially that 2600 version.

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: One Step Beyond

Whenever someone mentions the Atari ST to you, doubtless the first thing you think of is the delicious, relatively low-calorie cheesy potato snack known as Quavers.

What do you mean, no? Well, that might all change after today’s game, in which the erstwhile mascot of this longstanding British junk food favourite is tasked with clearing a series of puzzle-tastic levels while attempting not to fall into the abyss inside his computer. It makes about as much sense as it sounds, but it’s a surprisingly fun time — and the product placement isn’t as obnoxious as you might expect.

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

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Universal Hero

The origins of the open-structure 2D platform game tend to be traced back to console games such as Castlevania and Metroid these days, but it was always a popular way to put a game together back on 8-bit computers, too.

Games such as today’s title, Mastertronic’s Universal Hero, tended to be known as “arcade adventures” back in the ’80s, thanks to their blend of traditionally arcade-style mechanics with the conventions of adventure games, such as exploration, puzzle-solving and object manipulation. While they didn’t always get that blend quite right, it certainly made for some interesting and challenging games!

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

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: RealSports Football

If it was not already painfully obvious from previous dalliances with digital adaptations of the sport, I do not “get” American Football. I get the basic idea, but I do not understand the execution at all.

This is made particularly apparent by RealSports Football on the Atari 2600, a game which, to someone like me, appears to amplify all of the most obnoxious things about the sport while stripping out anything even vaguely enjoyable about it. Your mileage may, of course, vary if you are already a football fan — but if you were hoping that a 2600 football game might be a good means of learning the ropes before graduating to the Maddens of this world… think again!

Admire my experiences in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z