Category Archives: Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: Electronic Pool

For quite a while, games that ostensibly simulated “real” sports and activities weren’t necessarily concerned with realism — they were concerned with being fun video games first and foremost.

A good example of this is Electronic Pool for Atari ST by Microdeal. This game resembles real-life pool but doesn’t follow many of its rules — and in doing so it manages to create an entertaining arcade-style experience. (One might argue that it’s quite similar to Data East’s Side Pocket, but this certainly isn’t an official adaptation of that…)

Rack ’em up and join me in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Kaboom!

One of Activision’s most fondly regarded games from the Atari 2600 library is Kaboom! — a simple affair that gratuitously rips off Atari’s own Avalanche, because apparently Atari had very little interest in porting that themselves.

Kaboom! also got a port to Atari 8-bit, and it’s a good ‘un. The enhancements over the original 2600 version may be fairly subtle, but they all add to the experience, making for a straightforward but enormously addictive little game that you’ll find yourself spending a surprising amount of time with if you let it get its claws 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 Flashback: Outlaw

It’s time for the original deathmatch! Outlaw was one of the first games available for the Atari 2600, and it remains a beloved competitive multiplayer game today.

Unlike its stablemate Combat, Outlaw actually also offers a single-player mode. Okay, it’s not a particularly good single-player mode, but at least you can get in a bit of target practice by yourself — something which you definitely couldn’t do in Combat. And, of course, the two-player funtimes still hold up brilliantly today.

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: Dark Side

Dark Side is a game I have very fond memories of from back in the day, and it’s a game that actually holds up rather well today.

The second game to make use of Incentive Software’s revolutionary cross-platform “Freescape” 3D engine, Dark Side challenged players to explore a network of interconnected sectors while attempting to untangle a mess of power cables supplying energy to a deadly laser. While you can beat the whole thing in less than 15 minutes if you know what you’re doing, the fun is in figuring out exactly how you pull that off.

Well, aside from one really stupid puzzle, but I show you all how to complete that in the video below. So watch it! Then subscribe on YouTube for more if you aren’t already. Thank you muchly!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Java Jim

It’s both fun and frustrating when you come across a game that no-one seems to quite understand how to play.

Such is the case with today’s Atari 8-bit game, Java Jim in Square Shaped Trouble. It doesn’t help that the Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit versions have markedly different mechanics and structure to one another, and very few people appear to understand either of them.

Having looked into it a bit further, the 8-bit version appears a little more straightforward, so let’s explore it in the video below. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Off the Wall

As we’ve previously seen a few times on this series, the Atari 2600 managed to stick around for an astonishingly long time, particularly considering how quickly gaming technology was evolving in the early days.

From about 1986 onwards, Atari decided to try and give the platform a “second wind” by releasing a variety of new games for it. Some of these were developed by Nolan Bushnell’s studio Axlon — and a good example is today’s game, Off the Wall. It’s a take on Breakout with lovely colourful graphics, a few interesting twists on the standard block-breaking gameplay, and a bunch of cool power-ups to collect.

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: Chuck Rock

Unga bunga! Today we look at Core Design’s mascot from before they hit paydirt with Lara Croft and… well, let’s just say thank heavens for Ms. Croft, huh.

Chuck Rock is a platform game originally released for Atari ST and Amiga, which subsequently found itself ported to a wide variety of other computer and console systems. Growing up, I had the most experience with the Super NES version, so it was interesting to return to the Atari ST original and see how Atari’s 16-bit machine got on with things.

Aside from the commonly seen poor use of the ST’s sound chip, this isn’t a bad version of the game, all things considered. 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: Icky Squishy

Today’s Atari 8-bit game is not one I’d heard of before, and with good reason: it never sold any copies!

Despite this, it somehow managed to find its way out into the wild — as a lot of unreleased, prototype or otherwise difficult-to-find software tended to do back in the day — and, many years later, the original author even made a video talking about the making of the game on YouTube.

Sadly, said author — one Jeffrey McArthur — is no longer with us, as he passed away in 2017. But we can honour his memory by enjoying his work today! So let’s take a look at Icky Squishy. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Night Driver

Legend has it that some people will drive all night just to buy you some shoes. Some other people will drive through the night just to try and score as many points as possible.

In Night Driver for Atari 2600, you’re presented with the opportunity to do the latter in one of the earliest examples of the “vanishing point” racer being adapted to a home console. While obviously dated by modern standards — this originally came out in 1980, adapting an arcade game from 1976 — there are some interesting ideas in this one, and if you let it get its hooks in it can be surprisingly addictive!

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: Bomb Jack

Most Atari ST owners probably came into contact with the ST version of Tecmo’s Bomb Jack at one point or another.

Developed by the ever-variable Paradox Software, this is actually one of their somewhat stronger efforts compared to some of their other attempts at arcade conversions, and was certainly reasonably fondly regarded back in the day.

I’ve always enjoyed a bit of Bomb Jack, and while there are better versions available out there, this version holds a fair amount of nostalgia for me. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z