Tag Archives: arcade game

Atari A to Z Flashback: Maze Invaders

This one’s a cool addition to the Atari Flashback Classics collection: a “lost” game from the Atari archives.

Maze Invaders sadly never saw an official release either as an arcade machine or a home port, languishing in the archives until recently. The International Centre for the History of Electronic Games managed to acquire a whole bunch of old Atari goodies back in 2014, and part of that heap of fun times was Maze Invaders.

It’s kind of surprising this never got an official release for one reason or another; it’s a really interesting, unusual and highly addictive game with a ton of personality to it!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari A to Z: James Bond 007

There have been quite a few James Bond games over the years, some of them excellent, some of them… less so.

1984’s attempt by Parker Brothers was an unusual affair that saw you taking control of Bond’s amphibious Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and attempting to shoot and/or bomb the crap out of everything that stood in the superspy’s way. The four main levels were loosely themed around popular Bond movies from the time, but really, it’s just an excuse to shoot stuff in different environments.

GoldenEye was certainly a big step forward!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Sunday Shooting: Minus Zero

While there’s much to be said for a traditional shoot ’em up in which you simply blast everything while trying not to get blasted in return, sometimes it’s nice to enjoy something a bit different.

Triangle Service’s Minus Zero, part of the Shooting Love. 200X collection, is a great example. Consisting entirely of “lock-on” shooting and a nifty invincibility gimmick, it’s a highly enjoyable game that is great for a quick fix of making things explode should you feel the need — a single game is done and dusted in a matter of minutes, even if you can clear the whole thing!

Today, you can enjoy it either as part of the Shooting Love. 200X compilation on Xbox 360 (which is not region-free in its physical incarnation, but is available via the Games On Demand download platform in North America and Europe) or on PC via its Steam release.

Atari A to Z Flashback: Lunar Lander

I was extremely intimidated by Lunar Lander as a kid. Revisiting it today, I see that it’s not really anything to be scared by… but it still puts up a pretty stiff challenge, particularly on its harder levels!

Providing one of the earliest examples of a completely non-violent arcade game — and one with significant simulation-esque elements, at that — Lunar Lander is a game that would go on to influence a wide variety of other computer, console and arcade games. Primarily through that “turn and thrust” mechanic I tend to have such difficulty with!

Oh well. Let’s see if we can touch down safely at least once in my lifetime…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

SNK Essentials: Fantasy

In the same year as the excellent Vanguard, SNK’s 6502-based “Rockola” hardware played host to an altogether different kind of game.

Fantasy was a rather unusual game. Eschewing the usual spaceships and aliens in favour of a distinctly more “human” setup, the game actually made an effort to tell a story as it progressed. An extremely simple story, yes, but exceedingly ambitious considering this was 1981.

HOW ARE YOU? I’M FINE, THANK YOU. AAAAAAHHHHHH.

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SNK Essentials: Vanguard

As you may have noticed already, early-days pre-Neo Geo SNK is a real treasure trove of classic shoot ’em ups. And few come more classic than Vanguard.

First released in 1981, Vanguard was another game of “firsts” for the fledgling SNK. It was not, as some sources claim, SNK’s first colour game — Sasuke vs. Commander predates it by a year — but it was their first to incorporate something that would become a mainstay of their later titles, including Bermuda Triangle and World Warsmulti-directional shooting, independent of movement direction.

It also featured some delightful synthesised speech and gratuitously, shamelessly stolen music. And it’s a lot of fun to boot. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading SNK Essentials: Vanguard

Atari A to Z: Elektra Glide

Pretty much everyone who plays games can probably name at least one title that they respect, but absolutely can’t abide the thought of playing ever again.

For me, one of those games is Elektra Glide, an incredibly popular title developed by Adam Billyard and published by English Software. It’s a technical tour-de-force for the Atari 8-bit, for sure, featuring spectacularly speedy 3D-style graphics, parallax scrolling, wonderful use of colour and an incredibly memorable soundtrack.

I also despise playing it with almost every fibre of my being; I’d thought returning to it some thirty-two years after its original release might have caused my opinions to mellow on it somewhat, but nope! Still, it sure is pretty…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.