Tag Archives: Atari 8-bit

Atari A to Z: Henri

Today’s Atari 8-Bit game shows us that even back in the 1980s, programmers weren’t above churning out something just to make a quick buck.

Enter Henri by one Adam Billyard, a developer who would later go on to produce great things for The English Software Company — specifically the technically stunning (but exceedingly irritating) racer Elektra Glide, and the well-animated one-on-one fighting game Chop Suey.

At the time he put out Henri, however, he was just trying to scrape together enough money for his air fare to get home. The result was a competent, if relatively unremarkable Mr. Do! clone. I hope you like the sound of Bach…

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Atari A to Z: Gorf

When is a Space Invaders rip-off not a Space Invaders rip-off? When it also rips off Galaxian and Gyruss!

No, that’s unfair to poor old Gorf, an arcade game by Bally Midway that was ported to Atari 8-Bit by Roklan Software. Gorf is an entertaining and enjoyable game in its own right that most certainly has its own identity — albeit perhaps not what was originally intended.

This began life as an adaptation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, of all things, but was presumably adapted into what it eventually became after someone at Bally Midway figured that a game involving a 20-minute sequence slowly panning around a spaceship with nothing happening probably wouldn’t be that much fun. The end product was rather good… and bastard hard.

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Around the Network

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that I have a few ongoing side projects right now.

I wanted to draw a bit of attention to them for those who primarily follow this site — and also just to take a bit of pride in my work elsewhere!

Let’s take a look at what’s been going on elsewhere on what I’m choosing to think of as “The MoeGamer Network”, then…

Continue reading Around the Network

Atari A to Z: Dandy

For the retro gaming and retro computer enthusiasts among you, here’s the continuation of my ongoing project to explore the library of the Atari 8-Bit.

Released through the Atari Program Exchange (or APX), an initiative by Atari that allowed amateur and professional programmers alike the opportunity to get their projects distributed commercially, Dandy by John Howard Palevich turned out to be a rather influential game.

Originally intended as a multiplayer networked adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons before being simplified and refined into the four-player action dungeon crawler it ultimately became, Dandy would be a defining influence on Atari’s later arcade hit Gauntlet… and it’s not hard to see why.

Atari A to Z: Caverns of Mars

Happy Tuesday! While I prepare something more substantial for your reading pleasure later this evening, I invite you to enjoy the latest installment in my retro gaming side project.

The Atari 8-Bit is the first computer I used growing up, and it’s a platform I still very much enjoy busting out today. It’s somewhat lesser known than its contemporaries, the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum, but it has a great library of games and software.

Today we take a look at a classic (and influential) vertically scrolling shoot ’em up, Caverns of Mars. Enjoy!

Nintendo on Atari: Donkey Kong

Today, Nintendo is primarily known for its excellent first-party games that it produces for its unique consoles and handhelds. But there was a time when Nintendo games were a lot more platform-agnostic than they are now.

That time was the early ’80s — specifically, the years before the release of the Famicom in 1983, and its Western incarnation, the Nintendo Entertainment System, in 1985. During this time, Nintendo was making arcade games. And there was a great hunger for ports of these arcade games to home-based systems of the time.

Nintendo’s 1981 classic Donkey Kong was a game that got ported to pretty much every platform imaginable at the time. And the 1983 version for Atari home computers was one of the best.

This is a cross-post with my new site Atari A to Z; please head over there and follow if you’re interested in Atari computers, games, software and hardware!

Continue reading Nintendo on Atari: Donkey Kong