Tag Archives: Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Unicum

The type-in listing scene for 8-bit home computers gave us some genuinely excellent games — with some even rivalling commercially released counterparts.

Such is the case with the unusually named Unicum, a take on the Arkanoid-style block-breaking formula that many regard as significantly superior to the official port of Taito’s classic to Atari 8-bit.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, “Unicum” is apparently a Hungarian liqueur, though whether or not that actually has anything to do with this game is anyone’s guess. Be sure to subscribe on YouTube for more valuable facts about international culture!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Haunted House

It’s time to once again enter the world of survival horror with one of the earliest examples of the genre: Atari’s Haunted House.

Haunted House can be seen as an evolution of the Adventure formula in that it involves navigating a preset map, manipulating objects and avoiding enemies. The twist this time around is that you’re in a spooky old mansion full of locked doors, tarantulas and a rather annoyed old ghost. Oh, and it’s dark. Very dark. Except on the first difficulty level, but only babies play Game 1 on Haunted House.

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

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: No Second Prize

It was an exciting time when racing games moved from sprite-based “fake 3D” visuals to full polygonal 3D — and one gets the distinct impression that a lot of developers found the changeover a blessing, too.

For one, we started to see lots more attempts to simulate the experience of racing things other than cars; and many of these developers elected to explore a more “sim-like” approach, too, taking some cues from the well-established flight simulation genre.

One fine example that I hadn’t come across previously is No Second Prize, an impressively speedy motorcycle racing game. 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: Typo Attack

Want to practice your typing skills? There were a bunch of different ways to do that back in the Atari 8-bit era, with one of the most fun being Typo Attack.

Typo Attack is one of several success stories that stemmed from the Atari Program Exchange, where independent, amateur developers could submit their work to Atari, who would publish and distribute it and pay the creators royalties. In several cases, the creators of APX titles went on to become full-time Atari employees — or, at the very least, their games became “official” releases.

Typo Attack is an example of the latter. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Hangman

The early days of the 2600 consisted of developers trying to figure out what a “video game” really was.

A significant part of this experimental period consisted of adaptations of simple board, card and parlour games. Some proved to work well in the digital format; others less so.

Hangman? I’ll let you be the judge. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Rainbow Walker

Today we pay another visit to a beloved publisher of the Atari 8-bit days: Synapse Software — and one of the company’s most well-regarded games.

Rainbow Walker isn’t an especially original premise — it’s a Q*Bert-style game in which you have to hop on all the squares to change them to the correct colour — but the remarkable thing here is the incredibly slick presentation, featuring a gorgeous 3D effect, smooth movement and some fancy special effects. It’s not hard to see why the game is regarded as one of the finest in the Atari 8-bit’s library.

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Golf

Ah, golf. The one sport I can get behind in that it involves minimal physical activity (aside from walking about a bit and occasionally giving a small ball a hefty thwack) and is mostly about being very quiet.

Video game adaptations of the game that spoiled many a good walk have been around for a long time, as it happens, with one of the earlier ones being Atari’s own simply named Golf for Atari 2600.

Let’s go play a round in the video below — meet me in the 19th hole and subscribe on YouTube when you’re done!

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: Knicker-Bockers

Now hold on a minute… something’s a little familiar here!

Yes indeed; we’ve previously seen Kirk Chaney’s Lock ‘n’ Chase-inspired maze puzzler on the 8-bit Atari A to Z series, but it turns out he also made an ST version! In fact, it’s not entirely clear which one came first, since they’re both dated around the same time.

Hit up the video below to check out how the 16-bit version compares to its 8-bit counterpart — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Frogs and Flies

Hmm, doesn’t something seem a bit familiar about this Atari 2600 game…?

Of course! Frogs and Flies here is the game that Atari ripped off with Frog Pond. Only Frogs and Flies (or Frog Bog as it was known in its original Intellivision incarnation) is a much better game. It is still a ripoff in its own right, however — in this case of a very early Sega arcade title called, simply, Frogs.

Action-packed tongue fun in the video below! And, as always, don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Pole Position

You don’t just play Pole Position — you FEEL it!

Thus ran the back-of-box blurb for the official Atari 8-bit conversion of Namco’s classic “vanishing point” racer — one of the most important, influential video games of all time. Said conversion was extremely solid, and a big hit for my whole family back in the day.

See how I get on with the world’s most explosive Formula 1 cars in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z