Tag Archives: Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Warlords

Pong and Breakout were winning formulae for Atari, so it makes perfect sense they would want to try and do everything possible with this style of game over the years.

Warlords was one of the more interesting experiments, adding a healthy dose of theme, four-player competitive (or team-based) action and a couple of interesting additional mechanics.

It’s even reasonably fun by yourself… but get three friends together and you can expect the trash talk to flow freely within moments of starting!

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

Atari ST A to Z: Tournament Golf

Who’s up for the ruination of a perfectly good walk? Well, you’re in luck, because here comes Elite with their ST conversion of Sega’s Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf.

Tournament Golf, as it was rebranded for its home computer release thanks to the ditching of the license for cost-cutting reasons, is an interesting example of a relatively early golf game trying to incorporate some more complex simulation-style elements into the mix.

Unfortunately, said mix also includes incredibly twitchy arcade-style controls that you need the reflexes of a particularly hyperactive kitten to master, making the whole thing rather more challenging than it needs to be! Still, I had fun…

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

Atari A to Z: Zone Ranger

We’ve made it to Z again, folks! And today’s a real stonker of a game that I used to really love playing back in the day. And still do today, in fact.

Zone Ranger was released in 1984 by Activision, back when they still made good games, and was the work of one Dan Thompson. Drawing loose inspiration from Asteroids and Sinistar, two favourite games of Thompson, Zone Ranger tasks you with shooting down a bunch of space junk because… why not?

It’s the quintessential mid-’80s arcade blaster in many ways: easy to learn, hard to master and very, very addictive.

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Atari Soccer

Yes, yes, yes, I know the “A to Z” angle in this series is already questionable and this one following Tempest makes it even more so, but we only just managed to find time to have a two-player match!

Indeed, today’s game is Atari Soccer, an arcade title which can only be played with two or four people simultaneously, so bad luck if you have either no friends or two friends. As a follow-up to Atari Football, it again had a cocktail cabinet form factor and exhausting trackball controls to blister your palms with.

Thankfully, the port in Atari Flashback Classics can be enjoyed with nothing more than a couple of analogue controllers, and even for those who aren’t big soccer fans, the game makes for an entertaining, competitive pastime for a few minutes every so often.

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

Atari ST A to Z: S.T.U.N. Runner

The futuristic racer subgenre tends to mostly be attributed to Nintendo’s F-Zero series these days, but there were a number of other companies experimenting with the formula too.

One such company was Atari Games, who put out the arcade version of S.T.U.N. Runner in 1989, a good year before F-Zero hit the Super NES. Running on a variation of the Hard Drivin’ hardware, its polygonal graphics and blistering speed impressed anyone who was lucky to come across a machine.

Its home ports… well, they did their best, and despite the ST version being what can politely be called “barely passable” I had a surprising amount of fun with it…

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

Atari A to Z: Yahtman

Yahtman is a game that hails from simpler times; a time when a video game about rolling a few dice a few times was enough to keep people occupied for… ooh, a good few minutes, at least.

It was also a time where there were plenty of people making software based around popular board and tabletop games — some licensed adaptations, others… less so.

Yahtman skirts the usual copyright-infringing tendencies of the era by providing us a game of “dice poker” or “yacht”, and absolutely, positively not Yahtzee, you hear me?

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

Atari ST A to Z: Oids

It’s always pleasant to revisit something you once bounced off pretty hard, only for you to discover that the passage of time has made you much more receptive to what it has to offer.

Such is the case for me and FTL’s Oids, a game which was relatively low-key in its native America, but which became something of a cult hit when Mirrorsoft brought it across the pond to the UK and Europe.

I did not get on with this game when I was a kid. Now, however, I definitely understand its enduring appeal…

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