Tag 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 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 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 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 A to Z: Hollywood Medieval

Back in the early days of home computing, developers were experimenting not only with how different game genres worked, but also with using game-like mechanics in various contexts.

One pioneer of these experiments was Douglas Crockford, who we’ve seen a couple of times on this series previously. Today we look at his Hollywood Medieval project, which combines music effectively arranged by the “player” with the game-like mechanic of navigating a maze — with your location determined by the musical phrases you’re hearing.

A peculiar experience to be sure! Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Around the Network

Good evening everyone! I’ve just finished editing a monster episode of The MoeGamer Podcast, which should be with you tomorrow assuming my computer doesn’t explode overnight while rendering or anything.

I joke, but on more than one occasion I have come downstairs of a morning to discover my computer had forgotten what these mysterious things called “hard drives” or “Microsoft Windows” were, so I probably shouldn’t tempt fate. Anyway, all being well, there will be a podcast for your eyes and ears to enjoy tomorrow.

In the meantime, let’s look back at what you might have missed this week.

Continue reading Around the Network

Atari A to Z Flashback: Motorodeo

The Atari 2600 had such a long lifespan that there is a huge difference between games that came out in its early days and those which appeared in its twilight years.

Motorodeo is one of the last games to be officially released for the platform, and it’s an ambitious affair, to be sure. It’s got a rough approximation of physics, it’s got scrolling levels — it’s even got split-screen multiplayer, which was an unusual sight on the 2600.

Some might argue it’s trying to do a little too much for the ageing platform, but it’s certainly a valiant effort if nothing else. 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: Asteroids Deluxe

Will I never be free of this accursed game? Given the sheer number of versions Asteroids has enjoyed over the years, I suspect not. But it is actually quite interesting to compare all of them.

The Atari ST version of Asteroids Deluxe — one of the only ports of that specific game as opposed to the original Asteroids — was handled by Paradox Software, much like many of the other late Atari-published arcade conversions on the platform. This time around, they haven’t done an altogether bad job on the port — it looks and plays pretty well, for sure, though as always for the poor old ST, the sound leaves a little to be desired.

It’s certainly far less of a mess than certain previous Paradox ports, however — and a solid version of Asteroids for Atari’s 16-bit machine. 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: Gossip

Today’s indie scene is quite rightfully regarded as one of the most creative spaces in the games industry. But it’s been that way for a lot longer than most people realise.

Some truly fascinating games came out through the Atari Program Exchange or APX, a programme run by Atari where consumers (or indeed Atari employees) could submit their pet projects and get them published by the company — perhaps the earliest take on today’s “indie specialist” publishers such as Devolver Digital and its ilk.

One such example that it seems never quite made it to final release was Gossip, a fascinating game by Atari’s master of simulations, Chris Crawford. Gossip is an attempt to simulate social interactions using a mathematical model of affinity as a basis. As a game, it takes a bit of getting used to, but as you start to figure out what’s going on it becomes a fascinating experience. Check out my attempts to woo the virtual ladies in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z