Tag Archives: Atari Flashback Classics

Atari A to Z Flashback: Air-Sea Battle

An all-time classic of the Atari 2600’s library is launch title Air-Sea Battle, a simplistic but enjoyable fixed shooter with a variety of different ways to play.

Air-Sea Battle is an excellent example of what you could expect from early 2600 titles that promised “27 video games” or similar. Those “27” video games would be a lot of variations on the same theme — but there’d sometimes be some surprising and enjoyable differences between them!

Air-Sea Battle shines as a two-player game, even today, but it’s still an enjoyable high score-chaser solo. Which is your favourite of the 27 variations?

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Air Raiders

Let’s check out what is regarded by some as one of the best flight simulators on the Atari 2600!

To be fair, this isn’t a particularly high bar to clear or anything, but Air Raiders is a solid, enjoyable enough game, so long as you pay attention to its unusual structure and mechanics. It’s also historically noteworthy as one of the only “M Network” Atari 2600 releases from Mattel that wasn’t a port of an Intellivision title.

It’s also nowhere near as well-known as some of the more established classics of the Atari 2600 canon, so that’s as good a reason as any to give it a bit of time and attention, hmm?

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Adventure II

One of the most interesting things about the retro scene is how these old, supposedly defunct platforms still have plenty of people developing for them.

In some cases, these projects that began as homebrew affairs end up being official follow-ups to established classics, thirty or more years later! Such is the case with Adventure II, which was first released in 2005 as part of the Atari Flashback 2 console.

Mechanically, there’s not much new in Adventure II, but the interesting new map design and cranked up difficulty makes it a distinct experience in its own right!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Adventure

Hey! Listen! Do you like Zelda? If so, then take a moment to give thanks to 1979’s Adventure for Atari.

Adventure is an early example of a top-down action-adventure, and has been cited as an important influence on the development of subsequent titles such as The Legend of Zelda. While it may look primitive today, its abstract graphics, simple sound and straightforward mechanics still do a surprising amount to stir the imagination, even today.

It’s also the first ever game to feature an “Easter Egg” — and it’s all because the programmer Warren Robinett, quite reasonably, decided that he wanted to actually be credited for his hard work!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: 3D Tic-Tac-Toe

One of my favourite things about working on this series is how I come across interesting bits of trivia during my research.

Did you know, for example, that today’s game, 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, was the work of Carol Shaw, an immensely talented programmer perhaps best known for one of my favourite games of all time: River Raid?

It’s not really all that surprising that someone who is good at programming worked on more than one thing in their career, I guess, but, hey, found it interesting. And 3D Tic-Tac-Toe is a lot harder than it looks!

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

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 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.