Tag Archives: Atari Flashback Classics

Atari A to Z Flashback: Backgammon

A big part of the early Atari 2600 library consisted of digital adaptations of tabletop games — including several that could be played solo against a computer opponent.

One such example was Backgammon, a fairly comprehensive package that allowed one or two players to play Backgammon or Acey Deucey, with or without a “doubling cube” to facilitate gambling.

I’m not good at Backgammon, but aside from this adaptation’s bizarre paddle-based control system, this seems like as good a way as any to learn!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Atari Video Cube

The puzzle game genre as a whole arguably didn’t really hit its stride until the 16-bit home console era rolled around. But there were numerous attempts prior to that “golden age” to provide mind-bending puzzles for gamers at home.

One fascinating example was Atari Video Cube, a three-dimensional colour puzzle loosely based on the famous Rubik’s Cube. In fact, in a subsequent reprint of the game, Atari acquired the Rubik license and rereleased it as Rubik’s Cube — much to the chagrin of Atari 2600 collectors, who note that it is the exact same game, released with a different part number.

I really like this game. It melts my brain a bit, but I enjoy it a great deal. If you’re looking for an interesting way to flex your mental muscles a bit, this remains an enjoyable challenge to wrap your grey matter around even today!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Astroblast

Mattel’s “M Network” label brought over a variety of classic Intellivision titles to Atari’s 2600 platform.

One of these games that seems to have always proven quite popular is Astroblast, originally known as Astrosmash on its original host platform.

It’s a fairly simple fixed shooter in which you blast space rocks into smithereens while attempting to protect your planet… but hoo boy, is it ever addictive!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Asteroids (5200)

Hey look everybody, it’s Asteroids! Again. You’ll be pleased to hear that this is the last time Asteroids appears in the Atari Flashback Classics compilation, at least.

Today we’re looking at the Atari 5200 version of the game, which didn’t actually see a commercial release despite originally being intended as a launch title for the platform. It’s based closely on the version released for Atari 8-bit computers, and is a solid adaptation of the formula for 1-4 players simultaneously.

I didn’t like this all that much when I was kid (primarily because I was bobbins at it) but nowadays I find its chunky shooting action rather satisfying!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Asteroids (2600)

It’s that time again: the time when we strap ourselves into a small triangle and blast some space rocks into increasingly smaller space rocks until they disappear.

Yes, it’s Asteroids again, this time in its Atari 2600 incarnation. This was a well-regarded port at the time of original release, and noteworthy from a historical perspective for being one of the first games to make use of “bank-switching”, allowing for higher-capacity cartridges that made use of more data. Asteroids for 2600 is twice the size of earlier 2600 games at a mighty 8K!

It also offers “66 video games”. Can’t say better value than that, can you? Even if there’s actually only 33 video games, and they’re all very similar to one another…

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Armor Ambush

With a few exceptions, Mattel’s “M Network” label was established to port a number of well-received Intellivision titles to Atari’s 2600 platform.

Due to the disparity in capabilities between the two platforms, however, this porting process wasn’t necessarily completely straightforward. The Atari controller had considerably fewer buttons than the Intellivision’s weird monstrosity, for one thing — and the system itself was much less powerful.

Still, while technically inferior to its Intellivision counterpart, Armor Ambush for Atari 2600 (known as Armor Battle in its original incarnation) is an enjoyable take on the two-player tank battle genre — and offers a few interesting twists not seen in Atari’s classic Combat.

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Aquaventure

One of the most interesting things about retro platforms like the Atari 2600 is that they still play host to tons of undiscovered treasures just waiting to be explored, decades later.

Many of these treasures — usually in the form of unreleased or prototype games — have been unearthed and shared with the world through the Atari Flashback Classics collection. And a great example of just that is Aquaventure, a game about diving beneath the waves in search of hidden booty.

This game was seemingly complete and ready to release, so one can only guess at why it never ended up on store shelves!

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