The time has come once again for adventure! AtariVenture, to be exact — the Atari ST ports of Icom Simulations’ MacVentures series.
Today we’re looking at Deja Vu, a hard-boiled detective thriller in which you play Theodore “Ace” Harding, who has just woken up in a toilet with a sore arm and no memory of who he is. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?
Mandarin Software’s STOS marketed itself as “The Game Creator”, but really it was a lot more than that — it was a whole programming language based on the conventions of BASIC, meaning you could do a wide variety of things with it.
One of the showcase titles included with the STOS package was Zoltar, a simple shoot ’em up that tasked you with taking down pre-scripted waves of aliens as they swooped, bobbed and weaved around the screen. As a game, it’s not great, but it’s a good showcase of what STOS is capable of — particularly as it includes a fully functional built-in level editor!
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for multi-sport athletics games, and it’s a genre of game we don’t tend to see all that often any more. Hence, I often find myself looking back to retro games to get my fill.
One of the earliest games of this type I remember playing was Winter Games by Epyx — this may well have been the very first game I ever played on our Atari ST, in fact; it was certainly one of the first pieces of software we owned for the machine, anyway — and one of the first games my brother ever reviewed, kicking off a lifelong career in the games press and surrounding fields.
Enjoy my questionable wintry athleticism in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
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!
It’s arcade classic time today on Atari ST A to Z, with the game that supposedly popularised the idea of two-player cooperative gameplay.
Joust, originally developed by Williams for the arcade in 1982, was a well-regarded and influential game, and found itself ported to a wide variety of platforms over the years — including numerous Atari systems.
The Atari ST version showed up in 1986 — better late than never — and provided a solid adaptation of the arcade original for those who fancied some classic cooperative action on their 16-bit home computer. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
The “sim racer” has very much become its own distinct thing over the course of the last 20 years or so.
Back in the 16-bit home computer era, the lines between arcade racers and more simulation-like affairs were a little more blurred thanks to the limitations of the technology of the time. And that’s where games like Fast Lane come in, combining old-school “vanishing point” racing with an arcade feel and more simulation-style aspects such as damage, wear and tear and realistic pit stops.
Praised by several publications around the time of its original release, Fast Lane holds up surprisingly well today… although its lack of save functionality means you’d better set a whole day aside if you want to run that whole championship!
The Lombard RAC Rally, known today as the Wales Rally GB, is a high-profile race in the annual rally calendar.
Back in 1988, we had the opportunity to strap ourselves into a state-of-the-art Ford Sierra Cosworth and take part in this prestigious event for ourselves. Some massive prizes of up to a hundred English pounds per stage were up for grabs!
Lombard RAC Rally by Red Rat software was a neat game that did few things rather unconventionally for the driving game genre. So let’s take a look!
It’s really interesting to go back to some of the games of my youth and discover that creators who became much more well-known later in their careers worked on them.
Jug from Microdeal is one game where this happens: its graphics were the work of one Martin Kenwright, who subsequently became much better known for his flight simulations under the Digital Image Design (DID) banner, and later the World Rally Championship and Motorstorm games for Sony platforms.
Jug, meanwhile, is an interesting action-adventure with a touch of shoot ’em up about it. Does it, as the box proclaims, offer the best graphics the ST has to offer? Well, no, but it’s still worth a look!
SNK had some top-notch arcade hits throughout the ’80s and ’90s, and many of them came home in one form or another.
One great example was Ikari Warriors, which saw several different home ports over the years. The one we’re concerned with today is Elite’s Atari ST version, which remains surprisingly true to the arcade original despite lacking SNK’s iconic “loop lever” control scheme.
It’s a solid top-down run-and-gun that still holds its own well today, and back then it demonstrated that the ST was more than capable of providing a convincing “arcade at home” experience!
I absolutely loved MB and Games Workshop’s HeroQuest as a kid, but I rarely got the opportunity to play it on the tabletop with real people.
Imagine my delight, then, when Gremlin announced that they were developing a computerised adaptation of the board game I’d come to love so much. And imagine my even greater delight when it turned out to be a very good game indeed — although arguably perhaps a little too true to the original board game for a computer version!
This is a game that still holds up pretty well today in both its tabletop and electronic formats. Gather a party of friends — or go it alone — and see how far you can get in the substantial campaign!