Tag Archives: Atari VCS

Atari A to Z Flashback: Missile Command

It’s time for another one of those games that shows up on Atari Flashback Classics several times! This time around, it’s Missile Command putting in its second appearance.

The 2600 version of Missile Command is actually a really solid port of the game, albeit lacking some of the features like the satellites and planes. Most importantly, though, it plays well, looks authentic and is monstrously 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 Flashback: Miniature Golf

Miniature Golf was a popular pastime in the 1970s, so it made a lot of sense for there to be an adaptation for the shiny new Atari Video Computer System when it released in the latter years of the decade.

In those early days, though, game developers hadn’t quite mastered what made the 2600’s innards tick — or indeed what made a good game. But Miniature Golf, a game which, bizarrely, ended up pulled from sale a year after launch, unlike the rest of the 2600’s early lineup, has a bold attempt at… something.

Is it successful? A bit of yes, a bit of no. Find out what works and what doesn’t in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Maze Craze

If you’ve ever called your local bobby to come and sort out some youths in your neck of the woods, only for them to turn up four hours later well after they were actually needed, Maze Craze may provide some explanation.

Apparently coppers like nothing more than getting lost inside randomly generated city blocks with varying degrees of invisibility, desperate to make their way to the exit on the eastern edge of the district before the robbers they’re supposed to be catching actually catch them instead.

Okay, Maze Craze doesn’t make a ton of sense, but since when has that mattered for Atari 2600 games? 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: Home Run

I live in a country where there have, for most of my life, been fairly strict rules in place saying that advertisers should advertise their own products rather than say how shit their competitors are.

It’s for this reason I always find it rather amusing when I come across titles like Home Run, and Intellivision’s rather mean-spirited attempts to make this game look as crap as possible next to their baseball game.

I mean, okay, Home Run is exceedingly simplistic… but as I’ve discovered a few times previously on this series, that can actually make sports games that I’d otherwise baulk at exploring rather more fun than expected! See the evidence in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Holey Moley

As we’ve seen a number of times on this series, the late ’70s and early ’80s were a period of experimentation, where developers were trying to figure out exactly what a video game really was.

One angle of attack some people took was to recreate well-known physical games in the digital realm. To that end, we saw virtual adaptations of popular board and card games — and we had Holey Moley, an Atari 2600 take on the classic fairground Whack-A-Mole game.

Holey Moley never saw an actual release back in the day, but now we can enjoy it on modern platforms thanks to Atari Flashback Classics. So enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Haunted House

It’s time to once again enter the world of survival horror with one of the earliest examples of the genre: Atari’s Haunted House.

Haunted House can be seen as an evolution of the Adventure formula in that it involves navigating a preset map, manipulating objects and avoiding enemies. The twist this time around is that you’re in a spooky old mansion full of locked doors, tarantulas and a rather annoyed old ghost. Oh, and it’s dark. Very dark. Except on the first difficulty level, but only babies play Game 1 on Haunted House.

Check out the action in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Hangman

The early days of the 2600 consisted of developers trying to figure out what a “video game” really was.

A significant part of this experimental period consisted of adaptations of simple board, card and parlour games. Some proved to work well in the digital format; others less so.

Hangman? I’ll let you be the judge. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Football

FOOTBALL! It’s time to play some FOOTBALL! YEAH!

Those of you who have been following this series for a while will be all to familiar with my general lack of experience with sports games — particularly those focusing on American sports. Despite my wife once referring to American football on camera as “shit rugby”, I hope I have at least given the impression that I am giving these games a chance!

If anything, I find the simpler, vaguer digital interpretations of sports — such as seen here in this very early American football game for Atari 2600 — a lot more palatable and understandable than the more realistic simulations we’ve had since the 16-bit era or so. So you know what? I didn’t have a terrible time playing this.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Flag Capture

Flag Capture is one of those games that looks laughably simple today, but there’s still some good, honest fun to be had — especially with two players.

The concept couldn’t really be much simpler — there’s a flag somewhere in a grid, and you have to find it using both directional and numerical clues. The interesting stuff this game does comes from how this simple concept is twisted in a few different ways — do you find the flag against the clock? Against another player with simultaneous movement? Against another player moving one at a time?

It’s probably not a game you’ll want to spend a lot of time with today, no, but it’s definitely worth a look for a quick bit of fun with a friend!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Fatal Run

Wouldn’t you know it? A comet has hit the Earth, bathing the entire planet in deadly radiation that, apparently, we will have developed a “vaccine” against by the late 21st century.

Naturally, rather than attempting to organise some sort of large-scale relief effort to distribute this life-saving vaccine to the world’s population, the only possible solution to this disastrous situation is to send one dude in a machine gun-equipped car across the world and hope he knows how to assemble a rocket at the far end of his journey.

Oh, did I not mention the rocket? There’s a rocket to assemble, too. And launch codes to discover. But mostly a lot of driving and blasting anything unfortunate enough to get in your way on the road…

Atari A to Z