Tag Archives: Atari

Atari A to Z Flashback: Circus Atari

Today’s Atari Flashback Classic is Circus Atari, an interesting and challenging twist on the Breakout formula.

The origin story of this one is quite interesting, too; it began life as a third-party spin-off of the Breakout arcade hardware, then was subsequently ported by Atari itself to the 2600 platform. Original developer Exidy, who were struggling to compete with Atari at the time, must have been real pleased about that!

Anyway, if Breakout wasn’t hard enough already for you, Circus Atari challenges you to bounce two little clowns on a see-saw and pop a bunch of balloons. Good luck; you’ll need it!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Breakout

Bip! Boop! Bip! Boop! It’s an iconic sound of the late ’70s: a computerised simulation of some sort of bat-and-ball game. And few games of this type are more classic or influential than Breakout.

The Atari 2600 version of Breakout offers a variety of ways to play, including several multiplayer modes. This technically made the home console version a superior experience to the arcade machine… which is a phenomenon we wouldn’t really encounter again until roughly the Dreamcast era.

Anyway, Breakout for 2600 is a good time, particularly if you’ve got some friends to play with. If you’re flying solo, Super Breakout may be a better choice… but that’s a story for another day!

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

Atari A to Z: Pac-Man

We’re all pretty accustomed to arcade-perfect conversions these days, but what about back in the ’80s where programmers had to make home versions of arcade games from scratch without any handy emulation?

The results varied enormously — at least partly because in some cases the programmers in question didn’t have any original source material to work with — but there were a few very solid examples over the years.

One pretty great arcade conversion for Atari 8-bit was the Atari-published version of Namco’s Pac-Man. It’s certainly better than the notorious 2600 version!

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

The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Atari Anime Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas!

This year’s first award is exactly the sort of peculiar thing I was after, courtesy of regular and longstanding reader Viscera/@Zwifu.

Viscera wants to know the Atari game I want to be remade with cute anime girls the most. Preferably something that has been covered in one of my Atari A to Z videos.

That’s a hell of a category to start with! I’m going to have to think hard about this one…

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Atari Anime Award

Atari ST A to Z: Go-Moku/Renju

Computers make good opponents for classic tabletop games, and have done since the earliest days of the 2600.

They get on with their turns rather than checking their phones or talking about the football (although 2600 board games on the hardest difficulty warn they may take up to 20 minutes to make a decision about their next move, which is almost as bad as my friend Sam deciding whether or not he wants to build the Well in Agricola) and they’re able to provide a reasonable challenge for both beginners and masters in a variety of disciplines.

Today, then, we look at an entry in Atari’s “Mindgames” range for ST: it’s Go-Moku/Renju, two very similar “five in a row” games very loosely based on classic Chinese game Go.

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

Atari ST A to Z: Crack’ed

Errant apostrophes aren’t just for fantasy RPGs any more; sometimes they show up in the most unexpected of places… and inconsistently, to boot.

No, I have no idea what the apostrophe is doing in Crack’ed’s title, or indeed why it isn’t present on the actual spine of the box it comes in, but… well, there you go.

The game itself is classic Atari arcade funtimes — simple but addictive gameplay, some good use of the ST’s graphical capabilities and mouse control… and hairy poo monsters!

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

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.