Tag Archives: Atari

Atari A to Z: Encounter!

The Atari 8-Bit played host to some great games, many of which drew fairly unashamed inspiration from popular arcade games at the time.

In some cases, these “derivatives” provided an interesting twist on their inspiration’s formula — or in some cases improved upon it. Such is the case with Encounter! by the late Paul Woakes, an enormously talented (and mostly solo) British programmer who developed some of the most technically impressive games of the 8- and 16-bit era.

Encounter! wears its Battlezone inspirations on its sleeve, but it mixes things up with much faster-paced gameplay and a challenging “hyperspace” sequence between stages. Watch me fail at the latter aspect in particular below.

Atari A to Z: Dandy

For the retro gaming and retro computer enthusiasts among you, here’s the continuation of my ongoing project to explore the library of the Atari 8-Bit.

Released through the Atari Program Exchange (or APX), an initiative by Atari that allowed amateur and professional programmers alike the opportunity to get their projects distributed commercially, Dandy by John Howard Palevich turned out to be a rather influential game.

Originally intended as a multiplayer networked adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons before being simplified and refined into the four-player action dungeon crawler it ultimately became, Dandy would be a defining influence on Atari’s later arcade hit Gauntlet… and it’s not hard to see why.

Atari A to Z: Caverns of Mars

Happy Tuesday! While I prepare something more substantial for your reading pleasure later this evening, I invite you to enjoy the latest installment in my retro gaming side project.

The Atari 8-Bit is the first computer I used growing up, and it’s a platform I still very much enjoy busting out today. It’s somewhat lesser known than its contemporaries, the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum, but it has a great library of games and software.

Today we take a look at a classic (and influential) vertically scrolling shoot ’em up, Caverns of Mars. Enjoy!

Atari A to Z: Bruce Lee

My retro gaming side project delving back into the Atari 8-Bit computers’ extensive catalogue of games continues with this title from Datasoft.

Bruce Lee was an interesting game that included elements of the beat ’em up, platform game and action adventure genres, creating an altogether unique experience at the time that is still fondly regarded today.

I have very fond memories of this game, despite not being all that good at it when I was a kid. Rather than it being fast, chaotic action, it actually rewards somewhat strategic play; taking your time getting through the screens is usually your best bet, and defeating the enemies is also a case of waiting for a good opening to attack them rather than flailing wildly.

The game was developed as an Atari 8-Bit title originally before being ported to a number of other platforms, including Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and MSX. The Atari version is obviously the best, of course, not that I’m biased at all in this regard.

Atari A to Z: Aztec Challenge

Despite technically being “on holiday” I’ve managed to fill today up completely to such a degree that I haven’t had time to finish a full article for MoeGamer as yet, and I’m about to go out for the evening. Consequently, you can expect an article later (late!) tonight when I get back.

In the meantime, please enjoy the beginning of this new side project exploring the library of the Atari 8-bit line of computers from A to Z and back again. New episodes are coming every Tuesday, so watch out for them either here or over on YouTube.

This isn’t technically part of MoeGamer’s remit, such as it is, but it is nonetheless a retro gaming project I have been working on, so I thought I’d share it here in case anyone is interested!