Tag Archives: Crystal Castles

Atari A to Z: Runner Bear

The Atari 8-bit community is still alive and well — and many of the folks involved with it are just as active today as they were back in the good old days!

One mainstay of the community for all these years is Paul Lay, who put together some fabulous machine code games as type-in listings for Page 6 magazine all those years ago, and is still putting out top-notch software for the platform today. Here’s Runner Bear, programmed with the intention of being the first Atari 8-bit game of 2020.

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: Crystal Castles (2600)

Back in the ’70s and ’80s, players of home consoles weren’t looking for “arcade perfect” — mostly because the home systems of the time weren’t up to it.

Rather, they were looking for a roughly equivalent or perhaps complementary experience to that which could be had in the arcades. This meant that sometimes games underwent a few changes in the transition from the arcade to the home.

A good example of this is Crystal Castles for the Atari 2600, which provides a surprisingly authentic-feeling approximation of the arcade classic, while working within the constraints of its host hardware.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Crystal Castles

Do you know what “trimetric projection” is? If not, take a good look at Atari’s Crystal Castles. That, dear reader, is trimetric projection at work.

This 3D perspective take on the Pac-Man formula is a popular game from Atari’s early days, and enjoyed numerous home ports over the years, particularly on Atari’s own platforms. It’s a fun — if challenging — game, and remains noteworthy from a historical perspective for being one of the first arcade games out there that it’s actually possible to “beat”. Although good luck with doing that.

Also, if you score first place on the high score table, you get to enjoy your initials presented in 3D trimetric projection for everyone to admire on the first level of each new playthrough!

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