It is a ballsy developer who tries to recreate the After Burner experience on a machine as humble as the Atari 2600. But Doug Neubauer was nothing if not ballsy.
Radar Lock made use of the same engine he had developed for Star Raiders follow-up Solaris, but transplanted the action from the black void of space to the blue skies of Earth. Radar Lock also ditched the strategic adventure aspect of Solaris in favour of something a little more arcadey, and is a well-regarded game from the latter years of the 2600.
Check it out in the video below — including my repeated failed attempts to understand what the manual is quite clearly telling me — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
With how long the Atari 2600 stuck around — and its position in the early days of the games business — it’s no surprise that games from its latter days bear little to no resemblance to its launch titles.
There are few games in which this is more apparent than Solaris, the official follow-up to Star Raiders on the 2600. But not the sequel to Star Raiders on the Atari 8-bit; that was just called Star Raiders II. Also, just to confuse matters, both Star Raiders II and Solaris were originally intended to be licensed games based on the movie The Last Starfighter, but for one (mostly Tramiel-shaped) reason or another, neither ever happened.
Fortunately, we can still enjoy Solaris for ourselves today. Check out my writeup for more thoughts, enjoy the video below and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
The humble Atari 2600 had an astonishingly long lifespan, being officially produced between 1977 and 1992. As you might expect, this means there’s an equally astonishing difference between the very first games for it and those which came out later in its lifespan.
Solaris by Doug Neubauer came out in 1986, putting it towards the latter end of that lifespan. To date it remains one of the very finest games on the Atari 2600 from technological, gameplay and design standpoints — although not one that gets talked about all that much. And all this makes it a title well worth checking out even if you don’t normally “do” Atari games.
Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever to try it for yourself, since it appears on the Atari Collection 2 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system. So let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Solaris: The 2600’s Finest Hour