Tag Archives: gameplay

Atari A to Z Flashback: Outlaw

It’s time for the original deathmatch! Outlaw was one of the first games available for the Atari 2600, and it remains a beloved competitive multiplayer game today.

Unlike its stablemate Combat, Outlaw actually also offers a single-player mode. Okay, it’s not a particularly good single-player mode, but at least you can get in a bit of target practice by yourself — something which you definitely couldn’t do in Combat. And, of course, the two-player funtimes still hold up brilliantly today.

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

Atari A to Z

Evercade A to Z: Solaris

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!

Tanglewood: Outfoxed at Every Turn

Following the initial batch of ten cartridges for the Evercade retro gaming platform, one of the releases that people were most excited for was cartridge number 11: a double pack featuring arena shooter Xeno Crisis and platformer Tanglewood.

We’ll get to Xeno Crisis in due course, but I wanted to make a point of looking at Tanglewood first. Because while Tanglewood was, like Xeno Crisis, a successful Kickstarter project that ended up being released on both Mega Drive and modern platforms, it’s Xeno Crisis that has had the lion’s share of attention to date. And you know how much I love an underdog. Or an underfox, in this case.

Fortunately, Tanglewood is a lovely game in its own right, so I’m glad I decided to give it a look first. Let’s explore together!

Continue reading Tanglewood: Outfoxed at Every Turn

Atari ST A to Z: Dark Side

Dark Side is a game I have very fond memories of from back in the day, and it’s a game that actually holds up rather well today.

The second game to make use of Incentive Software’s revolutionary cross-platform “Freescape” 3D engine, Dark Side challenged players to explore a network of interconnected sectors while attempting to untangle a mess of power cables supplying energy to a deadly laser. While you can beat the whole thing in less than 15 minutes if you know what you’re doing, the fun is in figuring out exactly how you pull that off.

Well, aside from one really stupid puzzle, but I show you all how to complete that in the video below. So watch it! Then subscribe on YouTube for more if you aren’t already. Thank you muchly!

Atari A to Z

Petal Crash: Like the Game Boy Colour Never Left

One of the things I miss the most about eras of gaming gone by is the way that different platforms had their own distinct capabilities — and, by extension, their own distinctive look and feel for their software.

On the flip side, one of the things I enjoy the most about gaming today is the fact that a lot of developers are very keen to pay tribute and homage to these platforms of the past while incorporating modern design philosophies. In many ways, this idea of “enhanced retro” gives us the best of both worlds — the comfort of a classic platform’s familiar aesthetic, coupled with all the things developers and players alike have learned over the course of gaming’s history.

A great example of this at work is Petal Crash, a new puzzle game from Friend & Fairy, published by Freedom Planet developer Galaxy Trail. Let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Petal Crash: Like the Game Boy Colour Never Left

Atari A to Z: Java Jim

It’s both fun and frustrating when you come across a game that no-one seems to quite understand how to play.

Such is the case with today’s Atari 8-bit game, Java Jim in Square Shaped Trouble. It doesn’t help that the Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit versions have markedly different mechanics and structure to one another, and very few people appear to understand either of them.

Having looked into it a bit further, the 8-bit version appears a little more straightforward, so let’s explore it in the video below. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Off the Wall

As we’ve previously seen a few times on this series, the Atari 2600 managed to stick around for an astonishingly long time, particularly considering how quickly gaming technology was evolving in the early days.

From about 1986 onwards, Atari decided to try and give the platform a “second wind” by releasing a variety of new games for it. Some of these were developed by Nolan Bushnell’s studio Axlon — and a good example is today’s game, Off the Wall. It’s a take on Breakout with lovely colourful graphics, a few interesting twists on the standard block-breaking gameplay, and a bunch of cool power-ups to collect.

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

Atari A to Z

Evercade A to Z: Incantation

Late-era releases on a console are always interesting to look at, because they can often provide a tantalising glimpse of what the hardware was really capable of.

Titus’ Incantation certainly proved beyond doubt that the dear old 16-bit Super NES was more than capable of beautifully presented games with stunning pixel art, lovely big sprites with lots of frames of animation, and consistently smooth, slick scrolling.

It’s a shame it’s a bit of a chore to play, then — but at least you don’t need to pay through the nose for an original cartridge any more, thanks to its inclusion as part of the Interplay Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system. Enjoy the video below, find out more about the game here, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari ST A to Z: Chuck Rock

Unga bunga! Today we look at Core Design’s mascot from before they hit paydirt with Lara Croft and… well, let’s just say thank heavens for Ms. Croft, huh.

Chuck Rock is a platform game originally released for Atari ST and Amiga, which subsequently found itself ported to a wide variety of other computer and console systems. Growing up, I had the most experience with the Super NES version, so it was interesting to return to the Atari ST original and see how Atari’s 16-bit machine got on with things.

Aside from the commonly seen poor use of the ST’s sound chip, this isn’t a bad version of the game, all things considered. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Star Ixiom

You may recall that recently I enthused about Namco’s Star Luster, a Famicom space sim that finally got a Western release on the Evercade retro gaming platform. There’s a video, too.

Well, today we’re looking at the official sequel to Star Luster. It took a very long time to show up, being a title for the original PlayStation, but it was most certainly worth the wait. Star Ixiom brings us strategy and action that remains true to the original Star Luster’s format, while incorporating plenty of Namco fanservice from the UGSF series. You can read more about it here.

Enjoy the space combat action in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.