Tag Archives: gameplay

Atari A to Z Flashback: Surround

The “snake” game, known over the years as “Blockade”, “Light Cycles” and doubtless various other forms of address, is one with enduring popularity. And indeed, as we’ll see with this launch title for the Atari 2600, it’s been around pretty much since the dawn of video gaming.

Surround is an unofficial home port of the game that started the whole genre: Gremlin’s Blockade for arcades. Surround has one big benefit over Blockade, however: its Video Graffiti mode, which allows you to draw gigantic hairy peni– I mean, tall men riding broken bicycles. Yes. That.

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

Atari A to Z

Retro Select: Lands of Lore – The Throne of Chaos

VIRGIN INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS… THE WESTWOOD STUDIOS PRODUCTION OF… LANDS OF LORE, THE THRONE OF CHAOS.

Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos from Virgin Interactive Entertainment and Westwood Studios (natch) is the only game that I never, ever, ever skip over the credit scenes for. I mean, come on, Patrick Stewart bellowing the name of the publisher and the developer with admirable sincerity? You don’t see that every day. Oh, also it’s a damn fine game, too, as evidenced by the fact I ended up playing this for nearly two hours without realising.

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

Atari ST A to Z: Vroom

It may have a ridiculous name, but if you ask any ST enthusiast what the best racing games on the platform are — hell, if you ask them what the best games on the platform are — you will almost certainly hear Vroom mentioned.

Developed by Lankhor, this is a high-speed first-person racer that effortlessly blends smooth scaling sprites with polygonal scenery to produce one of the most thrilling games on Atari ST. It was so good, in fact, that publisher Domark went and sorted out a Formula 1 license and then released an updated version called F1 a little while later!

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 Raider

Crystal Raider from Mastertronic is not a game I’d come across prior to recording this video, but it seems it was rather fondly regarded back in the day — and likewise a lot of people today seem to like it, too.

It’s an interesting puzzle-platformer with a peculiar jumping system similar to that found in Atari’s arcade title Major Havoc: so long as you hold the fire button down, you continue the upwards arc of your jump. Mastering the crazy moves you can do with this is essential to success — and Crystal Raider certainly demands some inhuman agility at times!

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 Flashback: Super Football

What happens when you give the guy who made Star Raiders the task of making an American football game for Atari 2600? You get the best damn American football game on the Atari 2600, that’s what.

Here’s Super Football, a game that I was dreading playing until I discovered that it was the work of Doug Neubauer, a guy who really knows his stuff when it comes to both technical mastery of the Atari 2600 and designing great games. And he only went and did it — he made an American football game for the Atari 2600 that I actually enjoy playing. Wonders will never cease!

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

Atari A to Z

Retro Select: Quake

Quake is here! Again. Only this time around, it’s (re)releasing in a context where it actually feels fresh and interesting, rather than a technologically superior version of things we’ve seen before.

It’s fascinating quite how well Quake holds up today, particularly when compared to today’s takes on first-person shooters. Night Dive Studios’ new remaster of the game is incredibly respectful to the original while adding a bunch of conveniences that modern players would demand — and there’s a whole lot of game in there to enjoy, too.

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

Atari ST A to Z: The Upper Reaches of Apshai

We return once again to The Temple of Apshai Trilogy for Atari ST, this time to explore the first “expansion” section: The Upper Reaches of Apshai.

The Upper Reaches of Apshai is noteworthy in that it takes a rather more light-hearted and experimental approach to the game’s core dungeon crawling; it has you picking berries and cleaning up rampant tomato patches rather than battling your way through vanilla-scented ant-men. And the Atari ST version is a great way to experience it!

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: Beach Head II

What does any self-respecting dictator do when he gets the smackdown from the allied forces? He strikes back in a sequel, of course — and that’s exactly what happens in Access Software’s Beach Head II: The Dictator Strikes Back.

Offering a series of competitive minigames that can either be played against the computer or a friend, Beach Head II is an enjoyable game that feels like a noticeable improvement over its predecessor in many ways. Just a pity that the Atari 8-bit version missed out on the Commodore 64 version’s digitised speech!

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 Flashback: Super Challenge Football

Sports games, sports games, will I never be free of sports games? Apparently not, as we’ve got another one today. This time it’s not actually all that offensive, however — though it’s still a two player-only affair.

Super Challenge Football is, like its Baseball counterpart, an adaptation of an Intellivision game for the Atari 2600. Unlike most American Football games, this game allows you to program all your linesmen individually, making for a somewhat more understandable game for American Football newbies like myself.

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

Atari A to Z

Retro Select: Short Circuit

Ocean Software were rather well known for their licensed movie tie-in games — some of which were better (and more creative) than others.

This video game adaptation of Short Circuit, which was exclusive to 8-bit home computers, is one of their more inventive titles, combining a significant adventure game component with a possibly unbeatable arcade-style segment. The exact implementation varies a bit from platform to platform, but today we’re having a go at the 128K ZX Spectrum version!

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