Tag Archives: Let’s Play

Atari A to Z Flashback: Radar Lock

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!

Atari A to Z

Evercade A to Z: Exploding Fist

As a great man once said: kick, punch, it’s all in the mind. It’s also all within easy reach of two buttons and a directional pad, as Exploding Fist demonstrates.

Originally released on 8-bit home computers and helping to birth the whole fighting game genre, Exploding Fist’s NES port never quite got finished and released back in the day — but thanks to Piko Interactive and the Evercade, we can now enjoy this early take on virtual martial arts at our leisure.

Check it out in the video below, read a bit more about the game if you feel like it — and, of course, don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari ST A to Z: Hudson Hawk

Remember the movie Hudson Hawk? Probably not. It was a Bruce Willis passion project that the people who actually watched found rather enjoyable, but it ultimately ended up forgotten by most.

Like many movies in the ’80s and ’90s, Hudson Hawk got a video game adaptation by Ocean. The remarkable thing this time around is that said video game adaptation didn’t suck; it was actually a rather good platformer that combined dexterity challenges, puzzling and light combat. It also didn’t feel the need to be super-true to the movie, which probably helped it in the long run.

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

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Inertial Drift

What do you mean it sounds a bit like “Initial D”? Completely coincidental, I’m sure.

Inertial Drift is a brand new arcade racer with an unusual but highly effective twin-stick control scheme. It’s a ton of fun that channels some serious ’90s energy, and proof if proof were needed that indie devs are on point when it comes to resurrecting supposedly “dead” game genres.

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

Atari A to Z: Nightmares

You think we have problems now? Back in the ’80s, video game distributors would refuse to stock games if they felt they would be “harmful to children”. And Red Rat’s Nightmares for Atari 8-bit was a victim of this moral panic.

It stung doubly hard for UK-based Atari 8-bit enthusiasts, becuase the stockist in question was Silica Shop, a longstanding supporter of Atari platforms and a popular choice for mail order. Unusually, it was actually the press that stepped in to help — Page 6 Magazine took on the task of distributing the game in place of retailers who refused to stock it, and perchance made themselves a few quid in the process.

Was the game actually any good though? 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: Race

Of all the genres that have been with us since the earliest days of the medium, racing games have probably been through the most significant changes.

There’s still an undeniable appeal to classic single-screen top-down affairs, though, particularly when they control as elegantly as Race (aka Indy 500) for Atari 2600 does. Originally making use of a custom “Driving Controller” and today mapping excellently to the analogue sticks on our standard joypads, Race remains a fine way to while away a few minutes, whether you’re by yourself or in the company of a friend.

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

Atari A to Z

Evercade A to Z: Multidude

One of the nice things about the Evercade is how it’s not only bringing us new opportunities to enjoy classic games, it’s also fully embracing the “new games for old platforms” indie development scene.

A specialist publisher in this part of the business is Mega Cat Studios, who make it their business to pick out some exciting examples of modern games for classic hardware, and bring them to a wider audience. And a fine selection of such titles can be found on the Mega Cat Studios Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade.

Multidude is a great example of the sort of thing you can expect: fun, enjoyable experiences that work within the limits of classic platforms but provide distinctly modern-feeling gameplay challenges to explore. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari ST A to Z: Gem’X

When is a colourful Japanese puzzle game not a colourful Japanese puzzle game? When it’s made by Germans!

Gem’X, despite appearances, is indeed a German-born game designed to resemble Japanese arcade titles, thanks to one of its designers’ love of Japanese anime and manga. While there are certain areas where they didn’t quite nail the presentation, it certainly has a distinctive look and feel among the rest of the Atari ST’s library.

And it’s an interesting, surprisingly cerebral puzzle game, too! Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

short;Play: TimeSplitters

I love me some TimeSplitters. And I was in the mood for some TimeSplitters lately. So what better way to scratch that itch than to play some TimeSplitters?

The original TimeSplitters was a PlayStation 2 launch game developed by ex-Rare employees who previously worked on GoldenEye and Perfect Dark — and it actually got some flak for being less narrative-focused than its spiritual predecessors. Today, however, its arcade-style, mechanics-centric action is blessed relief from the myriad open world, XP-grinding, 100-hour epics we have today, even outside the RPG genre. Just turn on, play, enjoy.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more. There’s more I want to talk about with regard to TimeSplitters, so this will likely return to short;Play at some point in the near future!

Atari A to Z: Maniac Mover

Type-in listings were a key part of 8-bit home computer culture, both in Europe and across the pond in the States.

The quality of games varied wildly, but it was always an interesting and satisfying experience to type something in to the computer’s BASIC interpreter, save it to a disk or cassette and have something you could enjoy at any time — just like something you’d bought from a shop.

Here’s an example from the latter days of Atari User magazine; a machine code type-in known as Maniac Mover. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z