Tag Archives: licensed games

Atari ST A to Z: Yogi’s Big Cleanup

Licensed games, as we’ve established pretty well by this point, can go either way. Sometimes they can be excellent games, bolstered by the “brand recognition” of what they’re based on. And sometimes they can be absolute pap that comes across as little more than a cheap cash-in.

Yogi’s Big Cleanup for Atari ST sits squarely in the middle. It’s not terrible — in fact its overall structure and design is quite likeable. But some unfortunately atrocious controls and collision detection make it a lot harder to enjoy than it perhaps could have been, which is a real shame.

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!

Atari ST A to Z: Garfield – Winter’s Tail

My family and I were big Garfield fans back in the day, so naturally the prospect of some Garfield-related video games was an appealing one — even knowing how dodgy licensed video games tended to be!

Garfield: Winter’s Tail isn’t an amazing game by any means, but it does feature some excellent presentation and some creative gameplay. With a bit of polishing it could have been really good; as it stands, it’s a good example of what to expect from a licensed title in the 16-bit home computer era!

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

Atari A to Z

Alice in Wonderland: Curiously Entertaining

When I’m tired, bored, depressed or, most commonly, a combination of all three, there’s something that I occasionally like to do.

Once I’ve cleaned up the mess from doing that, I like to delve into what I will euphemistically refer to as my vast collection of digitally preserved retro video games and pick something at semi-random. I’ll scroll through a platform I typically don’t give a lot of attention to, pick out something that I probably wouldn’t typically make the choice to play under normal circumstances, and then give it an honest go.

And so it was that as last week drew to a close and Friday evening became Friday night, I found myself playing Digital Eclipse’s official Game Boy Colour adaptation of the classic Disney movie Alice in Wonderland. A couple of hours later, I’d accidentally beaten the damn thing, and I didn’t feel the slightest bit sorry.

Continue reading Alice in Wonderland: Curiously Entertaining

Atari ST A to Z: The Untouchables

For the longest time, movie license games were a bit of a laughing stock. That’s because they were often poorly thought out affairs that didn’t really adapt their source material in any meaningful way.

Ocean’s The Untouchables is no exception to this rule, though it was reasonably well-received back in its day for its variety of different gameplay styles, solid performance even on the Atari ST, and stiff challenge.

Said stiff challenge makes it rather hard to enjoy today, sadly, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a good crack at it! Check out my experiences in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Battleship: B4 U H8

Remember Battleship? ‘Course you do. It’s the game parents use to teach kids about grid references, and a game that, despite being regarded as an all-time classic, has all the tactical depth of playing “Guess What Number I’m Thinking Of”.

Do you remember the 2012 movie, though? It had Rihanna in it. Also aliens. And there was a video game adaptation for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, developed by Double Helix and published by Activision. Both were pretty roundly panned by critics at the time of original release for being seemingly stupid ideas that had very little to do with the source material they were supposedly based on.

With the seventh generation of video game consoles rapidly entering “retro” territory, you can now pick up unpopular, poorly received, critically maligned titles like Battleship for less than a fiver. And you know how much I love a good unpopular, poorly received, critically maligned title, particularly when you can divorce it from its original context and enjoy it on its own terms. So let’s take a closer look at Battleship.

Continue reading Battleship: B4 U H8

Atari A to Z: Yogi’s Great Escape

Yogi Bear is, it is said, smarter than the average bear. He was certainly smart enough to find himself in several licensed games for a variety of home computer platforms in the early ’90s.

Here’s the Atari 8-bit version of Yogi’s Great Escape, a platform game that we’ve previously seen on the Atari ST A to Z series already. While technically inferior, the 8-bit version actually plays quite a bit better, with tight controls and clear mechanics that make it surprisingly enjoyable to play.

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

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Yogi Bear & Friends in The Greed Monster

Licensed games were a real mixed bag in the 8- and 16-bit eras, because mechanical genres were still being defined and refined — and it was sometimes tricky to relate an established style of game to a particular property.

Hi-Tec was one company that got a bit experimental with their various licensed games. They had the rights to all the Hanna-Barbera cartoons, after all, and to their credit, rather than simply churning out various reskins of the same game, they tried lots of different ways of doing things — even between multiple games featuring the same character.

Yogi Bear & Friends in The Greed Monster is an example of a game where they got it right. It’s an interesting and enjoyable game, even today, and distinguishes itself by being just that bit different from other licensed games of the period.

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

Atari ST A to Z: Neighbours

I have been reliably informed that everybody needs good neighbours, and that with a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend. Of what, I have no idea. Perhaps a nice cup of coffee.

If you were playing Atari ST games in 1990, a little understanding would also have helped you to find Impulze’s official video game adaptation of a certain popular Australian soap opera on the shelves of your local W.H. Smiths.

It was… not very good. But at least they tried something a bit different to the usual “licensed platform game” approach beloved of companies like Ocean and their ilk!

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

Atari ST A to Z: Yogi’s Great Escape

Licensed games have been around for a long time… and they’ve gotten quite a bit better over the years. For the most part!

Back in the 16-bit home computer era, publisher Hi-Tec had the license to produce video games based on Hanna Barbera cartoons, including properties such as Hong Kong Phooey and Yogi Bear.

Today’s game is one of several Yogi Bear games that Hi-Tec put out at a budget price point. It’s a competent, if fairly unremarkable platformer — which, not coincidentally, is a descriptor that can be applied to 90% of licensed games on the Atari ST!

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