Tag Archives: puzzle games

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: Zenji

Zenji for Atari 8-bit is an early Activision game I’d never heard of — I’m surprised, since I thought I’d stumbled across all of their work from the early days of video gaming at one point or another.

I’m doubly surprised, since Zenji is a really good game! It’s a fun puzzler where certain elements will feel familiar to fans of Pipe Mania and its numerous imitators, but with its own distinctive twist that makes it stand out as something truly original.

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: Pac-Attack

Pac-Attack is an unusual and highly memorable puzzler from Namco with a bit of an interesting history!

Those of you who listened to our end-of-2020 podcast episode will also recall that Chris declared it his Game of the Year 2020, despite the fact it released in 1993. Our recent discovery of it is all thanks to the little wonder-machine that is the Evercade — and you can enjoy it too as part of the Namco Museum Collection 2 cartridge for the system.

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

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 Flashback: Miniature Golf

Miniature Golf on the Atari 5200 is absolutely nothing to do with Miniature Golf on the Atari 2600.

It’s another unreleased game for the Atari 5200 that was a casualty of Atari not really knowing what they wanted to do with this console — and eventually canning it and its games altogether. Thankfully, we now get to enjoy this high-resolution physics puzzle for ourselves — and without having to suffer the original 5200 controller — thanks to Atari Flashback Classics!

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

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Soldam

I love Rod-Land. So when I discovered there was a sequel in the form of a puzzle game, there was no way I wasn’t going to be all over it.

Soldam for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 is actually a remake of an earlier Jaleco arcade title that, indeed, was the official follow-up to Rod-Land, despite not really having much to do with it beyond a similar aesthetic.

It’s a superb falling block (well, fruit) puzzler with some unique mechanics I haven’t seen anywhere else ever since. So let’s play it some, shall we? Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles

At the time of writing, a new independently developed game called “Helltaker” is all over social media, with all sorts of people sharing screenshots and fanart.

With that in mind, I decided to give it a look for myself. Turns out it’s a free download for PC, available via Steam. As such, there’s absolutely no risk involved in trying it out at the very least — and if you like it, you have a cool thing to add to your library; if, on the other hand, it’s not for you, you haven’t lost anything.

What did I think? Hmm, mixed feelings if I’m perfectly honest; let’s explore all that a little further, then.

Continue reading Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles

Atari A to Z Flashback: Brain Games

It’s good to give the ol’ noggin a bit of a workout now and again, and that’s exactly what 1978’s Brain Games for Atari 2600 intended to do.

Consisting of several different games relating to memory and perception, Brain Games is a surprisingly fun little package that is all the more remarkable when you consider how early in the VCS’ lifetime it came out.

It was also a direct influence on the popular children’s toy Simon, so it’s got genuine historical significance, too!

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

NES Essentials: Wrecking Crew

Wrecking Crew is one of Nintendo mascot Mario’s more underappreciated adventures — and a fairly underappreciated entry in the NES’ overall library, in fact.

First released for Famicom in June of 1985 and subsequently as one of the 17 launch titles for the Western Nintendo Entertainment System, Wrecking Crew is something of a departure from what you might typically expect from a Mario game — even outside of the main Super Mario Bros. series.

It’s a puzzle game with a strong emphasis on strategic thinking and forward planning rather than fast action or precise platforming, and it’s actually been one of my favourite games in the NES’ library since I first encountered it via the Wii’s Virtual Console service. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading NES Essentials: Wrecking Crew

Atari A to Z: Uncle Henry’s Nuclear Waste Dump

It’s kind of strange to think that puzzle games — at least how we know them today — were a relatively late evolution compared to other genres.

Today’s Atari 8-bit title is a type-in BASIC listing from popular Atari magazine Antic, and was developed by someone who had never seen or heard of Tetris at the time. It’s a fun little puzzler, and an interesting example of the very early days of a genre we take for granted today.

It’s also surprisingly bloody hard, despite the simple concept! After a while all that nuclear waste just melts your brain, I think…

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