Tag Archives: retro games

Atari A to Z: Water Ski School

My parents, I believe, still own a complete collection of Page 6 magazine, right from its very first issue as a publication primarily intended for the Birmingham User Group, up until its slow demise as an A5-sized subscription-only affair in the twilight years of Atari.

One edition which always stood out to me was Issue 23, whose cover sported a large image of a water-skier performing a stunt he didn’t quite seem to be ready for. The cover image was promoting the big type-in game for that issue: a machine-code game known as Water Ski School. Although I typed in a lot of games over the course of Page 6’s original run, for one reason or another I never got around to doing this one. Seems like a prime candidate to check out on Atari A to Z, then!

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

Atari A to Z

The Killing Game Show: The Only Way is Up

This post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
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A couple of years after his first commercial video game Combat Crazy had failed to set the sales charts alight — despite being an enjoyable side-scrolling platform shooter — Bizarre Creations founder Martyn Chudley was back with another game, this time for 16-bit platforms.

The new title was known as The Killing Game Show, and was published on 16-bit home computers by a company called Psygnosis, which had been establishing a very solid reputation for itself since its inception in 1986. Not only was Psygnosis a spiritual successor to the legendary 8-bit developer-publisher Imagine Software, but it had also demonstrated right from the start that it was a company dedicated to high-quality, well-produced games that oozed class and style — on both the computer screen and on players’ shelves, too.

The Killing Game Show, developed by Chudley and a team working under the name Raising Hell Software, was an ideal fit for Psygnosis’ portfolio, featuring impressive visuals and solid but challenging gameplay to back them up. So let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading The Killing Game Show: The Only Way is Up

Around the Network

Good evening everyone! I have some exciting news that you may not know if you didn’t see on Twitter: I’m now the site editor of Rice Digital, which you can find at https://ricedigital.co.uk.

This is an actual proper day job that I’m getting paid for, so you’ll be seeing plenty of my stuff over there in the daytime — be sure to follow for the latest updates! MoeGamer won’t be going anywhere, though; the focus of both Rice and MoeGamer is quite different despite the overlapping subject matter, so you’ll still see stuff in both places. I have that Atelier MegaFeature to finish, after all!

In simple terms, you’ll likely see more “current” stuff on Rice, while MoeGamer will continue to deep-dive into stuff that’s been around for a while. Between the two, you should find everything you’d ever want to know about RPGs, visual novels, retro games and everything in between. So let’s take a look at what you might have missed this week!

Continue reading Around the Network

Atari A to Z Flashback: RealSports Soccer

In real life, I despise soccer, or “football” as we call it over here. But there have been a number of soccer games over the years that I’ve rather enjoyed — and RealSports Soccer for the Atari 2600 is one of them.

The reason for this is that RealSports Soccer for the Atari 2600 resembles real soccer on only the most superficial level, and is instead simply a highly enjoyable video game, particularly if you have the opportunity to enjoy it with a friend or two. Its mechanics, which make no logical sense from a “realism” perspective, make it a ton of fun — and I can attest from personal experience that this is a game that can produce genuine howls of laughter that stem from genuine enjoyment.

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: Side Pocket

I am bad at pool. Real pool, that is. But also video game pool. Although I am marginally less bad at video game pool than I am at real pool.

Data East’s Side Pocket, seen here as part of the Data East Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade, at least makes the experience of being bad at video game pool pleasantly entertaining by providing a smooth jazz soundtrack, some pretty ladies and a series of completely unreasonable trick shots with which to challenge yourself. Plus no onlookers who have had a few too many pints laughing at your incompetence. Ideal.

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

Checkered Flag: Where the Driver’s Gender Becomes Important

Fun fact: I have the manual for the original Atari Lynx version of Checkered Flag framed in my toilet.

For a certain period during the Lynx’s lifetime, Atari eschewed booklet-style manuals in favour of posters for the games with the instructions on the back. My wife liked the art on Checkered Flag’s instructions sheet — which I somehow still had despite having not owned a Lynx for a good ten years or so — and so we put it up on the wall. Consequently, every time I’m having a poo I get to read those instructions for the umpteenth time.

Believe me, I am now intimately familiar with how to play Checkered Flag effectively — helpful now that it’s been rereleased as part of the Atari Lynx Collection 2 cartridge for the Evercade — and the fact that, in Atari’s own words, the winner of each race is rewarded with “a trophy and a big hug”. And, in a surprisingly progressive, inclusive step for a video game on a failed console from 1991, the manual also takes care to note that said big hug is “where the driver’s gender becomes important”. Oh, also there’s some racing game action in there, too, I suppose; let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Checkered Flag: Where the Driver’s Gender Becomes Important

Atari ST A to Z: Paperboy

Porting an arcade game to home computers often wasn’t an immediate process back in the days of the 8- and 16-bit microcomputers. In fact, sometimes it took a good few years!

Such was the case with Paperboy from Atari Games, which first hit arcades in 1985 and didn’t come to Atari ST until a full four years later! Elite put together a rather solid port that played well, but which was regarded as somewhat “outdated” by reviewers of the time.

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

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Rise of the Dragon

Adventure games — particularly point-and-click affairs from the ’90s — are a genre I’ve loved for a long time. And one of my all-time favourites from back in the day is Rise of the Dragon, a futuristic dystopian adventure by Dynamix that feels all the more plausible today.

Taking on the role of William “Blade” Hunter, trenchcoat-wearing private detective extraordinaire, it’s your job to investigate the strange and horrifying death of the mayor’s daughter, stop the spread of a deadly DNA-altering drug and prevent the resurrection of an ancient Chinese wizard who really wants to take over Los Angeles for some reason. I say he’s welcome to it; LA’s a shithole now, and it looks even worse in the future.

Check out my full playthrough of this adventure game classic in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Malibu Bikini Volleyball: Beach Body Ready

Dear old Atari. They captured lightning in a bottle in the early days of video games with the 2600, then struggled to recreate that sort of success ever again. It certainly wasn’t through lack of trying on the tech front, though.

The Atari Lynx was one of their more impressive efforts, providing the first 16-bit handheld gaming platform with a backlit colour screen, hardware scaling and distortion. It even had a decent selection of games for it, but as was always the case with post-2600 Atari, its marketing was a complete disaster and as such the system remains largely forgotten by most gaming enthusiasts today.

Except for the folks behind the Evercade, of course, who have brought us not one but two collections of Atari Lynx titles for the diminutive retro gaming platform. So let’s take a look at one of the games from the Atari Lynx Collection 1 cartridge and see whether or not these forgotten titles have anything to offer to the modern gamer!

Continue reading Malibu Bikini Volleyball: Beach Body Ready

Atari A to Z: Valgus 2

Valgus 2 (or possibly “Valgus Squared”, thinking about it) for Atari 8-bit is an interesting and creative take on Tetris that, for once, doesn’t just knock off someone else’s game.

While superficially resembling Alexey Pajitnov’s official follow-up Welltris, Valgus 2 is actually a rather different sort of game, tasking you with surrounding a central piece rather than making lines on the floor of a “well”.

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

Atari A to Z