Tag Archives: shoot ’em up

Atari A to Z: Warhawk

The shoot ’em up is a genre of gaming with a long and proud history. While the best shoot ’em ups tend to be associated with arcades and consoles, home computers played host to some right crackers too.

One such example is Firebird’s Warhawk, a vertically scrolling shooter with big, chunky sprites and smooth, slick gameplay. It’s an immensely satisfying but challenging shooter — and one that still holds up really well today.

Plus the Rob Hubbard soundtrack on the title screen is absolutely iconic… but hang on, doesn’t it sound a bit familiar…?

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Centipede

It’s that time again! Yes, Centipede is back for a third time — this time in the form of the speedy and challenging Atari 5200 version.

Technically speaking, this version is probably closest to the arcade version, but it’s also one of the most difficult — particularly if you dare to play it with the original Atari 5200 controller, one of the most notoriously awkward pieces of technology ever created.

In other words, if you really reckon yourself at Centipede… then the Atari 5200 version is the one you should be challenging yourself with!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Centipede

Centipede is one of Atari’s all-time classics, so naturally it appears in Atari Flashback Classics no less than three times: once in its original arcade incarnation, once on the 2600 (today) and once on the 5200 (next time).

Each version has its own subtle differences, though, and the 2600 version here is particularly impressive for keeping the gameplay’s core addictive quality intact despite not looking super-impressive from a technical perspective.

When you consider quite how much is going on on screen at once, though, you have to give the humble little machine some respect; it’s clearly working its socks off to provide some satisfying arcade action!

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

Atari ST A to Z: Crack’ed

Errant apostrophes aren’t just for fantasy RPGs any more; sometimes they show up in the most unexpected of places… and inconsistently, to boot.

No, I have no idea what the apostrophe is doing in Crack’ed’s title, or indeed why it isn’t present on the actual spine of the box it comes in, but… well, there you go.

The game itself is classic Atari arcade funtimes — simple but addictive gameplay, some good use of the ST’s graphical capabilities and mouse control… and hairy poo monsters!

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

Minotaur Arcade vol. 1: Minter Classics Return

I admire pretty much anyone capable of making a game. I know there are lots of tools out there that make it much more accessible than it once was, but for me, game makers still work a certain form of magic.

I particularly admire those who have been making games since the early days of home computing, in many cases directly programming the computer’s hardware using machine code in order to wring as much power out of those poor beasts as possible.

And I especially admire Jeff Minter, who was doing this back in the days of the 8-bit Atari, and is still going strong today.

Continue reading Minotaur Arcade vol. 1: Minter Classics Return

Atari ST A to Z: Zynaps

Welcome back to the last letter of the alphabet! We’ve made it around another cycle.

This time around, we’re taking a look at Zynaps from Hewson, a company who built a reputation for mechanically and technically solid games in the 8-bit era, but who sometimes struggled to adapt to the changing — sometimes fickle — desires of the 16-bit home computer market.

Zynaps is a good — if monstrously difficult — shoot ’em up, but many argued at the time of its original release that it would have been best left in the 8-bit era. What do you think?

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

Atari A to Z: Fantastic Voyage

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeep BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE–

Better get used to that sound! It’s Fantastic Voyage, an extremely timely 1982 release from Sirius Software that adapts the 1966 movie (or possibly Isaac Asimov’s novelisation) about injecting tiny submarines into scientists to blast health problems from within.

It’s actually a very enjoyable shooter — albeit one that isn’t going to blow your mind with its visuals, being barely distinct from its Atari 2600 counterpart. It plays well, though… and you’ll be hearing that beep-beep-beep in your sleep!

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