Tag Archives: top-down

Atari A to Z Flashback: Fire Truck

If, in 1978, you ever entertained any childish fantasies of being a fireman, then Atari had the video game for you!

Fire Truck was an unusual spin on the top-down driving game in which you took control of a distinctly retro (even at the time) fire engine on its way to deal with some sort of flame-related emergency. The fire truck has limited fuel and thus is unable to ever get to its destination, but at least you can score some points along the way! Because as we all know, real firemen are rated according to how close to the emergency they got.

Obviously this is mostly made up; the “fire truck” concept is actually an excuse to provide some interesting and unusual two-player cooperative driving gameplay, in which one player steers the cab of the truck and the other the trailer. You can play it single-player too, but for maximum amusement, bring a friend.

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

Atari A to Z: Time Bandit

I love it when game developers get creative. This is not an altogether unusual sight these days, of course, but back in the early to mid ’80s, it was always a real treat to see someone step outside of genre “norms”.

Such was the case with Time Bandit by Bill Dunlevy and Harry Lafnear, a top-down action adventure with elements of text adventures, role-playing games, Pac-Man and all manner of other goodness. While superficially resembling Gauntlet — which actually came out after Time Bandit was fully developed — there’s a hell of a lot of depth here, and some fiendish puzzles to unravel.

If you want a game that pretty much sums up what the Atari ST gaming experience is all about, you can do far worse than give Time Bandit the, uh, time of day.

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

Neo Geo Essentials: Shock Troopers

“The eight soldiers get to attack the wicked terrorists!!”

So ran the promotional blurb on the arcade flyer for SNK’s Shock Troopers, a well-regarded installment in the Neo Geo library developed by Saurus and originally released in 1997 to both home- and arcade-based Neo Geo systems.

This is not by any means a unique setup for a video game, particularly an arcade title from the era, but what makes Shock Troopers truly special is its execution. And its presentation. And, well, everything.

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