When I was a kid, Nigel Mansell occupied a curious position in popular culture. He was, without a doubt, respected for his solid performance in motorsports — but he was also regarded as an enormously boring man.
Thankfully his official video game adaptation by Gremlin certainly wasn’t boring. Building on the tech used for the Top Racer and Lotus Turbo Challenge series, Nigel Mansell’s World Championship provides plenty of fun arcade-style thrills in a Super Monaco GP sort of way.
Moon Patrol is a great arcade game, and it’s had some excellent ports over the years. The Atari ST one was quite late, but it certainly nails the visuals.
The gameplay, however, is another matter; there’s something about Atari ST Moon Patrol that just doesn’t quite feel right. Still, if you want a game that looks like Moon Patrol but provides a slightly different challenge to the versions you may be more familiar with, it might be worth a look — it’s not a bad game, after all!
Trailblazer is an early game from Gremlin Graphics — and one which still holds up well today. Just as well, really, as it’s actually had a surprising number of rereleases and ports over the years!
The concept is simple: control a rolling ball as it speeds down cosmic causeways, doing your best not to fall in the big black holes. And there are a lot of big black holes to fall into, as well as speedy-uppy tiles, jumpy tiles and warp tiles. Never a dull moment!
LED Storm is not an arcade game I played back in the day, but after spending some time with the Atari ST version here, I’m kind of curious to.
If you like Data East’s classic Bump ‘n’ Jump, you’ll probably get along with LED Storm, since it’s a similar sort of idea: drive fast car from top-down perspective, hop over obstacles and onto the heads of enemies, yell at the inherently and deliberately unfair design of ’80s and ’90s arcade games.
The Atari ST version of Screaming Wings is, as we’ve seen elsewhere on this series, kind of poop. The Atari 8-bit version, meanwhile, is a superb shoot ’em up with just a couple of annoying little features here and there.
Based heavily on Capcom’s classic 1942, Screaming Wings puts you in the pilot’s seat of a Lockheed Lightning over the Pacific as you attempt to blast down a variety of enemies who want nothing more than to sink you into the briny ocean in a flaming ball of death.
The Dizzy games are great, and one of the best things about them is that they don’t get too stuck in a formula. Sure, the best known games are the arcade adventure installments — but there’s plenty of other interesting Dizzy games, too.
One of my all-time favourites is Kwik Snax, which combines elements of Bomb Jack and Pengo to create an arcade-style experience with its own distinct feel that I’m very fond of.
Red Max! It’s nothing to do with Blue Max, if you were wondering, though I was always curious about that back in the day.
Nope, instead Red Max is a top-down sci-fi motorbike adventure in which you drive around a spaceship in an attempt to defuse mines, fix reactors and wake up hibernating crew members. It’s very hard, but it has great music, a beautifully rendered dashboard panel and a tiny view window.
This is it! The final game in Atari Flashback Classics — and it just happens to be one of the most legendary games for the Atari 2600. It’s Howard Scott Warshaw’s all-time classic Yars’ Revenge!
This was one of the all-time best-selling games for the Atari 2600, and with good reason: it was original, it was enjoyable, it was fun and interesting to play. No, it might not look like much today — and indeed looked a bit like something was going horribly wrong with your console even back when it was current — but it’s got that special fun factor where it counts.
Darts! One game, one hundred yen. I’ll try it once. Except it wasn’t one hundred yen, it was twenty quid, and it offered quite a variety of different darts-related experiences for your money.
Darts video games have never really taken off, aside from as minigames inside other games (hence the Shenmue reference above) but for a while a number of developers tried to make them work. John Lowe’s Ultimate Darts for Atari ST, brought to us by Gremlin Graphics, was a solid effort — and presents far less risk of accidentally impaling the cat or puncturing a loved one than real at-home darts.