Category Archives: 8-Bit Games

Jeepers Creepers

You’re asking for trouble with a name like “Quality Software” — the stuff you put out better be top-notch otherwise you’ll be at the absolute mercy of press and public alike.

Thankfully Jeepers Creepers, probably the aforementioned software house’s most well-known release, is a good game — albeit one that takes heavy cues from Konami’s Amidar. It offers speedy, enjoyable arcade action with some nice graphics and sound — and that magical addictive quality that keeps you coming back for just one more try.

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

Into Deep

Type-in listings were commonplace for the 8-bit home computers, thanks to the fact that most of them booted into some variant of BASIC. And the Atari 8-bit was no exception.

More ambitious programmers would compose games in machine code or assembly language, then convert their programs into DATA statements that could be read by a BASIC program to generate an executable file on a cassette or floppy disk. Into Deep is probably one of the most ambitious examples I’ve ever seen in this regard, and it shows in the final quality.

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

Hot Lips

Often, simple ideas are all you need to make a fun game work. Such is the case with Hot Lips, a straightforward but enjoyable maze game for Atari 8-bit.

In Hot Lips, all you have to do is make sure the titular giant mouth eats all the enemies and not you. Easy, right? Perhaps initially, but the longer you play, the tougher it gets!

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

Gauntlet

Gauntlet is an all-time classic arcade game — and it got a whole bunch of ports to various different systems over the years following its original release.

The Atari 8-bit version, developed by Gremlin Graphics, is not the best version of Gauntlet you’ll ever play — but it was my first ever experience with the game, and as such will always carry with it certain fond memories.

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

F-15 Strike Eagle

An all-time classic for Atari 8-bit today, from the man who would go on to give us the Civilization series: it’s Sid Meier’s F-15 Strike Eagle!

This was one of the earlier military flight sims out there, and set a lot of conventions in place for future titles in the genre. At the same time, it managed to maintain a healthy degree of arcade-style accessibility, making it a pleasure to play whether you were a true propellerhead or someone just craving a bit of explosive action.

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

The Extirpator

Shoot ’em ups arguably didn’t really enjoy their golden age until the 16-bit home consoles, but that didn’t stop game developers for home computer platforms having a damn good crack at the genre.

The Extirpator for Atari 8-bit is an impressive example, featuring some slick parallax scrolling, some interesting enemy formations and a decent sense of structure. While there are areas that the genre refined considerably as the years went on, this is definitely a valiant effort for 1988.

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

The Datestones of Ryn

While The Temple of Apshai is the most well-known of Epyx’s “Dunjonquest” games, there were actually quite a few games released under this banner.

Not all of them were massive, sprawling affairs intended to be played over the long-term, either. The Datestones of Ryn is a great example of this, offering a short, twenty-minute quest with a fixed player character and a rather arcadey focus on high scores and replayability.

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

Caverns of Khafka

We take them for granted today, but scrolling platformers were quite an unusual sight back in the early ’80s.

One fun example is Cosmi’s Caverns of Khafka, a game developed by Aztec Challenge creator Robert T. Bonifacio. While the game is by no means perfect — it has some fairly severe issues with collision detection at times! — it’s a fun treasure-huntin’ adventure that is worth a play or two.

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

Beach-Head

Access Software’s Bruce Carver definitely had a “formula” — one that he successfully refined over the years.

It’s interesting to go back to Beach-Head, one of his earlier games, and see one of the first successful examples of the minigame-centric action strategy his games became known for. Plus it’s just a fun game in its own right, too!

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

Atlantis

An all-time classic of old-school Atari gaming, Imagic’s Atlantis is a simple but fun shoot ’em up in which death is inevitable — there’s a cheery thought for you!

Originally coming to prominence on Atari 2600, Atlantis was subsequently ported to a variety of other platforms, including Atari 8-bit. Gameplay-wise, the Atari 8-bit version isn’t all that different from the Atari 2600 original — it just looks a bit nicer.

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