Category Archives: 8-Bit Games

K-Razy Shoot-Out

You like Berzerk? Then you’ll probably like CBS Software’s K-Razy Shoot-Out — though this is more than just a straight clone of the arcade classic.

Instead, it presents you with increasingly challenging shoot-outs against armies of robots — all against the clock. In the tradition of the very best arcade games out there, it’s extremely simple to learn, but tough to master. And very, very addictive!

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

Jumpman Junior

The meaning of “platform game” has changed quite a bit over time; back in the earlier days of home computing, however, it had quite a distinct meaning. And Jumpman Junior from Epyx was pretty much a textbook example.

You have a single screen at a time. There are platforms and, often, ladders — hence the genre also being known as “platforms and ladders”. You have a thing to do — usually “collect all the thingies” or “get to the top”. And there are things trying to stop you — including the very environment you’re clambering all over! All of this is true for Jumpman Junior. And it’s still a highly enjoyable game today!

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

International Karate

The fighting game genre has been around for a very long time — and unlike many other gaming genres, it’s never really fallen completely out of favour.

It has evolved considerably over time, though; today’s fighting games are nearly unrecognisable when compared to the earliest titles in the genre. But the fundamentals are still there; while games like International Karate are all about landing single, clean hits on your opponent rather than whittling their health down, the core principles of the genre still very much apply!

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

Heavy Metal

We’ve seen a fair few type-in listings on this series so far, and some of the best of all time come from the mind of Paul Lay, who is still making Atari games to this day under the name Playsoft.

Heavy Metal is a type-in machine code game that Lay published in Page 6 magazine issue 33. It’s an isometric adventure that draws some inspiration from titles such as Marble Madnessand Spindizzy, but also has its own distinct elements, too. It’s a good time, but looks like it would have been a bit of a mission to type in back in the day!

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

The Great American Cross-Country Road Race

Whew, that’s a title and a half, eh? Good job it’s memorable, because it’s attached to probably one of the best racers on the Atari 8-bit.

The Great American Cross-Country Road Race is, in some ways, a spiritual successor to Enduro on the Atari 2600, but it’s also a considerably more complex game. It was one of the first racers to incorporate some distinctly sim-like elements — and a game that made me cry on more than one occasion when I was a kid because I didn’t understand how cars worked.

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

Fire Bug

As we’ve seen numerous times on the Atari A to Z series to date, an important part of computing history in the 8-bit era in particular is type-in listings in magazines.

The American ANALOG magazine specialised in lengthy, technically impressive type-in machine code listings, often by Kyle Peacock and Tom Hudson. If you’d spend the time and effort required to type these in (or buy the issue’s companion disk), you’d end up with a rather good game for your troubles. And here’s just one of many examples: Fire Bug.

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

The Eidolon

First-person shooters came about with Wolfenstein 3-D, right? Wrong! Not only did they not come about with Wolfenstein 3-D’s spiritual precursors in the Catacomb series, they date right back to the ’80s and Lucasfilm’s incredible work on Atari 8-bit.

The Eidolon uses the same fractal landscape engine as the company’s classic Rescue on Fractalus, but here it’s used to create labyrinthine cave systems filled with terrifying monsters. Can you make it out alive, or will you become a dragon’s dinner? Only one way to find out!

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

Return of the Fungi

Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been part of a rather extraordinary story — my videos inspired the maker of some of my favourite Atari 8-bit games to revisit a series that had lain dormant for 35 years!

Best of all, you can be part of the story too for yourself by downloading and giving the new game Return of the Fungi a go for yourself — simply stop by Retrounite to read the full story behind this lovely game and download a copy of the Digger Dan Trilogy for yourself!

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

Dark Chambers

It’s a Dandy dungeon out there, for sure it is — and Dark Chambers marks the conclusion to one of the earliest and most notorious legal disputes in gaming.

John Palevich’s Dandy begat Ed Logg’s Gauntlet, though the former wasn’t too thrilled with the fact that the latter didn’t credit him. Then Gauntlet begat Dark Chambers, which did credit Palevich — who had also settled out of court with Atari by this point, too. And we were left with several versions of a rather entertaining Gauntlet-alike that ditched some of the annoyances of the arcade game!

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

Crystal Raider

Crystal Raider from Mastertronic is not a game I’d come across prior to recording this video, but it seems it was rather fondly regarded back in the day — and likewise a lot of people today seem to like it, too.

It’s an interesting puzzle-platformer with a peculiar jumping system similar to that found in Atari’s arcade title Major Havoc: so long as you hold the fire button down, you continue the upwards arc of your jump. Mastering the crazy moves you can do with this is essential to success — and Crystal Raider certainly demands some inhuman agility at times!

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