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!
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 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.
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.
The Monty Mole series from Gremlin is most commonly associated with the 8-bit home computer platforms, but it did actually get a 16-bit outing with Impossamole, developed by the one and only Core Design.
While superficially resembling the developer’s notorious “masocore” platformer Rick Dangerous, Impossamole is a rather more fair and enjoyable experience with plenty of variety — you can even tackle the initial stages in whatever order you please. While some argue that Monty’s earlier 8-bit adventures were better, it’s certainly a fairly respectable showing here on the Atari ST!
Terrorists have taken over an embassy! Oh no! What are we to do? Send in six lightly armed operatives, several of whom are fairly incompetent at their jobs, and place them under the leadership of someone who doesn’t know what he is doing.
That’s (kind of) the premise behind Hostages, a well-regarded French game for Atari ST that demonstrates nicely what French games for 16-bit home computers were all about: gorgeous presentation coupled with often interesting and obtuse game mechanics. At least I can finish the training mission now, though, which is more than I could do in my childhood!
I have a soft spot for Microdeal’s Goldrunner. It was one of the first games I played on the Atari ST, and while it’s monstrously difficult and quite annoying at times, there’s something about it that kept me coming back for more.
It was likely a combination of things: the impressive performance, the excellent Rob Hubbard music, the sampled speech repeatedly bidding you “Welcome” even when you’d been playing for hours… it all combined to make one of the best Atari ST games out there, and a game I still enjoy a fair bit today.
Toaplan shoot ’em ups are pretty beloved by collectors of classic arcade and console titles — but they got a few ports to home computers, too.
Flying Shark for Atari ST is one such example. And while in some ways it demonstrates the ST’s weaknesses when compared to more dedicated gaming hardware, it’s actually a pretty competent version of the original game and certainly one that I enjoyed playing quite a bit back in the day.
Ever wanted to play a puzzle game that featured the smiling face of John Major? I thought not, but we’re going to anyway.
Ego is an interesting puzzle game based on a game that claims to be related to the classic Repton series, but which isn’t really. You control an elephant-like thing as he attempts to reassemble digitised photos of minor celebrities and public figures from the mid-’90s. And it’s surprisingly fun!