Winter Games

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for multi-sport athletics games, and it’s a genre of game we don’t tend to see all that often any more. Hence, I often find myself looking back to retro games to get my fill.

One of the earliest games of this type I remember playing was Winter Games by Epyx — this may well have been the very first game I ever played on our Atari ST, in fact; it was certainly one of the first pieces of software we owned for the machine, anyway — and one of the first games my brother ever reviewed, kicking off a lifelong career in the games press and surrounding fields.

Enjoy my questionable wintry athleticism in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Computer War

Nuclear war is a scary prospect, but as a general rule we, the people of the world, don’t seem to be nearly as nervous about its possibility as we were back in the 1980s, for one reason or another.

The ’80s, as we’ve seen a few times on this series, played host to a variety of media that acknowledged and explored the strong degree of paranoia and fear that existed with regard to the United States’ Cold War with Russia in various ways. One of those pieces of media was the excellent movie WarGames, which in turn inspired several video game adaptations on various platforms.

One such video game was Thorn EMI’s Computer War for Atari 8-bit, a game I very much enjoyed when I was a kid — and still like firing up now and then today. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Millipede

You might wonder what the appeal of having several different versions of the same game in one compilation is. Indeed, dear viewer, I was right there with you until recently.

Then I played the Atari 5200 version of Millipede — an unreleased prototype that was essentially a port of the version for Atari home computers. And I was blown away by quite how enjoyable it was. For me, it’s ended up being an even more appealing way to play the game than the arcade original.

To be fair, any Millipede is good Millipede, but to see what makes this version special check out the video below — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Viz

In the mood for some foul-mouthed nonsense, flatulence and big, hairy bollocks? Then I give you the official video game adaptation of Viz, courtesy of Virgin Games.

Viz is not a good game, but to be fair it does say as much on both the front cover and in the instruction manual, so you only really have yourself to blame for any frustration you might feel as a result of playing it. As an adaptation of the license, mind you, it’s very solid, with some excellent graphics and animation, some catchy music and, of course, lots of swearing courtesy of Roger Mellie, the Man on the Telly.

Strong language and offensive material abounds in the video below — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more video game funtimes!

Baby Berks

For me, one of the most exciting things to see happen in the retro gaming community is when the original creator of a classic work returns to it and does something cool with it.

Today, we have an example of that. Baby Berks was originally a type-in listing for the Commodore 16, and after an AtariAge forum poster noted that it might be nice to see an Atari 8-bit port of it, who just happened to show up in the thread but the original creator Jon Williams himself?

A month later, there was an official Atari port of this fun arena shooter. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Millipede

Millipede may look like Centipede, but it’s considerably more chaotic and frantic than its predecessor.

Rather impressively, the Atari 2600 version, while not quite capturing the visual style of the arcade original, manages to keep pace with the game’s iconic chaos, providing a challenging and enormously addictive arcade blaster for the platform. In fact, some consider Millipede to be among the 2600’s finest games.

Want to see what it’s all about? Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

The Untouchables

For the longest time, movie license games were a bit of a laughing stock. That’s because they were often poorly thought out affairs that didn’t really adapt their source material in any meaningful way.

Ocean’s The Untouchables is no exception to this rule, though it was reasonably well-received back in its day for its variety of different gameplay styles, solid performance even on the Atari ST, and stiff challenge.

Said stiff challenge makes it rather hard to enjoy today, sadly, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a good crack at it! Check out my experiences in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Action Quest

I’ve been meaning to get around to this one for a while, as someone recommended it to me quite some time ago, but I’ve finally gotten around to it!

Action Quest is an interesting game that blends elements of top-down arcade adventure with some genuinely interesting puzzles. It was an early attempt to make something of a “graphic adventure”, though it still errs a little more on the “action” side of things, as you might expect from the title.

Enjoy this unusual game in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Micro-Gammon SB

Do you like backgammon? How about if it was a bit smaller? Well, that’s not at all what Micro-Gammon SB for Atari 5200 offers, though it does have very tiny (for the time) pixels.

Micro-Gammon SB is a previously unreleased Atari 5200 game that hit the cutting room floor due to not being “arcadey” enough. It’s a shame, because it’s a solid backgammon adaptation for a single player — there’s no two-player mode, oddly — that is capable of playing at a variety of skill levels, up to and including “SuperBrain” mode.

Check out how I get on against the easiest opponent in the video below — bearing in mind I’m still very new to backgammon! — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Test Drive

As a kid, I was always fascinated by games that attempted to simulate experiences like you were “really there” — even if they were fairly mundane.

As such, I found myself drawn to the Test Drive series by Accolade, which promised a realistic (for the time) driving experience in a variety of luxury cars. I only played Test Drive II: The Duel back in the day, so I thought it’d be interesting to go back to where this long-running series began.

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

Atari games, software, hardware… and memories