Arcade conversions could be a bit hit and miss on the Atari ST, largely because the computer’s built-in hardware couldn’t hope to compete with the specialist arcade units of the time.
That didn’t stop developers from trying their best to make a solid conversion, however — and The Sales Curve’s Random Access team actually managed a pretty competent job of bringing Taito’s The Ninja Warriors home for Atari ST owners to enjoy.
Sky Diver for Atari 2600 is a conversion of the arcade game of the same name, originally developed by Owen Rubin and brought home by Jim Huether.
In typical Atari 2600 arcade conversion tradition, the home version offers a variety of different ways to play — including challenging modes with moving platforms, as well as a “Chicken” mode where only the first player to land gets the points!
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
Arkanoid is such an influential entry in the bat-and-ball genre that many people took to calling brick-breakers “Arkanoid clones” rather than “Breakout clones”.
Like many other arcade games of the period, Arkanoid had numerous ports to various different platforms over the years — but the Atari ST version was one of the finest out there, offering an experience very true to the arcade original, challenge factor and all.
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!
This one’s a cool addition to the Atari Flashback Classics collection: a “lost” game from the Atari archives.
Maze Invaders sadly never saw an official release either as an arcade machine or a home port, languishing in the archives until recently. The International Centre for the History of Electronic Games managed to acquire a whole bunch of old Atari goodies back in 2014, and part of that heap of fun times was Maze Invaders.
It’s kind of surprising this never got an official release for one reason or another; it’s a really interesting, unusual and highly addictive game with a ton of personality to it!
Whew, now there’s a mouthful, eh? As you may have guessed from the title, this one- or two-player arcade romp — originally developed by Atari Games — channels the very best of 1950s B-movies into a fun and satisfying isometric blaster.
Sadly, the home ports lack the arcade version’s “Hall Effect” joystick, which allowed movement and aiming in sixteen directions instead of the usual eight — a precursor to our modern analogue sticks — but the ST version seen here still plays well with a nice joystick!
Just remember to turn off Sticky Keys in Windows if you’re emulating to, say, record a video… you need that Shift key quite a bit in this game! Oh well, you live and learn, huh…?
If, in 1978, you ever entertained any childish fantasies of being a fireman, then Atari had the video game for you!
Fire Truck was an unusual spin on the top-down driving game in which you took control of a distinctly retro (even at the time) fire engine on its way to deal with some sort of flame-related emergency. The fire truck has limited fuel and thus is unable to ever get to its destination, but at least you can score some points along the way! Because as we all know, real firemen are rated according to how close to the emergency they got.
Obviously this is mostly made up; the “fire truck” concept is actually an excuse to provide some interesting and unusual two-player cooperative driving gameplay, in which one player steers the cab of the truck and the other the trailer. You can play it single-player too, but for maximum amusement, bring a friend.
Pretty much everyone who plays games can probably name at least one title that they respect, but absolutely can’t abide the thought of playing ever again.
For me, one of those games is Elektra Glide, an incredibly popular title developed by Adam Billyard and published by English Software. It’s a technical tour-de-force for the Atari 8-bit, for sure, featuring spectacularly speedy 3D-style graphics, parallax scrolling, wonderful use of colour and an incredibly memorable soundtrack.
I also despise playing it with almost every fibre of my being; I’d thought returning to it some thirty-two years after its original release might have caused my opinions to mellow on it somewhat, but nope! Still, it sure is pretty…
Dominos, another early black and white title from Atari’s early days, surprised me by not at all being what I expected.
I was anticipating a fairly faithful adaptation of the tabletop game Dominoes — which wouldn’t have been altogether difficult to put together even with the rudimentary technology of the time — but instead I got a rather enjoyable, addictive two-player game in the vein of what we now know as the Snake genre.
While most people are familiar with Snake from its late-’90s Nokia phone incarnation, the idea of one or more players moving around a field and leaving an impassable trail behind them has been around since the earliest days of video games. Dominos was a very early example, following the genre progenitor Blockade by just a year. As such, it’s very simple in execution… but that doesn’t stop it being fun, particularly alongside a friend.
The Bitmap Brothers were a force to be reckoned with in the 16-bit computer era.
Across a wide variety of different game styles, they demonstrated their absolute mastery over not only the technical aspects of programming for these popular home computers, but also how to make a thoroughly enjoyable game, too.
Although relatively straightforward by modern standards, the original Xenon remains a great time, and is absolutely worth checking out if you’re a fan of classic vertically scrolling shoot ’em ups.