Tag Archives: Atari 5200

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.

Final Legacy

Yep, it’s Final Legacy again — this time for the very final time, I promise!

Final Legacy’s unreleased Atari 5200 conversion forms part of the Atari Flashback Classics compilation, and thus it wouldn’t be right and proper to pass it by without proper acknowledgement, now, would it?

Thankfully, it’s pretty much identical to the excellent Atari 8-bit version, as opposed to Paradox Software’s dodgy, janky port for Atari ST. Once again we cast ourselves into hostile waters in an attempt to save the surviving human race from nuclear catastrophe.

Countermeasure

Today’s title from Atari Flashback Classics is one of the few genuine exclusives for the Atari 5200: it’s Countermeasure!

Countermeasure is an interesting strategic shooter in which you navigate a “supertank” through a perilous environment in an attempt to destroy a selection of missile silos. Yes, it’s another “Cold War paranoia” sort of game, but this one has some interesting twists.

Unfortunately, it’s also a pretty strong example of how the emulation of the Atari 5200’s POKEY chip is a bit dodgy in Atari Flashback Classics, which is a bit of a shame — especially considering the fact the emulation of the arcade titles that use it is spot on! Ah well.

Centipede

It’s that time again! Yes, Centipede is back for a third time — this time in the form of the speedy and challenging Atari 5200 version.

Technically speaking, this version is probably closest to the arcade version, but it’s also one of the most difficult — particularly if you dare to play it with the original Atari 5200 controller, one of the most notoriously awkward pieces of technology ever created.

In other words, if you really reckon yourself at Centipede… then the Atari 5200 version is the one you should be challenging yourself with!

Kangaroo

The ’80s were a strange time, particularly for Atari, who, it seems, were never quite sure how to release or market things properly.

One of their well-received arcade games received an official port to the Atari 2600 and 5200, and the latter version then ended up on the 8-bit Atari computers. Unusually, however, this was published via the Atari Program Exchange or APX, which more commonly published consumer-submitted games rather than licensed ports.

That game was Kangaroo, and it’s an enjoyable single-screen platformer with lots of monkey-punching and fruit-grabbing. It also used to terrify me as a kid and I can’t remember why…

Asteroids

Hey look everybody, it’s Asteroids! Again. You’ll be pleased to hear that this is the last time Asteroids appears in the Atari Flashback Classics compilation, at least.

Today we’re looking at the Atari 5200 version of the game, which didn’t actually see a commercial release despite originally being intended as a launch title for the platform. It’s based closely on the version released for Atari 8-bit computers, and is a solid adaptation of the formula for 1-4 players simultaneously.

I didn’t like this all that much when I was kid (primarily because I was bobbins at it) but nowadays I find its chunky shooting action rather satisfying!

Xevious

“Are you devious enough to play Xevious”? Well yes, yes, I am, particularly if it’s an apparently unreleased prototype of indeterminate origin for my favourite 8-bit home computer system.

Namco’s Xevious is a defining influence in the shoot ’em up genre, so of course there were plenty of home ports for a variety of systems. One that never quite made it to market, however, was the Atari 5200 version, which was subsequently ported by some helpful soul to play on standard Atari 8-bit computers. (This was not a huge leap, really, because the 5200 was basically an Atari 8-bit with a horrible controller and no keyboard.)

While questionable as to whether or not it’s “finished”, it’s certainly a competent enough port that I had a good time with, so take a look!