Tag Archives: Atari ST A to Z

Joust

It’s arcade classic time today on Atari ST A to Z, with the game that supposedly popularised the idea of two-player cooperative gameplay.

Joust, originally developed by Williams for the arcade in 1982, was a well-regarded and influential game, and found itself ported to a wide variety of platforms over the years — including numerous Atari systems.

The Atari ST version showed up in 1986 — better late than never — and provided a solid adaptation of the arcade original for those who fancied some classic cooperative action on their 16-bit home computer. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Ikari Warriors

SNK had some top-notch arcade hits throughout the ’80s and ’90s, and many of them came home in one form or another.

One great example was Ikari Warriors, which saw several different home ports over the years. The one we’re concerned with today is Elite’s Atari ST version, which remains surprisingly true to the arcade original despite lacking SNK’s iconic “loop lever” control scheme.

It’s a solid top-down run-and-gun that still holds its own well today, and back then it demonstrated that the ST was more than capable of providing a convincing “arcade at home” experience!

HeroQuest

I absolutely loved MB and Games Workshop’s HeroQuest as a kid, but I rarely got the opportunity to play it on the tabletop with real people.

Imagine my delight, then, when Gremlin announced that they were developing a computerised adaptation of the board game I’d come to love so much. And imagine my even greater delight when it turned out to be a very good game indeed — although arguably perhaps a little too true to the original board game for a computer version!

This is a game that still holds up pretty well today in both its tabletop and electronic formats. Gather a party of friends — or go it alone — and see how far you can get in the substantial campaign!

F-15 Strike Eagle II

When I was a kid, I really, REALLY got into military flight sims, particularly those from MicroProse.

One of my favourites was F-15 Strike Eagle II, a particularly accessible take on the 16-bit era jet fighter sim, and a game that I used to like to dress up to play. I’d wear a green bomber jacket, a backpack (to simulate both a parachute and a seat belt), a balaclava (to simulate a helmet, in the absence of anything like a cycle helmet or the like), sunglasses (goggles) and an “oxygen mask” crafted from a bit of paper, some duct tape and an old vacuum cleaner’s hose.

My parents and brother referred to it as “The Elephant”. I thought it was badass. Whether or not it actually enhanced my enjoyment of F-15 Strike Eagle II is probably debatable, but I do know that I still enjoy this game today!

Days of Thunder

In the 8- and 16-bit home computer era, movie license games were typically developed either as platform games with a tenuous link to the movie in question, or some sort of minigame compilation, with each major scene from the movie being represented as some sort of interactive challenge.

Mindscape’s Days of Thunder was different. Here was a game that took the basic concept of the movie and simply used it as a basis to create a fully fleshed out experience — one that complemented rather than attempted to imitate the original work. The subject matter — motorsport — was ideal for such a treatment, and, on paper, Days of Thunder was a great idea.

Sadly, less than stellar performance meant that the game wasn’t as good as it could have been — a lack of speed and responsiveness in a racing game is a bit of an issue! — but it remains an interesting proof of concept as well as an intriguing anomaly that broke with the conventions and norms of the time. So I salute the effort involved, if not necessarily the final product we ended up with!