Tag Archives: Atari VCS

Surround

The “snake” game, known over the years as “Blockade”, “Light Cycles” and doubtless various other forms of address, is one with enduring popularity. And indeed, as we’ll see with this launch title for the Atari 2600, it’s been around pretty much since the dawn of video gaming.

Surround is an unofficial home port of the game that started the whole genre: Gremlin’s Blockade for arcades. Surround has one big benefit over Blockade, however: its Video Graffiti mode, which allows you to draw gigantic hairy peni– I mean, tall men riding broken bicycles. Yes. That.

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

Super Football

What happens when you give the guy who made Star Raiders the task of making an American football game for Atari 2600? You get the best damn American football game on the Atari 2600, that’s what.

Here’s Super Football, a game that I was dreading playing until I discovered that it was the work of Doug Neubauer, a guy who really knows his stuff when it comes to both technical mastery of the Atari 2600 and designing great games. And he only went and did it — he made an American football game for the Atari 2600 that I actually enjoy playing. Wonders will never cease!

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

Steeplechase

Sometimes, as we’ve seen numerous times on this series already, the simplest game concepts really do work quite well. And such is the case with Steeplechase for Atari 2600, one of three games to be exclusively distributed through Sears’ Tele-Games label.

Offering simple, easy to understand horse racing action for one to four players, Steeplechase is a fun game to bust out when you have friends over and can’t be arsed to explain anything that needs more than one button. This also makes it an ideal fit for those people in your life who claim not to “do” video games.

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

Star Ship

Before Star Raiders, there was Star Ship. And it’s… umm… not quite as good.

That said, when you consider this came out in 1977 — a time when no-one really knew what a “video game” was, let alone what a “first-person perspective space combat simulator” might look like — then they didn’t do all that bad of a job considering the limitations of the hardware.

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

Slot Machine

Game developer David Crane is best-known today for his highly influential work Pitfall!, which helped define the concept of the platform game.

That’s not all he worked on back in the early days of video games, however; he also brought us Slot Machine, one of the most pointless wastes of time that the Atari 2600 had to offer — although it does at least have some nice smooth scrolling!

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

RealSports Tennis

We’re closing in on the home straight of the RealSports collection in Atari Flashback Classics! Only two more to go after this one!

RealSports Tennis for Atari 2600 is a fun game for one or two players that… doesn’t really offer much of a realistic game of tennis, but does provide a rather prettier take on the Pong format, with a couple of interesting twists. It’s simple and straightforward, but it’s also speedy and fun — particularly with a friend.

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

RealSports Soccer

In real life, I despise soccer, or “football” as we call it over here. But there have been a number of soccer games over the years that I’ve rather enjoyed — and RealSports Soccer for the Atari 2600 is one of them.

The reason for this is that RealSports Soccer for the Atari 2600 resembles real soccer on only the most superficial level, and is instead simply a highly enjoyable video game, particularly if you have the opportunity to enjoy it with a friend or two. Its mechanics, which make no logical sense from a “realism” perspective, make it a ton of fun — and I can attest from personal experience that this is a game that can produce genuine howls of laughter that stem from genuine enjoyment.

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

RealSports Football

If it was not already painfully obvious from previous dalliances with digital adaptations of the sport, I do not “get” American Football. I get the basic idea, but I do not understand the execution at all.

This is made particularly apparent by RealSports Football on the Atari 2600, a game which, to someone like me, appears to amplify all of the most obnoxious things about the sport while stripping out anything even vaguely enjoyable about it. Your mileage may, of course, vary if you are already a football fan — but if you were hoping that a 2600 football game might be a good means of learning the ropes before graduating to the Maddens of this world… think again!

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

RealSports Boxing

Fighting game fans whinge a lot these days, but a lot of them don’t know how good they have it now. Back in 1987, the genre was still in the process of figuring things out and determining the best way of doing things — and whether there should be a contrast between “sports fighting” games and “street fighting” games.

RealSports Boxing for Atari 2600 is a late-era release for the system that adopts the sporting approach, with a points-based system and long matches bound by a clear set of rules. There are some interesting features, though, particularly considering the era — most notable of which is the fact that you’re able to choose between several different characters to play as.

While it’s not necessarily something you’ll want to spend a lot of time with today, it is worth checking out from a historical perspective. And you can do just that in the video below. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more when you’re done!

RealSports Baseball

The time I’ve been dreading is finally here — it’s time to run the RealSports gauntlet, with a variety of different sports games for both Atari 2600 and Atari 5200.

To be fair, I’ve actually had way more fun with the sports games in Atari Flashback Classics than I ever thought I would, and part of that is down to the fact that most of them have been designed as fun video games rather than accurate adaptations of the sports. Does RealSports Baseball for the Atari 2600 live up to that description? Well, only one way to find out.

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