Just… don’t. I don’t want to talk about it. I can’t. I just… please. Help me.
SwordQuest FireWorld is one of the most miserable video games I have ever played. And, as anyone who knows me well will attest, this is not something I say lightly. Forget E.T., forget Pac-Man, this is the true festering dog turd of the Atari 2600’s library.
Yep, here we are again with Super Breakout, this time for Atari 5200. This was the pack-in game for the system for quite some time, and left a fair few people rather underwhelmed — the system was certainly capable of better.
That said, it’s still a competent enough version of Super Breakout, and comes complete with all the different ways to play you’d expect from that game. There are certainly far worse ways to spend your time with your Atari 5200!
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.
The unusually named XOR from Atari promises a game with no random elements, and a focus on logical thinking rather than twitch reflexes.
One could also describe it, as someone did to me the other day, as a curious blend of Boulder Dash and heraldry, in which the main obstacles to your success will be fish and chickens. Yes, it’s a rather odd game — but if you enjoy some tricky puzzles it’s worth a look!
One of Activision’s most fondly regarded games from the Atari 2600 library is Kaboom! — a simple affair that gratuitously rips off Atari’s own Avalanche, because apparently Atari had very little interest in porting that themselves.
Kaboom! also got a port to Atari 8-bit, and it’s a good ‘un. The enhancements over the original 2600 version may be fairly subtle, but they all add to the experience, making for a straightforward but enormously addictive little game that you’ll find yourself spending a surprising amount of time with if you let it get its claws in.
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
As we’ve previously seen a few times on this series, the Atari 2600 managed to stick around for an astonishingly long time, particularly considering how quickly gaming technology was evolving in the early days.
From about 1986 onwards, Atari decided to try and give the platform a “second wind” by releasing a variety of new games for it. Some of these were developed by Nolan Bushnell’s studio Axlon — and a good example is today’s game, Off the Wall. It’s a take on Breakout with lovely colourful graphics, a few interesting twists on the standard block-breaking gameplay, and a bunch of cool power-ups to collect.
Will I never be free of this accursed game? Given the sheer number of versions Asteroids has enjoyed over the years, I suspect not. But it is actually quite interesting to compare all of them.
The Atari ST version of Asteroids Deluxe — one of the only ports of that specific game as opposed to the original Asteroids — was handled by Paradox Software, much like many of the other late Atari-published arcade conversions on the platform. This time around, they haven’t done an altogether bad job on the port — it looks and plays pretty well, for sure, though as always for the poor old ST, the sound leaves a little to be desired.
It’s certainly far less of a mess than certain previous Paradox ports, however — and a solid version of Asteroids for Atari’s 16-bit machine. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
It’s dangerous, it’s devious… it’s Xevious! Again. This time for the Atari ST, after we’ve previously seen the Atari 8-bit and Evercade versions.
The Atari ST port of Namco’s classic, genre-defining vertical scroller was handled by Probe, a company whose output varied enormously from game to game. As it happens, their version of Xevious was a very solid port of the game… it was just a bit late. All right, a lot late. But at least it showed up eventually!
In the mood for a good puzzle? Well, fire up the ol’ Atari 8-bit because I’ve got a right cracker for you today.
Xirius Defect XXL is, as the name suggests, an expanded version of Xirius Defect, a modern Atari 8-bit title developed for the ABBUC software competition. This newer version adds a bunch of new levels, tightens up the mechanics (and the explanations thereof) and is an altogether polished package for anyone to enjoy.
Want to practice your typing skills? There were a bunch of different ways to do that back in the Atari 8-bit era, with one of the most fun being Typo Attack.
Typo Attack is one of several success stories that stemmed from the Atari Program Exchange, where independent, amateur developers could submit their work to Atari, who would publish and distribute it and pay the creators royalties. In several cases, the creators of APX titles went on to become full-time Atari employees — or, at the very least, their games became “official” releases.