Early arcade ports certainly varied quite significantly in quality, and opinion appears to be a bit divided online as to whether or not Ron J Fortier’s Atari 8-bit take on Sega’s classic Zaxxon is “good” or not.
Well, “good” or not, that’s what we’re taking a look at today — and it turns out there are two slightly different versions of the game out there. (I discovered after I made the video that these are due to there being a 16K cassette version and a 48K disk version — in the video you’ll see the disk version first, followed by the more limited cassette version.)
Enjoy this take on a classic in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Dot-eating maze games were a staple of both early ’80s arcades and home computers from the same era, as we’ve seen a fair few times on this series already.
Nibbler, originally released into arcades by Rock-Ola, became somewhat notorious for being the first game to allow players to score more than a billion points. There’s even a documentary about various attempts to pursue this milestone over the years.
The Atari 8-bit version was actually a pretty solid conversion of the arcade game. I have no idea if you can score over a billion points in it because I’m not that good… but at least we can have a look at the basics!
Merry Christmas! And what better way to celebrate the festive season than with some fairground-style shooting action?
DataSoft’s Shooting Arcade from 1982 is not an especially complex game, but it has an enjoyably addictive quality to it, brought about through increasingly challenging mechanics and an emphasis on accuracy rather than fast action.
If you need a bit of time away from the family this Christmas, you could do far worse than blast away at a few pink elephants…
“Digging games” were a bit of a mainstay of the games industry in the ’80s.
Some tried their best to ape the formulae of successful arcade titles such as Namco’s Dig Dug and Universal’s Mr Do! — we’ve already seen one example of the latter here on Atari A to Z in the form of Adam “Elektra Glide” Billyard’s quick-and-dirty cash grab of a game, Henri.
Others, like DataSoft’s O’Riley’s Mine, did something a little bit different by eschewing the usual “falling boulder” hazards in favour of other ways to meet your maker beneath the earth. Better keep one step ahead of that rushing water…
Bruce Lee was an interesting game that included elements of the beat ’em up, platform game and action adventure genres, creating an altogether unique experience at the time that is still fondly regarded today.
I have very fond memories of this game, despite not being all that good at it when I was a kid. Rather than it being fast, chaotic action, it actually rewards somewhat strategic play; taking your time getting through the screens is usually your best bet, and defeating the enemies is also a case of waiting for a good opening to attack them rather than flailing wildly.
The game was developed as an Atari 8-Bit title originally before being ported to a number of other platforms, including Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and MSX. The Atari version is obviously the best, of course, not that I’m biased at all in this regard.