Tag Archives: gameplay

Missile Command

It’s Missile Command time once again, and this time it’s the Atari 5200 version that we’re turning our attention to.

The Atari 5200 is straight port of the Atari 8-bit version, which was also built in to the ROM of the Atari XE Games System computer-console hybrid. If you turned the XEGS on without a cartridge in and without the optional keyboard connected, you could play Missile Command!

This is a great version of a classic game — but one can’t help but wish there were trackball and paddle controllers available for the Switch… Anyway. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Zoltar

Mandarin Software’s STOS marketed itself as “The Game Creator”, but really it was a lot more than that — it was a whole programming language based on the conventions of BASIC, meaning you could do a wide variety of things with it.

One of the showcase titles included with the STOS package was Zoltar, a simple shoot ’em up that tasked you with taking down pre-scripted waves of aliens as they swooped, bobbed and weaved around the screen. As a game, it’s not great, but it’s a good showcase of what STOS is capable of — particularly as it includes a fully functional built-in level editor!

Check it out — and hear about my lost ST game ZAPP — in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Flip and Flop

Today’s Atari 8-bit game is one of my favourites from back in the day — and, I’m pretty sure, one of the earliest video games I remember playing as a kid.

It’s Flip and Flop from Jim Nangano and First Star Software, a take on the Q*Bert isometric “painting” formula with a few interesting twists — most notably some more complex level design, an emphasis on outwitting enemy behaviour, and some peculiar changes in perspective just to throw you off every so often!

If you’ve never checked out the Atari 8-bit’s library before, this is definitely one of the games you should give a shot. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Missile Command

It’s time for another one of those games that shows up on Atari Flashback Classics several times! This time around, it’s Missile Command putting in its second appearance.

The 2600 version of Missile Command is actually a really solid port of the game, albeit lacking some of the features like the satellites and planes. Most importantly, though, it plays well, looks authentic and is monstrously addictive.

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

Ynis Witrin: Isle of Glass

In today’s Atari ST A to Z, my cat Patti decides to make a guest appearance during the introduction, which will hopefully be reason enough for some of you to watch.

For those of you who continue to watch after the introduction, we’ve got a rather unusual and interesting game today: Ynis Witrin: Isle of Glass, which is an action adventure created using Mandarin Software’s STOS Basic, and which there appears to be very little information about online.

It turns out to be a rather entertaining game, though, and one that I’m kind of intrigued to explore in further depth at some point in the future. In the meantime, check out my experiences in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Elevator Repairman

As we’ve seen a few times previously on the Atari A to Z series, the North American Atari-centric publication ANALOG was a prime source of top-quality machine code games that you could type in yourself, then save to a disk or cassette and enjoy whenever you pleased.

Today’s game hails from ANALOG issue number 34 (September 1985), and is a simple but enjoyable arcade game about avoiding elevators and climbing buildings. That main character looks a little familiar, too… though of course any resemblance to certain Italian plumbers, living or dead, is almost certainly unintentional and should not be considered any sort of infringement on established, trademarked intellectual property. Or something. Probably.

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Miniature Golf

Miniature Golf on the Atari 5200 is absolutely nothing to do with Miniature Golf on the Atari 2600.

It’s another unreleased game for the Atari 5200 that was a casualty of Atari not really knowing what they wanted to do with this console — and eventually canning it and its games altogether. Thankfully, we now get to enjoy this high-resolution physics puzzle for ourselves — and without having to suffer the original 5200 controller — thanks to Atari Flashback Classics!

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Xevious

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!

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

Death Race

Sadly, this game is nothing to do with the movie of the same name. Instead, it’s Atlantis Software’s budget-price attempt to recreate the experience of Sega’s early arcade game Turbo, albeit a few years late.

The latter years of the Atari 8-bit saw a lot of publishers specialising in budget-price, cassette-only releases for around the £2 mark. This put them firmly in “pocket money” territory for a lot of young gamers, but the quality did vary quite a bit, with Atlantis Software’s titles generally not being received all that well by the press of the day.

How does Death Race stack up in the grand scheme of things? Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Miniature Golf

Miniature Golf was a popular pastime in the 1970s, so it made a lot of sense for there to be an adaptation for the shiny new Atari Video Computer System when it released in the latter years of the decade.

In those early days, though, game developers hadn’t quite mastered what made the 2600’s innards tick — or indeed what made a good game. But Miniature Golf, a game which, bizarrely, ended up pulled from sale a year after launch, unlike the rest of the 2600’s early lineup, has a bold attempt at… something.

Is it successful? A bit of yes, a bit of no. Find out what works and what doesn’t in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.