Tag Archives: Let’s Play

Air-Sea Battle

An all-time classic of the Atari 2600’s library is launch title Air-Sea Battle, a simplistic but enjoyable fixed shooter with a variety of different ways to play.

Air-Sea Battle is an excellent example of what you could expect from early 2600 titles that promised “27 video games” or similar. Those “27” video games would be a lot of variations on the same theme — but there’d sometimes be some surprising and enjoyable differences between them!

Air-Sea Battle shines as a two-player game, even today, but it’s still an enjoyable high score-chaser solo. Which is your favourite of the 27 variations?

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Yogi’s Great Escape

Licensed games have been around for a long time… and they’ve gotten quite a bit better over the years. For the most part!

Back in the 16-bit home computer era, publisher Hi-Tec had the license to produce video games based on Hanna Barbera cartoons, including properties such as Hong Kong Phooey and Yogi Bear.

Today’s game is one of several Yogi Bear games that Hi-Tec put out at a budget price point. It’s a competent, if fairly unremarkable platformer — which, not coincidentally, is a descriptor that can be applied to 90% of licensed games on the Atari ST!

Electrician

Video games don’t always have to be about blasting aliens and/or terrorists.

The idea of games that are based around fairly mundane activities and professions is something that is associated with the creativity of today’s indie scene, but developers were experimenting with this idea back in the early ’80s too.

And so it was that we got David Bunch’s Electrician from Synapse Software — a surprisingly enjoyable game about rewiring a bunch of houses.

Air Raiders

Let’s check out what is regarded by some as one of the best flight simulators on the Atari 2600!

To be fair, this isn’t a particularly high bar to clear or anything, but Air Raiders is a solid, enjoyable enough game, so long as you pay attention to its unusual structure and mechanics. It’s also historically noteworthy as one of the only “M Network” Atari 2600 releases from Mattel that wasn’t a port of an Intellivision title.

It’s also nowhere near as well-known as some of the more established classics of the Atari 2600 canon, so that’s as good a reason as any to give it a bit of time and attention, hmm?

Xybots

Do you like dungeon crawling? Do you like shooting things? Do you like games that begin with the letter “X”, which are in unsurprisingly short supply? Then do I have a treat for you!

Atari Games’ Xybots — originally envisioned as a sequel to Gauntlet but reskinned to sci-fi because someone in a suit figured that a sequel to one of the company’s most popular games of all time would not, in itself, be popular — is an interesting game. And, moreover, one that was probably ahead of its time; turns out that making it sci-fi didn’t make it popular either!

It also features one of my least favourite mechanics from Atari Games releases of this era, but it’s not quite enough to spoil the rest of the experience. This ST port is remarkably true to the arcade version, warts and all…

Dan Strikes Back

After the success of Diamonds, programmer Simon Hunt decided that he wanted to make a sequel using the characters he’d established.

Inspired by the vertical scrolling of Firefleet, another game from English Software, he decided he wanted to expand beyond the original game’s single-screen gameplay, and thus Dan Strikes Back was born.

Digger Dan’s most precious of treasures has been stolen away by the evil Brian the Blob! Can Dan make his way through the many perilous layers of Brian’s vault to reclaim his prize? Probably not, given that I’m in charge, but it’s fun having a go anyway…

Adventure II

One of the most interesting things about the retro scene is how these old, supposedly defunct platforms still have plenty of people developing for them.

In some cases, these projects that began as homebrew affairs end up being official follow-ups to established classics, thirty or more years later! Such is the case with Adventure II, which was first released in 2005 as part of the Atari Flashback 2 console.

Mechanically, there’s not much new in Adventure II, but the interesting new map design and cranked up difficulty makes it a distinct experience in its own right!