Ever wanted your Atari 5200 to trash-talk you? Enter RealSports Basketball, a game that is more than happy to give you a mouthful.
This is another unreleased prototype sports game in the RealSports series, originally set to come out in 1983 but never quite making it. It’s a tad better than the rather bare-bones RealSports Basketball for Atari 2600, but still a little lacking in features where it counts. There’s some fun to be had, though, particularly if you can rope a friend into playing with you.
As we’ve seen a few times already on this series, one of the great things about the Atari Flashback Classics collection is that it provides an official way to enjoy some games that never got released back in the day.
One such example is RealSports Basketball for both Atari 2600 and Atari 5200, neither of which made it to release back in the day despite being listed on Atari’s schedules up until quite late. The great “video game crash” of 1983 probably didn’t help matters, but… well, make your own mind up.
We’re back once again with the RealSports series, and this time we’re looking at RealSports Baseball for the Atari 5200.
While the Atari 2600 version of RealSports Baseball really struggled to provide a convincing game, particularly when played against a computer-controlled opponent, the Atari 5200 fares much better in this regard, offering the potential for a much more complex and interesting game without sacrificing accessibility and immediacy. Plus there’s digitised speech! Who’d have thought it?
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
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!
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!
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for multi-sport athletics games, and it’s a genre of game we don’t tend to see all that often any more. Hence, I often find myself looking back to retro games to get my fill.
One of the earliest games of this type I remember playing was Winter Games by Epyx — this may well have been the very first game I ever played on our Atari ST, in fact; it was certainly one of the first pieces of software we owned for the machine, anyway — and one of the first games my brother ever reviewed, kicking off a lifelong career in the games press and surrounding fields.
Enjoy my questionable wintry athleticism in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
With a few occasional exceptions, sports games these days tend to be limited to a few “safe” options.
You’ve got your football, you’ve got your American football, sometimes you have your golf; very occasionally you have your Olympics. But ten-pin bowling? I can’t remember the last time I saw a game based around that for a modern computer.
Back in 1978, however, developers were still working out what kinds of sporting rules and structure worked and didn’t work in the electronic space. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not Bowling for Atari 2600 does the noble pursuit of hurling heavy things at skittles justice!
Sports games have always been a staple of video gaming. In fact, in the earliest days of the medium, they were a good source of basic rules and mechanics for designers to rely on.
Basketball for Atari 2600 was a noteworthy example of one of these early sports games for being an early title that didn’t require two human players. In fact, the single-player mode even claimed to offer an adaptive difficulty of sorts, with the computer player supposedly playing “better” if the scores were closer.
In practice, this mostly equates to the computer player running the wrong direction if he’s winning too much, but it was 1978… give them a bit of credit!
Yes, yes, yes, I know the “A to Z” angle in this series is already questionable and this one following Tempest makes it even more so, but we only just managed to find time to have a two-player match!
Indeed, today’s game is Atari Soccer, an arcade title which can only be played with two or four people simultaneously, so bad luck if you have either no friends or two friends. As a follow-up to Atari Football, it again had a cocktail cabinet form factor and exhausting trackball controls to blister your palms with.
Thankfully, the port in Atari Flashback Classics can be enjoyed with nothing more than a couple of analogue controllers, and even for those who aren’t big soccer fans, the game makes for an entertaining, competitive pastime for a few minutes every so often.
It’s Pong! The grandaddy of them all. Well, okay, not the absolute first ever computer game ever EVER, but it was certainly the first widely successful one.
If you have the slightest familiarity with gaming, surely Pong needs little to no introduction, but you might be surprised to know that it actually still holds up rather well today. It’s gaming stripped down to its bare essentials, both in terms of graphics and mechanics — and it still works wonderfully as a competitive game.
Fortunately, with how well-known it is and how easy it is to program a convincing clone (even I could probably do it if I tried hard enough!) there’s no shortage of ways to play it these days… but if you really want the true experience, you gotta go Atari.