After enjoying the Atari 5200 adaptation of Star Raiders a few weeks back, I thought it was probably time we looked at its most well-known and well-loved incarnation: the original Atari 8-bit release from 1979.
Regarded by many as the “killer app” for the Atari 8-bit home computers, at least on its original release, Star Raiders is an all-time classic — and a genre-defining game that helped to establish first-person, real-time space combat games as a viable genre. It’s been one of my favourite games ever since I first played it, so let’s celebrate it the way it was always meant to be enjoyed.
After the relative disappointment of the Atari 2600 version of Star Raiders, it’s time to take on the proper version.
More accurately, it’s time to take on the Atari 5200 version, which tweaks a few things about the original Atari 8-bit version and adds proper analogue control, which is nice. It’s still an all-time classic, though, and if you can get your head around the controls in the Atari Flashback Classics port, there’s hours of fun ahead.
Star Raiders is one of my favourite games of all time, and with good reason — it is one of the greatest games of all time. At least it is in its Atari 8-bit incarnation, where it was quickly regarded as the platform’s “killer app”, despite its early release.
Star Raiders for the Atari 2600, meanwhile… hmm. Well, they tried — though, judging by the masterpiece that is Solaris, developed by the creator of the original Star Raiders on home computers, they could have perhaps tried a bit harder. Stick to that original and best version, I’d say!