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.
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!
Do you like backgammon? How about if it was a bit smaller? Well, that’s not at all what Micro-Gammon SB for Atari 5200 offers, though it does have very tiny (for the time) pixels.
Micro-Gammon SB is a previously unreleased Atari 5200 game that hit the cutting room floor due to not being “arcadey” enough. It’s a shame, because it’s a solid backgammon adaptation for a single player — there’s no two-player mode, oddly — that is capable of playing at a variety of skill levels, up to and including “SuperBrain” mode.
Check out how I get on against the easiest opponent in the video below — bearing in mind I’m still very new to backgammon! — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
As we’ve seen a number of times on this series, the late ’70s and early ’80s were a period of experimentation, where developers were trying to figure out exactly what a video game really was.
One angle of attack some people took was to recreate well-known physical games in the digital realm. To that end, we saw virtual adaptations of popular board and card games — and we had Holey Moley, an Atari 2600 take on the classic fairground Whack-A-Mole game.
Holey Moley never saw an actual release back in the day, but now we can enjoy it on modern platforms thanks to Atari Flashback Classics. So enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
One of the most interesting things about retro platforms like the Atari 2600 is that they still play host to tons of undiscovered treasures just waiting to be explored, decades later.
Many of these treasures — usually in the form of unreleased or prototype games — have been unearthed and shared with the world through the Atari Flashback Classics collection. And a great example of just that is Aquaventure, a game about diving beneath the waves in search of hidden booty.
This game was seemingly complete and ready to release, so one can only guess at why it never ended up on store shelves!
Here’s an interesting one: an unreleased port of an unreleased game.
Yes indeed, Ixion never officially saw the light of day way back when, either in its original arcade incarnation or its home ports. And yet here it is, perfectly preserved in its Atari 8-bit incarnation, all thanks to the efforts of the filthy dirty pirates of the 1980s. Yar-har, fiddle-de-dee.
The game itself is an interesting combination of arena shooter, puzzler and collect ’em up, and I like it very much. If you have an Atari 2600, AtariAge even released an actual physical version of that port — check it out here!