Tired of blasting aliens? Fed up of shooting soldiers? Punched enough gang members in the face to last a lifetime? Then surely it’s time you faced the ultimate evil!
Yes, indeed, in Satan’s Hollow, you are going after the Big D (not that kind of Big D) himself, ol’ Satan of the Hollow, Esq. And you’ve brought yourself a natty little bridge-building spaceship that seems just tailor-made for the task of crossing the pit of fire to where Satan hangs out.
But wait! It seems Satan has friends, and they’re not particularly pleased to see you. Can you fend off Beelzebub’s Hoover attack for long enough to even catch a glimpse of the lord of all devils himself? Only one way to find out — in an unreleased Atari 8-bit port of an elderly Midway arcade game!
The Lombard RAC Rally, known today as the Wales Rally GB, is a high-profile race in the annual rally calendar.
Back in 1988, we had the opportunity to strap ourselves into a state-of-the-art Ford Sierra Cosworth and take part in this prestigious event for ourselves. Some massive prizes of up to a hundred English pounds per stage were up for grabs!
Lombard RAC Rally by Red Rat software was a neat game that did few things rather unconventionally for the driving game genre. So let’s take a look!
Chocks away, tally-ho and all that! It’s time for Red Baron!
A contemporary of the rather more well-known and successful Battlezone, Red Baron sees players taking to the skies in a World War I biplane and challenging an endless variety of enemy pilots, blimps and ground targets to aerial combat.
This is an underappreciated gem from Atari’s back catalogue, so while it may not have been a bit success back in the day, it’s well worth playing today!
’80s and ’90s MicroProse was most well-known for its jet fighter sims, but now and again they branched out into something a bit different.
Knights of the Sky was an ambitious attempt to simulate rickety old World War I biplanes rather than high-tech jet fighters — something that only became possible due to improving technology and mastery over the available hardware.
It’s a cool game, for sure — but be prepared to live without a bunch of modern conveniences you might have come to take for granted in more recent aircraft!
It might be hard to imagine now, but there was a time in gaming history when it was considered to be a seriously impressive technical achievement to get more than two or three things moving simultaneously on a screen.
Atari’s 1977 release Pool Shark is an early example of the company continuing to push the fledgling medium of video games forward. Not only was it a game that demonstrated the power of microprocessor-based hardware rather than the earlier transistor-to-transistor logic technology, but it also had, like, a whole mess of balls flying everywhere.
And like many of these early Atari arcade games, it’s simplistic… but really rather addictive! Be sure to give it a try.
Ah, Activision. What a wonderfully creative variety of games you put out in the 8-bit era. What a hollow shell of yourself you are today.
Ahem, sorry, got a bit nostalgic there for a moment. Anyway, here’s Pastfinder, one of my favourite shoot ’em ups on Atari 8-bit, and one of the most peculiarly interesting ones to boot. You take on control of a little jumping bug of a spacecraft as you attempt to track down alien antiquities.
Better be careful, though; the whole planet is irradiated, so time is of the essence if you want to keep all your hair and/or internal organs intact to enjoy your loot.
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.
Well, here’s… a thing.
Onslaught, apparently also known as Klystron Raider, is a game that appears mostly shrouded in mystery. And, having spent far longer with it than it probably deserved, I feel it should probably remain shrouded in mystery.
But I am nothing if not a glutton for punishment, so here it is for your enjoyment regardless.
Say the words “racing game” to someone these days and they’ll typically think of a game with at least a passing impression of a 3D perspective.
Prior to titles like Namco’s Pole Position and Sega’s Out Run popularising this viewpoint, however, Atari was happily churning out top-down racers that were a lot of fun to play, beginning with Super Bug before moving on to the unusual cooperative two-player title Fire Truck — which we’ve previously seen on this series — and finally, the full-colour, multi-track Monte Carlo, which saw players racing against actual opponents as well as the course itself.
Like Atari’s other early racers, it’s a game that’s actually still a lot of fun to play today once you get used to how the control scheme maps to modern controllers — and, for me, one of the many highlights in the Atari Flashback Classics collection.
SNK had some top-notch arcade hits throughout the ’80s and ’90s, and many of them came home in one form or another.
One great example was Ikari Warriors, which saw several different home ports over the years. The one we’re concerned with today is Elite’s Atari ST version, which remains surprisingly true to the arcade original despite lacking SNK’s iconic “loop lever” control scheme.
It’s a solid top-down run-and-gun that still holds its own well today, and back then it demonstrated that the ST was more than capable of providing a convincing “arcade at home” experience!