Video games have always had a budget sector — and much like low-cost digital download games are often highly creative today, the same was true for the straight-to-cassette budget sector for the Atari 8-bit.
Zeppelin Games was one of the more noteworthy budget specialists, in that they consistently produced high-quality games and then released them for pocket money prices. Sure, you had to wait more than 15 minutes for them to load on the Atari 8-bit’s excruciatingly slow tape drives, but it was usually worth it!
Here’s Ninja Commando, just one example of Zeppelin’s excellent output for the platform. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
We made it to Z once again, folks, and it’s time for an all-time classic shoot ’em up for the Atari 8-bit: it’s Zybex, from Zeppelin Games.
Zeppelin began their life as a company specialising in budget-priced titles on cassette; the first time I came across them was when they released today’s game Zybex and motorcycle racer Speed Ace for £2.99 each. Speed Ace was fairly decent, from what I recall — though at the time of writing it’s not one we’ve revisited as yet — but Zybex was something truly special.
Featuring frantic shoot ’em up action for one or two players, Zybex truly brought the arcade-style scrolling shoot ’em up home in style — and it still holds up pretty well today.
I have been reliably informed that everybody needs good neighbours, and that with a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend. Of what, I have no idea. Perhaps a nice cup of coffee.
If you were playing Atari ST games in 1990, a little understanding would also have helped you to find Impulze’s official video game adaptation of a certain popular Australian soap opera on the shelves of your local W.H. Smiths.
It was… not very good. But at least they tried something a bit different to the usual “licensed platform game” approach beloved of companies like Ocean and their ilk!