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Games - Company: Atari (10 result(s))

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Adventure

Adventure01.png
Atari 1980
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Human beings have the compulsive urge to classify everything, to put things into labelled drawers. That is why websites like this one have all these badges for their game entries, like "genres" or "themes". It must have been a great time before these had been firmly established and turned into trite clichés. This game, being roughly as old as myself, certainly comes from such a time. Although its exact publication date is a matter of discussion, it was definitely developed before I was born, as developer Warren Robinett already left Atari in 1979.


Battlezone

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Atari 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 4.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

In the not-so-distant future (1999 to be exact), the nations of the world have at last recognized the need for peace to avoid mutual destruction and ensure the survival of the human race. The plan to achieve world piece is strongly reminiscient of the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still: Automated weapons are unleashed, supposedly to exterminate anyone becoming an aggressor. Of course, technology goes awry, and the weapons are starting to exterminate all life on earth. The player jumps into a rusty old tank trying to blow up all the other thanks, fighters and flying saucers which now threaten humanity.


Breakout

breakout01.png
Atari 1978
Genre: Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Breakout… need I say more? Come on, folks, you all know this one! Designed as a single player version of Pong, it replaces the second paddle with a brick wall from which the ball simply bounces back to the player – destroying the brick which was hit in the process. Repeat until all bricks have been removed from the board. Following the success of the Arcade original, a port to Atari's own home console, which was still in its infancy at the time, was the logical next step. So how does this version fare?


Gravitar

gravitar01.png
Atari 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Gravitar has often been likened to Asteroids and Lunar Lander. What is mentioned less often is that it is basically an inverted Atlantis: Instead of defending a planet surface against space ships, the player is doing the attacking in this case. In a star system, several planet surfaces need to be stripped of their defenses. The catch: gravity.


Joust

joust01.png
Atari 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600, Arcade, Atari ST

Grab your lance, mount your flying ostrich and… joust! Detailed graphics, great animations and a decent simulation of inertia – that was Joust in the arcades. On the Atari 2600, it is… not quite that. More of a reminder how far that system still was from providing an actual arcade experience at home than a fun game on its own right. Gone are the detailed player and enemy sprites; they have been replaced by flat, single-coloured blobs all of which look exactly identical (in the original, the enemies would be riding buzzards) – and the 'unbeatable?' pterodactyl is virtually unrecognisable as such an animal at all. Appropriately, simple two-state animations are used. Might be bearable if at least the gameplay had remained intact.


Outlaw

outlaw01.png
Atari 1978
Genre: Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

You are in the middle of a duel, in the middle of the Wild West, in the middle of an Atari game. And all you have on your side is a revolver with bouncing bullets. No more, this is after all an Atari game, so it requires no more.


Super Sprint

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Atari Games / Electric Dreams 1986
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari ST

Finally - the classic when it comes to top-down racers. You'll find exactly the same elements as in the later imitations. Namely: Fast and simple racing round courses which stretch exactly across the screen and randomly appearing power-ups which can be picked up by driving over them. In this case, the latter consist of bonus points and wrenches. Wrenches can be used to tune your car (motor, tires, you name it) - another standard feature.


Tempest 2000

tempest-2000-jaguar-0.png
Llamasoft / Atari 1994
Genre: Action
Rating: 3.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Jaguar, PC (DOS)

Tempest 2000 is the successor to the 1981 arcade game Tempest, and it is a fairly well-known and highly-regarded game. Many like to say that it completely redeems the Atari Jaguar as a console, though the Jaguar has other good games. Another big thing about T2K is its pedigree of being a Llamasoft work, a semi-famous one-man arcade-style developer stationed in the UK, big in the old computer days, and particularly known for their psychedelic styling; T2K is testament to nearly all of these things.


Vindicators

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Atari Games 1988
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Arcade

Gauntlet: Two heroes against the world. The game which took the D&D-like fantasy settings of the pen & paper role-playing games into the arcades. Vindicators doesn't just put a science fiction spin to this gameplay by substituting tank sprites, revolving gun turrets and ufos for warriors and orcs, but (at least in the original arcade version) applies this different theme to the gameplay as well. In particular, it incorporates a control scheme reminiscient of Battlezone. Meaning that each player has two sticks, each of which controls one track of the tank. Left and right forward leads to driving straight forward. Moving one track forward and the other one backward, on the other hand, enables the tank to turn right there on the spot.


Warlords

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Atari 1981
Genre: Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Warlords is very basic in gameplay, but is fun and fast action, and also allows for a certain level of strategy. In Warlords, you have four players (Always 4. If you have less than 4 human players, the rest will be computer controlled), and each player has a warlord, a castle, and a shield. This game uses the paddles instead of the joysticks. What you have to do is use your shield to deflect the ball away from your castle & warlord, while simultaneously trying to direct it -at- your opponents' castles & warlords.



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