60 BEST ATARI 8-BIT GAMES
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
Now this awesome video brings back a lot of memories. I owned an Atari 800XL, followed by a 130XE, and the games gradually improved as the software houses improved their programming skills and discovered the true capabilities of the sound and graphics chips.
Unfortunately, the title of the games are not listed anywhere on the video, and they're in no particular order of brilliance, but if you've played any of these then you will recognise them quite easily. There are several classic gaming tunes that play in the background which I certainly remember were composed by Rob Hubbard.
Personal favourites are International Karate (by System 3), Chop Suey and Elektra Glide.
The latter by English Software was a futuristic racing game and
featured stunning 3D graphics that really blew me away at the time.
Other favourites include Boulderdash, River Raid, Frogger, Rescue On Fractalus and Blue Max which I spent far too many hours playing!
Pole Position was certainly one of my all time favourite racing games, and was my first experience of 3D racing on a home computer. Although graphically dated when compared to later 8-bit racing games, the playability was still far better than most rivals.
Overall, this is a fantastic choice of games by the video uploader, and these are game that I grew-up with, and, no doubt, many of you reading this grew-up with, too. I don't know about you, but I've never been able to get quite so excited by playing computer games since the demise of the Atari XL/XE computers.Now, here are some screenshots along with some essential info about some of the games featured...
It would have been nice
to have seen a few more titles by Zeppelin Games in the list. They started producing
games for the 8-bit Atari's from around 1988, which was quite late into
the machine's life, but they released some of the best quality Atari
games ever made. Draconus and Zybex were so stunning that it was hard to
believe they were being played on an 8-bit computer.
Back in the 80s teenagers could program commercial quality games in their own bedrooms. The coder for Henry's House, Chris Murray, was only 16. The game was an imaginative platformer which featured colourful rooms and quirky enemies. It was extremely challenging - too challenging for many - and was a fine example of what a decent platform game should look like.
You started the game by building your car which would become ever more extravagant as the game progressed. You were then presented with a map of the city where a flashing building would alert you to where your ghostbusting skills were required. The gameplay involved basically driving around the city and trapping ghosts, but it does become rather manic and challenging as you progress through the game trying to keep up with the ever-increasing number of ghoulies haunting the city - good fun!
Greg Christensen was still at high school when he created Caverns of Mars on his Atari 800, earning him many thousands of dollars in royalties - rumour would have it that he received close to £100,000. The game is best described as a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up in which you must navigate your spaceship through the tunnels of Mars, avoiding the walls and shooting your enemies and targets such as fuel tanks.
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