Written by  :  Halmanator (604)
Written on  :  Oct 28, 2005
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars

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A Blast From the Past for Computer Gaming Fans

The Good

Eighty games is a lot to sift through. Fortunately, Digital Eclipse helps us out by grouping them into nine categories: Sports Games, Adventure Games, Atari Arcade Originals, Arcade at Home, Space Games, Racing Games, Mind Games, Action Games and Gambling Games.

Of these, the Atari Arcade Originals are definitely the best. Here you will find faithful ports of 18 original Atari coin-op games including Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Battlezone, Black Widow, Centipede Crystal Castles, Gravitar, Liberator, Lunar Lander, Major Havoc, Millipede, Missile Command, Pong, Red Baron, Space Duel, Super Breakout, Tempest and Warlords. Sounds and graphics for each game are faithfully reproduced. It's just like playing the original coin op machine, especially since even the original cabinet artwork is represented. This can be turned off for a full-screen display, but I felt that the artwork gave each game a certain ambience that you just can't get from staring at a plain old computer monitor.

There are some nice extras thrown in as well that may be of special interest to computer gaming buffs (such as myself) with interests that go beyond currently available games and encompass the hobby as a whole, including its history. These include original box art for Atari 2600 ROM cartridges, digitized pictures of the full original manuals for the same, images of the original coin-op cabinets, promotional brochures, marketing materials, collector pins and other Atari memorabilia and snippets of interviews with Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, considered by many to be the father of modern video games. MobyGames members are particularly likely to enjoy these extras.

The Bad

Most of the games, except for the ones listed under Atari Arcade Originals (above) are ports of Atari 2600 home system cartridge ROMs. As such, they are extremely primitive in both appearance and design. They may have some nostalgic or historical value, but I doubt that most people will spend too much time actually playing them.

The Bottom Line

This collection of Atari classics will have a special appeal for fans of the classic arcade games, nostalgia buffs and collectors. Gamers interested in only bleeding-edge technology need not apply.