Atari’s Flashback

The Atari FlashbackIt’s been some time since Atari last brought out a game that was actually worthy of the brand. The Atari logo you see on games now is just that – a logo. Infogrames bought the name a few years ago to add credibility to their business, and the Atari of the 00s has nothing to do with the proud days of the 80s with Nolan Bushnell and (sniff) Crystal Castles.

Atari are to release a new console – well, it’s actually an old one, a 2600/7800 hybrid with two dozen games from the the platforms’ heyday. Called Atari Flashback, the console plugs directly into your television and has two two-button, joystick controllers.

The Atari 2600 games are Adventure, Air Sea Battle, Battlezone, Breakout, Canyon Bomber, Crystal Castles, Gravitar, Haunted House, Millipede, Sky Diver, Solaris, Sprintmaster, Warlords, Yar’s Revenge, and a previously unreleased title, Saboteur. The Atari 7800 games are Asteroids, Centipede, Desert Falcon, Food Fight, and Planet Smashers.

The company will also be releasing Atari Anthology, yet another collection of back catalogue titles for PS2 and XBox, featuring 85 games from the company’s history, with some superflous gameplay modes such as “Trippy” and “Double speed” . There have been a few Atari collections released lately, this seems to be a super-set of them with Gravitar and Battlezone being amongst the previously tricky to find titles.

Now that the company has fully leveraged their old IP, how about some shiny new games that are worthy of the Atari name?


Published by

Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?