Friday, 30 October 2020

Atari Collection 1 (Evercade Review)

The first Atari collection for the Evercade contains twenty game split across the Atari 2600 and 7800 systems. These two systems aren’t ones that appear too often in terms of collections so it provides those interested in a slice of gaming history a different place to start. That said, whether having a collection 2600 arcade ports is something the gaming community wants or needs is something else entirely.

The 2600 games are a mixed bag in terms of quality and many of them simply don’t hold up well anymore. This isn’t a greatest hits collection by any means and many of these wouldn’t be troubling the tops spots on any Atari 2600 games list. Gravitar, Missile Command Centipede and Asteroids offer speedy, solid representations of their arcade counterparts but the two standout games are Adventure and Aquaventure.

Adventure does an excellent job of creating an engaging quest with minimal graphics and is rightly regarded as something of a land mark title. Aquaventure has you descending into the depths, avoiding enemies so that you can grab treasure and then trying to get back to the surface in one piece. It’s remarkably addictive and will have you returning long after the novelty of many of the other titles has worn off.

The standout among the 7800 games is Ninja Golf. A crazy mix between golf and a scrolling fighter, it has players running to where they have hit their ball while fighting off a wide variety of enemies such as ninja’s, snakes and sharks. The environment and enemies change depending on if you are in the water, rough or on the fairway and once the green is reached you face a showdown with a dragon from a first person perspective. It’s the sort of hidden gem we would like to see more of on the Evercade. Unfortunately the other 7800 games aren’t anything really to write home about.

Overall, the first Evercade Atari collection is a mixed bag. There are only three games here that we would whole heartedly recommend but they are real highlights. The cartridge is interesting and does showcase an often overlooked part of gaming history. The relatively low price does make it easier to recommend in order to get hold of Ninja Golf, but there’s no hiding the fact that there are far better examples of the 2600 and 7800 out there that could have been included. A cautious thumbs up for retro fans then.

 

Game Ratings:

7800                                                                     

Ninja Golf         5/5                                                  

Alien Brigade    2/5                                           

Food Fight         3/5                                                  

Motor Psycho    3/5                                            

2600                                                                              

Adventure         4/5   

Aquaventure     4/5

Asteroids          3/5

Double Dunk    1/5

Centipede         3/5

Crystal Castles 2/5

Canyon Bomber 2/5

Desert Falcon    3/5

Gravitar             3/5

Missile Command 3/5

Night Driver     1/5   

Steeple Chase   2/5

Swordquest      3/5

Tempest           2/5

Video Pinball   2/5

Yars Return      1/5                                  


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