The Atari 50th Anniversary Celebration|
Final Game List
So in this original article located here- I (with the help of Atariboy and many others from the AtariAge forums) try to investigate every internet clip, pic, list, promo, advertisement and video to decipher what was gonna make up the final game list of the upcoming and much ballyhooed Atari 50th Anniversary Celebration game. With yuletide, childlike precision, we did pretty well. But we missed a bunch. Lynx games, new games, unreleased games... JAGUAR GAMES. The final list quite exciting, and sometimes kinda weird..
I also wanna mention that Bob Decrescenzo was contacted about donating a few of his 7800 homebrews to the project... I remember him saying Bentley Bear Crystal Quest and Super Circus Atariage were asked for, but that fell through. I wish our community of homebrew programmers got to shine in this compilation because I think it is gonna be a good one. But oh well... what we have is pretty nice.
Akka Arrh (1982, unreleased)
Asteroids Deluxe (1980)
Black Widow (1982)
Cloak & Dagger (1983)
Crystal Castles (1983)
Fire Truck (1978)
Food Fight (1983)
I, Robot (1983)
Lunar Lander (1979)
Major Havoc (1983)
Maze Invaders (1981)
Missile Command (1980)
Space Duel (1982)
Sprint 8 (1977)
Super Breakout (1978)
There's some winners in this list for sure, and some stinkers to boot. But what is most puzzling are the omissions. Klax, Pole Position 2, Tetris, Xybots, Marble Madness, Vindicators, Roadblasters, San Francisco Rush, Star Wars, Paperboy, APB, Rampart, Pit Fighter, Battlezone... and the list goes on of the missing Atari iconic IPs that are somehow tied up legally or just simply owned by other copyright holders. It's sad that more of those iconic games aren't included, but still, there are some honeys here for sure: Tempest, Crystal Castles, Asteroids Deluxe, Food Fight, Black Widow, Warlords... just to name a few. Akka Arrh is an unreleased game that I am totally ignorant of, and I'm gonna wait until I play the compilation before I check it out. Maze Invaders is another rarity that wasn't truly released until a compilation in 2008.
80's Home Releases
Atari 800 Computer
Bounty Bob Strikes Back!
Caverns of Mars
Demons to Diamonds
RealSports series (separate releases for Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Soccer, Tennis, and Volleyball)
Swordquest series (separate releases for EarthWorld, FireWorld, and WaterWorld)
Bounty Bob Strikes Back!
Saboteur and the 5200 version of Millipede never got proper releases back in the day, so it's pretty cool that they decided to show up now. Realsports Basketball has never been released, either. The 7800 list is missing action RPG Midnight Mutants, and since Rob Zombie just released the Munsters movie, it would have been cool to have that non-existent Al Lewis itch to scratch. Alien Brigade, Desert Falcon and Tower Toppler are also missing... although Basketbrawl, Ninja Golf and the 7800 versions of Asteroids and Centipede are great to have. Why no 7800 version of Food Fight? Who knows? It is an excellent version.
The 5200 collection has Bounty Bob Strikes Back, and Star Raiders (which was going to be released as The Last Starfighter) which is funktastic. I wish Countermeasure, Dreadnaught Factor, and Rescue of Fractalus was here, too.
The 2600 line up is devoid of the terrific Activision and Imagine games, obviously, but some of the greats are here: Yar 's Revenge, Super Breakout, Solaris, Miner 2049er, Adventure and beyond. Why is there a 2600 version of Dark Chambers and not the 7800 version? Who the hell knows, but there ya go.
I'm largely ignorant of the Atari 800, but additional versions of Bounty Bob Strikes Back and Miner 2049er are here with Caverns of Mars, which is a popular game. Yoomp! Was a homebrew that was originally listed as an available game that is now off the collection. I wonder if it got #metoo'd?
Malibu Bikini Volleyball
Super Asteroids & Missile Command
Evolution Dino Dudes
Fight for Life
Missile Command 3D
Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy
The superstars on this entire list are obviously the Jaguar games, and there are many more here than what we originally guessed... it's almost 20% of the original library! It's no secret, the Jaguar games were more often than not pretty horrible, but Tempest 3000 may be the best reviewed Atari game ever created for any system. Atari Karts is a fan favorite, and the rest will be hit or miss. Considering that these titles are sometimes over $100+ a piece in the wild and Jaguar emulation still sucks, this is quite a value. The Lynx was an advanced hand held system for its time, but its best games are not here. It does feature two 7800 updates: Basketbrawl and Scrapyard Dog, with the platformer SYD being an improvement, the basketball game... not so much.
Touch Me (weird)
Haunted House Re-Imagined
Yars' Revenge Re-imagined
Besides the Jaguar games, some interviews and a few hidden gems, what may be the biggest draw are the new games Digital Eclipse has either built from the ground up or tweaked the codes on old titles. It is rumored that the Yar's Revenge and Haunted House Re-imagined games are just modern graphical tweaks, but others like Quadratank and Vctr Sctr are new creatures altogether. Pretty exciting. Yes, they even completed Swordquest Airworld... so you can confuse yourself with the 4th title in that really weird series that I could never figure out as a kid. I don't think this new one is gonna feature a convoluted comic book filled with hidden messages, however.
We were promised 90 games, and I think we are getting 103. Bravo, guys... bravo. I think at least half of the list will be fun games, there will be some cool features and some interesting control schemes based on the system you play these on. I really want to get an Atari VCS to play "the 50th" on, especially since their controllers paddle games will play so well. And hell, its an Atari system... its only fitting. The Atari 50th Anniversary Celebration will be released for Switch, Xbox One PS4, Steam, and Atari VCS on November 8th 2022. As Jets linebacker Bart Scott famously said once: CANT WAIT.