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Most underrated game for Atari 8-bit computers

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Which do you consider to be the most overlook game for Atari 8-bit computers?

 

From my humble point of view, one of them is "The Infiltrator" (Mindscape, 1986). It doesn't show up in Atarimania's top listings.

 

 

- Y -

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Over and over again.... Schreckenstein!!! Most underrated game on the A8.

One man show made a n awesome multiplayer splitscreen game. Awesome graphics and perfect sfx.

 

 

Edited by MARIO130XE
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For me  Lords of Conquest, it's something along the lines of Risk,  but I played a ton of it, and it doesn't get mentioned a lot.

 

lords_of_conquest_ea.gif.2ad5d632ab36df2af5a272c8655742b5.gif

 

Some honorable mentions:

Spare Change - A wacky, unique concept:

spare_change_3.gif.3d0780e4ade6b2b5af349421713572d6.gif

 

Maxwell Manor - A Creepy Haunted House / Adventure type game:

maxwell_manor.gif.ad585c761b7d395995ab6e2ab1821f70.gif

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This game may or may not be under-rated but because of the slightly childlike element to it, it may well be.....

Alley Cat from Synapse Software in 1983.

 

Fantastic frenetic and varied gameplay with seemingly simple yet engaging mini sub games, great use of animation, colour and humour, not to mention sound effects.

I played it for the first time in 30 years the other day and it brought back so many memories.:-D

 

 

Alley Cat Screenshots for Atari 8-bit - MobyGames

 

Alley Cat for the Atari 8-bit family - YouTube

 

    Atari 800 XL - Alley Cat - YouTube

 

Abandonware Games / Alley Cat

 

Edited by Beeblebrox
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36 minutes ago, MARIO130XE said:

Over and over again.... Schreckenstein!!! Most underrated game on the A8.

One man show made a n awesome multiplayer splitscreen game. Awesome graphics and perfect sfx.

 

 

and still doesn't have a proper NTSC fix up... it mostly works...

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Raid Over Moscow:

 

 

Deeply frustrating at times, but with a tendency to suck the player back in.  The variation in levels helps to keep it from becoming samey during gameplay.

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14 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Raid Over Moscow:

 

Deeply frustrating at times, but with a tendency to suck the player back in.  The variation in levels helps to keep it from becoming samey during gameplay.

This and the two Beach Head games, I played endlessly as a kid.  I still play them from time to time.  In ROM just learning to get out of the space station seemed an accomplishment!

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I thought mediator was pretty under rated, has differently playable levels, many puzzles, tricky bits to get through... its a tough but rewarding game, so much crammed into 64k.... amazing game!

 

 

 

 

 

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That top listing is just visits or downloads I'd say.

 

They only seem to have a top 25 ratings on the main game page.

The problem there is it seems to take years for anything new to obtain any prominence - just look at the glaring omissions such as Bosconian, Scramble and Ridiculous Reality to name just a few.  In fact, only 2 games released in the last 20 years appear in that list.

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All mentioned are not underrated ;) all classics and played for x hours…

 

what about Zenji, Spelunker, Cavelord, BMX Simulator, Dimension X,Trailblazer etc?

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2 hours ago, Heaven/TQA said:

All mentioned are not underrated ;) all classics and played for x hours…

 

what about Zenji, Spelunker, Cavelord, BMX Simulator, Dimension X,Trailblazer etc?

 

Oh yes. Cavelord. Another Peter Finzel Game. I love it. :) 

 

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Yes, also loved Cavelord, that and Zeppelin felt very similar in some ways...

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On 9/15/2021 at 5:30 PM, AHA said:

I thought mediator was pretty under rated, has differently playable levels, many puzzles, tricky bits to get through... its a tough but rewarding game, so much crammed into 64k.... amazing game!

 

 

 

 

 

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level 2.jpg

level 7.jpg

what's the objective on the very first screen ? 

 

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Alley Cat is an all-time classic for the system, and has been considered exactly that for almost four decades, so I'm not sure it can be considered underrated. It's probably underplayed, though. :)

 

I'd say that Triad is more underrated. I played it for countless hours at night as a teen, and it's still fun today. It's a fantastic game.

 

Pogo Joe is a very nice Q*Bert clone that's often overlooked.

 

Pengo is one of my favourite Atari Inc. releases for the system, and always seems to be overlooked, although I'm not sure why this is so. It's a great port.

 

There's a ton of Polish games that just don't get a lot of love -- especially in North America. Hans Kloss is excellent, and Kult is an amazing game. 

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It’s at times like this I wish there was a database that ranked Atari 800 games by user rating and/or also had approximate sales numbers. Wikipedia has a list of exclusive titles to the Atari 800.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Atari_8-bit_family-only_games

 

From that list, the good games are

 

Of those, Caverns of Mars is probably too we’ll known to be a hidden gem, Thrax Lair is a reverse CoM, Preppie is just a Frogger clone (didn’t Preppie II change up the gameplay?)

 

I don’t hear Action Quest mentioned much, and it is a great action puzzle game worth a play through. Claim Jumper is a great 2-player game, along with Dog Daze (and DD Deluxe), but the same author in the Atari Program Exchange. I will second CaveLord as a fun action game in a similar genre as Zeppelin (with more control, less forced rail shooter). Also happen to like Slime, although strategy-wise it isn’t a complicated game. I get the feeling Getaway! may be too well know to be considered a HG.

 

I wouldn’t consider any Arcade conversions, since those are a lot of what Atari was know for. From mostly the top 200-500 games on Atarimania…

 

I happen to like Cosmic Tunnels, for its variety of game play (the best is planet-side, the worst being the tunnels). A mixture of Gravitron, shooter, and maze-game.


Threshold was a wonderful shooter in the vein of Megamania, Galaxian, etc. with waves of different unique enemies. 
 

Spin-Dizzy was a creative 3D exploration game similar to Marble Madness, but open world instead of level based. It later got a release on SNES. Never did beat this.


Loved Whistler Brother’s (almost twice I think, where the levels are repeated, but the hazards are super fast). Sort of an Ico, well before PS2, where you have to keep your dim-whittled brother from killing himself by whistling him out of danger.


Orilie’s Mine is another slightly different take on the did dug genre, with the ever present threat of water flooding your tunnels. (Buried Buck has a similar mechanic, if you love blowing up your environment while flying a helicopter)

 

The Dreadnaught Factor is a criminally underrated shooter, I would argue, the best shooter bitd (new homebrews disregarded). There is the constant threat of deciding if it better to take out guns (so you can survive) or engines (to give you more runs)

 

protector II is sort of a Defender in a way. You need to save the humans by moving the to higher ground, or the volcano will get them. Not a difficult game, but fun.

 

Tank Commander is a fun single player experience. Blow into the enemies bases, fuel depots, and rival tanks. Call in air support when in a safe position. 
 

Hover Bover is a pac-man like, with a sense of humor. Strategically place your dog between yourself and your neighbor (and dog), whose mower you borrowed, to save you limited sprinting ability. Lots of mazes, although I seem to remember that the screen-burn in saver kicks on if you play too long, wrecking the colors.

 

Crush, Crumble, Chomp probably too slow for today’s standards, the build your own monster was the best part of the game. I remember creating a robot with regeneration and the 2nd best armor (with possibly only one other ability (Godzilla Atomize maybe?), because the point cost was so high). Robots had the advantage of not going crazy due to lack of tasty humans to eat.

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On 9/16/2021 at 12:50 PM, Heaven/TQA said:

All mentioned are not underrated ;) all classics and played for x hours…

 

what about Zenji, Spelunker, Cavelord, BMX Simulator, Dimension X,Trailblazer etc?

In my opinion Spelunker is much underrated. 

The game really works at the resolution of "160x200", but the gameplay very often made the player forgetting about that. 

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I remember I was surprised years ago seeing the relative low appreciation score for both The Extirpator and Blue Max 2001.

 

I loved both games in my youth a lot. And although The Extirpator has some (deliberately) code flaws in the control, i still like to play the game from time to time (wished there was an ingame feature,  love that tune... especially the bridge). Blue Max 2001 is still epic. I think it is awesome, but not as awesome as just Blue Max.

Edited by Marius
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Flak, a decent Xevious clone:

 

 

It's certainly better than the 5200 version of Xevious that was ported to the A8.

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22 hours ago, emkay said:

In my opinion Spelunker is much underrated. 

The game really works at the resolution of "160x200", but the gameplay very often made the player forgetting about that. 

 

I'm not sure it's particularly underrated; although some people may rate it as such for difficulty's sake.

 

It's actually using widescreen, so you gain a little bit from that too; but the big scrolling worlds are something... and something that was done to the point of nausea on the NES.

 

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3 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Flak, a decent Xevious clone:

 

It's certainly better than the 5200 version of Xevious that was ported to the A8.

 

I always liked how it quickly moves up to place where the last aircraft died.

 

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On 9/15/2021 at 4:15 PM, Beeblebrox said:

This game may or may not be under-rated but because of the slightly childlike element to it, it may well be.....

Alley Cat from Synapse Software in 1983.

 

Fantastic frenetic and varied gameplay with seemingly simple yet engaging mini sub games, great use of animation, colour and humour, not to mention sound effects.

I played it for the first time in 30 years the other day and it brought back so many memories.:-D

 

 

Alley Cat Screenshots for Atari 8-bit - MobyGames

 

Alley Cat for the Atari 8-bit family - YouTube

 

    Atari 800 XL - Alley Cat - YouTube

 

Abandonware Games / Alley Cat

 

Simply THE title that made me deeply regret having to sell my 800XL to fund the purchase of a C64. 

 

Missed playing it so much 😭

 

 

And to those who mentioned Capt Sticky's Gold and Tank Commander, I salute you. 

 

 

I'm going with:

 

 

Desmonds Dungeon 

 

 

 

Edited by Lostdragon
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@Lostdragon :grin:  The sub game in Alley cat I loved the most was the one where you have to attempt to drink the sleeping dogs milk from under their noses. Then probably the birdcage sub game. The animation and sounds effects for a this 1983 released game were definitely more accomplished than a lot of games at the time with their random bleeps!

 

I've seen it mentioned before but if only you could go back in time and show everyone at the time just what the A8 was capable of in the sound and graphics dept, (and in some cases depth of gameplay). Showing them platform/addenture games like Flob, Prince of Persia, Betties Issues, and the WIP's ADM and Great Giana sisters would have blown their minds. Of course that is not to rubbish many classics of the time.

 

Ah, to be a kid again with no other concerns aside navigating a small black cat around a giant block of cheese!:P

Edited by Beeblebrox
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