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Yautja

Most underrated game for Atari 8-bit computers

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21 hours ago, Level42 said:



However, I am always annoyed that another fantastic (but brutal) game from Russ Wetmore is always forgotten:
 

 

 

The main time for the Atari was on PAL Land. And on PAL the game is endlessly slow. 

While at NTSC speed, it is a nice challenging game, on PAL it looks like someone missed the point. 

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For me, Encounter! by Paul Woakes (Novagen / Synapse) is criminally underrated. Fast, fun, solid 3D with brilliant attention to detail. Still an awesome blast today.

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3 hours ago, emkay said:

The main time for the Atari was on PAL Land. And on PAL the game is endlessly slow. 

Was it really? I always thought that Atari 8-bit played third fiddle on most European markets. Perhaps in Poland when it came to the XE generation and prices dropped, but for the first 8-10 years, my impression was that A8 was just as much an US hit as it was popular in Europe, in particular since many of us over here had far less disposable income and to be fair, Atari never was cheap (and probably shouldn't be neither, given what you got for your money).

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11 minutes ago, carlsson said:

Was it really? I always thought that Atari 8-bit played third fiddle on most European markets. Perhaps in Poland when it came to the XE generation and prices dropped, but for the first 8-10 years, my impression was that A8 was just as much an US hit as it was popular in Europe, in particular since many of us over here had far less disposable income and to be fair, Atari never was cheap (and probably shouldn't be neither, given what you got for your money).

Yep.  My impression was that Atari 8bit was more popular in US during the 80s.  Plenty of games.  But as the 90s came around there was no more software in the US, but there was quite a bit from England and Germany and Poland. I kept being into Atari but started mail ordering cassettes from Euro distibuters by '89 or '90.  (and had to hack one or two to work on ntsc rather than pal) 

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24 minutes ago, eegad said:

Yep.  My impression was that Atari 8bit was more popular in US during the 80s.  Plenty of games.  

"More popular" speaks to relative -- and not objective -- commercial success, though. The A8 was a marvellous platform for 1979...and Atari, Inc. squandered all of that promise by dithering about and by making no real effort to market it to any type of audience. So it just sort of sat there in North America. Was it more popular than the Exidy Sorcerer and the Compucolor II? Yes. Was it more popular than the TI-99 4/A in total sales? Probably not, at least while they were sold concurrently.

 

Yes, there were plenty of games -- plenty of low-quality, and low-interest games, because home computer gaming hadn't really developed beyond arcade games in the early '80s. And then that development had a year-long hiatus because companies didn't want to risk developing for a company in bankruptcy, and after that the C64 took over, so the A8 got leftovers.

 

Yes, the A8 lasted for ages, and outlasted most of its competition, but it sort of stumbled through its life (especially after 1984) and was never really a market leader in the way we think of those things today. 

 

The A8 really didn't get a mainstream commercial push until the Tramiels came along, and North American consumers largely regarded it as an obsolete product by that point. North America didn't really have a budget home computer scene with 1 pound games, unlike Europe, so there was no real late '80s NTSC software development scene on any real scale.

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20 hours ago, Sugarland said:

Mazewar is a great multiplayer deathmatch shooter.  Far ahead of today's equivalents.  Was a free game afaik from Analog Mag.

 

 

👍 Love me some Mazewar!

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6 hours ago, Yautja said:

As said in the first post, maybe taking in account the total hits, downloads and ratings from Atarimania's rankings could serve as a reference:

 

http://www.atarimania.com/top-atari-game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-_G_8_H.html

 

- Y -

 

That's actually thinking in the Sandbox. 

Because today a bunch of hardcore 8-Bit enthusiasts voted for a game in a today's online database, doesn't usually mean that it fits to the reality 40 years ago.

Edited by emkay

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7 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

The A8 was a marvellous platform for 1979

Anecdotally, I've lately found out that the Atari 400/800 were introduced in Sweden during 1982, essentially a little after the VIC-20 and possibly concurrently with the first ZX Spectrum. Hey, the Atari 800 might've had perhaps 6-8 months advantage over the C64 rather than the 2.5 years you'd expect on the American market. Possibly the A8 was introduced much earlier on in the UK, Germany etc, as I also saw someone in Japan importing A8 quite early on.

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8 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

Yes, there were plenty of games -- plenty of low-quality, and low-interest games, because home computer gaming hadn't really developed beyond arcade games in the early '80s.

That's not really true. Strategy/RPG/adventure genres were very popular on the early micros, and A8 had many originals and ports from the Trinity. Stuff from Scott Adams, SSI, Epyx, etc, plus some innovative, brilliant games such as Ali Baba, Alley Cat, Star Raiders or Crush Crumble'n Chomp.

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9 hours ago, emkay said:

 

That's actually thinking in the Sandbox. 

Because today a bunch of hardcore 8-Bit enthusiasts voted for a game in a today's online database, doesn't usually mean that it fits to the reality 40 years ago.

That's why it says it could serve as a reference...

 

So, any other objective reference is welcome.

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6 hours ago, youxia said:

That's not really true. Strategy/RPG/adventure genres were very popular on the early micros, and A8 had many originals and ports from the Trinity. Stuff from Scott Adams, SSI, Epyx, etc, plus some innovative, brilliant games such as Ali Baba, Alley Cat, Star Raiders or Crush Crumble'n Chomp.

I guess I can agree with that, to some extent, but the A8 market was still awash with a sea of blah at that time. There were Atari's games...and then were those companies which were hell-bent on replicating the 2600 experience on the 800, complete with limited gameplay options and limited visual appeal.  And I'd replace Avalon Hill's library (almost always on tape) with that of SSI, as those games were everywhere. Infocom was certainly an outlier, but I didn't get into those games until they released Wishbringer.

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17 hours ago, sargie said:

For me, Encounter! by Paul Woakes (Novagen / Synapse) is criminally underrated. Fast, fun, solid 3D with brilliant attention to detail. Still an awesome blast today.

I love that game

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Necromancer,

7 hours ago, Heaven/TQA said:

me too... but its rated "high"

perhaps save the trees has something to do with it.... poignancy?

 

I never played it much and then I played it alot once I figured out what I was doing.

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8 minutes ago, RickR said:

 

Never played that one - the graphics have a very Bruce Lee look and feel (or should that be the other way around - I think this game is a year older).

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Just now, Stephen said:

Never played that one - the graphics have a very Bruce Lee look and feel.

Me either.  And I thought I had played them all.  This game looks great. 

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3 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

There were Atari's games...and then were those companies which were hell-bent on replicating the 2600 experience on the 800, complete with limited gameplay options and limited visual appeal.

It's true that there were an awful lot of games that fit in this box.   For as much as developers back then were pushing the 2600 capabilities, few were doing the same with the 8-bit.    A lot of the pre-83 have really bland color palettes too and I don't know why.   For a system with 128 colors to choose from, they somehow picked the muddiest-looking colors, and didn't use DLIs where it could have made an impact.  

 

Homebrew authors and demo coders have shown over the years what could have been.  It's too bad that relatively few commercial developers BITD were able to figure these things out.

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Do I need to point out that Orc Attack was part of the A8 High Score Club in ... July 2020? :D

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1 hour ago, RickR said:

Me either.  And I thought I had played them all.  This game looks great. 

It took me over twenty years to get this game on cartridge. Thorn EMI released a whole bunch of terrible games, and Orc Attack was released during Atari's "troubles", so I'm not surprised that most people in North America passed on this one even when it was available. That's a shame, as it really was, along with Computer War, their best release for the system.

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4 hours ago, Yautja said:

That's why it says it could serve as a reference...

 

So, any other objective reference is welcome.

Adjusting the metric measured in the "Top 100" to "by rating" leaves us with a much more reasonable list, but American input is still weighted much too heavily. I only counted one Polish game (and I've never heard of Vicky, so I have to check that one out), and any list that does not include MIDI Maze on it must be considered suspect. :) 

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17 minutes ago, davidcalgary29 said:

Adjusting the metric measured in the "Top 100" to "by rating" leaves us with a much more reasonable list, but American input is still weighted much too heavily. I only counted one Polish game (and I've never heard of Vicky, so I have to check that one out), and any list that does not include MIDI Maze on it must be considered suspect. :) 

I did this when I was looking for hidden gems, sort by rating, and the looked at Top 101-500. (Ignoring Arcade ports, since they are well known)

http://www.atarimania.com/top-atari-game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-_G_8_V_500.html

 

 

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On 9/15/2021 at 7:30 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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This is the only one I didn't know. Probably because is for Pal system.

 

All the rest games are good and popular, including the infiltrator.

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