Archive for the ‘Atari’ Tag
In BattleZone the player maneuvers a tank from a first person perspective through a battlefield, shooting other tanks, UFOs, and other enemies. The game is controlled by two joysticks, each of which controls one of the tank’s treads, and a fire button on top of the right joystick.
BattleZone uses a vector monitor mounted low in the cabinet with the screen pointed upward. The interior of the cabinet is designed to look like the inside of a futuristic tank, and the image from the monitor is reflected onto the rear wal of the cabinet.
BattleZone was designed by Ed Rotberg and produced by Atari in 1980. A modified version was used by the U.S. military as a training simulator for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
Asteroids Deluxe is the sequel to Asteroids. The gameplay is very similar: the player’s ship shoots at and destroys asteroids and flying saucers. Asteroids Deluxe adds another enemy – a ship which breaks up into six pieces, with each piece pursuing the player’s ship. The controls are basically the same, the exception being that hyperspace has been replaced with a protective shield.
Like Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe uses a vector monitor, but this time the monitor is in the bottom of the cabinet with the screen facing up. The image on the screen in backwards, and is reflected off a piece of glass angled at forty-five degrees, behind which is a brightly colored space scene which is illuminated by a black light. The reflected image of the monitor appears correctly oriented from the player’s perspective, with the game graphics seeming to float in space in front of the black light space scene producing a three-dimensional effect.
Asteroids Deluxe was designed by Dave Shepperd and produced by Atari in 1981.
In Asteroids the player controls a ship which shoots at asteroids and destroys them. The games uses a top-down perspective on a vector monitor. The ship is controlled using five buttons: left to turn counter-clockwise, right to turn clockwise, thrust to move the ship, fire to fire at the asteroids, and hyperspace which makes the ship disappear and reappear in a different spot on the screen. Each time the player shoots an asteroid it splits in two, until eventually the pieces disappear. There is also a UFO which the player must destroy before it destroys the player’s ship.
Asteroids was created by Lyle Rains and produced by Atari in 1979.
Tempest is a tube shooter vector game – a game which looks three-dimensional, but the perspective doesn’t change. The player controls a crescent or claw-shaped ship which moves around the near side of a geometric shape which stretches into the distance, shooting at approaching enemies, some of which trail spikes behind them. At the end of each level the ship flies past the geometric shape it was on during that level, and the player must move the ship to avoid any spikes left behind. The game is controlled by a spinner, a fire button and a limited use “superzapper” button which destroys all enemies on the screen.
Tempest was designed by Dave Theurer, who said it was based on a dream he had about monsters crawling out of a hole in the ground. It was released by Atari in 1981.
Star Wars was designed by Mike Hally and released by Atari in 1983. The player pilots Luke Skywalker’s X-wing fighter in the final battle from the 1977 film. First the player must shoot TIE fighters (in later stages including Darth Vader’s) as they fly toward the Death Star. In the next stage the player shoots towers and turrets on the surface of the Death Star. In the final stage the player flies down the Death Star trench, avoiding incoming fire and dodging catwalks across the trench, and finally firing the shot into the exhaust port, destroying the Death Star. Later levels repeat basically the same stages, but add more challenge.
Star Wars uses a vector monitor rather than a raster monitor, meaning that rather than using blocky pixels, the images on the screen are created by drawing lines from point to point. It uses several digitized voice samples from the movie in addition to the game’s music and sound effects. The game also uses a unique flight yoke controller with grips on both sides.
The first time I tried Dig Dug I didn’t expect to like it. A video game about digging? Come on. But once I tried it I found that I really liked it. The main character is Taizo Hori (in Japanese HORI Taizo, a pun on the Japanese phrase meaning “I want to dig!”), a miner in a white suit who carries an air pump and a shovel. The object of the game is to tunnel through the dirt and destroy Pookas (anthropomorphic red balls with goggles) and Fygars (dragons). The enemies can be destroyed by tunneling under a rock while they follow you, then moving out of the way so it drops on your enemies, or by inflating them with your air pump until they burst.
Dig Dig was created in 1982 by Namco and distributed in North America by Atari.
Marble Madness is a quasi-3D maze game in which the player guides a marble through all kinds of obstacles. One or two players can play at a time, each one controlling their own marble using a trackball.
Marble Madness was designed by Mark Cerny, a well known game player, when he was only seventeen. He taught himself to program in the Assembler language and went to work for Atari so he could create his game, which came out in 1984.