Dec 8, 2011
At the risk of dating myself, I’m going to admit that I’ve been playing video games since the early eighties. In fact, some of my earliest memories involve playing video games with my family on our Atari 2600. In fact, games like Breakout, Missile Command, and Asteroids were a big part of my young life. As an adult, I’ve moved on to newer video games, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for the classics.
Atari’s Greatest Hits is an effort on Atari’s part to cash in on that sense of nostalgia many gamers feel for classic Atari games. The app itself is free, and comes with Missile Command with each of the 99 other available games clocking in at $0.99. If you’re REALLY into classic Atari games, you can get the whole bundle for $9.99, which is a pretty good bargain when you consider the price of the individual games.
The concept is great – put all of the best games Atari has to offer in one place so that anyone can have them on their smartphone. The execution, however, isn’t as flawless. Scrolling through the games is an exercise in patience. When you swipe to one side or the other to select the game you want to play, the menu will often speed past the game you were aiming for. Coupled with somewhat unresponsive controls, the twitchy menu can be pretty frustrating.
As for the actual gameplay, each game seems to have its own strengths and weaknesses. Missile Command has extremely responsive controls, but the section of the screen taken up by those controls is significant. Super Breakout, on the other hand, doesn’t take up a lot of screen space with controls (just slide your finger from side to side to move the paddle) but the game hitches and hiccups, which frequently results in botched moves, and missed balls.
Despite the handful of technical hiccups, Atari’s Greatest Hits is still a great way to get a little taste of nostalgia on the go. It offers up just about any classic Atari game you might want to play, and for the most part the game does a good job of recreating the look and feel of the original versions of these games.