Sam's 5 Atari Games

Not sure what to play when you visit R-CADE? We have over 1400 games to choose from, here's a few of Sam's favourites that you might wanna try on your next visit....



Freeway


Similar to the more popular Frogger, Freeway is a rather literal representation of "How did the chicken cross the road?" Players have an unspecified time limit to try and cross a busy 10-lane motorway as many times as possible with a small yellow chicken. With no horizontal movements, I feel like the gameplay can be summed up as 2 steps forward, 1 step back. (FACT: If a player could score 20 chicken runs on either road 3 or road 7 of the original game, and send a photo to Activision, they would receive an iron on "Save The Chicken Foundation" patch. Featuring the Activision logo, and Freeway rainbow chicken logo!)





donkey kong


A historic video game, Donkey Kong didn't just provide fun entertainment, but was the origin story for 3 of gaming's most beloved icons. Players take control of Jumpman (the original name for Mario Mario) as he climbs rung after ladder rung to save the damsel in distress - Pauline. Climb ladders, dodge barrels and make your way through 4 different levels which represent the tower Donkey Kong has climbed to escape.


I'm a big fan of this title for its simple iconography. Many of our younger guests have never seen a joystick before, never encountered an Atari. But the name Donkey Kong is one they've heard, and the colourful purple and blue first level of this game is inviting to the young eyes. It's easy to explain the goal and mechanics, and is the right distance between achievable and frustrating to keep you playing as long as it takes!


adventure



Compared to many of our most popular Atari games, I enjoy how different the gameplay of Adventure is. Instead of moving purely left-to-right or aiming straight ahead, Adventure forces the player to use their memory and problem solving abilities to find their way through the many mazes. A seemingly simple concept, it's quite literally a game you can get lost in, wondering the halls of three different castles.


The end goal for the player is to find a golden chalice, stolen from their kingdom by an evil magician. Can you uncover the secrets of the 30 rooms?


Demon Attack


Think Space invaders but better. (Well, to me at least.) Demon attack takes the same format (2D fixed shooter) but introduces the enemy as demonic creatures materialising out of nowhere, rather than an ever encroaching alien race. Each level features different shaped Demons, each with their own style of attack and movement pattern. As each new Demon appears on the screen throughout each level, it is accompanied by an incredibly dramatic WHOOSH! a fun sound effect I'd never expect from an Atari era game.


I especially like our copy of the game in store, as the label has partially worn off, and so it's called "Lemon Attack". Don't be bitter if you lose.





E.T. The Extra-terrestrial


I do not like this game. It is bad. But it is the fact that it is bad that makes it a significant piece of the RCADE collection.


With a high number of cartridges produced but never sold, due in part to the poor performance of the game and also emerging industry competitors for Atari, E.T. is considered one of the harbingers of death for the North American video game industry. While it would eventually make a comeback, the urban legends of hundreds of unsold cartridges buried in the New Mexico desert was a sign that a video game legend of the past had met it's match.


A game that many want to try just for the history it represents, I'm proud to say this is one of the crown jewels of our Atari 2600 collection (even if it's more like the rough than a diamond.)


If you'd love the opportunity to play some of the best Atari games at home, our online store is currently chalk full of options for your perusal!





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