Atari 8bit Gaming Gems Vol 1: 25 Great Games + Notes and Ratings

25 of our favorite Atari 8bit games. One per year for the first 25 years. Many more videos to come, exploring the entire library up until today. If your favorite isn’t here, tell us below. It will probably show up in a video later in the series. There are A LOT of great Atari 8bit games

Atari 8bit Gaming Gems Vol 1


Outlaw / Howitzer
Genre: Shoot’em Up! – Miscellaneous
Publisher: APX
Year: 1979
Our Score: 8/10
Notes: Dave Crane’s first A8bit game. Great version of Outlaw. + get a version of Tank!

Space Invaders
Genre: Shoot’em Up! – Space Invaders
Publisher: Atari
Year: 1980
Our Score: 8/10
Notes: Very good but different version of Space Invaders

Mars Mission 2
Genre: Scramble
Publisher: APX
Year: 1981
Our Score: 7.8/10
Notes: AKA Mars Mission 2 Antic 1984

Kid Grid
Genre: Amidar
Publisher: Tronix
Year: 1982
Our Score: 7.9/10
Notes: The first Amidar style game we had or purchased, and still our favorite

Gateway to Apshai
Genre: Actions RPG
Publisher: Epyx
Year: 1983
Our Score: 9/10
Notes: Should have been re-released as XEGS cart. Great action RPG!

Genre: Single Screen Arcade
Publisher: Atari
Year: 1984
Our Score: 9/10
Notes: A 5200 port. Makes great use of all the features of the machine. A perfect XEGS cart even if it had to be renamed.

Genre: Asteroids + Robotron+Mr Do
Publisher: US Gold
Year: 1985
Our Score: 8,7/10
Notes: A great, unique arcade game

Crystal Raider
Genre: Arcade – Platformer (Multi-Screen)
Publisher: Mastertronic (UK)
Year: 1986
Our Score: 9/10
Notes: instant A8 Classic By the same person who make Twilight World and Slingshot. 50 levels or arcade puzzle solving. Collect all the the crystals on each level. Be careful. The jump mechanics are perfect. The difference between mid 80’s UK Atari games and most later ones is shown here. I had heard about this game, but never played it. Its an instant Atari classic of the highest caliber. Great sounds and game-play. It’s doesn’t try to be an NES shooter or Platform game, it is it’s own game. Recommended as a GEM, but a difficult and challenging one – for the puzzles, not the controls or cheapness.

Genre: Gauntlet
Publisher: Tynesoft
Year: 1987
Our Score: 8.8/10
Notes: Combo Berserk and Gauntlet. Battle ghosts, pick up battery packs and find your way out of each room. Fun and very much a classic on the A8. I ran out of fire power on screen 3 and died on 4 when I could not find more. This should held up as a classic, but you never hear about it. Brian Jobling of Zybex and Draconus fame did this one too.

Dawn Raider
Genre: Shoot’em Up! – Horizontal Scrolling
Publisher: Atalantis
Year: 1988
Our Score: 8.3/10
Notes: Very cool – Very much a hard as ballz helicopter version of a Zeppelin style game.

Battle Ships
Genre: Classic re-imagined
Publisher: Mirage
Year: 1989
Our Score: 8.7/10
Notes: Like the ST Epyx version

Genre: Scrolling platformers
Publisher: Zeppelin
Year: 1990
Our Score: 9.5/10
Notes: Should have been an XEGS Cart! A very playable, well made platform scrolling adventure.

Genre: Arcade scrolling Platformer
Publisher: Zeppelin
Year: 1991
Our Score: 9/10
Notes: A fun, well done action planform scoller

Genre: Horizonal scrolling shooter
Publisher: ASF
Year: 1992
Our Score: 9/10
Notes: Wow, Hi res, needs some pm color and music, but awesome

The Last Guardian
Genre: Vertical Shooter
Publisher: LK Avalon
Year: 1993
Our Score: 9/10
Notes: One of the best of its kind on the XE. Excellent graphics sounds and FX, Hard as Ballz. Good power up to find if it was easier to tell what you can fly over and what you can’t. Chris Murray is an A8 genius.

Johnny the Ghost
Genre: Brain – Logical / Puzzle
Publisher: ANG Software
Year: 1994
Our Score: 8/10
Notes: Looks really good. Nice puzzle / arcade game. Mostly puzzle. Good music!

Tube Baddies
Genre: Arcade – single screen
Publisher: Arcade – Miscellaneous
Year: 1995
Our Score: 8.5/10
Notes: Patch the pipes shoot the baddies and try to knock them in to the bin below. Excellent all around.

Genre: Arcade – Collect’em!
Publisher: MAD Soft
Year: 1996
Our Score: 6/10
Notes: Well made but incredibly difficult and thinking maze game. Find the object and avoid the baddies. Not much else. The best of 1996,

Genre: Arcade – Bomberman
Publisher: GMG
Year: 1997
Our Score: 8/10
Notes: Great Bomberman Clone. Requires 2 people or more.

Genre: Arcade – Collect’em!
Publisher: Sente Software Group
Year: 1998
Our Score: 7/10
Notes: Well done little arcade game. Slim picking in 1998 though

Magnetit 2002
Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: Raster
Year: 2002
Our Score: 8/10
Notes: Really well done. Need to study and test what each object does do do well.

Fairy Castle
Genre: Arcade – Platformer (Multi-Screen)
Publisher: Henryk Karpowicz
Year: 2003
Our Score: 8/10
Notes: Really nice arcade platform adventure.

Beefdrop Demo Ver.
Genre: Arcade – Platformer (Single Screen)
Publisher: Siders
Year: 2004
Our Score: 10/10
Notes: Excellent Burger Time clone

Missile Command+
Genre: Shoot’em Up! – Crosshair
Publisher: Atari / Paul Lee
Year: 2005
Our Score: 9/10
Notes: Hack that adds three bases and multiple new options and controls

Venus Express
Genre: Arcade – Collect’em!
Publisher: Eeben/Nadj/Kay
Year: 2006
Our Score: 7/10
Notes: Good Thrust like game

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