1980 - 1982
Images for larger view
Atari's Monte Carlo racing game,
putting a new twist on the video racing game. Now the player
navigates a winding track that they can only see a small window of the
size of the screen instead of a whole overhead view as before.
Vivid colors, realistic sound effects and even driver ratings.
8 Tracks to choose from, extended play, find fuel for extra time, plus
the operator could set various levels and languages as well.
was the first coin-op to offer an almost fully immersed first person vector
graphic gaming world. In fact, so realistic was
this game that is got the attention of the US Army who hired Atari to redesign
the game using simulated controls from a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and modified
the software with tragectory and other more real world combat settings
for training purposes. Ed Rotberg, a v.p. of engineering at
Videa, programmed both versions (arcade and army). He preferred
working on the original. "Battlezone", says Rotberg, "was the first
truly first-person game." Yet another first for Atari.
go back to November 6, 1979 when Asteroids, Atari's best selling coin-op
game of all time (70,000 units), was released. The story goes
that Asteroids was once a game called Cosmos. Actually, Cosmos
was once known as Planet Grab, in which you had to claim a planet by touching
it. Anyway, Ed Logg programmed Asteroids, Delman did the circuitry,
and Lyle Rains nursed the idea until rocks began swimming around in his
head. Asteriods Deluxe goes one better with newer features and harder
second bestselling coin-op game (50,000 units), Centipede is basically
Space Invaders with a Trak Ball. One of the few female engineers
in the business, Donna Bailey programmed it. "My main focus is graphics,"
she says. "For instance, I really like pastels, which is why there
are so many pinks and greens and violets in Centipede. I really
think the visuals should be arresting." Centipede
was a truly unique and colorful game, not only attracting the attention
regular gamers, but also appealing to female players as well.
Centipede has been re-released by Atari Interactive for the PC, Playstation
and the new Sega Dreamcast.
the success with its XY games Atari decided it was time to go techni-color.
Tempest was the first example of that. With its 96 levels and skill-step
innovation (you could start the game at a higher level if you wished),
Tempest carried the state-of-the-art banner until Zaxxon came along.
It was designed by Dave Theurer of Missile Command renown.
Tempest is also been converted many times. An unreleased version
of it for the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 consoles was made.
Atari Corp released it as Tempest 2000 for the Atari Jaguar 64, Atari Interactive
released it for the PC platform. It was released as Tempest
X for the Sony Playstation and a fully emulated version was included with
the recently released Atari Arcade Hits #1 by the all new Atari Interactive
owned by Hasbro. Tempest is one of the most sought after
coin-op games to own.
sure too Atari long enough to bring back a candy apple from Japan.
Dig Dug is the first confection Atari licensed since F-1 and Kangaroo was
their second. Meanwhile, Atari readied to license Racket
as well. The company dumped Tunnel Hunt on Centuri because
manufacturing was all booked --- or so they say.