The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

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The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby StickHead » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:14 pm

Out of 91 sumbmissions from forumites of four forums (atari-forum, Atari Age, Retro Gamer and Eurogamer) all nominating 5 games (in order) and being awarded the following scores:

1st - 5 points
2nd - 4 points
3rd - 3 points
4th - 2 points
5th - 1 point

the top 50 Atari ST games of all time have now come to light!

I will post them five at a time, so check back often! The first five contains a couple of curveballs, too. You have been warned!

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#50 - Rainbow Islands

Released: 1989
Developer: Graftgold
Publisher: Ocean
Genre: Platformer

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This sequel to the excellent Bubble Bobble ramps up the cute factor and continues the trend for arcade perfect conversion.

No longer trapped in dinosaur form, and with their girlfriends safely at home, Bub and Bob must take the fight to the enemy to rid their home - the once blissful seven rainbow islands - from the threat of the evil Shadow organisation. But how? Now that the boys are no longer bubble blowing dinos, how will they accomplish such a task? With the power of rainbows, that's how!

A push of the fire button and a dinky rainbow sprouts forth from your diminutive avatar. Hit an enemy with it and they're history. Trap them inside it and watch them get all steamed up - but don't worry! - jump on the rainbow and it will crush all in its path as it falls. Each enemy destroyed will leave behind something to pick up, either for points or power-ups. Power-ups include faster or multiple rainbows, trainers for extra speed, or stars that instantly shoot out in all directions, killing all enemies in the vicinity - very handy as you make your ascent to the zenith of each level.

Each of the 7 islands is split into 4 stages, the last of which is the home of a boss that must be defeated to reach the next island. Each island is themed and features colourful backgrounds an sprites, all moving about at a nice pace. Sound is nice too, a rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow tinkles away as you attempt to climb to the top of each stage.

Almost indistinguishable from its arcade parent, Bub and Bob's second adventure is one of the best platformers available on the ST and I'm surprised and appalled to see it poll so low. Shame on you!


#49 - Ultima V: Warriors Of Destiny

Released: 1989
Developer: Lord British
Publisher: Origin Systems
Genre: RPG

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Lord British is off galavanting again (probably on a quest for the Holy Buttered Crumpet Of Kukundu or The Sacred Cream Tea Of Nesbetaria, or something) and in his absence, an evil bod named Blackthorn has siezed the throne! So after a quick visit to the gypsy to determine your morality, you and your newly created party must endeavour to return the hapless British to the throne. You can also import old characters used in earlier Ultima games, so Griff Hornbonce, your beloved Minotaur warrior can crush orc skulls once again.

Those familiar with the prolific Ultima series will find no surprises here. Functional graphics and sound hide a deep, involving experience. You move your party around the map with the cursor keys, fighting monsters and finding towns and villages to explore, discovering helpful items and levelling up your stats.

Combat is a strategic affair, with each of your party taking it in turns to move and attack, cast spells or grab items dropped by fallen enemies.

Boasting a playing area twice the size of Ultima IV and the last game before the Ultima series adopted a truly bizarre and head spinning perspective, Ultima V's Britannia is well worth a visit.


#48 - Super Hang-On

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Released: 1988
Developer: Software Studios
Publisher: Electric Dreams
Genre: Racing

I'm a big fan of Sega's arcade racers; Outrun, Daytona, Virtua Racer, Sega Rally and Super Hang-On: they're big, brash and very, very loud, taking advantage of arcade hardware technology to deliver an audio/visual assault on the senses.

As a result, the home conversions - in the 8 and 16 bit eras, at least - pale in comparison. Without steering wheels, hydraulic cabinets, booming speakers, something is lost.

That said, there is no reason (with a bit of ingenuity and hard work) for the gameplay not to make it over intact, and Super Hang-On has a really good go. In the absence of a hydraulic bike to steer, the analogue control is delivered via the mouse with the left button to accelerate and right button to brake.

The frame-rate isn't exactly super smooth, but does not spoil the gameplay. However, longevity is an issue: there is little in the way of variety. I'm not sure how long you will be gripped by this, these days arcade racers are fleshed out with extra challenges, cars/bikes, tracks etc. but this really is just the arcade mode.

As it is, I will be playing this game, but it will only serve to punctuate my slog through the challenge mode of Outrun 2 on the XBox. Great fun in short bursts.


#47 - M1 Tank Platoon

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Released: 1990
Developer: Microprose
Publisher: Microprose
Genre: Tank Simulator

In 1989, if you wanted to get your hands on an Abrams M1 tank, it would set you back around $2.5 million. In 1990, however all it would take was £24.99 and an ST. If only Saddam knew... I bet he's kicking himself.

Gameplay is split between a real-time battle map, where tactics are formulated and tanks are despatched, and interior tank views, where you can control the driver, commander and gunner. You control one man and the AI sorts out the others. Initially, your comrades have all the accuracy of an A-Team villian, but when missions are completed, commendations are awarded which can be used to upgrade your troops' skills.

All the M1's toys are at your disposal: infra-red, smoke screens, laser detectors, laser sights, distance indicators and all the shells you'll need to teach those pesky reds who's boss.

As is to be expected from a Microprose simulation, attention to detail is excellent, resulting in an atmospheric experience. Visuals leave a little to be desired, the tanks themselves look fine, but the landscapes are strangely dithered, and other objects can be indescernable. As all important objects can be identified on the map, this isn't too damaging to gameplay.

Other reputable tank sims such as Team Yankee and Pacific Islands didn't even get within a sniff of the top 50, so M1 Tank Platoon obviously offered something special to you tank sim fans.


#46 - Auto Duel

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Released: 1985
Developer: Lord British
Publisher: Origin Systems
Genre: Strategy/RPG

Based on the classic Car Wars board game, Auto Duel is based in a dystopian U.S. future where cars determine your status and driving ability is the difference between life and death.

You start the game without a vehicle and must take part in the amateur night in order to secure the funds necessary to buy one. As soon as you have a set of wheels, you can start making some serious money. Further arena events and courier missions provide the player with the opportunity to make some cash.

The game has two play areas: the city, where the player can move around, purchasing weaponry, vehicles etc., visit the pub, or visit the arena to see if there are any events to take part in; and the driving sections, which are top-down, scrolling affairs where you will either be driving between cities, or taking part in arena battles.

How you upgrade your car will influence how you play: heavily armoured tank, or a light speedy number? Place your big guns at the front for a head on assault, or at the rear for those running like a chicken moments.

Another game - like Phantasie and Ultima V - That wears its age on its sleeve, the graphics look pretty much like an Apple II game (no offence, Apple fans!) and the difficulty is sky high. Plot missions are few and far between, so there is little story driving the action along.

For all its down points, Auto Duel does offer an open-ended player led experience that was way ahead of its time, pushing the RPG into realms not seen before. An early prototype for Grand Theft Auto? Maybe...
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby Greyfox™ » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:25 pm

A brilliant Survey so far..this should be published in a magazine mate..

Dying to read the next set of entries..

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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby bullis1 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:41 pm

I was waiting for this! There are some strange entries already. I love it!
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby gryhrstr » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:45 am

:D I was expecting a simple list. This is way better. You should be writing for the Wiki.

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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby bod/STAX » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:14 pm

This is great!!!

I too was expecting a simple list, keep up the good work.
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby StickHead » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:17 pm

Thanks for the positive comments everyone! Here are the next five: #45-41. Not quite as many surprises this time!

#45 - Pirates!

Released: 1989
Developer: Microprose
Publisher: Microprose
Genre: Strategy/RPG

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Before Sid Meier became civilized, he was a pirate. No, not the hacking, software-stealing, cracktro-scroller-writing kind, but the "Har-har me hearties," peg-leg, beard, parrot and eye-patch variety.

A wholesale conversion of the C64 original, it was a truly groundbreaking game featuring a sand-box style open-ended gameplay that snared many for hour upon hour at a time. Would you stay loyal to your country, or turn to piracy? Would you make your fortune by trading legitimately, or by hunting for buried treasure?

Set in the Caribbean during the Sixteenth century, tensions between the four colonizing countries: the Netherlands, England, France and Spain can be exploited for profit and power. Alliances will be formed and broken, and as a result, you must shift with the times, ever looking for the next opportunity to step up the next rung on the ladder.

A nice touch is the lack of definite end to a game of Pirates. Instead, your character's fighting ability will slowly fall, and it will become harder to recruit new crewmen, forcing you to consider retirement. Upon retiring, Your performance in the game - indicated by your accumulated wealth and power - will dictate your future career: Anything from Beggar to King's Advisor.

Mr Meier really was (is?) the master of this style of game and this, along with Civilization and Railroad Tycoon is part of a canon of superb sand-box strategy games.


#44 - Phantasie

Released: 1985
Developer: Logical Design Works Inc.
Publisher: Strategic Simulations Inc.
Genre: RPG

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"When sorcery ruled, and trolls and minotaurs still walked this Earth, a party of six intrepid adventurers set out to find the Nine Rings and use them to destroy the Dark Lord."

Nine Rings, eh? Sounds familiar...

Your quest begins in the town of Pelinor. A quick visit to the local guild to recruit a merry band of fighters, thieves, wizards and the like, pop into the bank to use the cashpoint, spend your cash in the armoury and away you go.

After leaving Pelinor you are presented with an overhead map where you can use the cursor keys to explore the surrounding area. This is where the similarities to the Ultima series really start to show up. This isn't just a carbon copy though, many new features can be found in this early ST RPG: Multiple attack styles, overhead dungeon views, and Town screens where you can click on the doors of the buildings to access the services on offer. Banks hold your money for you (duh...), guilds give you access to new party members, mystics can give you prophesy and armouries will sell you sharp things to poke kobolds with.

Random encounters in the game's many dungeons trigger the game's turn-based combat sequence, where you must choose an action for each of your characters to perform. Thankfully, your party remembers their actions and you only need to reassign if you want them to do something different or your wizard runs low on magic points.

A nice RPG with some unique qualities, deep and involving without being too complex.


#43 - Cannon Fodder

Released: 1993
Developer: Sensible Software
Publisher: Virgin Games
Genre: Real-time strategy

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War! Good God y'all, what is it good for?.. Well, for having fun, apparently.

Jon Hare's seminal war-em-up sees you take control of a squad of soldiers armed with machine guns, grenades and rockets. Control is via the mouse, one button to issue a movement command, and the other to fire. Briefings are simple; mission goals rarely stretch beyond "Kill all enemies" or "Destroy stuff" though occasionally there are hostages to rescue. Missions provide challenges through more devious means, often requiring the player to split his squad into separate teams.

Complete a stage and the surviving troups will receive a promotion, improving their range of fire - invaluable in later, more challenging fire fights. So although there are plenty more troops available to replace casualties (literally queuing up alongside the graves of your dead men), it really hurts to see General Jops bite the bullet, leaving you with a grunt that couldn't hit a barn door at twenty paces.

Courting controversy at the time of release amongst those mentally challenged by the concept of irony, and villified by the British Legion for using the corn poppy on the title screen (Virgin removed it from the box shortly before release), this game is worth playing just to see how touchy the press were concerning video games in the early 1990s.

Unfortunately, the ST version suffers from horrific jarring screen-flip whenever moving horizontally spoiling what would have been a great conversion. There is a nice sampled tune to listen to at the beginning, but in-game sound is minimal - tinny gunfire and strange boings when an enemy soldier is hit.

Having said all that, the simple gameplay mechanics of move and shoot, intuitively delivered by the mouse allow for incredibly fast paced action as you move and shoot in all directions independently. In later levels, you will find yourself in scrapes that have your heart pounding and your mouse ball on fire as you battle to save your veterans.


#42 - Stardust

Released: 1995
Developer: Bloodhouse
Publisher: Daze Marketing Inc.
Genre: 1995

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Stardust looks bloody amazing. For any of you who lament at how Atari dropped the ball with the ST 'Enhanced', this shows just how incredible the machine could be in the right hands. The game is a visual treat from the off.

Screaming demo-crew, Stardust begins with a Star Wars style intro screen that puts many official Star Wars games from the same era to shame. The use of palette shifting and the STE's extended palette is exemplary in title screens and backdrops, and the raytraced (not real-time obviously) sprites give this game a real sheen.

Behind the gloss is a nice little Asteroids clone, that reminds me more of Blasteroids in its overall feel. Shoot asteroids and they split into smaller ones - we've all done it a million times, but Bloodhouse have added power-ups, a variety of new enemies and a nifty bonus level that sees your ship flying into the screen, with gameplay more akin to Tempest.

An old-school blaster ironically released towards the end of the Atari STs lifespan offers up classic and fun gameplay wrapped in copious amounts of glitter and tinsel.

#41 - Bloodwych

Released: 1989
Developer: n/a
Publisher: Image Works
Genre: RPG

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The fact that you can play Bloodwych in split-screen two-player mode lifts this dungeon crawling RPG above the glut of Dungeon Master clones that appeared after FTL's classic.

After beginning the game, each player must choose their avatar: Warrior, Mage, Adventurer or Thief, and their colour: red, yellow, green or blue (which determines the character's proficiency at certain spells). Once you have picked your hero, you are then free to mingle amongst the other characters, have a chat, and ask them to join your party.

You can even talk to enemies as you are exchanging blows and - with the data disk expansion - try to persuade them to join your party. Also, traders can buttered up with flattery and persuaded to lower the price of their wares.

The graphics are fine, although your viewpoint is limited to a small window even when playing alone, and the animation of NPCs is laughable, bobbing about like cardboard cut-outs on lollipop sticks. A large chunk of the challenge comes from the labyrinthine nature of the levels; identicle wall textures used throughout mean disorientation is your constant (and irritating) travelling companion. Mapping is essential (if you're a complete geek) or find a ready made map online (if you're not).

It may not be easy to find a friend who will indulge you in a day-long romp through Treihadwyl castle (I asked my wife but she told me to get bent) but if you have an equally RPG-obsessed friend, then you are both in for a treat.
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby Greyfox™ » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:21 am

keep'em coming..loving the reviews....none of my picked games have showed up yet (they must be lower in the list, hehehe)...so I'm dying here to see if they get in the list... :coffe:

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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby bullis1 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:15 pm

At first I was disappointed that you didn't post the whole list at one, but in retrospect this is much more entertaining. I'm looking forward to the next batch.
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby StickHead » Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:44 pm

Here's the next five, some of my favourites in here (not in my top five though). Glad you're enjoying it!

#40 - Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge

Released: 1990
Developer: Magnetic Fields
Publisher: Gremlin Graphics
Genre: Racing

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Lotus: A name synonymous with style, elegance, and speed. And the game is no exception.

There is an impressive opening sequence with a very realistically rendered Lotus flashing at you (oo-er) and a run down of the Esprit's specifications, all the while, Ben Dalglish pours some of his aural nectar into your ear. Very nice.

Top marks for presentation then, but what's the game like? It's a split-screen racer in every sense of the word, as you are confined to half of the screen even in one-player mode. However, this enables the games pseudo-3D engine to belt along at break-neck speeds, and you never feel cramped when opting to play with a friend.

With you starting 20th of the 20 cars on the track, each race features plenty of overtaking. Each time you collide with a computer controlled car or track-side obstacle you slow to snail's pace, so precision manoeuvring amongst the crowd is a must. A small gripe: even if an opponent runs into your arse, you will slow down and he will speed off, totally unaffected by the encounter.

As you race you will need to watch out for rocks and puddles, road works and tight corners on rolling hills. Also keep an eye on the fuel gauge; during longer tracks a pit-stop may be necessary.

The pit-stops, lap-based tracks and lack of time limit make this my favourite of the Lotus Turbo Challenge Series.


#39 - Speedball

Released: 1988
Developer: Bitmap Brothers
Publisher: Image Works
Genre: Future sports sim

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Kind of like a double-hard futuristic version of hand-ball, Speedball impressed many with it's metallic sheen when released in 1988.

Whether you choose to participate in a league or knockout competition, your goal is the same: grab the ball, lob it down the pitch to your forward and chuck it into the net, nobbling as many of the opposition players as possible while doing so. The tokens strewn about the floor of the arena serve to spice things up a little. They have a variety of effects, from automatically giving you the ball to reversing your opponents controls (a personal favourite). The presentaion of the game is superb considering its age. The menu systems are adorned with tough looking blokes clad in armour accompanied by a decent Whittaker tune. The in game graphics are also superb, with some nice animation effects on the ball dispenser and pickups.

The game's automatic player selection can be a little annoying at times, especially near your own goalmouth when it can be a little confusing as to which player/goalkeeper you are controlling. Unlike its sequel, Speedball's playing field was only the width of a single screen and just a few screens high, resulting in a very claustrophobic pitch with nowhere to hide. This makes each match more frantic and tense than the last as your opponent's abilities improve.

Speedball introduced the 16-bit market to the cyberpunk dystopia: a design concept which proved to have quite some mileage in the world of video games...



#38 - Nebulus

Released: 1988
Developer: John M Phillips
Publisher: Hewson
Genre: Platform/Puzzle

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Some games are easy, some are difficult. Then there are those that are so ball-crushingly double-bastard hard that it seems they were invented to punish you for daring to put it into the disk drive and having the gall to switch on your ST.

For instance, take the opening seconds of this game: upon taking your first few steps, a platform disappears below your feet; you plunge into the water and lose the first of your precious three lives. No warning; no little cracks on the platform to suggest it may disappear; no time to react and jump off. Just instant unavoidable death. JMP, you git.

And this pretty much sets you up for all that follows. You control a cute little green pug-nosed alien who must reach the top of a cylindrical tower in order to destroy it. You can climb up steps, jump over gaps, use lifts and doors to facilitate your ascent, but all kinds of nasties will attempt to obstruct your progress. Their touch is not fatal, but will send you toppling down the tower, and should you fall into the water at the bottom, or run out of time before you reach the top, you can kiss one of your lives goodbye.

As hard as Nebulus is, it's also an absolute gem, and very, very addictive. The pleasing intro music, sound effects and pleasant cylindrical rotating tower effects central to the gameplay all add to the charm of yet another JMP classic.


#37 - Player Manager

Released: 1989
Developer: Dino Dini
Publisher: Anco
Genre: Football Sim

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Anco's Kick Off was a revelation when it was released; up until its release, football games were a ponderous affair. The injected speed of Kick Off is also present in Player Manager. This game is to Kick Off what Sensible World Of Soccer is to Sensible Soccer.

You are an ageing ex-division 1 midfield general who has taken the plunge into the high-stress world of football management. At the beginning of the game you can choose to control yourself or the whole team and change the names of your club or your rivals.

The only thing missing from this game is the 'after-touch' introduced in Kick Off: Extra Time. I find it really hard to make those killer through balls and clinical finishes without this touch of extra control. So while the extra depth added to a standard game of Kick Off is welcome, I would rarely choose this over a game of Kick Off 2.


#36 - Gods

Released: 1991
Developer: Bitmap Brothers
Publisher: Renegade
Genre: Platformer

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This certainly has the mark of a Bitmap Brothers game (swish intro with tracker tune, steely blue palette, well realised sprites and backgrounds) and this will certainly divide gamers. Usual Bitmap style over substance, or the mark of maverick developers at the top of their game? I'll let you decide.

From the off it's clear that this isn't a classic action platformer. The hero moves slowly, almost clumsily in his quest to earn immortality from the gods, and the time he takes to turn around is initially infuriating (not to mention his inability to fire while crouching). Your avatar's cumbersome nature is there to be overcome, and with practice, and perseverance, navigating the sprawling levels with their switches, locked doors, booby traps and ladder after ladder will become second nature.

As you traverse through the dungeons, you will come across many power-ups that will aid you on your journey: more daggers to throw, speed-ups, extra health, or divine powers to obliterate your enemies. Keys and other items must also be obtained to enable your progress.

The graphics really are excellent, pushing the STs 16 colour palette to its limit, and the in-game sound effects are very atmospheric. Initially, play this game for eye-candy and after a while its irksome annoyances become its idiosyncratic quirks then its unique charm. Give it some time and it grows on you. Like some sort of ancient greek fungus.
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby teh3pwner » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:28 pm

yeah, GODS made the list, its my favourite game
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby karadoc » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:07 pm

This list is pretty good. I'm enjoying the game descriptions. There's already quite a few games that I enjoyed playing back in the day. Bloodwych was my #1. (Incidentally, mapping is _not_ essential. There are other ways to find your way through the mazes. My friends and I didn't use any maps.)

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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby StickHead » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:53 pm

I suppose your right, mapping isn't essential for Bloodwych, but it is very easy to get lost if you don't, and trial and error approaches to games annoy me.

#35-31 Coming up:

#35 - Colonial Conquest

Released: 1987
Developer: Andromeda Software
Publisher: Strategic Simulations Inc.
Genre: Strategy

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This sort of game is far from my usual field of expertise. Indeed, I had not even heard of it before receiving its nominations. Oh well, join me on this little sortie out of my comfort zone...

When the game begins, you can choose your scenario (Standard game, 1880: The race for the colonies, and 1914: The brink of war) which dictates the status of each of the major powers and how many colonies they possess at the beginning of the game. Six different powers can be controlled by humans or by the ST: England, Germany, France, USA, Japan, or Russia. You can also set the length of your game, by altering the winning score: a 500 point game will typically last half an hour, but longer games are available: 1000 points, 1500 points and an unlimited game, which will presumably continue until you are the sole surviving major power.

Colonial Conquest is a turn-based strategy game, and each turn gives you the opportunity to move your army and navy around in order to invade and hopefully capture enemy territories. During the build phase you can add to your military might by building more fleets and recruiting more men.

Combat isn't the only option available to your neighbouring territories, Subversion can be used to bribe a minor territory into joining your cause, and Aid can be given to countries in order to persuade them to resist your rivals.

These alternative approaches add much depth to the game, and it is easy to see why it occupied a lot of ST strategy fan's time during those early years.


#34 - Xenon 2

Released: 1989
Developer: Bitmap Brothers/Assembly Line
Publisher: Image Works
Genre: Shoot-em-up

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Xenon 2 has fallen a little out of grace since software houses stopped making commercial releases for the ST. If this poll was held in the early nineties, I'm certain it would have finished much higher. So what happened?

The graphics are certainly up there with the best, scrolling is smooth featuring parallax backgrounds, and the sound (from the excellent opening tune from Bomb The Bass to the high quality spot effects) is of a high quality. Nice touches pervade the entire game. The ship and its weaponry are excellently animated, and each level and its nasties are well designed, each with a distinct theme.

Gameplay is far from lightning quick, the screen scrolls downwards quite slowly, and your ship feels sluggish, despite the two speed-ups given to you at the start of the game. When enemies are defeated they deposit bubbles which can be collected and used as cash in the shop. The power-ups are nice and varied and experimenting with different ship setups adds replay value.

Deaths are often caused by enemies' unpredictable flight paths as opposed to their firepower, and when they appear from behind without warning, this feels a very cheap way to increase difficulty.

Overall, though, I feel that this game represents high quality vertical shoot-em-up action on the ST and the Bitmap backlash has treated it a little unfairly. Not the best shooter by some measure, but a solid, well presented game nonetheless.


#33 - Championship Manager '93

Released: 1993
Developer: Domark/Intelek Data Research
Publisher: Domark
Genre: Football Management Sim

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I was both surprised and delighted by the position of Domark's second game in its Championship Manager franchise (now known as Football Manager).

Criticised at the time of release for being a glorified spreadsheet due to its non-graphical nature, extensive statistics and tables of data, '93 was the first in the series to feature real players, teams and staff (thanks to Intelek's input). The extra realism took a very accomplished simulation and made it the most compelling, addictive and deep football management game ever made.

Up to four players can play, choosing to manage any of the league clubs in the four English divisions. Start as Premiership contenders, where both the stakes and expectations are high, or pick a lower league club and take them to glory? The choice is yours.

For me, this game represents a perfect balance; acheiving an accurate simulation without compromising on the fun. Transfers are quick and easy: just choose the amount you want to bid, highest bid wins and the player is transfered instantly, no waiting around like in later CM games. Also, you won't be asked to micro-manage, assign training routines or any of that tiresome nonsense, just buy your players, pick the team and formation and away you go!

The games presentation may put some people off (even the original Football Manager on the Speccy rendered the highlights of each game for you to watch) and once you find a successful formation, the game can become too easy. Each new career can take up to 20 minutes to start as the ST calculates all the player data, and their are some minor bugs (my game's player history often showed that several players had played for Aston Villa in 1900, and occasionally crashed when trying to access club history).

As is often the case with games that stretch the boundaries, there are flaws, but few games of this era had this kind of scope and depth. A must for all the Ron Managers out there.


#32 - Vroom

Released: 1991
Developer: Dan McRae
Publisher: Lankhor
Genre: Racing

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Vroom by name and Vroom by nature, the impression of speed in this Formula One racer is unrivalled by another game on the ST. Zooming through tight tunnels at top speed really gets your heart pounding. This game really needs to be seen to be believed. The screen even tilts backwards and forwards in response to your acceleration and braking!

The game comes in two flavours: Arcade and Racing. In Arcade mode, you must overtake a set number of cars before the race is over in order to qualify for the next. In Racing mode you are forced to use the mouse (ouch) which is a more precise control method, but takes a lot of getting used to. You are placed in a tournament amongst some (almost) familiar names and must earn your place on the grid with a qualifying session, then earn points according to your place at the finish line over a season of six races.

Indicator lights at the side of your cockpit will tell you the condition of your tyres and engine and a gauge at the top of the screen shows your remaining fuel. Over rev your engine, run low on fuel, or crash into the trackside objects and you may have to pit. Miss the pit at these crucial times and you can kiss the trophy goodbye.

Nice touches like the wing mirrors that actually tell you what is behind you, working speedometer, and the option to race against a friend via null modem link rounds off an exhilarating experience that must be sampled by all ST racing fans.


#31 - Typhoon Thompson

Released: 1988
Developer: Dan Gorlin
Publisher: Broderbund Software
Genre: Shoot-em-up

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Dan Gorlin (of Choplifter fame) is responsible for possibly the quirkiest game of the list so far. A transport ship has gone AWOL on a distant ocean planet leaving only a single survivor - a baby - the titular Sea Child.

All previous attempts to recover the baby have failed due to the planet's hostile inhabitants and their determination to hold on to the baby. Here is where you, the fearless (though from the opening sequence, somewhat press-ganged) Typhoon Thompson, step in. With the help of the Spirit Guardians and the weapons they provide you in return for magical artifacts, you must take on the sea sprites.

You control your hover sled with the mouse as you scoot about the pseudo 3D environment at quite a pace. You must locate a pod and shoot it, releasing a flyer. Destroy the flyer and out pops the sprite which you must capture before he returns to the pod. When you have all of the level's sprites on board, you can confront the King, who will give you the artifact you need.

Initially, controlling your sled is difficult and frustrating, but nicely animated comical sprites and neat gameplay elements - you can force your sled under water if the action gets a little too hot - make this curious game worth a punt if your after something a little different.
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby karadoc » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:33 pm

I was inspired by this list to have another shot at Typhoon Thompson. I remember playing it back when it was first released. I just finished playing it then and I must say that I'm somewhat disappointed. It doesn't live up to my memories of it at all. I remember it as being action packed and exciting, dodging, aiming, shooting, diving, strategies involving the different weapons etc... when I played it today it was nothing like that. The game is extremely easy. I finished it in one go, in one 15 min sitting, without ever being hit by any enemies at all (it recorded my time as 13:30). Furthermore, most of the game suffered from major slowdowns due to the number of swimming sprites on the screen. There are different weapons, and different enemies; but no thought or strategy is required to make use of them. In fact, my winning strategy today was very basic: spam-shoot the enemies using the standard gun whenever they are on the screen, use a sprite magnet once every 5-10 seconds, collect sprites whenever it is safe. I didn't use the freeze or scatter guns at all except to see what they did. The sprite magnet is so powerful that no sprite ever makes it back to its island, so there is no threat of respawn.

So as I said, the game was too easy for my tastes; and just yesterday I was telling a friend of mine about how old games were typically very challenging, and that it was a real achievement to win them and blah blah blah, and that new games are made so that any clown can win, so that even the most unskilled player can enjoy the content, and how I prefer the challenging games because then the victory is far more rewarding etc. etc. etc... oh well. I suppose not _all_ old games are hard.

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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby Grunaki » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:44 pm

karadoc wrote:I was inspired by this list to have another shot at Typhoon Thompson. I remember playing it back when it was first released. I just finished playing it then and I must say that I'm somewhat disappointed. It doesn't live up to my memories of it at all. I remember it as being action packed and exciting, dodging, aiming, shooting, diving, strategies involving the different weapons etc... when I played it today it was nothing like that. The game is extremely easy. I finished it in one go, in one 15 min sitting, without ever being hit by any enemies at all..


Yeah, I find that too - I retrogame a fair bit and I quite often find that games I found punishingly hard back when I was a youngster or a teenager are frighteningly easy nowadays.

My friend used to get ticked at me when I fired up the speccy emulator when he was over and put on some classics we used to play back in the day.. He was like, "oh ya bastard! I used to love this game and had great memories of it, but now it's total poo!" - which I guess can happen in some cases. It's a risk you take, but generally I can get over it. (I find the 'Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge' games pretty pants now for example and I used to play them a lot back in the day..)

I guess playing more involved and graphically superior games and improvements in reflexes, reaction times and lateral thinking as you get older make some of the problems that used to hang you up as a kid simple to solve..

Edit: Just played the ST version of 'Rolling Thunder' and it was TERRIBLE!! Sadly, I really used to like this one back in the day - it's bloody Tiertex who are are to blame though - they should be dragged out and shot! :x :x
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby Mug UK » Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:14 am

Tiertex were responsible for an awful lot of awful ports to the ST/Amiga/8-bit series. But if there wasn't a market (at the time) for these awful ports, they wouldn't have been attempted I guess.
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby cb » Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:09 am

muguk wrote:Tiertex were responsible for an awful lot of awful ports to the ST/Amiga/8-bit series. But if there wasn't a market (at the time) for these awful ports, they wouldn't have been attempted I guess.


They are also well known for creating Supercross 3D on the Jaguar. One of the worst games ever made on any system.

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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby Muphex » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:34 pm

cb wrote:
muguk wrote:Tiertex were responsible for an awful lot of awful ports to the ST/Amiga/8-bit series. But if there wasn't a market (at the time) for these awful ports, they wouldn't have been attempted I guess.


They are also well known for creating Supercross 3D on the Jaguar. One of the worst games ever made on any system.

http://www.ataritimes.com/article.php?showarticle=219
http://www.gamezero.com/team-0/final_wo ... s_3-d.html


Jesus H Supercross 3d was without a doubt one of if not the worst game i have ever played on any system ever.....ever.

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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby cb » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:51 pm

Muphex wrote:
cb wrote:
muguk wrote:Tiertex were responsible for an awful lot of awful ports to the ST/Amiga/8-bit series. But if there wasn't a market (at the time) for these awful ports, they wouldn't have been attempted I guess.


They are also well known for creating Supercross 3D on the Jaguar. One of the worst games ever made on any system.

http://www.ataritimes.com/article.php?showarticle=219
http://www.gamezero.com/team-0/final_wo ... s_3-d.html


Jesus H Supercross 3d was without a doubt one of if not the worst game i have ever played on any system ever.....ever.


Double Dragon V is pretty awfull as well. Not from Tiertix though. :lol:
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby StickHead » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:07 pm

At the time, the typical thinking for most developers/publishers when purchasing a popular license seemed to be "It'll sell bucketloads whatever we do, so there's no point spending too much time/effort on this." Most evident in film licenses, thankfully some arcade conversions slipped through this net and provided versions that do justice to the source material. Perhaps Rolling Thunder wasn't one of these, or maybe the ST wasn't capable of a faithful version.

I actually quite enjoyed Rolling Thunder back in the day. I remember it being atmospheric and unlike anything else available on the ST at the time. I'm scared to play it again now, though - I can see those perceptions crashing down.
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby bullis1 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:59 pm

StickHead wrote:At the time, the typical thinking for most developers/publishers when purchasing a popular license seemed to be "It'll sell bucketloads whatever we do, so there's no point spending too much time/effort on this." Most evident in film licenses, thankfully some arcade conversions slipped through this net and provided versions that do justice to the source material. Perhaps Rolling Thunder wasn't one of these, or maybe the ST wasn't capable of a faithful version.

I actually quite enjoyed Rolling Thunder back in the day. I remember it being atmospheric and unlike anything else available on the ST at the time. I'm scared to play it again now, though - I can see those perceptions crashing down.

Even the later games in the series, such as Rolling Thunder 3, should be entirely possible to run on the ST platform. There really isn't anything technically impressive going on.
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby Grunaki » Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:35 am

StickHead wrote:I actually quite enjoyed Rolling Thunder back in the day. I remember it being atmospheric and unlike anything else available on the ST at the time. I'm scared to play it again now, though - I can see those perceptions crashing down.


The gameplay isn't THAT bad, it's mostly the friggin' awful background music that makes it unenjoyable for me now.. (I think it would run more smoothly if you could switch that warbly garbage off as well... :? )
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby StickHead » Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:53 pm

#30 - Mercenary 2: Damocles

Released: 1990
Developer: Paul Woakes
Publisher: Novagen Software
Genre: Err... Cataclysm prevention simulator

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Sandbox games are ten-a-penny these days, and games are readily lambasted for being linear if they don't offer a gamer choices, different ways to accomplish goals, or freedom to explore. But in 1990 Damocles offered an entire star system of nine planets in which you could fly from one planet to another, enter its atmosphere and zoom over continents and seas looking for cities, fly down to a city, land at an airport (or crash onto a patch of grass, if your piloting skills are akin to mine) and walk about on foot, or drive a car to buildings which could be entered and explored, items looted or bought.

If I said that Damocles world was incredibly rich, I'd be telling a porky pie. There are no people (or NPCs of any kind) around at all (handily explained away by the plot, which I will come to later) and many of the cities and buildings are obviously procedurally generated and completely baron of any interest. Even so, this game world was truly breathtaking when first encountered.

Part of said game world is currently under serious threat from the appropriately named comet, Damocles, which is on a collision course with the densely populated 'M' class planet Eris. Obviously, many people have a vested interest in Eris' survival, and should you succeed in preventing its destruction you will become unimaginably rich. In line with the game's open-ended gameplay, this can be achieved in many different ways.

The old Mercenary engine (this game's predecessor) has received a complete overhaul, and now features filled vector graphics moving along at a nice pace - only slowing when a lot of detail is on screen. While planet side you will witness the passage of time, sunrises, sunsets, and moons will orbit the planet, all adding to the atmosphere.

I'm not sure it's possible on current hardware, but the prospect of a remake of this game on modern technology would blow my mind. I wonder what Paul Woakes is up to these days?

#29 - Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe

Released: 1990
Developer: Bitmap Brothers
Publisher: Image Works
Genre: Future sport sim

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The original Speedball introduced us to the eponymous uber-violent steel-clad sport, and the sequel picks up the very same ball and runs with it. And runs. And runs some more. Then kicks someone in the face, and runs a little further.

Superficially very similar to its prequel, Speedball 2 has the same metallic sheen and the aim is still to score goals while staving your opponent’s heads in. However, there are a number of improvements. Speedball 2 is one of those rare beasts: a sequel that improves upon the original in almost every way: the pitch is larger, with more features, like the multiplier loop, stars, golden ball nodes (which make the ball a lethal weapon) and more power-ups; each team has more players; League and Cup modes feature a roster of players which you can train and others you can buy; League mode has two divisions, making promotion a possibility (though strangely relegation is simply game over); and best of all, you can actually send your opponents players to hospital. Nothing beats seeing your rival's star forward (who he has just spent thousands of credits on) crying in a bloody and broken mess on the floor as two med-bots scrape his remains off the floor and cart him off.

I usually try and find a fault here in order to give at least an illusion of balance or objectivism, but I'm really struggling. Oh, I've got one! There is a bit of a difficulty spike when jumping from division 2 to division 1. That's it... Sorry.

Such is the brilliance of this title; a friend of mine refers to the ST as 'The Speedball Machine' and - much to my chagrin - refuses to call it anything else, often offering to superglue the disk in the drive for me. "Why does the machine even have an eject button?" he would quip. Git.


#28 - Populous

Released: 1989
Developer: Bullfrog
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Strategy

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Say what you like about Peter Molyneux and his hyperbole, he is a video game visionary and has been striving to create something unique and ground-breaking his whole career. Sometimes he has stalled (though still a great game, Fable disappointed many), sometimes he has come within a hairs-breadth (Black and White broke ground with compelling gameplay mechanics and fascinating user interface, but actually wasn't that much fun) and every now and again, hit the nail square on the bonce.

Populous was a revelation (no pun intended) when it was released in 1989. Not the first God game by quite some distance (Intellivision's Utopia predates it by seven years) but certainly the game that gave the genre a boot up the proverbial and made people sit up and take notice.

Evolved from an isometric terrain editor that Molyneux had been playing with where you could raise and lower the turf (the simplest divine power in the finished game), the game sees you take control of a god who cannot issue direct commands to his subjects, but must influence his civilisation through other means: levelling land to enable the folks to build homes, placing religious artefacts to encourage their movement to other areas, and helping your little fellas get along in life by sticking the boot into their enemies.

The godly powers are ingeniously wicked in design and can be used in devious combinations to bamboozle unwary opponents: earthquakes, swamps and volcanoes are all predictably destructive, and you can ordain knights who fight extremely dirty, burning all in their path. Floods are great, providing you have built your own land high enough. Can't be bothered to play a level to its natural conclusion (the destruction of one of the two races) then a good Old Testament style Armageddon is what you need to sort the men from the boys (interestingly, Molyneux envisions the end of the world to be a massive football hooligan style brawl).

Populous has a solidity of design and execution rarely seen in games from any era. Its magnificence is evident from the first moments of the first game. It just wills you to keep playing. I introduced this game to a ten year old last month, and he is addicted already, shunning his previous favourites Rome: Total War and Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2. And I haven't even touched upon its multiplayer mode.


#27 - Falcon

Released: 1987
Developer: Sphere Inc.
Publisher: Spectrum Holobyte
Genre: Flight Simulator

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Falcon is no pick up and play arcade blaster, as a peek at the huge manual and extensive keyboard overlay will tell you. When it was released in 1987, Falcon was heralded for its realism and smooth filled vector graphics.

Falcon also featured modem play so you could dogfight with a friend who owned any version: Mac, PC, or Amiga. If you were lucky enough to own 1 meg of memory, you could open up the black box after a failed mission to see where you went wrong.

If you're a flight sim virgin (ahem, like me) you can adjust the difficulty by choosing your rank. Lowly Lieutenants give you infinite ammo, and makes you indestructible, so it's just a matter of pointing the plane in the right direction and away you go. Colonel is a different barrel of fish altogether, you will encounter realistic flying conditions and enemy planes will chew you up like a pack of juicy fruit. Sphere boasted at the time that the enemy plane's AI was based on real Soviet fighter manoeuvres.

Originally supplied with 12 missions, 2 expansion packs were also made available featuring more missions, planes and scenery.


#26 - Gauntlet 2

Released: 1989
Developer: Domark
Publisher: US Gold
Genre: Shoot-em-up

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Gauntlet on the Spectrum was my first taste of cooperative multiplayer gaming, and from my first ghost slaying I was hooked. Gauntlet, Bubble Bobble, Streets Of Rage 2, Guardian Heroes, Rainbow Six, Halo: co-op gaming has provided me with some of the most enjoyable moments (and through-the-night marathons) of my on-going gaming career.

Gauntlet is the definitive top-down dungeon crawling hack'n'slash (though really a shoot-em-up), so what does its sequel offer? Dragons, that’s what... double bastard-hard ones, too. All players (up to four - a bit of an ST rarity) can choose who they control, so no more squabbling over the Valkyrie, and there is a greater variety of dungeon, with some new pickups and monsters (my personal favourite is the 'It' monster - whoever it touches is it and all enemies swarm to him like Retro Fusion attendees to the bar).

The XBox Live version of Gauntlet does not hand out continues like the Ice cream man handed out bubblies, instead opting for a 'if you die, that's it' approach which is rather hardcore (read 'horribly unfair') but does add tension and a challenge, the home versions could have done with at least an incentive to hold on to your health - but then, there is always the scoreboard.

One might say that unlimited continues would diminish the enjoyment/challenge of any Gauntlet game, but we never noticed: we were always looking forward to the next dungeon. "Will there be a dragon?" "Don't be selfish, I want some potions too." "Why did you shoot the food again, you Joey?" And so on. The game was so much fun we weren't worried about the challenge, or how the game would end.

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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby Grunaki » Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:41 pm

#30 - Mercenary 2: Damocles

I liked this one back in the day, but it always pissed me off that the clock goes into overdrive when you fly out of the planet's atmosphere - it's like "let's go for a buzz around the Solar System.. Whoops, splat, there goes the planet." - Ok, I know you CAN continue to play once the timer has expired and explore to your heart's content, etc, but then it's a bit boring and pointless..

I never really got into this one back in the day, and I tried to pick it up recently but the agedness of the 3D engine put me off.. Same with the other Freescape games - (Driller, Dark Side, Total Eclipse (Tusker? Was that one?)) - they were ground breaking at the time, but nowadays they're a bit too basic.

#29 - Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe

This got a lot of play back in the day as well.. It's still fun to fire up for a buzz now and again.

#28 - Populous

Loved this one. I played it half to death, but I seem to remember my disk had a glitch on one of the later levels so I could only get so far. I had 'The Promised Lands' expansion disk as well, with the French Revolution and Wild West scenarios (as well as a couple of others I can't remember).

Other decent God-Games - Powermonger (well, more 'Chieftain' than 'God', but same perspective as Populous) and Mega-Lo-Mania.

#27 - Falcon

This was one of my favorites as well. I graduated from this to F29 Retaliator and F19 Stealth Fighter. I like the Missile View as you watch it smash into your target.. :)

#26 - Gauntlet 2

Oh yeah - classic. I had one of the 'Multitaps' that fit in the printer port. Had a fair few late-night 4-player bashes on this one - and lots of games of 'Tag'.. :)
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Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby StickHead » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:15 pm

#25 - Bubble Bobble

Released: 1987
Developer: Software Creations
Publisher: Firebird Software
Genre: Arcade Platformer

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Bub and Bob's first adventure is a high quality arcade conversion (like Rainbow Islands, its younger brother) that did an excellent job of bringing all the cutesy fun home to your beige (and definitely not cute) box.

The hokey plot takes a backseat in this platform cute-em-up, the play mechanic is what shines here. Baron Von Blubba has turned you into a dinosaur and your chosen method of violence is the ability to blow bubbles encasing your enemy, and then popping them. Simple, and ingenious.

Augmenting this simple combination of bubble blowing, baddie popping and platform hopping is some seriously deep gameplay. Everything you do in the game has influence on what is going on: the amount of running and jumping you do, the amount of bubbles you blow, how quickly (or slowly) you complete a stage all have an influence on what happens next.

The physics behind the scenes really add to the experience: some stages are 'bubble stages' that convert all loose bubbles into collectables when the last nasty is dispatched, each level has its own convection currents that push the bubbles around the screen, a bubble burst whilst touching another will burst that bubble and so on, there are so many nifty features.

The pick-ups are great too: Fruit gives points (the more baddies popped together, the higher the available points), sweets upgrade your bubbles (faster, longer higher rate of fire), running shoes increase speed, candy canes offer big end of level bonuses, umbrellas skip levels, the list goes on and on.

There are so many subtle nuances and tricks to learn that this game is still showing me new things today, and I've been obsessed about it for over 20 years!


#24 - Buggy Boy

Released: 1988
Developer: Tatsumi Electronics Co.
Publisher: Elite Systems Ltd.
Genre: Racing

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Racing games can often be accused of taking themselves far to seriously. Not so Buggy Boy - It's ridiculous and down right silly. Race against the clock as you collect flags in the right sequence, pass through gates that give you points or more time, boot footballs, jump off logs over gates and trees, avoid barrels and boulders, speed through tunnels and over bridges.

With five courses to choose from, you must reach the goal via five legs of varying terrain using your two speed Baja buggy. Only the later courses will offer a challenge to complete, but as you learn how to exploit each course for points, the urge to return and improve scores will provide replay value.

Graphics are not mind-blowing but clean and clear - not without charm. Sound is minimal: whiny engine, spot effects for collisions, flags, gates etc. and the odd bit of music.

Buggy Boy is fun, and one of the few racing games that works brilliantly as a score attack game.


#23 - Time Bandit

Released: 1985
Developer: Bill Dunlevy
Publisher: Michtron
Genre: Action Adventure

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Time Bandit is often described as a Gauntlet clone, which is a little unfair, seeing as the original Time Bandit appeared on the TRS-80 in '83 way before Gauntlet saw the light of day.

As the bandit, you are tasked with travelling through time to 16 different levels separated into 6 eras, defeating their guardians, collecting treasure and recovering artefacts. You control the bandit with the joystick, limited to just four directions, using the fire button to shoot the guardians. The top-down viewpoint scrolls around to reveal mazes and puzzles of the 'find-the-key-to-the-door' variety.

The two-player mode adds extra interest, and you can choose to play cooperatively or to blast your pal into next week and keep the artefacts all to yourself.

Retro gamers will delight in the discovery of the Pac-Man level, Centipede pastiche and surprising text adventure elements.

Time Bandit is certainly showing its age, but in 1985 it was groundbreaking, offering both fast paced action and a sprawling world with levels which could be tackled in any order the player wished.


#22 - Lemmings

Released:
Developer:
Publisher:
Genre:

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Original concepts don't come along very often in video games. Even at the tender age of eleven, the first time I played Lemmings I knew I was witnessing something special.

Like most truly great ideas, the premise is very simple: guide your band of hapless rodents across some tricky terrain to the exit by issuing them with a stock of eight orders. You could order lemmings to climb, float, explode, block, build, bash (horizontally), dig (diagonally down), and tunnel (vertically).

Cunning level design had you using combinations of these orders (sometimes restricted in availability) in order to succeed, many levels having multiple solutions. Later levels will be seemingly impossible until a new technique is learned or new implementation of an old one realised.

Lemmings’ visual appeal is timeless: Expertly animated little sprites against well drawn backgrounds. I'm currently playing the homebrew conversion of Lemmings on my DS and it still looks fresh. Hilariously appropriate children's nursery rhymes and other familiar melodies accompany your rescue efforts along with the occasional splat or pop.

After developing the excellent shooters Menace and Blood Money, Lemmings would shoot DMA design (now known as Rockstar North) to super-stardom, giving them the scope and financial backing needed to produce their seminal Grand Theft Auto franchise.


#21 - Microprose Formula One Grand Prix

Released: 1992
Developer: Geoff Crammond
Publisher: Microprose Software
Genre: Racing

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Time - perhaps more accurately, emulation - has been very kind to Geoff Crammond's Formula One Grand Prix. While offering the first truly immersive F1 experience with practice, qualifying, racing and car tweaking all deeply involving; the slow frame rate shatters my rosy memories. The 3D engine was truly breath-taking at the time, but when I return to it now I find it very difficult to enjoy.

Never fear, this is where the excellent Steem emulator steps in. Under the 'Machine' tab in the options menu you can set the CPU speed of the emulated Motorola 68000 CPU from 8Mhz all the way up to 128Mhz. A little experimenting with this to find the optimum speed, and a smooth racing experience is yours!

This is the closest the ST gets to an accurate racing sim, but still manages to be accessible. When first learning the game, the game has many assists turned on: auto braking, gears, visible racing line, no damage etc. and as you begin to learn the accurately modelled tracks you can switch them off one by one until you are in full control. Incidentally, I was playing Forza motorsport on XBox earlier today that has a very similar assist related difficulty setting. F1GP was obviously very influential.

Real driver names and teams are not featured (this game did not acquire the FIA licence) but a nifty edit feature means that you can keep everything up to date. Personally, I just like to put Schumacher in so I can repeatedly run him off the road.

Full seasons, lots of cars on track, Working mirrors, realistic collisions with flying debris, weather conditions, car tuning and replays with multiple camera angles all added to this superbly definitive F1 driving experience.
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New Developments and old inspirations in Atari ST gaming.

ppera

Re: The top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Postby ppera » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:07 pm

Fine reviews.
I can just add for F1 GP - it was really great sim. for his time, and big step forward. I played it a lot. However, it was not so realistic. Some parts of tracks were ideal to easy overtake computer opponents (at hardest level too). I was able to win with 3 laps ahead of all others at highest level, easily.
When I got later PC version, it was much harder. No way for so easy wins...

P.S. can we get some less dark text on site? It is almost unreadable with black background.


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