My first game console was the Atari 2600, so it holds a special place in my heart, and it’s one of the platforms I emulate the most. It’s not that I play the old games heavily, it’s more for the nostalgia value and the occasional distraction. Atari has released their greatest hits on various platforms over the years (NDS, Gameboy, PSP, etc), they even released 2 dedicated consoles that look and operate like the original Atari console. Now Atari has released their Greatest Hits app for the iPhone and iPad. It’s free, but here’s the catch, you’ll need to in-app purchase the games. You can get groupings of the games or just buy all of them outright for $15.
$15 does seem like quite a bit for an app, but to be fair, you’re getting a whole lot of games. You get arcade games, like Tempest, Asteroids, Space Duel, Major Havoc, to name a few, and you get an extensive Atari 2600 collection. The 2600 collection gives you titles from Adventure to Yar’s Revenge. Each game has it’s own control scheme and orientation to fit the game, and as icing on the cake, each game has a gallery which shows images from the actual manuals or arcade cabinets. Some games even support Bluetooth multiplayer!
The app works both as a native iPad app and an iPhone app, and the app looks great on the iPad. The major complaint I’ve seen in other reviews have been with the controls, and there are some minor quirks with some of the games, but overall, it really isn’t bad. The developers did an admirable job putting in the custom controls schemes and orientations for all the games. Now if Atari can work out some kind of deal to get all of Activision, and Imagic’s games into this app, then I will truly be in retro nirvana, but for now this is pretty close.
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