Category Archives: Atari 8-bit

Games for Atari 8-bit home computers.

Ultima Special

Richard Garriott‘s famous Role-Playing Game series began officially in 1981 with “Ultima” for the Apple II. It was a pioneering mixture of single-player adventuring, combat and levelling, with humble beginnings, starting out on early 8-bit systems and working its way up to modern PCs in the 1990s. The Ultima series was always evolving; always innovating, and constantly proving to be a considerable influence on story-based, single-player RPGs, and the fantasy adventure game market in general.

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Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, Atari 8-Bit

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar on the Atari 8-bit was ported by David Lubar (who created the excellent Pastfinder) and first published by Origin Systems in 1986. It is an excellent conversion of a brilliant game and is arguably the best Role-Playing Game on Atari‘s 8-bit home computer.

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Ultima III: Exodus, Atari 8-Bit

The Atari 8-bit version of Richard Garriott‘s Ultima III: Exodus was first published by Origin Systems in 1983. It again uses graphical artifacting (which the first two Ultima games did on the Atari), which results in it looking very similar to the Apple II original.

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Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress, Atari 8-bit

The Atari 8-bit conversion of Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress was developed and published by Sierra On-line in 1983, coming out not long after the original Apple II version.

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Ultima, Atari 8-Bit

Released in 1983 by Sierra On-Line, Ultima on the Atari 8-bit is more archaic and frustrating than the original Apple II version. And it looks pretty awful too, with a real lack of colour – especially in towns where the game is in monochrome unless you play on a machine (and monitor) that supports “artifacting“. In artifacting mode the dungeon and town graphics look similar to Apple II graphics, but they don’t really take advantage of the Atari‘s superior graphics capabilities.

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M.U.L.E., Atari 8-Bit

M.U.L.E. (meaning: Multiple-Use Labour Elements) is a classic business-based strategy game that mixes turn-based and real-time gameplay, and supply-and-demand economics, with multiplayer competition for up to four players. It was designed by the late Danielle Bunten Berry of Ozark Softscape and first published for Atari 8-bit computers by Electronic Arts in North America in 1983. Later, Ariolasoft published the game in Europe, and Bullet Proof Software published the game in Japan. M.U.L.E. was also converted to a number of other systems and has become something of a cult hit since its original release.

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Matrix: Gridrunner 2, Atari 8-bit

Jeff Minter‘s Matrix: Gridrunner 2 was unfortunately re-titled and marketed as “Attack of the Mutant Camels” for the Atari 8-bit North American market, which causes considerable confusion about this game even now. I’m sticking with the original titles, to avoid confusion, for the HESWare re-titled versions of Matrix.

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Hover Bovver, Atari 8-bit

Jeff Minter‘s early grass-cutting maze game, Hover Bovver, was first released by Llamasoft in 1983 for both Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit systems. Both versions are fairly pointless points-scoring exercises with gameplay and maze layouts that don’t really make much sense.

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Attack of the Mutant Camels, Atari 8-bit

The Atari 8-bit version of Attack of the Mutant Camels came out simultaneously with the Commodore 64 version, in 1983, and is pretty much the same game, but with a few graphical tweaks.

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