Forget your fancy polygons, bloom lighting and words like “MMO” and “FPS.” Back in the old days, we had two dimensions, a limited color palette and that’s the way we liked it, dagnabbit!
That’s the sentiment Atari’s trying to channel with its latest app release on the Android and iOS platforms, the Atari’s Greatest Hits portal. Through it, mobile owners can get a peak at a gallery of classic Atari games like Asteroids, Pong and the like. Remember when your video game controllers had a joystick and one button?
Don’t be fooled by the app’s description in the iTunes Store and Android Marketplace: You’re not getting any of these games for free. You can download the full 99-game package for $9.99 (each individual title usually includes four or five games. Centipede, for example, is a four-game title.) or do individual downloads for 99 cents per title.
The interface on both the Android and iOS platforms relies on the touchscreen to provide a joystick and one button necessary for any of the titles downloaded. In my experiences, the joystick works well enough in titles like Asteroids where full 360-degree control is necessary, but be wary of games like Centipede where you might find your characters standing still because your finger slipped off-center.
The Atari’s Greatest Hits app is available on the iTunes Store and Android Marketplace now.