Classic Gaming Consoles Redesigned as Cars

Here is something to ponder, what if classic video game consoles were made into cars?

Ponder no more, as Jennings FordDirect from the UK has answered our question – check them out!

image source: Jennings FordDirect

[story source: technobob]

 

Review: Atari Flashback Classics – Nintendo Switch

Up until recently Nintendo Switch owners had to watch and endure their contemporary console friends get their Atari classic gaming fix. Well, this is no longer the case!

The Atari Flashback Classics compilation is a collection of 150 Atari favourites for the Nintendo Switch. Taking full advantage of the Switch features, like vertical / TATE orientation (for compatible games), Switch owners now have lots to gloat about to their other console brethren. Let’s just say this straight off the bat – this compilation is choc-full of the legendary publisher’s iconic library of games, with titles from the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 home consoles, along with former Atari coin-op/arcade exclusives.

Of course we were always going to play Atari’s seminal arcade titles first! Well, the scrollable 11 page games menu had the arcade titles first, so it made the choice easier. If there is one gripe here, we just wish that that you could customise the games menu. Anyway, it was game on with Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Pong and Tempest (to start with), and boy, they did not disappoint! These classic Atari arcade games are perfectly converted on the Nintendo Switch, with impeccable controls (each game has a pop control area showing which map buttons to the correspond Switch controls). We also love the bezel artwork, which gives that authentic arcade feeling.

Speaking of artwork, the home console games (Atari 2600 and 5200) get their full box art on the menu and also come with their respective full manual. Some (not all) game manual scans are tad blurry, but it’s still a great example of conservation that helps turn this release into an almost museum-like archive.


source: Atari

Atari Flashback Classics has a slew of features, including a local achievements system, leaderboards and a local (up to four players) and online (two players) multiplayer. These features were designed to bring players together, just like back in the day – a neat little touch.

This massive library of classic Atari 2600, Atari 5200 and Atari arcade games is perfect for those Switch owners craving for a one-stop shop to play old school Atari games either at home or on the go. If you want a fix of classic Atari gaming on your Switch, then grab the Atari Flashback Classics now.

Disclosure: Atari Flashback Classics [Nintendo Switch] was kindly provided by UberStrategist for this review.

 

Film Review: Easy To Learn, Hard to Master – The Fate Of Atari

The story of Atari has been told many times, from books like Atari Inc: Business Is Fun to umpteen documentaries, but none tell the full and complete story as well as Easy to Learn, Hard To Master: The Fate Of Atari.

Narrated by revered Commodore Engineer, Bil Heard, this documentary delves deep into the Atari history like no other film before it. From Atari’s humble beginnings as Syzygy and the breakthrough of Pong, to the Atari VCS/2600 home console, its subsequent sale to Time Warner and downward spiral to oblivion in the early 80s.

The story is weaved perfectly with many points of view, including former Atari Inc. President, Ray Kassar, who had never told his side of the story prior to this documentary. This is quite important, as stories about Atari had always been told from their former engineers (like Al Alcorn) and co-founder, Nolan Bushnell, so it was refreshing to get management perspective from Ray and Manny Gerard. This is even more poignant as Ray Kassar passed away in December 2017 – making his story even more important when it comes to Atari’s history. Another poignant interview was with old foe, Ralph Baer (Died on December 6 2014), himself a great inventor and the grandfather of video games and the concept of home gaming consoles.

Other notable interviewees include Joe Decuir, Howard Warshaw, Ed Rotberg, Dannis Kable, Dave Rolfe, Eugene Jarvis, Steve Russell, former Nintendo of America President Minoru Arakawa and former Atarian and Activision co-founder, David Crane, to name just a few. If you don’t know the story of Atari or you would like the definitive history on Atari, then we highly recommend Easy To Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari.

Title: Easy To Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari
Director: Tomaso Walliser & Davide E. Agosta
Production: Junk Food Films

Review: Atari Retro Handheld

Let’s get one thing straight, this Atari Retro Handheld is not a Flashback portable console by ATGames! There, hopefully we have clarified this point for you all.

This cool Atari Retro Handheld is by powered by Blaze. With its iconic Atari faux wood veneer and Vader lines along its front, this portable system design screams late 70s kitsch. It is like having an Atari VCS woody in your pocket – almost! We say almost, cause you can’t really grab your old Atari 2600 carts and slam them in this handheld, but you can play one of 50 classic titles, including Asteroids, Adventure, Breakout, Centipede, Crystal Castles, Millipede, Sword Quest, Yar’s Revenge  and our absolute fave Atari 2600 game of all time, Missile Command – check out the full list of games below.

  1. 3D Tic-Tac-Toe (31 in 1)
  2. Adventure
  3. Air-Sea Battle
  4. Asteroids ®
  5. Black Jack
  6. Bowling
  7. Breakout ®
  8. Canyon Bomber ®
  9. Casino
  10. Centipede ®
  11. Circus Atari ®
  12. Crystal Castles ®
  13. Demons to Diamonds ™
  14. Desert Falcon ®
  15. Dodge ’em
  16. Double Dunk
  17. Fun With Numbers
  18. Golf
  19. Gravitar ®
  20. Haunted House ®
  21. Home Run
  22. Human Cannonball ™
  23. Maze Craze
  24. Millipede ®
  25. Miniature Golf ®
  26. Missile Command ®
  27. Night Driver ™
  28. Off the Wall
  29. Pong – Video Olympics
  30. Quadrun ™
  31. Radar Lock ™
  32. Realsports Football ®
  33. Realsports Tennis ®
  34. Realsports Volleyball ®
  35. Sprintmaster
  36. Steeplechase
  37. Stellar Track ™
  38. Street Racer
  39. Submarine Commander
  40. Super Baseball
  41. Super Breakout ®
  42. Super Football
  43. Swordquest: Earthworld ™
  44. Swordquest: Fireworld ™
  45. Swordquest: Waterworld ™
  46. Tempest ®
  47. Video Checkers
  48. Video Chess
  49. Video Pinball
  50. Yar’s Revenge ®

The Retro Handheld sports a 2.4″ screen, which surprisingly suits most of the games, however, there were a few that felt cramped on the tiny screen. The unit does come with a composite A/V out interface, so you can plug it into a TV (preferably a CRT) for some big screen action. Emulation was pretty much spot on, with the games playing like their cart counterparts. To round out its retro-ness, batteries, yes, batteries the AAA kind, are required to power this little Atari – relax, this isn’t like the original Atari Lynx, you’ll definitely get a considerable amount of playing hours out of 3 x AAA Duracell batteries.

We were a bit iffy when we first saw the controls, especially the funny looking d-pad nub. Once we started playing, the d-pad and the buttons felt good under the thumbs and were responsive. However, there was one game that was totally unplayable using the nub – not looking at you Pong! Apart from that little niggle, gamers will feel right at home with the controls. Oh yeah, one nifty feature is when changing games, you simply hit the Start and Select buttons at the same time and viola, you exit the current game and go back to the menu to select a new one – this was cool, as we didn’t want to turn off the unit every time we wanted to play a new game.

There will be some that will scoff at this little handheld and others that will absolutely love it for what it is – a portable little Atari that looks like your old Atari 2600 woody and plays your favourite games. We definitely love playing on it (bar the unplayable Pong!), even though we are not big fans of the current Atari SA company. If you can get past this, then this is a little winner.

If you are keen on one of these Atari Retro Handhelds, grab one from FunstockRetro right now! They will even throw in a limited edition Atari Centipede Gold Coin for free – but you better hurry, as this sale ends soon!

Disclosure: The Atari Retro Handheld was kindly supplied by FunstockRetro for this review.

 

An Atari 2600 Transforms Into The Lynx 2600

Retro Revolutions‘ resident console modder, Jarred Green has mashed the venerable Atari VCS / 2600 (4-switch) console with Atari’s powerful colour handheld, the Lynx, to create one drool-worthy and awesome system – the Atari Lynx 2600! Having an eye for detail, Jarred doesn’t do things by halves – he complimented his unique console creation with an equally awesome custom packaging (by Logan Hunt from NeonVision Design) that wouldn’t look out of place on the shelves at your local video games retailer!

So how does the Atari Lynx 2600 hold up? Is it durable? Does it play well? Do the Lynx handheld games translate well to console / TV mode? Well, what a better way to have answered these questions than by having the Atari Lynx 2600 available for play (Ed: you mean punishment!) during one of the biggest gaming events in the southern hemisphere, PAX Aus 2018!

The Atari Lynx 2600 was an absolute winner and a head-turner at PAX Aus 2018

Over the course of the three day PAX Aus event, the Atari Lynx 2600 was never left unattended, with gamers playing a swag of Lynx games, including California Games, with their reactions always being the same – huge smiles and just wowing at Jarred’s creation. The amount of positive feedback was actually quite overwhelming. Jarred was always on hand to answer questions from eager gamers, from how he made the console to being asked if he could create one or do a production run for them to buy one! Actually, you can lump us in that category – we want one too!

Retro Revolutions doesn’t do things by halves! The Atari Lynx 2600 comes in its own unique retail packaging!

For the technically minded, the Atari Lynx 2600 sports some very impressive specifications that take advantage of current technologies, including output via HDMI. As we mentioned earlier, Jarred’s eye for detail extends from the aesthetics (like the airbrushed logos and the 3D printed cartridge adaptor for the Lynx carts – by Extreme Consoles), customs ports (for VGA and HDMI out) and custom paint detailing, to the innards with McWill’s LCD mod (with VGA output), the VGA to HDMI scaler (for compatibility with current displays) and of course the mapping and wiring of the Lynx controls to the DB9 joystick ports. Oh yeah, the one-button Atari joystick didn’t cut the mustard, so Jarred used a NES control-pad (also custom painted to compliment the colour scheme of the console) to implement the Lynx’s two button control system – he really did think of everything.

We can’t compliment Jarred enough, cause this is one super impressive mod that not only knocked our socks off, but it knocked the socks off thousands of PAX Aus attendees that got to play it – you can’t get a better endorsement than that! And yes, the Atari Lynx 2600 survived PAX Aus!

The Atari Lynx 2600 creator – Retro Revolutions’ Jarred Green

So what’s Jarred’s next creation? He tells us that he will have something just as unique and just as jaw-droppingly awesome as the Atari Lynx 2600. Perhaps we will see it at PAX Aus 2019? We honestly can’t wait!

You can follow Jarred’s awesome mod projects via his Retro Revolutions social platforms on Twitter and YouTube.

Watch the vid to see how the Atari Lynx 2600 evolved from idea to console!

source: Jarred Green, aka: Retro Revolutions 

The one off Atari Lynx 2600 is carefully packed and ready to be unleashed at PAX Aus 2018

The only place on the planet where the Atari Lynx 2600 could be played – in the Classic Gaming Area at PAX Aus!

The feature rich Atari Lynx 2600 – even the unique box takes centre stage!

Initial test is a success! Of course we were going to play our fave Lynx game first!

Getting in control!

Ready for PAX Aus 2018 action!

The players are starting to chase some high scores

 

Ted Dabney: The Passing of Atari’s Silent Co-Founder

Last week news broke that Atari’s Co-Founder, Ted Dabney had passed at age 81. We wouldn’t usually post this type of news on here as it has already been covered enough by the bigger online media outlets. However, we didn’t want Ted’s passing to go unnoticed by our readers, as Ted’s importance to the video gaming industry is equal to his contemporaries, like Nolan Bushnell.

Ted Dabney co-founded the tiny electronics company called Syzygy Engineering in 1971 (renamed Atari in 1972) with his more famous business partner Nolan Bushnell. Ted and Nolan had previously partnered to program Computer Space, the first coin-operated video game ever brought to market. Computer Space was produced at the Northern California trivia game maker Nutting Associates, named after its owner Bill Nutting.

image source: RePlay Magazine

At Atari, Ted played his part, along with designer Al Alcorn (and Bushnell, of course) in the design and production of Pong, the first “hit” TV game which ushered in the age of video gaming. If you have read Curt Vendel and Marty Goldberg’s Atari Inc: Business is Fun, you’d know the background to Ted leaving Atari (Ed: It wasn’t pretty nor fair to Ted). But Ted being Ted, he never harboured any ill will towards Atari and went on to work at electronics firms outside the coin-op business. Ted preferred a simple life to the limelight that Atari should have afforded him.

According to the Huffington Post, Ted died of the esophageal cancer he’d been fighting. He and wife Carolyn had spent part of his remaining years operating a grocery store up in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.

May his legacy live on! Rest In Peace Ted Dabney.

 

Thrill Of The Chase: Retro Games Hunting In Brisbane

The Thrill Of The Chase feels great doesn’t it? That buzz you get never gets old!

A little while ago, we went retro games and vintage hunting in Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, aka: BrisVegas! So what did we find? Well, we found the Woolloongabba Antique Centre & Cafe before it moved and became the Camp Hill Antique Centre.

Luckily Ms Ausretrogamer was on the case (she found this place!), as she dug up and found a heap of gems I would have missed. Rather banging on about it all, we’ll let the photos do the talking. Enjoy!

If you intend on using any of the photos within this feature, please credit them back to this article – thank you.