AtariBlast!

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Rating 
8.1/10
Hits: 9,522
Downloads: 3,104
Votes: 57
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Comments (7)
Steve - 03/01/2021
Astounding! Truly an amazing feat of programming. Very addictive game too. The sprite handling, movement and colors are all very impressive for an 8 bit computer. A technical powerhouse. Fantastic shoot em up game best on the Atari 800 XL!
Andreas Koch - 18/12/2020
@Monk: There were two versions released. The first version only had the sound from Flimbo's Quest, the second version had different sounds. So, if you only hear Flimbo's Quest, then you have the older version of Atari Blast. Visit Atari Age forum to find the newer version...
Monk - 17/12/2020
OK, got it working on another emulator, and I have a lot to say - but as this is more like 'tech demo' than full game, I can't review this as 'game' per se.

I'll just preface this by saying that if this was a finished, polished product and full game, and certain tweaks were done, I'd play this rather than any C64 shooter (except maybe Wizball).

There are some curious choices, like the grating 'Flimbo's Quest' song that never changed even if you complete a level. What a weird choice for a spaceshooter song! Why not use some Konami classic, like the Nemesis musics of Space Manbow - or just compose something more appropriate from your own imagination?

This song conjures up images of some silly, 'trying-to-be-cutesy' platformer, not an impressive spaceshooter.

The pacing of the game is all over the place, but overall, things happen and move too fast. Although the spaceship and enemies are small, this speed, combined with the extremely blocky backgrounds, create a sense of claustrophobia.

The claustrophobia is worsened by the second level's 'too narrow tunnels' design. I realize the game designers were enthusiastic about the project, but they went a bit overboard adding stuff, so you feel like there's not much freedom of movement.

Your craft moves way too fast, but so do the enemies - to see how a shooter like this should and could be properly paced and have perfect speed (while still feeling fast), you can take look at Amiga's "Hybris".

The weapons don't sound or look very impressive or powerful, and the weapon sound doesn't change enough between different weapons. Also, sometimes the weapon looks like a block instead of well-designed 'blast' of some kind, so it looks like someone forgot to draw in the 'bullet graphics'.

The explosions do not look or sound very 'explosey', but that's not very important, when there are this many enemies being shot constantly.

Now that I have gotten the 'bad' out of the way, let's focus on the good.

Holy moly, this game is a small programming miracle, isn't it? It's so colorful and beautiful, the spaceship looks really good, the enemies are beautiful and colorful and fun to shoot at, everything moves extremely smoothly - I would LOVE to be able to try this on my real Atari - and the different levels show off different styles of gameplay, which I enjoy greatly.

The second level, if designed to give a bit more room for the player to roam around, slowed down the action a bit, with different music, would be on par or better than the arcade shooters, like R-Type or Gradius.

The title effect looks like something from the 16-bit systems, smooth and impressive, and everything flows nicely despite being too fast.

This tech demo really shows what Atari can do, and could've done a long time ago, if only it was given a chance. A polished version of a game like this would've charmed the pants off the C64 owners back in the day, and probably even now.

I don't really have any proper criticism, other than the 'car' format is a mystery to me, so I don't know how to play this on my real Atari, and the weird music and too fast speed and all those things I mentioned.

We never got the Xeo3 for Plus/4, C16 or any platform, but if this game was polished, it would more than make up for that sad loss. Anyone making claims about what Atari 8-bit systems can or can't do, should really look at this 'game', maybe some programmers' minds will be blown.
Monk - 17/12/2020
Is there, like, a web page, manual, guide or something to show how to get this working in emulator? I'd love to test it with my real Atari, but alas, the format seems too impossible for SIDE2 or SIO2SD.
Monk - 17/12/2020
"Into", your enthusiasm seems to precede your ability to write coherently. You are saying this is the best.. what? Tech demo? Game? I think it's a bit of a blanket statement to say something is the best, without listing reasons and doing side-by-side comparisons, proper analysis and such.

There are such wonderful games in existence, it's hard for me to believe that -this- game is the best of all of them.

Especially since it uses a format that nothing seems to support, and I can't use this on my real Atari 800 XL, but I can't even get the 'car' file to work on the emulator, so I can't really say anything about it.

A pity, as I love all these Atari games, like Scramble, Time Pilot, and so on.
Into The Vertical Blank - 10/06/2020
Another Paul Lay super classic. The absolute BEST game as a tech demo as a game you will ever see (so far) on the 8bits. What an incredible achievement. Get your joystick out, fire up an emulator or a CAR version on real hardware and start Atari Blasting!
silvio mogno - 21/11/2019
Woooooooooooooooow!
One of best A8 games ever!

Screenshots

AtariBlast! atari screenshot
AtariBlast! atari screenshot
AtariBlast! atari screenshot
AtariBlast! atari screenshot
AtariBlast! atari screenshot
AtariBlast! atari screenshot
AtariBlast! atari screenshot
AtariBlast! atari screenshot
AtariBlast! atari screenshot

Information

GenreShoot'em Up! - MiscellaneousYear2016
LanguageMachine LanguagePublisher[no publisher]
ControlsJoystickDeveloper[n/a]
Players1, DemoCountryUnited Kingdom
Programmer(s)

Lay, Paul

LicensePD / Freeware / Shareware
Graphic Artist(s)

Kong Tin, Harvey

Medium Cartridge
Sound

Szpilowski, Michał

Rarity
Cover Artist(s)[n/a]Serial-
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