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Atari Retro by Mobile Digital Media, Price: $29.95
Reviewed February 2004

Gamers who were born in the last couple of decades might wonder what's so great about this bunch of games that don't look like much compared to today's state of the art video games. But for loyal followers of the Atari games, Atari Retro will be like a homecoming. Developed by Mobile Wizardry and published by MDM, Atari Retro brings back the 7 most popular Atari titles that pioneered many game genres and inspired countless clones. The best thing about it is that you can go down this memory lane without using any emulator.

The 7 titles in the Atari Retro include Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Missile Command, Yar's Revenge, Adventure and Pong. For those of you who spent your entire childhood playing these arcade classics, you should be happy to know that this package is a true port of these games, and you can enjoy them just the way you remembered them. Although playing these games on the Tapwave Zodiac provides the closest feeling to the arcade experience, the Atari Retro runs very well on other Palm and Pocket PC devices. Most of the games have very simple controls and it's very easy to get into them regardless of your skill level. The game can be played in Easy or Difficult levels and there are some very nice title pages where you can navigate through all the titles, set sound volume and read help files.

The graphics stay true to the original arcade games. Since it's a direct port to the PDA, these games keep much of the original graphics, which include a black background, and simple graphics. Because these graphics are very simple, these games feel very zippy and responsive on PDAs. The game includes a nice launch screen that ties all the games together, a nice touch from the developer.

The sound effects are also in keeping with the originals, and seem very simple compared to today's rich music, voice dubbing and special effect capabilities. It will help to re-create the arcade experience for Atari fans, but it might annoy some of today's young gamers. The game plays well on all supported devices, which include Tapwave Zodiac, Treo 600, PalmOne devices, Pocket PC 2002 and 2003 and even the Nokia N-Gage, 6600 and 3650.

If you're wondering whether these games which seem graphics and feature-poor can do well, just consider the number of emulators and their great popularity! PDA owners seem to love retro games. Thanks to the game developer and MDM, these golden oldies can be played on your PDAs without an emulator. So, what's next? NeoGeo?

 

screen shot

Pocket PC

 

Palm
Symbian Series 60 phones

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics

Well, it's hard to give high scores when comparing the graphics to today's titles. But the nostalgia alone is worth the money. The port did a great job of keeping the games' look and feel like the originals.

Sound

Boy, the sound effects are really showing their age. For fans who are fond of the original sounds they will likely love the ones in this package. Those who aren't familiar with these games, might turn off the sound effects.

Fun Meter

It is undeniable these retro games still have a place in some gamers' hearts. Kudos to both Mobile Wizardry and MDM for bringing these old classics back to life on our favorite PDAs.

Addictivity

Seven of the most popular Atari titles in one package means that fans will enjoy a pretty long ride down memory lane. This is a great title to keep on your card and play once in a while.

 


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