Having recently got an Evercade, I'd love to share my thoughts on its many compilations so let's begin with the first; Atari Collection 1.
Atari Flashback Classics
Before getting to this Evercade compilation, I just want to mention that I'm a huge fan of classic Atari games and the best compilation of their vast library of classic titles by far is Atari Flashback Classics for Nintendo Switch. That collection contains 150 games including 32 arcade titles, 102 Atari 2600 games, and 16 games for Atari 5200. Not only that; you can control the paddle controller games with the touchscreen, play vertically via tate mode, enjoy local and online multiplayer, unlock achievements, rank in online leaderboards, browse full scanned manuals, and tinker with oodles of options. Unfortunately, Evercade Atari Collection 1 lacks all of these features; mostly due to hardware limitations. Therefore, if you want a truly epic Atari compilation, definitely get Atari Flashback Classics for Switch.Atari Flashback Classics Review
List of games in Evercade Atari Collection 1 01
- Alien Brigade *
- Canyon Bomber
- Crystal Castles
- Double Dunk
- Desert Falcon
- Food Fight *
- Missile Command
- Motor Psycho *
- Night Driver
- Ninja Golf *
- Swordquest Earthworld
- Video Pinball
- Yars' Return
* Atari 7800 game; the others are Atari 2600 games
With that out of the way, Atari Collection 1 includes 16 Atari 2600 games with many of them being console adaptations of their arcade counterparts. Right off the bat, this is disappointing since the arcade originals are timeless classics that have mostly held up beautifully and playing the Atari 2600 versions are primarily enjoyable for curiosity's sake as they frankly aren't anywhere near as fun. There are exceptions, though, such as Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command which live up to their arcade iterations quite well. However, games like Crystal Castles and Tempest pale in comparison to the arcade versions which is a shame because they're both excellent arcade games. The fact that they didn't include a handful of arcade games is pretty annoying because that would have made this pack much more worthwhile, especially considering you can play all 16 of the included Atari 2600 games on Atari Flashback Classics.Missile Command: Recharged Review Tempest 4000 Review
Atari 2600 games
Besides arcade adaptations, Adventure is a fun little maze game with cool item-based puzzles, Aquaventure is a goofy score chaser that was previously unreleased, Canyon Bomber is a kind of random game to play against the CPU, Steeplechase is an okay horse hurdle racing game, Video Pinball is pretty fun albeit with odd physics, Yars' Return is a fitting homebrew sequel, and Night Driver is a frustrating racer. Meanwhile, Double Dunk, Desert Falcon, and Swordquest Earthworld could all use better instructions as I found them to be unplayable without researching how to play them. Thankfully, Gravitar is an exceptional and surprisingly complex space exploration and combat game that's great fun if you're willing to put in the effort to master it. I wish I could say the same about more of these games.
Atari 7800 games
Finally, we have 4 Atari 7800 games which are the main attractions and act as solid incentives to purchase this compilation if you don't already own it. To be honest, the only one I played before is Food Fight and I own the arcade version for Game Room on Xbox 360. It's one of my favourite classic arcade games and this console version is pretty close to being as fun. Anyway, Alien Brigade is a light gun game where you just drag the cursor around the screen and it's fairly fun although playing with a light gun would make it much better. Motor Psycho is strikingly similar to Namco's Pole Position except you can jump which is nifty and last but not least, Ninja Golf is a crazy golf game that incorporates beat 'em up segments and bosses that play like arcade shooters. In fact, it's so much fun that it's probably my favourite game on this cartridge despite its rudimentary beat 'em up gameplay and occasionally irritating degree of difficulty.
As the first Evercade compilation, Atari Collection 1 certainly doesn't leave a promising first impression. Although it has a few delightful treats, it mostly consists of filler content and games that make Evercade's hardware limitations really stand out.
- + Includes a few fantastic Atari 7800 games that are enjoyable rarities
- + It's fun to see how Atari adapted their classic arcade games to console
- - Besides the Atari 7800 games, the game selection is quite subpar and common
- - Missing the far superior arcade versions
- - Games could use better instructions