There are some truly great Atari game compilations out there so let's see if this second Evercade collection can stand out in the crowd.
Atari 2600 classics
First up; let's take a look at a few classic Atari 2600 games. The one most gamers should be familiar with is Millipede and the iteration here is okay although quite rudimentary. That'll probably be a running theme in this review; how many of these games are inferior to their arcade counterparts but I'll try not to harp on the subject. Anyway, Haunted House is a cult classic and it's pretty fun to play for nostalgia reasons. Meanwhile, Yars' Revenge is a classic that I remember playing when I was younger and its quirky shooting is still enjoyable.
Atari 2600 sports
There are a few sports games included, too, with RealSports Tennis being the highlight as its simple gameplay holds up impressively well. On the downside, the rest of the sports titles aren't that fun. All Bowling involves is lining up your character then tapping a button and Street Racer is a feeble attempt at a racing game although it released in '77 so I guess you can't blame it. That leaves Sprint Master which is an adaptation of Super Sprint. Now, I love Super Sprint but Sprint Master is nearly unplayable with its disorienting gameplay.
List of games in Atari Collection 2
- Air-Sea Battle
- Asteroids *
- Basketbrawl *
- Centipede *
- Dark Chambers
- Demons to Diamonds
- Desert Falcon *
- Human Cannonball
- Haunted House
- Planet Smashers *
- Radar Lock
- RealSports Tennis
- Submarine Commander
- Sprint Master
- Street Racer
- Yars' Revenge
* Atari 7800 game; the others are Atari 2600 games
Atari 2600 obscurities
For the more obscure inclusions, let's start with Air-Sea Battle which is a basic game where you try to shoot down planes and stuff with a cannon but it's quite lame. Speaking of cannons, Human Cannonball involves adjusting one so you can shoot a fellow into a net. Although it's super-simple, I actually found it rather funny and charming. Radar Lock, Solaris, and Submarine Commander are all similar games where you control a fighter jet, space ship, and submarine then shoot forward while trying to gun down your enemies. They're functional but not that fun except for Solaris which is clearly the best of the 3 so stick with that one. Anyway, Demons to Diamonds is a standard static shooter with a nifty colour-based shooting gimmick and Dark Chambers is a cool dungeon crawler that has close ties with the Gauntlet series. Finally, Wizard has you navigate a maze while searching for then fighting enemies. It's an okay game but nothing special.
Atari 7800 games
To start with, there are a few Atari 7800 titles that are basically better versions of their Atari 2600 counterparts which were featured in Atari Collection 1. Both Asteroids and Centipede are great fun and although their 2600 versions are more well-known, these newer iterations are much more enjoyable as they feature more detailed visuals and almost arcade-quality gameplay. Meanwhile, Desert Falcon for Atari 7800 is actually playable with its comprehensive visuals and intuitive controls which is great because the 2600 version is lacking.
Now, let's talk about a couple more unexpected titles. Basketbrawl is a pretty enjoyable basketball game where you beat up opposing players and it's much more fun here than it is in Atari Lynx Collection 1. Last but not least, Planet Smashers is a rather standard vertical shoot 'em up where you blast enemies while collecting power-ups; it's kind of subpar for a shmup released in '89.
Atari Collection 2 for Evercade is worth getting for its handful of Atari 7800 games but for everything else, you'll be better off purchasing a far superior compilation such as the fully-featured Atari Flashback Classics for Switch which has a whopping 150 games.
- + The 5 included Atari 7800 games are fairly enjoyable, especially Centipede
- + Contains a handful of classic titles
- + Features a few nifty hidden gems, too
- - Most of the Atari 2600 titles are difficult to enjoy nowadays
- - Missing arcade versions are far superior
- - Includes plenty of subpar games