Far more than a mere collection of well-known games, Atari 50 sets the standard for chronicling the history of an icon
I suppose it isn’t a surprise, given my advancing years, but I’m a big fan of retro collections in general. Even as much as I have loved Nintendo over the years, I’ll still gladly proclaim myself as an OG Atari fan, having been alive to see their many ups and downs from the humble Pong all the way through to their, unfortunately, diminished stature today. Coming into this collection, what I was expecting was to take a long walk through memory lane, playing games that helped define my childhood in the early 80s, whether in the arcades or even on my beloved Atari 5200. While, unfortunately, it is missing many licensed games by the likes of Activision (sorry folks, no Pitfall, the absolute best game on the 2600), anything involving Star Wars (you can’t imagine how much I played Star Wars: The Arcade Game on my 5200), and others from various eras there are still loads of excellent games to relish through all phases from the arcade on through the Jaguar. For most collections of this kind that would be enough, but what raises this title to be what I’d consider the gold standard in this space would be the history it includes. Whether it’s old commercials, interviews from pretty much every decade with key players (Nolan Bushnell is a fascinating, almost Stan Lee-esque hero of mine), artwork, print ads, or even internal memos concerning specific games, Digital Eclipse turned over just about every rock imaginable to find material that would help turn this into an outright experience. I tip my hat to everyone involved in the project for making something truly special.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [9.1]