Let's set the scene - it's the early 1980's. You are listening to Michael Jackson's new album on your Sony Walkman. Your friends are rocking big hairdos and funky, electro-colored clothes. It's Friday night and you decide to go to an arcade game bar. Here, the arcade game machines await you, with legendary Atari-made games like Pong, Breakout, and others.
... Now it is 2020's, you are reading this from a device you could not even dream of all those years ago, but somehow you just wish to be there and play those classic and original arcade games. No need to invent the time machine, as you can play the games right here and right now.
First of all, what is Atari?
Atari is a video game developer and home computer company founded in 1972. Atari was one of the first video game developers and they also made the first-ever commercially successful video game. As said on IGN: The history of Atari, Atari was the one to invent the arcade game cabinet and believed to be the company to create the video game industry as such. They have created many arcade video games and because they all share a similar and distinct style - simple graphics, bright colors, and retro sound effects, they can make a whole distinct category.
The company is based in the US, but the name Atari actually comes from Japan. In Japanese, the word "ataru" means to hit a target and "atari" means about to win, similarly to saying checkmate in chess. The logo designed for Atari resembles the letter A and is also recognized as "the Fuji", due to its resemblance to Mount Fuji in Japan.
The rise of Atari games
Their first breakthrough was actually in 1972, the same year the company was founded (you can see their full history on Atari's About Us page). An instant success that paved the road for Atari was Pong, a table tennis simulation game. It became very popular very quickly and that gave Atari motivation to continue what they have started. Not too long after, Atari released Breakout, another game that was loved by the public as soon as it got released. Breakout is also about controlling a ball with a paddle, but in Breakout, you must get through multiple layers of bricks.
A total game-changer of the gaming industry was Atari 2600, the first-ever home gaming console. It allowed people to play their beloved arcade games at home, simply by plugging the console into the TV. The first editions of the console did not offer the most amazing graphics quality, but it was something never seen before and thus took people by surprise.
Atari games - beloved classics
Atari lived a golden period of success after success, and now their games are considered world-known classics of video games. We have combined the most popular and enjoyable Atari games in this category. If you can't choose which game to play first, here's a quick guide to what each game is about.
Pong - ping pong simulator. Move a paddle on the side of the screen and let the ball bounce against it. Don't let the ball pass you or the game is over!
Breakout - control a paddle at the bottom of the screen. Let it ball bounce off the paddle to hit bricks. Once a brick is hit, it disappears. Remove all bricks from the screen to win! Choose from multiple game modes to challenge yourself.
Missile Command - enemy's missiles are coming down from the sky! You must destroy them before they reach the cities at the bottom of the screen.
Centipede - a huge centipede is crawling down. You are a small bug at the bottom of a field and you must shoot at the centipede before it eats you. Look out also for spiders, fleas, and scorpions!
Asteroids - you are in a spaceship in the middle of space. Avoid asteroids flying your way and destroy them by shooting. You are not alone though - other spaceships are here to attack you, too.
If you want to know more about any of the games or read the history behind developing and releasing each of the games, open the games and read the descriptions down below!