Once upon a time, Atari wasn’t just a cool logo to sport on the front of your trendy retro t-shirt, this vintage video games company held a cherished place in many a living room across the world. Now almost 40 years since the tech giant was founded, a huge catalogue of its most famous titles have arrived on Android via the Atari’s Greatest Hits app. Not including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial…
Despite having lost its dominance over the gaming market long ago, Atari still holds a pull over those smartphone owners in the market for a quick nostalgia fix. The iOS version of Greatest Hits has 3.5 million downloads to date and initially, it’s not hard to see why. So many of the games included here are stone cold classics, that we had a lot of trouble choosing which game pack to spend our self-allotted $0.99 on.
You see, although Greatest Hits is free to download from the Android Market, only Missile Command is available to play. The rest of the games are unlocked in packs of four or you can acquire the whole lot for an eye-watering $9.99. Rejecting the likes of Crystal Castles, Asteroids and Centipede, we plumped for the Pong pack which also included Missile Command 2600, Fun with Numbers and Flag Capture MP.
What quickly became apparent however, is how ill-suited a lot of these games are to a touchscreen environment. Both Pong and the original missile command require the constant guiding presence of your finger, precisely sliding from one corner of the screen to another. A lot of the time, the touchscreen won’t register your movement and in other instances, your digits are occupied doing one thing when they need to be doing another.
While the app’s decorative aspects are spot on, with original cabinets and manuals all included, it’s the fundamentals which really let Greatest Hits down. Many of these games may have been a laugh at the time but we can confirm without a doubt that Fun With Numbers is now exactly as dire it sounds. Missile Command 2600 and Flag Capture MP are more suited to Android play yet due to the lack of a demo option, it’s pretty impossible to know the quality of what you’re buying.
We suppose a lot of Greatest Hits’ disappointment comes down to the fact these games are very old and limited in scope which, to be fair, you’re more than aware of when you download them. Still, some really don’t transfer well at all to your smartphone and the rest are okay… If your interest with Atari began with a retro t-shirt, we recommend it strays that way.
The Bottom Line
Disappointing Android conversion job for a line-up of arcade classics.
Version reviewed 1.1
Requires Android 2.2 or higher