Atari Vault on PC – The DVDfever Review

atari vault

Atari Vault brings together 100 of their own games from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, 82 on the Atari VCS 2600, and 18 in their original arcade form, including a few in both format.

You can’t fault the value of this package – you get 100 games for a penny under 15 quid – that’s 15 pence a game, for anyone who failed maths at school, and given that a lot of these games were almost £30 apiece back in the day, that represents a huge saving. It’s also a lot easier to just get this up and running in Steam than it is – for the uninitiated – to source a reliable emulator and find the ROMs themselves.

However, bear in mind that Atari Vault only features Atari-made games, as opposed to those that appeared on an Atari console. Hence, as you go through the list, while there are a huge number of games to play, you’ll instantly be thinking, “Hey, where’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Pitfall, Q*Bert and Battlezone?” and so on. Well, both Raiders and Battlezone were made by Atari but the rights must no longer reside with them. Apparently Battlezone was sold to Rebellion Games, and I presume Spielberg or Lucasfilm own the rights to Raiders. Meanwhile, Pitfall was made by Activision and Q*Bert was programmed by Parker Brothers. As for Pac-Man, well, who knows.

And I would’ve loved to have had E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, even if Atari have wanted to forget about it. It’s not a very playable game, but it’s a must-have.

Hence, if there’s a game here that’s not available, it’s most likely a rights issue… unless it’s E.T. Atari hates E.T.

Video Pinball – Atari Vault – VCS 2600 (1080p HD, 60fps, DTS5.1) – PC – DVDfeverGames

You can set the screen to be completely black when playing the game, so it’s like a 4:3 centre within a 16:9 screen, or with bezel art around it. Or, you could simply play on a 4:3 monitor as I still have, and then it’s just as nature intended. My footage of Adventure and Asteroids were set to 4:3 whereas the rest are in 16:9, including Video Pinball.

Back in the day, I played Video Pinball so much that I kept a game going overnight. You couldn’t pause it, but I managed to find the ‘sweet spot’ that kept the ball in play, bouncing up and down without going down the hole in the middle. On and on it would bounce until I returned to the game the next morning… as long as my parents didn’t realise it was still on and switch it off! (No, they didn’t. Hurrah!)

I also loved Missile Command, in both the arcade and on the VCS. The arcade version plays more easily, with the mouse acting like the spinner in that you can move it wherever you want with ease, whereas for the VCS, you’re restricted to up/down/left/right.

I’m not normally one for multiplayer gaming, but the option is there if you can find someone else online to join in a game. However, given that there’s 100 titles to this package and that it’s not exactly as prominent on the multiplayer stakes as, say, Tom Clancy’s The Division, you won’t find as many people to go up against. There is, however, 2-player (and more) options for those games which have that built-in by default, such as Pong.

One thing that does irritate – I don’t like how, as the game ends, it throws you back into the Vault’s own menu system, which is done slightly differently between 4:3 and 16:9. I’d rather be left in VCS-world, as you would be normally. There doesn’t seem to be a way to stop this.

Oddly, Save Mary – I game I hadn’t heard of before now – crashed when I tried to run it. It points you to a folder where it’s saved some info about the reason for the crash and tells you to send it to the owner of the game.

Overall, there are a lot of good games worth playing – certainly enough to justify the £14.99 price, but you will be wondering where a lot of your favourites are.

Adventure – Atari Vault – VCS 2600 (1080p HD, 60fps, DTS5.1) – PC – DVDfeverGames

The 82 Atari VCS 2600 games are:

    3D Tic Tac Toe
    A Game of Concentration
    Air Sea Battle
    Atari Video Cube
    Basic Math
    Brain Games
    Canyon Bomber
    Championship Soccer (aka Pele’s Soccer)
    Circus Atari
    Code Breaker
    Combat Two
    Crystal Castles
    Demons to Diamonds
    Desert Falcon
    Dodge-Em 2600
    Double Dunk
    Fatal Run
    Flag Capture
    Haunted House
    Human Cannonball
    Maze Craze
    Miniature Golf
    Missile Command
    Night Driver
    Off the Wall
    Pong Sports
    Radar Lock
    RealSports Baseball
    RealSports Basketball
    RealSports Boxing
    RealSports Football
    RealSports Soccer
    RealSports Tennis
    RealSports Volleyball
    Return to Haunted House
    Save Mary
    Secret Quest
    Sky Diver
    Slot Machine
    Slot Racers
    Space War
    Sprint Master
    Star Raiders
    Stellar Track
    Street Racer
    Stunt Cycle
    Submarine Commander
    Super Baseball
    Super Breakout
    Super Football
    Sword Quest Earthworld
    Sword Quest Fireworld
    Sword Quest Waterworld
    Video Checkers
    Video Chess
    Video Pinball
    Yars Revenge

And the 18 Arcade games are:

    Asteroids Deluxe
    Black Widow
    Crystal Castles
    Lunar Lander
    Major Havoc
    Missile Command
    Red Baron
    Space Duel
    Sprint 2
    Super Breakout

Check out more videogame footage on the DVDfeverGames Youtube Channel!

Atari Vault is out now on PC.

Atari Vault – 8 videos(Atari VCS 2600 and Arcade) (1080p HD, 60fps) – PC – DVDfeverGames

Important info:

  • Publisher: Atari
  • Players: single player; online multiplayer
  • HDTV options: 1080p
  • Sound: DTS 5.1 (well, it’s mono, really)