Atari 50: Cyber Monday Deal on a Great Retro Game Gift

I love great books, and great documentaries, and I love retro gaming. Atari 50, a new game compilation available on just about every game platform created by Digital Eclipse for Atari’s 50th anniversary, is all three in one. This one took me surprise: Atari 50 might be one of my favorite things I’ve played or watched this year. It’s currently $30 ($10 off) on a Cyber Monday deal for Xbox Series X/PS4/PS5/Switch at Amazon and Best Buy.

Retro game collections are hardly new, and I’ve played a ton of Atari compilations before this, along with tons of other retro games and even the recent Sega Genesis Mini 2. Atari 50 stands out from the rest because it’s a blend of 100 games, plus an interactive timeline that turns the whole package into a living museum exhibit. Following the entire experience from the beginning, it plays out like a history of Atari in game form.

There’s about an hour or so of documentary footage, which I loved a lot more than I expected: interviews with original creators on how Atari’s arcade machines were made, the console evolution and even side journeys I didn’t know about (Atari’s attempt at making pinball machines, or a holographic gaming handheld). 

I had an Atari 2600 and a 5200, and I’m always interested in replaying games from back then even if I’m usually rediscovering they’re not as fun as I expected. I’m more in love with the other fringe offerings in this: There are Atari Lynx games and Jaguar games. The arcade games collected here are fantastic. There are also a few new redesigned versions of Atari’s classic games (Haunted House; a vector-based arcade game inspired by Tempest, Lunar Lander and Asteroids called Vctr Sctr; and new versions of Yar’s Revenge, Quadratank and Neo Breakout; and a new sequel to Atari’s 2600 Swordquest series called Airworld).

I liked the collection when it was priced at $40, but at $30 on sale it’s a particularly good gift for anyone who’s a retro gamer or curious about gaming history.

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