GamingReview: Atari Vault

Review: Atari Vault

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Anybody ever heard of Atari games? Oh yes you have. Some of the very earliest legacy video games originated from this great company. Well Atari have released the Atari Vault, a massive collection of 100 classics from the 70’s and 80’s. It’s considerably easier to enjoy these retro classics from the comfort of your Steam library. Lets be honest that’s likely to be simpler and cheaper than getting an original Atari machine these days. And the resolution is definitely higher.

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Cracking open the vault you will be met with a surprisingly modern interface with some fancy retro style graphics. You can flick through the original arcade machines and see the old game covers plastered on the sides of the machines. The modern resolution and updated visuals don’t let the retro theme go forgotten however. Brash colours and overstated UI elements are everywhere on the cluttered screen. Authentic to the last. Oh how user interfaces have progressed in 20 years.

One of my favourite inclusions is the gallery which contains all the box art and the arcade machines for you to check out. Flicking through there’s a lot of games I don’t know if I’m honest but when you stumble across one you recognize it’s all worth it. It’s definitely an education for any content that isn’t a nostalgic trip back in time.

The amount of content in the Vault is stunning. Even for the seasoned retro gamer there’s nothing missing. If you know Atari and arcade games they’re all here. The modern interface makes them all easy to search, browse and play. Value is definitely not a problem with the Vault.

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Getting stuck into what is arguably Atari’s signature title, Asteroids, controls are simple to grasp and for the first time in who knows how long I was floating around enjoying Asteroids despite the colossal list of AAA titles sitting alongside the Vault in my Steam Library. Admittedly some of the fun comes from the memory of times gone by but these games are still pretty fun. There’s a reason why they’re still known 40 years or so later.

There’s even support for gamepads which brings the experience closer still to an arcade stick although there is just a little more finesse to the thumbsticks on a Dual Shock or a 360 pad. There’s even a useful band displayed at the bottom of the screen to remind you of the controls and help you out. It’s particularly useful given the non-native platform and controls. Plus the fact that it’s highly unlikely you’ve played the game anytime recently.

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The Atari vault is an excellent way to remind yourself of how old you are. It’s far and away the best retro pack of games I’ve ever come across and represents amazing value. True enough there’s nothing new but the retro design and inclusion of a gallery of the game’s original covers and box art is a nice touch. Even if you’re only vaguely interested in original Atari titles the Vault is well worth buying. If you’re an old school gamer that knows even some of the games all the better. If you want a retro collection in your Steam Library this is it.

SUMMARY

+ Massive collection of Atari games
+ Gallery of original artwork
+ Nice new user interface
- No new additions or extras outside of artwork

Available now for PC.
phillvine
Phill has been the director of a small IT repair business since 2011 which he runs alongside studying for his degree in Information and Communication Technologies at the Open University. Video games are his real passion and they take up more of his time than he'd like to admit.

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