Atari’s Greatest Hits For iPhone Review

There's no shortage of retro games repackaged for mobile platforms.  This latest title to hit the App Store, Atari's Greatest Hits, could be the most significant single release to date.

You can download the app for free, although all you'll get is Atari's first game ever, the timeless classic Pong.  Since, let's face it, getting Pong is kind of pointless, you'll likely want to shell out to download a few of the 99 other classic games on offer (99 cents get you a four pack and $14.99 nets you the full lot).

If you find yourself drawn to the seemingly endless copycats of 70s and 80s Atari originals that litter Flash game sites, then this app will definitely keep you busy for a while.   The selection of games is wonderful, with amazing titles like Major Havoc, Yar's Revenge and Missile Command finding their way among the selection pool.  Sure, you get questionable additions like Basic Math, too, but the fun ones do outnumber them a good deal.

Being from an older era of gaming, the gameplay isn't all that sophisticated.  Then again, that's to be expected.  What's pleasantly surprising here are the control decisions, which work exceptionally well.  We also enjoyed the media galleries dedicated to each game, which feature original cabinet art and other bits of memorabilia that really capture the essence of the classic titles.  All the games allow a small amount of settings for gameplay and control customization, too, which is nice.

My favorite part of the whole deal?  Some of the games have been altered to allow multiplayer gaming over Bluetooth.  Personally, that's the part that made this set playable for me -- being rather disinterested in retro games for the most part.


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