Tag Archives: Retro Games

8-Bit Slashers: Atari Games Based On Horror Movies

 As a byproduct of the early 80s, one of my earliest home gaming memories was the Atari 2600. This beast of a console was the first system a wee Patti owned and was shared, albeit reluctantly, between my little brother and I. I can’t tell you how many times I would get the urge to play Kaboom or Haunted House, and find my 8-bit hogging 4-year-old sibling snotting all over the joystick playing Frogger

The struggles of a one-console household is very real boils and ghouls. 

Presently, the original Atari 2600 is pretty much a dinosaur (and looks like one too) compared to the sleek Playstation 5. However, Brontasauraus console boasted some graphics that looked like sorcery in our eyes at the time. Regardless of the now outdated sights and sounds of the Atari, the gaming system launched the beginning of household video games over 40 years ago, and hell, we need to respect that. Not to mention, hosted some pretty off-the-wall cartridges that embodied the glorious horror genre within them. Four decades later, and I still haven’t seen one damn Texas Chainsaw Massacre OR Halloween video game! Unless of course, you look towards the Atari 2600.

That being said, kudos to the breakthrough video game system that honored the horror genre in 8-bit fashion. So let’s look back at some of the coolest horror-themed video games the breakthrough gamer device had in its library, shall we?!

Halloween

First released by Wizard Video in 1983, The Shape was forever immortalized 2600 style with his very own Atari game. You actually don’t play as Michael Myers, but the “babysitter”, whom I can only guess is supposed to be Laurie Strode. 

The object of the game is to save the children you’re supposed to be caring for from the Boogeyman. Who, by the way, is running through the house waving a knife all to an Atari-sized version of John Carpenter’s Halloween theme. FANTASTIC. You’re given three lives which are represented by jack-o-lanterns on top of the screen, of which will disappear one by one when you are caught and killed. The highlight of this game, and I’ve been known to purposely do this just for fun, is when you’re caught by Myers. Why? Because he decapitates you (as shown in the video below). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this appears to be the very first video game decapitation in history. You only get a tiny bit of blood spurts from said kill, but nevertheless is extremely amusing.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Another horror treasure from Wizard Video brings the Tobe Hooper classic to the Atari world in 1982. Unlike the Halloween game, gamer roles are reversed and you actually get to play as Leatherface; with a chainsaw attached to his dick. 

You basically just run across a field of cow skulls and wheelchairs trying to get to your next victim. It’s heavily rumored throughout the gamer community that the high-pitched tones you hear when a victim appears is actually supposed to be a girl’s scream. The chainsaw in the game is run on fuel, and when you press the appropriate button to run it, your fuel starts to deplete. When you run out of fuel, you lose a life. So, just an educated guess here, the point is to kill off as many people as you can before running out of gas. 

It’s a fun way to murder ten minutes of your life. But one thing that really irked me about this game other than the inability for game developers to give Leatherface’s body a different color than the chainsaw, is the fact your character gets “stuck” quite easily. The obstacles I mentioned above, as it turns out, you better steer clear of them. If even one pixel of Leatherface breathes too close to these in-game hazards, you’re stuck for a good couple of seconds. It’s a total pain in the ass. 

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Alien

Developed by Fox Interactive Games in 1982, Atari Alien has no shame in hiding that it is, in short, a basic rip-off of Pac-Man. However, instead of dodging ghosts through a maze, you’re running from Xenomorphs, which is just way cooler anyway.

The in-game maze is supposed to be designed to look like the inside of a spaceship, and said ship is infested with adult aliens laying these eggs all over the place. Just like Pac-Man, the pellets littering the screen are eggs and can be destroyed by simply running over them. There really isn’t too much else to explain, as it really is just Pac-Man with aliens. Though if you enjoy the classic arcade game, as a horror fan you’ll likely get a kick out of something different from that floating yellow head.

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Frankenstein’s Monster

Published by Data Age for Atari in 1983, Frankenstein’s Monster, for me TBH, is one of the more entertaining games to come out of the 2600 era of gaming.

The basic object of gameplay is to build a wall surrounding the monster before he comes to life. To do this, you have to climb up and down the screen grabbing bricks one by hellish one. Along the way, you’ll encounter a giant tarantula, bats, ghosts, and a lovely pool of acid. You know, normal creepy castle shit. If you build the wall before the timer runs out, you save the village below from a monster rampage. If you don’t make it in time, Frankie comes to life and destroys every damn thing in its path, which is kind of my favorite part anyway. If you get a chance to play, let yourself lose at least once. 

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Ghostbusters

Birthed by Activision in 1985, Ghostbusters for Atari 2600 comes one year after the theatrical release, and is fuckin’ fun as hell. 

You immediately begin by trapping ghosts in front of buildings, which in most cases, takes the form of Slimer. All the while, a synthetic Atari version of the Ghostbusters theme plays in the background.  The graphics when ghostbusting aren’t half bad considering the console, and the driving sequences with the Ecto-1 are not as stretched out as other versions.The greatest part, however, is when you finally get to the end and fight Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It’s goddamn hilarious because he just kind of jumps around in front of a building like a little kid.

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Oh, the sweet, sweet nostalgic not-so-great, but still cool as hell video games of yesteryear. They just don’t make them like that anymore…

Deliciously Pixelated Friday the 13th Inspired Camp Sunshine Game Is Getting a Crowd-Funded Halloween Prequel: Sunshine Manor

If you’re the kind of boil or ghoul, and I assume you are because well, you’re here, that loves retro-style games but finds them hard to play these days as our high-definition televisions don’t seem to support them that well. I mean, let’s get real: Have you ever tried playing Nintendo 64 on a 75 inch 4k flat screen?! Yesterday’s technology doesn’t seem to hold up well with today’s partner products. However, in the same breathe, today’s video game developers can bring that nostalgia home into the modern world and Fossil Games has done just that a few years ago with the 16-bit blood-soaked Horror RPG Camp Sunshine- and now with the prequel Sunshine Manor!

And… it’s set on Halloween. Could it really get any better than THAT?!

Sunshine Manor, is a horror adventure game that’s inspired by the famous horror movies of the 80s’ and serves as a prequel to Camp Sunshine- where you will discover the play of events that inspired the Camp Sunshine massacre years late . You play as Ada, whose night of trick or treating turns into a night of terror when she becomes trapped inside the old Aitken Manor. The gameplay involves using Ada’s latent psychic powers to battle all kinds of fiendish demons, solve puzzles and maybe even defeat the omni-present Shadow Man….who is watching your every move!

Per the press release, some of the features in the game include:

  • Discover and explore the ever-changing haunted Sunshine Manor.
  • Transport yourself to the Demon Realm and banish hellish fiends!
  • Beautiful hand-drawn 8-bit graphics.
  • A deadly game of Cat & Mouse where the Demon can be anywhere.
  • 80s Soundtrack written specially for this game.
  • A fantastic story-driven narrative.
  • Devious puzzles to tax your brain box.
  • Lots of scares, spooky scenes and nods to iconic horror franchises

Camp Sunshine – which sold over 100K copies worldwide on PC and is set to release on all major formats in 2021. There’s also a playable prologue chapter available of the game on Steam – so players really can play before they pledge on this very special title. At the time of writing this article, is currently being crowd-funded and has reached 70% of it’s goal. And it’s not hard to see why; beyond the cool-looking game itself, the Kickstarter has some pretty damn amazing perks!

Per the Press Release:

“We’d firstly like to say how thrilled we are to be teaming up with Hound Picked Games and Premium Edition and being able to offer our fans a Kickstarter exclusive Collector’s Edition of Camp Sunshine  and Sunshine Manor. Two games, one cart, are presented in such a unique way that our fans are going crazy for them.” Paul Dolby, developer at Fossil Games, “We’ve also teamed up with legendary horror visual artist, Graham Humphreys, who will be creating a unique cover for the Kickstarter backers which will not be available anywhere else after the campaign has finished! Love horror, love games? Then pledge on Sunshine Manor on Kickstarter – did I mention you can pet the dog?”

For more info and to officially back this deliciously retro inspired game and claim your perks, head on over to the KICKSTARTER page!

About Premium Edition Games
Premium Edition Games’ specialty is high quality releases created with the ingenuity and passion inspired by the amazing work game developers have put into game creation. We take great pride in helping preserve games physically for posterity. We highlight every release by going over all the items in detail and interview all the people who are helping make it a reality.

About Fossil Games
Fossil Games is a two-person indie games team who have a love for retro gaming, pixel art and 1980s horror movies. Having released Camp Sunshine (the first game in our Sunshine Universe trilogy) to a fantastic reception and gathering praise on all storefronts and is featured in hundreds of YouTube let’s play videos from creators such as SuperBestFriends, CinnamonToastKen and more!

About Hound Picked Games
Hound Picked Games, a subsidiary of global consultancy agency PR Hound, is a company set on helping indie studios realise their full potential releases. It specialises in hand-picking indie games that can benefit from the work of industry experts with over 50 years of experience in the business.

Check Out This Hilarious Nintendo Training Video From 1991!

When the Nintendo Entertainment System finally made its glorious US debut in the late 80’s, all of us kids just about lost our shit at the video game quality coming from this grey box of sorcery. Retailing at the time for the Action Set (NES Zapper, two controllers, and the Super Mario Bros./ Duck Hunt duel cartridge) for now what seems a mere $149.99 just in time for the 1988 Christmas holiday, sold nearly seven million systems that year. And according to this splendid video below, blowing that number out of the water 2 years later with a whopping 90 million NES systems bought in 1990.

That’s a lot of virtual dead ducks. Fantastic.

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So yeah, one can only imagine the headaches retail workers had to endure concerning the new system that every one of us damn kids HAD to have, (it’s cool, I was one of them). Most likely no different than the average migraine customer service deals with on a daily with those “customer is always right, consumers“. But hey, as time has told over again throughout the past 30 years that when a new system comes out, you better damn well be prepared Mr. Electronics section of Wal-Mart. And after a few years of booming sales from the system, Nintendo thought they would do the retail workers of America a favor and make a proper training video for handling consumer complaints and ridiculous customers involving returns with the NES. This includes any bullshit scammers attempting to nab a refund after some careless kids spilled soda all over the control deck.

Oh yes, that’s actually in there. “What are you supposed to do? Tell them what you really think? Of course not!” 

And that’s why folks, yours truly could never work a successful retail position.

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Anyways, I couldn’t help but laugh especially at the bit about the blank color screen issue WE’VE ALL experienced at one point due to a bit of dust settling inside the deck. Clearly, this guy never figured out the “blow and go” solution. And guess what? 30 years later it’s still 100% effective. Which brings up an excellent point: The Classic Nintendo I have sitting in my house is getting dangerously close to that age bracket and still works like a dream. Just goes to show the highest quality built into that little sucker.

But hey, it’s 2018 and if you’re having any issues with your NES, all your answers can be answered right here in this handy retro video uploaded by Retro Games TV Commercial HD!