Review: Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration (PS5) – A Warts and All Celebration of a Industry Icon

Atari 50: Anniversary Celebration may set a good standard for retro assemblies moving forward, not necessarily because of the content it includes. In truth, the slew of 100 or so versions listed here are an impenetrable frontier – a worthy inclusion, yes, but it’s largely unplayable. It’s the way the package is presented, then, that sets it apart.

While you can jump right into the games – organized by release year or platform – the collection also features a museum-like interface that takes you from Atari’s origins to its later years. This painstakingly rendered gallery of company’s highs and lows is absolutely gorgeous, filled with trivia, archival snapshots, photographs, and more.

Of course, adding context to the toolkit is the aforementioned choice of playable games. Overall, there’s a real, fresh warmth to this package that’s rarely seen: Upon learning about the origins of, say, Pong, you can then really play it – complete with beautifully displayed borders, inspired by the original game treasury.

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All games contain manuals, fully reproduced, as well as flyers and other interesting documents. The simulation is also very good as far as we can tell; You won’t find any online leaderboards, for example, but you can save your progress, and enjoy the various filters available that try to replicate classic CRT monitors.

The intensity of this aggregation should not be ignored. While there are obvious inclusions from the Atari 2600 era, such as Missile Command And the centipedeDeveloper Digital Extremes created a virtual replica of the old 1978 handheld Atari game, touch mewhich shows the level of commitment shown here.

While Atari Lynx and Atari Jaguar are represented, there will be disappointment because titles like clax And the Aliens vs Predators are absent. Which. T. extra floor, an important cog in the Atari story, is also ruled out. But there is still a lot to appreciate here in general: storm 2000And the food fightAnd the I’m a robot Definitely hold up today.

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And that’s without even touching on the reimagined series that was created specifically for this bundle. Airworldfor example, unexpectedly completes Sword series, and accompanies three titles from the eighties of the last century that preceded it. while, haunted house Reimagines Atari’s iconic survival horror as a lighthearted 3D maze game.

You can also get a self-explanation New AndreikTank title for four players Quadra Tankvector-based blending VCTR-SCTRshining Yars Vengeance: The Benefactorwhich is a completely different experience from what was released recently Yaris: Recharged. Additionally, you’ll find several unreleased prototypes, which ultimately add to the overall ambiguity of the package.

To be honest, very few games will catch your eye, but the presentation is in-depth and interesting; It’s an Atari celebration, yes, but it doesn’t cover up corporate failures and shortcomings. And in it she gains real credibility: there is a clear reverence for the owner of the leading platform here, but she offers warts and every perspective, which is appreciated.


While many of the games included may be unplayable from a modern perspective, the intense attention to detail in Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration is all too easy to appreciate. The circular, museum-like content, from interviews to original artwork, is presented too nicely to get sucked into the dramatic Atari story. And the fact that there are over 100 of the company’s most famous titles, excellently simulated with original instruction manuals available for review, adds playable context to much of the content. This is just an impressive overall experience that will appeal to those who lived through the rise (and fall) of Atari, as well as younger players eager to learn more about one of the true pioneers of the industry.

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