Wrapping up an entire video game arcade is a little tough. Today’s entry in The 12 Video Games of Christmas makes it a whole lot easier. The Atari’s Greatest Hits app is a masterfully made collection of classic Atari arcade and VCS/2600 games, available for both iOS and Android.
“Options” is the operative word here, and Atari provides plenty of. The app is available for free, and with that you get Atari’s cold-war influenced arcade game Missile Command. If you want to add to your classic collection, you can: download 4-game packs for $0.99 each, buy a pack of 15 tokens for $0.99 that lets you sample any games you wish, or buy the whole shebang of 100 games for $5.99. What’s even better, though, are the myriad of control options you get. You’d be justified in worrying how a mobile app would handle the wide gamut of control options you get in the long history of Atari games, like the trak ball in Centipede to the thrust controller of Lunar Lander to the VCS paddles of Video Olympics and more. The Atari’s Greatest Hits app serves up multiple ways of playing the game, sometimes with 7 or more configurations; fixed joystick, touch-screen control, fire button on the right, fire button on the left, on the top, on the bottom… it’s a given that you’ll find some way to play the game comfortably, either in portrait or landscape mode. What’s more, this app was the first to offer support of the mini-arcade cabinet iCade, and Atari has since come out with their own official Atari Arcade joystick for the iPad. It’s not as retro-cool as the iCade, but it comes in lighter in weight as well as price, selling for $59.99 as opposed to $99.99 for the iCade.
All these options, plus 2-player simultaneous play via Bluetooth for some games. The Atari’s Greatest Hits app lets you defy physics by stuffing an entire arcade into the stocking of the retrogamer in your life. Get it here from Apple’s app store, or for Android at Google Play.