SwitchArcade Round-Up: A Review of the ‘Atari 50’ Update, Plus Today’s News, New Releases, and the Latest Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 6th, 2023. It’s an even quieter Wednesday than usual, and that seemed to spell disaster for having a decent-sized column for you all. I decided to dig my fingers into the new Atari 50 update a bit, which means you get some short Atari 2600 game reviews from me today! Then our pal Mikhail shows up, and he’s got some hot news about the Day of the Devs Showcase and some business about Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. I’ll let him fill you in. After that, we look at the sole new release, then saunter over to the lists of new and outgoing sales. Let’s travel back in time!


The Brilliant ‘Atari 50’ Adds Twelve More Games Via a Free Update

Atari 50, from Digital Eclipse and Atari, was one of the finest retro compilations I’ve ever seen. Its documentary style was novel and it was packed with both information about the company’s history and some great games. The template it laid down was put to use in the equally brilliant The Making of Karateka, and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of that approach. But it seems even Atari 50 isn’t done yet. Today, a free update hit that added twelve more games to the line-up. Even more exciting, the PR issued by Atari says that there are “plans to include even more titles, more in-depth interviews, and more behind-the-scenes goodies from the golden age of gaming" in future free expansions. But how about today? How about those twelve newly-added titles? Since things are a bit slow today, I figured I would give you my quick takes on each of them. Whee!

Adventure II (homebrew) 2600: This homebrew sequel was created by Curt Vendel with some elements from Ron Lloyd’s Atari 5200 take on the idea. And, well, it’s more Adventure. You know how The Legend of Zelda on NES had the Master Quest when you finished the game? This is like Adventure‘s Master Quest. If you like Adventure, you’ll like it.

Bowling 2600: It’s hard to imagine a simpler take on the sport than this, but it has a surprising amount of charm anyway. Like a lot of 2600 games you won’t likely be putting in hours at a time on it, but it’s fun for a quick bash here and there.

Double Dunk 2600: This was among the last games made for the 2600 in its original lifespan, and it certainly swung big on what was by then ancient hardware. Like the earlier Real Sports Basketball, this is two-on-two, but it’s more of a street hoops style played around a single basket, similar to the popular EA games of the era. Some fun can be had with a friend, if nothing else.

Maze Craze 2600: Now here’s an oldie. Well, they’re all oldies now, but this one comes from 1980. You’re a tiny fellow navigating mazes, like on one of those kids’ paper placemats you used to see in diners. While the basic mode is enjoyable with a second player, the extra modes are where it’s at here. Simple yet satisfying, and a nice pick for the line-up.

Miniature Golf 2600: This one hails from 1979, and like many of the early 2600 attempts at sports it’s more than a little abstract. It’s still fairly functional, but it can be incredibly aggravating at times. If you, like me, somehow enjoy being aggravated by a bunch of silly squares of different colors, this is the game for you.

MotoRodeo 2600: There aren’t a ton of 2600 games owned by Atari that I haven’t played before, but this is one of them. It’s from 1990? Like, the year the Super Nintendo came out? Okay. So this game is kind of like Motocross Maniacs, if you ever played that. Or maybe like Excite Bike with a few more gimmicks. It’s really fun!

Aquaventure (prototype) 2600: I first encountered this on the Flashback collection, and it has remained a firm favorite since. Dive down to grab the treasure and bring it up before time runs out. Shoot fish and other aquatic animals to get them out of your way or to score points, but keep in mind that any you kill will soon be replaced with a much faster, more aggressive version. Shoot too many on the way down and you’ll have a bad time coming back up. I have a lot of ways to play this, but I’ll take one more.

Save Mary (prototype) 2600: Another really good game that I first played in the Flashback collection. Why was Atari sitting on these back in the day? Well, no matter. Control a winch and crane to carry and drop blocks, making a platform for poor Mary to climb up. The water level keeps on rising, so don’t go too slowly. When she gets high enough, you can pick her up with the winch and bring her to safety. It starts off a bit mellow but business picks up quickly.

Super Football 2600: This was a 1988 release for the 2600, and like Double Dunk it tries to bring a more modernized style of the sport to the platform. It uses some visual trickery to make it look like the field is scaling, and the players even look like they’re moving down the field. The latest Madden has nothing to fear from this, but it’s enjoyable and more than a little impressive for the hardware.

Return to Haunted House (homebrew) 2600: The well-loved Haunted House got this homebrew follow-up courtesy of Anthony Wong. Instead of using the original game as a base, it adopts the Adventure engine. I’m not sure I’d call it a faithful follow-up to the original, but it’s another interesting attempt at making a deeper 2600 game. Worth at least one playthrough, at least.

Circus Atari 2600: If you’re going to make a spin on Breakout, why not add clowns? Hm. The gimmick in this one is that you have to keep your performers bouncing on either side of the see-saw. If you don’t catch them properly, they’ll go splat in a funny way. Pop all the balloons, if you can. This is obviously meant to be played with a Paddle controller, but I’m happy to see it here anyway.

Warbirds Lynx: The sole non-2600 game in this drop was actually meant to be in the original release, but had to be removed at the last minute. It’s a technically impressive aerial dogfighting game, one where most of the fun was in playing with others. All those other Lynx owners, yes. That said, any addition to the somewhat slim line-up of Lynx games on here is a good one. It was Atari’s second highest selling console! So yes, more Lynx games please. Especially cool ones like this.

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk Physical Releases Now Available

When I played Bomb Rush Cyberfunk on Xbox Series X, I knew it would be better on a portable, but also hoped it would get a physical release. It turns out it was better on a portable, and I enjoyed playing it more on Switch and Steam Deck. As for the physical, that’s also out today on PS5, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch through iam8bit and Skybound games for $39.99. The new physical edition incldues the game, vinyl graffiti stickers, and new cover art. There’s also an iam8bit exclusive edition with a booklet, slipcase, and more. Check out the editions and more here.-Mikhail Madnani

Day of the Devs: The Game Awards Edition Digital Showcase Recap

I recently attended a digital media event for Day of the Devs: The Game Awards Edition Digital Showcase which just aired today with the reveal of many new indie games and updates on some existing ones. There are far too many announcements to cover here, and you can watch the full showcase through the YouTube link above. The highlights include Digital Eclipse announcing Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story, a virtual museum of Jeff Minter’s games and a lot more. This is the second entry in Digital Eclipse’s Gold Master series that began with The Making of Karateka. There were many games I want to play, but Open Roads from Open Roads Team and Annapurna Interactive, Thank Goodness You’re Here from Coal Supper and Panic, Ultros from Hadoque, and the roguelite music builder ODDADA were my favorites. If you like unique games, I’d recommend watching the showcase. -Mikhail Madnani

New Releases

Battle Stations Blockade ($9.99)

Just one new release today, and the title made me think we were going to be diving into the Bin Bunch for lunch. But no, this isn’t some silly Battleship knock-off. It’s a rail shooter with a distinctive voxel style where you’re manning a gunboat’s dual turrets. You have to keep hitting targets to replenish your ammo, and there are various upgrades and such you can unlock as you complete your missions. If you’d prefer to have a friend handling one of the turrets, that’s also doable thanks to local multiplayer for two. Seems agreeable enough.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Well, that’s a list of sales alright. I’m sure there will be a big holiday sale in a couple of weeks, so let’s take a moment to breathe in some air and appreciate the mercy to our wallets for a bit. Maybe buy Venba? I don’t know. There’s a little party going on in the outbox, but I’ll let you hit it up on your own.

Select New Sales

Venba ($11.99 from $14.99 until 12/12)
Farming Simulator 23 ($34.99 from $44.99 until 12/12)
Demon Turf ($12.49 from $24.99 until 12/16)
Demon Turf: Neon Splash ($3.49 from $4.99 until 12/16)
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ($13.99 from $39.99 until 12/20)
Cooking Festival ($1.99 from $10.99 until 12/26)
Raft Life ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/26)
Blade of Darkness ($2.99 from $14.99 until 12/26)
Street Racing: Tokyo Rush ($1.99 from $13.99 until 12/26)
Car Driving School Simulator ($1.99 from $15.99 until 12/26)
City Bus Driving Simulator ($1.99 from $13.99 until 12/26)
Truck Simulator 2 ($1.99 from $13.99 until 12/26)
Truck Simulator 3 ($1.99 from $12.99 until 12/26)
City Driving Simulator ($1.99 from $13.99 until 12/26)
City Driving Simulator 2 ($1.99 from $13.99 until 12/26)
Monster Truck Arena ($1.99 from $13.99 until 12/26)
ASMR Slicing ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/26)
Astro Miner ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/26)
Tricky Traps ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/26)
Sword of Glory ($1.99 from $14.99 until 12/27)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, December 7th

Asdivine Saga ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Black Skylands ($12.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
Boxville ($6.99 from $9.99 until 12/7)
Chrome Wolf ($10.49 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Despot’s Game ($12.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
Despot’s Game Collector’s Edition ($14.94 from $22.99 until 12/7)
Dredge Deluxe Edition ($20.24 from $26.99 until 12/7)
Graveyard Keeper ($6.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
Happy’s Humble Burger Farm ($6.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
Hello Engineer ($9.74 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Hello Neighbor 2 ($19.99 from $39.99 until 12/7)
Hellpoint ($8.74 from $34.99 until 12/7)
Infinite Links ($10.49 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Justice Sucks ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
Mayhem in Single Valley ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Mind Scanners ($2.54 from $16.99 until 12/7)
Punch Club 2: Fast Forward ($12.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
SpiderHeck ($9.74 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Streets of Rogue ($4.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
Surgeon Simulator CPR ($3.24 from $12.99 until 12/7)
Sword of Elpisia ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Tinykin ($16.24 from $24.99 until 12/7)
Totally Reliable Delivery Service ($3.74 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Trash Sailors ($6.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
Unichrome: A 1-Bit Adventure ($3.49 from $14.99 until 12/7)
Zombies Rising Dawn ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/7)

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow is Thursday, and it’s looking like a fair-sized fellow as those go. At least fifteen new games hitting the eShop, and we’ll have summaries of all of them. We’ll also have any sales and big news items that hit in the next twenty-four hours, so look forward to those as well. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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