100 ARCADE GAMES FROM THE OLD DAYS

ASTEROIDSThis Spring, thanks to Atari, 100 arcade games from the old days will be available for playing online through the website Steampowered.com. The games include Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Tempest and Warlord.

We got a wee bit excited when we read that many of these classic games are already available on Atari’s “Flashback” console, now out in version 6. But when we checked the reviews on Amazon, nearly half the reviewers give it only one star. The machine gets confused if your hand actions are too animated and the joystick is difficult to use. Missile Command is described as virtually unplayable. Some kids like it because they didn’t know how these games worked in the old days.

And by the way, there’s a great web site for those who remember the old Amiga computers. These came out in 1985 and were far and away the most advanced desktop machines you could buy. They had music, color, animation and life-like imagery when no else did. They used a technique called “ray tracing,” which made glass look like glass, and even showed internal reflections. Go to Amigaforever.com for the machines and programs, go to YouTube for demos.

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