“Have you played Atari today?”

When someone says the word ‘Atari,’ it’s hard not to be taken back to the company’s Golden Age of the 70’s and 80’s.  If you lived it, you can remember your woodgrain Atari 2600 and its small rectangular games as well as their smash hit arcade games that you pumped so many of your quarters into.  Just looking at the logo takes me back to being a kid again. Unfortunately, the company has had a hard time keeping up with the evolving console craze.  However, the company has been kept alive by its die-hard originals or by the kids wearing the retro logo on their trendy t-shirts. atari-t-shirt_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred Chesnais, Atari’s new CEO and majority shareholder,  is leading what he hopes will be the 42 year-old brand that just last year emerged from bankruptcy proceedings. His approach is not to immediately reclaim the company’s place as a top gaming company. Instead, he’s planning on licensing the brand to other studios who are already adept at building games for todays audience.

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Atari is taking a “no boxes” approach to gaming by targeting the mobile and online gaming markets instead of consoles. The team of ten employees will be creating new versions of classic titles as well as completely new games based on trends that are emerging in the gaming industry. For example, the team is creating a new version of the 1979 classic Asteroids.  In the new mobile game, players have to figure out how to survive on an asteroid after their spaceship crashes into it.  It will also be a social game – the more friends you have in the game, the better off you will be.  Since the re-birth of Atari, the company has released four new games including Roller Coaster Tycoon and Haunted House … with several new titles releasing this fall.

A screenshot from the new IOS version of the 80's classic: Haunted House
A screenshot from the new IOS version of the 80’s classic: Haunted House

 

 

 

 

 

Another thing the company has up its sleeves is its launch of “Atari TV,” which will create original content for YouTube and many others. Their first big project is a daily video blog called “TheRealPele.com” which will trail Pele, the soccer legend, throughout the upcoming world cup in Brazil.

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Dad?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lets just hope they don’t release any E.T. games any time soon!

Read the full Wired article here.

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West-Side PinBall Quest**- Thursday Night Style.

 

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Ahhh the Ol’ El Dodado Lanes- Hey they have a cool Bar!

Feeling the need for a little pinball? We set out to search for some machines on the west side.  We started at the ‘El Dorado Lanes’ bowling alley assuming that a bowling alley would have some pins or at least a few arcade games.  We were wrong to assume such a thing. They did, however, have a candy grab.

Justin needs his candy
Justin needs his candy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first place was a bust.  So on to the next!  This time we decided to rely on the trusty LA Pinball Map App and found out that just down the road from the exciting candy grab was Tower Pizza. This joint houses the Family Guy and a miniature Super Mario Mushroom World machine. Upon arrival, we were pleased to also discover a Ms. Pac-man/Galaga combo cabinet.

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Family Guy played well over all but definitely needed a little love. One of the bumpers was loose and the mini game that features a scaled down pinball machine inside the game did not work, at all.  The ball would get stuck  on the side  and all we could do was flip flippers  while staring at a stuck ball.  No tilt would unstuck this mini ball!! So any time you activated the mini game, it was game over-we would have to flip the switch- total reset.  A bummer because it’s such a great game.

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The stuck ball in the Mini-Game. BOO HISSSS…….

However we were surprised to discover the Miniature Mario Brothers a fun game especially to get young kids interested in pinball.

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The play was clean and a blast! Fast little game – no side shoots here to lose the ball. Like we said…  great for the kids and for the collectors. More research to come on the mini pinball cabinets- but fun play for sure.