Many years ago (back in 1988) I had an Atari ST personal computer. We kept using it until the mid-90s. It had pretty impressive graphics for its time. Some of the best games for that system were the Leisure Suit Larry series, Death Sword, Flight Simukator, Mean 18, Gauntlet, Rampage, Prime Time, Operation Wolf and Thunderbolt, Time Bandit, The Uninvited, Shadowgate,and Nightbreed (Clive Barker).
The system was great because not only were the graphics good, but the system offered a premium gaming experience. For example, “Death Sword” was a state-of-the-art fighting game where you could decapitate your opponent. The fun of getting to that part of the game was priceless. And when a little troll comes and kicks the decapitated head off-screen, we are seeing brilliance here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0d3Re3MMjk
There were also some excellent arcade ports on the system. “Operation Wolf,” for example, was exactly like the arcade game except you use your mouse to shoot people instead of a gun. The thrill of victory on that game was tremendous. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66gMUnM2IbI
Switching gears, “Primetime” was a fun game where you run a TV station. You can pick which shows to buy and when to air them. It is hard to put into words why this game is so good. Against all odds, it would draw you in and you would become addicted to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66gMUnM2IbI
Another really intense game was Hostages. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er7JnSa3LG0
And Codename Iceman, where you solved murder crimes involving dope.
The Atari ST is an important chapter in videogame history because it is the one time Atari built a really powerful system. It had 512K to 1040K RAM, depending on the model. The graphics and sound, for the time, are mind-blowing, and since BASIC was the operating system for the ST, it was possible for a novice to program and create games.
The system had one huge flaw: no hard drive. If the designers had figured out a way to put one in, gaming history could’ve been very different. Nevertheless, I love the ST because it was great to use and opened the door to the future of gaming. I will never forget the days of fun it gave me as a child, and I hope Atari makes a comeback someday. Stay tuned for retro reviews of Atari ST games!