Retro Gaming – Sea Chase

Every time I go to a retro gaming event there’s always one video game (or pinball table) which I like to call ‘the show game’. It’s that one game that becomes synonymous with an event due to the amount of times it’ll keep going back to it throughout the day (‘damn game won’t beat me’ will  usually being muttered along the way 🙂 ) Said game will probably be an oldie I’ve not actually sat down to play before or sometimes it’s a title from my own gaming past that I’m rediscover all over again. Played solo or shared with friends, it’s that one fun game that becomes simply becomes – the show game.

Anyone else have these?

Last months Retro Revival 2014 was no different and my show game for the event was a title I found at random whilst browsing for something else to play on an Atari XEGS after a button bashing warm up session on Satan’s Hollow. Which so happened to be my ‘show game’ from Retro Derby that was held back in July.

Retro Derby, the second  meetup organised by Chris Snowdon (the first can be found here – and )and despite the sweltering heat on one of the hottest days of the year, was bags of fun and my first introduction to the Atari XEGS and the Atari 8-bit version of Satan’s Hollow – which grew on me very quickly and to be honest, I think I  prefer playing this version instead of the arcade original.



Oh and that mini arcade cabinet on the left, yup so cool isn’t it. did a great job on this.


Any-ho, so back to Retro Revival and Keiren had brought along his XEGS setup again and I was casually looking through this games list on his Atari Max flash cart. I played a few well known games, like Donkey Kong and Beam Rider but when I found and started playing Sea Chase, I was instantly hooked…heck, it’s got a submarine in it….subs are cool!

Sea Chase by Eric Fries  – later I’m informed of his association with Microsoft, Xbox, Ouya  and author of Halo 2600. Talented guy!

First highscore.



At first I wasn’t sure exactly what to do, but as a seasoned pixel submariner, I hazarded  a guess that the depth charges released from the ship above and the floating mines might not be very good for my periscope. In addition, something ought to be done about that slowly depleting fuel supply.

As you navigate around the deadly obstacles whilst fighting inertia,  treasure items will appear for collecting. After you’ve bagged ten items a torpedo will appears somewhere on screen. Once you’ve collected it, line up for a shot, flood tubes one and….well just one really and light up that pesky ship above. You’ll get one shot only so  if you miss you’ll have to redo the level again.

Scoring is achieved by shooting the depth charges before they explode (avoid the brief shrapnel cloud), blowing away the  fast moving enemy subs and finally torpedoing the  ship. There’s also a time bonus for skilled drivers that can complete the level before the timer runs out.

Sea Chase might look a little basic and if like myself you’ve not played it before, it’s well worth checking out. A  fun little twitch shooter I’m sure you’ll return to again just to top that previous score.

Flappo Bird – Atari 2600

I guess I’ve been living under a rock here because up until recently, what with all the hubbub on the internet due to the game being pulled from the app store, I’d never even heard of Flappy Bird.

It’s a shame though it looked kinda cool and I do like those one button SFcave type games….in fact, let me throw this out there again. To the chap that made the incredibly exclusive and über rare, but oh so funtastically awesomeness that it VeCave for the Vectrex, check out the success of a Flappy Bird and just think how much £££ could be made if you rustled up another batch of those amazing cartridges. Many thanks – StiGGy

Any-ho, I might have missed it from the App Store but it looks like someone has created their own version for the Atari 2600 called Flappo Bird.

Which you can download here (and name your price).

Atari 2600 homebrew – DK Arcade 2600 and Space Rocks.

Have you played Atari today? – nope, in fact I haven’t fired up the woody since playing Star Castle (see previous blog post – and with my gear stashed away whilst we redecorate, it might be some time before its on the geek bench again. But…no matter, Stella is such an awesome emulator that’s been ported to so many platforms, I’m bound to have a few bits of kit lying around here that haven’t been packed away.

Have you played Atari today? – Yep indeedy-doo – thanks to Stella running on my Raspberry Pi via the Chameleon PI distro and  my keyrah attached so I can use my old Atari sticks. Phew – In fact, with the heap of spaghetti wires and bits all over the desk  it might have been easier just to unbox my 2600 after all 🙂 Nevermind, as long as you can game right?

There’s two Atari 2600 homebrew games I’ve been itching to try out since looking at some of the early release info last year. As you can probably guess from this posts title, the games are DK Arcade 2600 and Space Rocks.

I’ve always loved the original Donkey Kong game on the Atari despite Mr K looking more like a giant gingerbread man, putting up with some rather iffy collision detection and Mario’s comical shuffle across the screen (you wait until you see him climb up a ladder!) but it’s all about gameplay and as a kid I lapped this one up.

I could go for some coffee dunking gingerbread right about now!

Atari 2600_DK

There’s already an absolutely brilliant conversion of Donkey Kong in the making for the Atari 2600 in the form of Donkey Kong VS and if you haven’t tried it yet, head on over here to give it whirl –

This afternoon though, I wanted to check out the latest development of DK Arcade 2600 by AtariAge member iesposta –

It’s certainly looking and sounding impressive so far and even includes the short intro from the arcade original – how high can you try? Despite a little flicker on Kong, the barrels and Pauline (who I can’t seem to capture on the screenshot from Stella) everything moves really smoothly and the collision detection is a massive improvement on the original.


I must be loosing my touch though becaause I’m finding the first level to be incredibly difficult to play. Those barrels come at you at a fair old pace and in some instances, three in a row and no space in between. I’ll keep at it but for the time being a screenshot from level one is about all I can provide. Probably best if you check it out yourself whilst I hang my head in shame 😉

Asteroids, everyone can play this – even if you suck at Donkey Kong and Space Rocks improves massively on Atari’s original VCS game.   –

But before we get into the game, pause for a moment and check out the absolutely stunning box art created for Space Rocks – created by label competition winner Dave Dries.



Space Rocks mixes elements of classic Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe and provides the gamer with a nice selection of options to suit visual graphics styles and gameplay. Check out some of the options available for you to mess around with.




Going for the Vectrex Minestorm look here, I’ve chosen blue neon for my colour scheme.



Space Rocks is one damn fine game of Asteroids all right. Just a few seconds in and I’m grinning as I hear that iconic laser FX and the meaty explosions that follow as you reduce rocks to dust. You get the plod, plod ‘sound track’ that gets progressively faster as the clear the screen which urges you and piles on the pressure just as the original did. You get really smooth animation here, little jitter and just superb gameplay. So much so, i’m seriously toying with the idea of placing an order for this cart.

Ganging up on me already! – one Saucership and remnants of a broken Magna-mine…and don’t think I can’t see you attempting a flanking position!




2 player co-op and ‘fight mode’ should be a laugh too – In fact, at the next gaming meetup, I’d like to take along my Harmony cartridge and maybe we’ll have us a bit of a mini competition?



So yeah, despite not having my Atari 2600 to hand, I’ve still had a  fun few hours with these two homebrew title and If you haven’t played Atari today, then maybe you’d like to check these out yourself?


Revival Mini -2013

I’ve just got home, tired but extremely happy after an absolutely amazing day spent retro gaming and catching up with friends at Revival Mini. Smaller in scale to it’s bigger brother event held earlier in the year (see blog post – ) but still just as fun made even more special with the release of a new book following it’s successful kickstarter project.

Chris had brought a stack of them along with him so that project backers attending the event could get there mitts on their copy early.


As an extra bonus, many members of Ocean Software were attended the event  and were only too happy to sign copies for us all.


The main room with a good selection of classic computers and consoles to play.




I have no idea if this is a custom paint job on this Atari Jaguar or that it’s some sort of Dev unit (anyone out there can shed any light on this?)  I did see a white Commdore CD32 unit for sale though and clearly it was a  home spray job and quite awful is was too. I’m not sure why you would want to recolor a console/computer but then again, each to their own.


Although……..this C64 in custom C16 case  is rather cool don’t you think?


Custom Mini cabs lined up on the bar. Surely this is the future….I’d never leave 🙂


Out in the conservatory area was a long row of arcade machines including some of Chris’s Zaccaria cabs. I absolutely love his Super Cobra cabinet –  A great  Skramble type game itself, but it’s the stunning cabinet art  on the side, CP, glass and marquee that I really like.


I spent some time in the hombrew section playing games on the C64 including some of the latest from the RGCD competition and from Psytronik software.

The Vice Squad on a ‘ZX Specadore 64’.


Plenty of gear to buy from quite a few traders considering that this was a small event. That cool  ZX Spectrum +2A at the front caught my eye. So much better looking than the drab grey +2 model.


It might have looked a bit rough around the edges but the screen on this Asteroids cabaret cabinet was pin sharp. It was up for raffle too so one lucky person would be taking it home with them. Sadly it wasn’t me but the immediate silence throughout the room when the  winning ticket was being picked was surreal  🙂


Members from Ocean Software gather for a toast and we gamers thank them all.


That’s probably the last time I’ll see some of my friends until the new year and Revival Mini was the perfect place to wish  them all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here’s hoping next years retro gaming calendar will be just as full.