Saturday, April 17, 2021

50 ST games you have to play

A new Atari ST book!

I know, I know, I'm late to the party for this new goodie - a brand new book by non-other than Karl Morris to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Atari ST. A flabbergasting 50 games are featured along with segments for point & click games, Jeff Minter, how to emulate an ST, YM2149 chip. Oh, and I particularly enjoyed the Ad Breaks!

Karl begins with a heartwarming dedication to the passing of his friend and fellow Atarian, Curt Vendel. An introduction then begins to offer an extraordinary insight into the entire era of just what makes the Atari ST everything we love: from its early years, the people, events, stories, hardware, technology, and specifications. I found this to be a fascinating glimpse into the mid-80s and something that I'll probably read a number of times over the years.

Wanna see what I'm talking about? Of course, you do so here's a photo of the page with ST specs...

Arghh, somebody's broken up my beautiful Atari ST in pieces!!

Get to the games!

Okay, you all know how much I love my Atari ST, and this is my era of "Atari" so, I was expecting only good things and the book does not fail to impress. Starting with the earliest, we have the timeless classic Time Bandit to begin his 16-Bit gaming journey. Later, there are beauties like Operation Wold (Arcade Conversions), Dungeon Master (Adventures), Backlash (shoot 'em ups), Supremecy (Strategy), Vroom (Sports) and much more.

But wait, not only is there the usual selection but also a raft of games traditionally ignored, which was a lovely surprise. I was pleasantly shocked to see greats like Sentinel, Corruption, Masterblazer, Beyond Zork, Stardust, Backlash and Lode Runner. Karl is obviously a guy who loves to play Atari and that shines through.

Hang on, I didn't see Resolution 101!! (Okay, I'll stop that now! I don't want to be one of those people lol)

The book has a number of cool ads and this ad for Defender of the Crown is one of my faves...!

Same old same old?

We've seen dozens of magazine articles and books so this had to offer something extra special. Thankfully, this is a book that is well-made with a chic style and presentation that is nothing short of excellent. The writing style is engaging and from a perspective that is both insightful and fun to read. Content is both predictable and unexpected so it doesn't fall into the trap of featuring the same old games we've already seen a million times. You know what I mean!

Each of the games is presented in a format that I really admire rather than defaulting to a meaningless Top 50 chart show. All are split into segments of genre which makes finding what you need a cinch. I also liked the layout with photos of title screens, box art and other tidbits displayed as a funky GEM window. Ad Breaks feature often and are a nostalgic reminder of how the Atari ST magazines once captivated our imagination. Love it!!

It doesn't end yet! Check out these lovely stickers and fridge magnets (which my wife loves!)...

The other books and goodies by Zafinn are magnificent - I feel like a BIG kid on Christmas morning!

The CryptO'pinion?

I think you can already guess how thrilled I am to own yet another Atari ST publication. I've found it to be an enjoyable read which I'll return to time & time again. However, the AtariCrypt website failed to get mentioned, but I can forgive Karl because he managed to get Atari Legend's website wrong - twice!! (Oops, I'm so sorry Maarten lol!). 🤪

But seriously, this is the bee's knees and for a meagre €35 it's incredibly good value for money. Sadly, I believe the available stock is running low so now is the time to act if you want a copy. My sincere gratitude to Karl for holding onto a copy for me over the last few months - I love the extra goodies, especially the fridge magnets!!

Come on folks, grab yourself a copy of this wonderful new Atari ST book from the Zafinn Books website.


  1. Thank you Steve, that was a lovely review. I apologise again for any boo boos in the URL's (fixed for the reprint) including a lot more Atari websites will be listed, but I did mention your YouTube channel :-)

    1. Hey I'm just glad I had a reason to get a jibe in against Maarten! He's too pro for his own good :D. Excellent book mate. Excellent!!!!!

  2. This book interests me

  3. Still haven't read it but only skimmed through it; it looks like the bee's knees. Sadly, quality publications are sorely missed in the ST (and CPC!) scenes, so this goes a long way in offering something the ST deserves.

  4. Oh my, I see the list started with Time Bandit! Definitely the best thing that happened to me today :)

    It was one of the first games since I had a pre-release ST in early 85. I remember going out to dinner with the Tramiel's at Circus Circus Steak House in Las Vegas, and afterwards going with them to the arcade. It was fun learning the processor, support chips, TOS, etc. with little documentation. Also challenging was developing something without anything else to compare against or show what was possible. Some reverse engineering, experimentation, tool building and, near the end, borrowed a $1000 10MB hard drive to speed up builds. I remember having access to an Atari guy trying to finish the TOS in parallel, getting updates. I think we got a limited demo version of the game distributed with the computer. Anyway, end of trip down memory lane.
    Bill Dunlevy

    1. Hey Bill that's so funny to read!! What a story and the history there is brilliant to hear. I can only imagine how hard it was to have something new and powerful yet know so little about. Still, the game turned out amazing of course :) Everyone loves your game!