I think that people, particularly console owners who never owned an 8 or 16-bit computer, underestimate the number and variety of games that were available on those platforms. There were just so many games. Far more than were ever available on a console, especially if we are talking about machines like the Commodore 64. Not all of them are good of course but many were, including many that most people have probably never heard of.
BMX Simulator is just one example. While initially developed on the Commodore 64, it was ultimately ported to a variety of 8-bit and 16-bit computer platforms, including the Atari ST. Released in 1986, it was very similar to other overhead racers like Super Sprint only with a BMX theme. This wasn’t a terribly realistic simulation of BMX racing despite the name, or at least the tracks were often unrealistically unsafe. There were various obstacles to spice the game including puddles, tires and other things. However, that only added to the fun.
While a relative few people have probably heard of this game, it got fairly good reviews and is better than many games on the consoles of the day. The graphics were much better too once you start considering the 16-bit computer ports like the Atari ST version.
Unfortunately, games like this are seldom re-released. While the occasional 8-bit or 16-bit computer game will make it to a modern console in the form of a digital download, it is relatively rare compared to 8/16-bit console re-releases. Perhaps this will change, at least on the Atari side of things with the upcoming VCS. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The photos above are from the Atari ST version of the game. In addition to the original Commodore 64 version, BMX Simulator was also released for the Atari 8-bit, Amiga, MSX and other computer platforms. However, I don’t know of any modern re-releases so check out an original or try it via emulation.
BMX Simulator (Atari ST)