• Category Archives Atari 8-bit
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  • Antic (February 1984)


    Source: Antic – February 1984

    Antic was one of the two big magazines in the U.S. that covered the Atari 8-bit computer line. In early 1984, the Atari 600XL and 800XL were just becoming widely available though they had technically been available, at least in limited quantities, since the Fall of 1983. The February 1984 issue of Antic includes:


    • A Greeting Card For All Seasons – Say it on cassette
    • Follow That Stock – A spreadsheet for your stock portfolio.
    • Money Matters – Atari reckons with personal finance
    • Typo – Type your program once
    • Atari At War – The wild world of conflict simulation
    • Fast Finger – Autoboot with a ghost at the keyboard
    • Phone Book – Simulate string arrays in Atari BASIC
    • Character Graphics – Redefine the set any way you choose


    • Inside Atari – It’s Official
    • Starting Line – A Cinderella Story
    • Education – The End Of Odd Man
    • LOGO/Pilot – LOGO Books
    • In The Public Domain – The Gauntlet – **Bonus Game** Galactic Gloop
    • Tape Topics – The 410 HI-REL Mod
    • Systems Guide – Nightmare Detour
    • Assembly Language – DRAWTO FILL
    • I/O Board
    • Help!
    • Public Domain Software
    • New Products
    • Product Reviews
    • Advertisers List
    • Listing Conventions
    • Shopper’s Guide
    • Microscreens

    …and more!

  • Antic (June 1984)


    Source: Antic – June 1984

    Antic: The Atari Resource was probably the 2nd most popular magazine for Atari 8-bit computers. It its later years it shifted more focus onto the Atari ST though. The June 1984 issue, which was still a while before the 16-bit ST was introduced, includes:


    • Anatomy of an Atari 800XL – Inside the belly of the beast
    • Exploring the XL – One programmer’s perspective
    • Scroll Your Way to the Top – A short course on coarse scrolling
    • Use BASIC to Animate – An easier way to program your own games
    • Color Finetuner – Adjust your colors to a “T”
    • Antic Pix Furniture – Computing in comfort


    • Inside Atari: Evolution of the XL Computers
    • Education: Alphabet Music
    • Languages: Talk to your Robot
    • Profiles: Activision’s James Levy
    • Toolbox: BASIC – A Variable Approach
    • Game of the Month: Escape From Epsilon
    • Assembly Language: Shortcuts to Success
    • I/O Board
    • Help!
    • Public Domain Software
    • New Products
    • Product Reviews
    • Advertisers List
    • Listing Conventions
    • Shopper’s Guide

  • Synapse (Atari 8-bit)


    Source: Antic – June 1984

    There can be no doubt that the early 1980s were the golden age for games on the Atari 8-bit computers. The Commodore 64 was rapidly surpassing Atari by this point but Atari was still going strong though it wouldn’t be for much longer. Synapse made a ton of great games for the Atari 8-bit and other 8-bit computers. This ad from the June 1984 issue of Antic highlights several of them.


    Alone on a distant planet, you stumble into a futuristic 8-level tank battlefield that really plays for keeps! Watch out for the deadly drones and sneaky saucers.

    This one was sort of a clone of Battlezone, the vector based arcade game.

    Dimension X

    Test yourself with incredible 3-D action that never stops! An alien invasion fleet has the capital city surrounded, and it’s up to you to stop the destruction! Good luck – you’ll need it.

    This one tries to be a slightly more advanced version of something like Battlezone or Encounter but at the end of the day, the game play wasn’t as good with this game.


    First the prison break, but that’s only the beginning! The underground world of Zarkafir is full of surprises, from the lethal energy fields to devastating earthquakes. Can you defeat the Timelords?

    This was a side-scrolling shooter of sorts that takes place in underground caverns. A funny place for a zeppelin perhaps but this was a really good game and large for its time with 250 rooms to blast your way through. Uniquely, up to four players could play with the extra players controlling various guns on the zeppelin that player 1 was flying.

    Other titles listed include Blue Max, Fort Apocalypse, Shamus and Shamus Case II, Necromancer, Pharoah’s Curse, and Quasimodo. I played most of these and they were all excellent games though I played them on the Commodore 64 and not the Atari 8-bit. While Synapse had the occasional mediocre game, the average quality was quite high. It’s a shame they went out of business so early (later in 1984) in part because they were ripped off by Jack Tramiel who refused to pay them for software they shipped for Atari. To make matters worse they made a decision to start emphasizing text adventures which started fading in popularity around the same time.