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September 2018 Retro Gaming Article

September 25, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

AtGames changes course with “Legends Flashback” console and HDMI dongle-based “Blast” games

AtGames Legends Flashback game console
Atari may have altered their agreement with AtGames leaving them to release Legends and spread out Atari titles in smaller numbers, via the Blast dongles.
Strange things are afoot in holiday gaming! Every year we get a new Flashback with an updated selection of Atari 2600 games. The quantity of built-in games has steadily climbed while the price is still reasonable. This holiday season it looks like we're going to be benefiting from a new arrangement between Atari and AtGames.

Atari is releasing Atari Flashback Classics Vol.3 (seemingly without AtGames) and perhaps a Switch version and AtGames is putting out what seems like more "arcade" related games on a similar all-in-one console. Simultaneously, HDMI dongle-based game systems, called Flashback Blast, will come to market. It's gonna be a busy holiday season!

Flashback Legends Game Console

Loaded with 50 built-in home console and arcade titles, this box takes AtGames down a different path. While they have been known for Atari 2600 releases (and a ColecoVision and an Intellivision Flashback) the addition of arcade and home-console games is an interesting new turn.

Legends features save and resume functions - even a rewind feature when in inevitable misstep occurs. With 2 six-button wireless controllers and 720p HDMI output, this console should be on shelves on October 1st.

Game list for Legends Flashback:
  1. 1942
  2. Act-Fancer Cybernetick Hyper Weapon
  3. Astro Fantasia
  4. Bad Dudes vs. Dragon-ninja
  5. Break Thru
  6. BurgerTime
  7. Burnin' Rubber
  8. Champions World Class Soccer
  9. Cluster Buster
  10. Commando
  11. Crude Buster
  12. Darwin 4078
  13. Dig Dug
  14. Disco No.1
  15. Edward Randy, The Cliffhanger
  16. Express Raider
  17. Fighting Ice Hockey
  18. Forgotten Worlds
  19. Galaga
  20. Ghouls 'n Ghosts
  21. Heavy Barrel
  22. Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja
  23. Joe & Mac Returns
  24. Judge Dredd
  25. Lock 'n Chase
  1. Mappy
  2. Mega Man
  3. Mega Man 2
  4. Meikyu Hunter G
  5. Phelios
  6. Pirate Ship Higemaru
  7. Pro Tennis
  8. Pro Bowling
  9. Rally-X
  10. Rootin' Tootin'
  11. Scrum Try
  12. Sly Spy (Secret Agent)
  13. Side Pocket
  14. Shoot Out
  15. Side Arms Hyper Dyne
  16. Sky Kid
  17. Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers
  18. Strider
  19. Super BurgerTime
  20. Super Doubles Tennis
  21. Super Pool III
  22. Super Real Darwin
  23. Terranean
  24. Tetris
  25. Tournament Pro Golf

Flashback Blast HDMI Dongle Games

AtGames Flashback Blast HDMI dongle With the announcement arriving today, there isn't too much info available, but these units seem similar to Playjam's GameStick. They seem to be USB powered dongles that connect to your TV's HDMI port and hide out of site without any bulky console to take up space. All six of these beauties are set to release on October 15th.

This is a curious strategy because at $20 folks probably won't initially buy more than one or two. I'd rather see this product at #14.99. Having six of them hit the market at once offers consumers a lot of choices that may lead to confusion rather than sales. I'm surprised they didn't release two or three for the holidays and slowly introduce the rest.

I like the idea of the out-of-sight dongle approach and it's 1080i output spec, but it's success will be very dependent on the hardiness of the 2.4G wireless controllers working well - very well. AtGames finally got rid of those awful IR controllers. Being a dongle-based system, there are not db-9 ports like the former Flashback consoles. I always preferred to use one of my old Atari joysticks. Hopefully these new controllers will be better. And do we need a new controller for each one? If there are 6 of these, I'm more apt to buy another one if I can use the same controller for each one. Maybe that's just my own quirk.

I'm excited to see game lists for these dongle -based Blast game consoles.

AtGames Flashback Blast HDMI dongle The Pong model is particularly interesting because all the games are paddle-based and includes wireless paddles along with the games listed below. These games didn't appear on former Atari Flashback consoles due to the lack of paddle controllers. Game list for Atari Flashback Blast! Pong:
  1. Backgammon
  2. Blackjack
  3. Breakout
  4. Canyon Bomber
  5. Circus Atari
  6. Demons to Diamonds
  7. Night Driver
  8. Steeplechase
  9. Street Racer
  10. Stunt Cycle
  1. Super Breakout
  2. Video Olympics (Basketball)
  3. Video Olympics (Foozpong)
  4. Video Olympics (Handball)
  5. Video Olympics (Hockey)
  6. Video Olympics (Pong)
  7. Video Olympics (Quadrapong)
  8. Video Olympics (Super Pong)
  9. Video Olympics (Volleyball)
  10. Warlords

Source: The game lists are posted on the Armchair Arcade website.

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