Here’s another bit of Friday fun (last week we had The Border Lands browser game). Microsoft and Atari have joined forces to bring a raft of old Atari Arcade games to your favourite HTML5 capable browser. The online games arcade has been launched to celebrate Atari Games 40th anniversary and the imminent launch of IE10. Also there’s a link to download the latest version of IE for your OS upon the arcade page, nudge nudge. A button bar below the arcade declares “Built for touch in Internet Explorer”. If you have any other HTML5 capable browser it is OK too but Microsoft has deemed to include adverts upon the page if you use anything other than IE.
The following great Atari classics are included within the arcade at this time;
- Lunar Lander
- Missile Command
- Super Breakout
- Yars' Revenge
- …and more games will be added in the future according to Atari
No plugins required
The graphics and sounds have been updated and modernised so these aren’t like some of the Java emulators running “ROMs” you might have seen online before. Actually there is no need for Java, Flash, Shockwave or any other plug-ins to play in this arcade, it all runs solely thanks to the wonders of HTML5. I have just tried the arcade on my Windows Mango mobile phone and it worked, but the screen zoom was “zoomed in” too far. (At random I chose “Missile Command” to test it out). Others report the arcade works well on iPads/Safari. Tablets and mobiles can use the touch interface controls alluded to in the introductory paragraph. For you social networking fiends the Atari Arcade integrates with Facebook and Twitter to share scores etc.
I undertook a quick test to check the performance of the desktop browsers upon my Windows 7 system. I loaded the game COMBAT and have the following comments;
- Firefox 15: a little jerky despite the recent update and gaming optimisations.
- IE 9: good, played nicely.
- Chrome 21.0.1180.89: the smoothest game play experience.
Overall it’s a great free offering which may easily use up quite a bit of your valuable time. Among the games Atari has also inserted a section for developers; The Atari Arcade Developer Centre, which will take you to a portal describing how the new Atari Arcade for HTML5 was made and how you can build games for the platform too. Here’s a direct link to that.