Activision Anthology Review
Activision was one of the biggest publishers when the Atari 2600 hit store shelves. Some of the most popular titles for the system have been ones made by the legendary gaming company. So this anthology collection of their finest games for the beloved system is a dream collection for retro fans.
45 classic Activision and Imagic games are available to play, but not for free. The bomb dropping Kaboom! is unlocked right away but if you want to grab the rest of the titles it’ll set you back $6.99. Or you can buy them in packs of 11 for $2.99. Is this a good deal for 2600 fans? You bet your black controller it is.
Imagine being able to play the original Pitfall again on your iPad or iPhone? (Don’t forget your retro case.) Once you do start playing the original, and Pitfall II, you’ll understand how brilliant the updated endless runner is. Score a goal in Ice Hockey, avoid the Stampede, they’re all here waiting to be played.
This collection was done the right way. You can view the box and cartridge in a rotating 360 view. Each game even comes with scans of the original instruction manual, manuals most of us lost over the years. If you’re confused as to how the shifting works in Dragster, then the manual is right there to help you out.
The games themselves are emulated perfectly. Graphics and sound are spot on. I used to be so good at River Raid and Demon Attack, but now I suck. It’s a lot of fun going back to those days at my cousin’s house when we’d all gather around the TV and play 2600 games all day. Well, maybe I did. Everyone else was outside. Besides social media high score boasting opportunities, there are also Gamecenter achievements, including those cool patches Activision used to send gamers back in the ’80s when they mailed them a high score.
The only issue I have are the controls. The d-pad option feels stiffer than using the real joystick and it’s not as responsive as I’d like it to be. Some games, like River Raid, can be played with the tilt option but the d-pad or touch control is going to be your default choice. Activision Anthology isn’t iCade compatible yet but there’s no portrait view which kind of makes iCade compatibility pointless anyway. Perhaps a future update will addresses these issues.
This is a great collection for retro gamers who want to revisit the classics they grew up playing. For today’s generation, they may get bored with the simplified graphics. Plus they’ll probably get their butts kicked by their dad and no kid can live with that. Pick up Activision Anthology and relive the golden years of gaming. Let’s just hope an update to fix the controls comes sooner rather than later.