Weird Dreams
Image: Atari/Big Boat Interactive

Update [Thu 22nd Feb, 2024 09:35 GMT]: Since publishing, we've been contacted by Atari, who have given us an update on some of the issues users are reporting with the "Atari Presents" series.

According to an Atari spokesperson, the team has acknowledged it still has "some work to do to address some of the crashes and other issues that users are reporting", but has "already addressed some of the reports and will be continuing to push updated builds to GOG until we address what we find, both in the builds and the documentation".

The spokesperson also tells us that Atari intends to push "a complete rebuild of the Gunship bundle that has the Islands and Ice expansion for Gunship 2000", as there was an "internal miscommunication about versioning on Gunship 2000". According to the spokesperson we spoke to, it was always their intent to release the more complete version.

In other words, more fixes are coming, though an exact ETA/timeline is yet to be communicated for these.

Original Story [Mon 19th Feb, 2024 11:00 GMT]: Last week, without warning, Atari launched a brand new label on Steam and GOG called "Atari Presents", which will see the publisher releasing a bunch of old retro games on the digital storefront.

The company describes the initiative as "being geared toward the preservation of cult classics, forgotten favorites, and titles that would otherwise be lost to time", and claims the releases "are unchanged" from their original versions apart from being altered to be compatible with modern machines.

Eight games have already been released as part of this new label, including MicroProse's flight combat sims Gunship & Gunship 2000, Rainbird Software's cinematic platformer Weird Dreams, Accolade's Hardball! & Hardball II, Infogrames's 3D platformer Zapper: One Wicked Cricket, Flight of the Intruder, and the space flight simulator Lightspeed (these games cost between £5.89 to £8.50). But before you go getting too excited, it's worth noting that early Steam reviews for these rereleases haven't been particularly great.

The Steam reviewers BrianRubin and Damson, for instance, have been quick to warn people away from the Gunship + Gunship 2000 bundle due to crashes, copy protection issues, and the game seemingly being an earlier version of the title than what was shipped on CD-ROM.

Meanwhile, others have cited difficulty in getting Zapper to boot on their device (note: we could launch it just fine), with the developer Big Boat Interactive and Atari so far being unable to identify why some users can run the game and others can't.

All in all, it's probably best that you exercise caution regarding these rereleases for the time being, at least until Atari or Big Boat Interactive announce fixes for some of the issues that players have identified. We'll be keeping an eye out for any updates and will let you know if any adjustments are made.