With 20 Atari titles already represented on the Evercade (thanks to the very first cartridge in the console’s library, Atari Collection 1), it seems a bit odd that Blaze decided to go back to the very beginning of home console game entertainment so soon, when they had a much wider variety of games from more recent systems waiting in the wings.

Though there’s no denying the appeal of some of these very basic, very old school games, this is definitely a weaker collection than the first – there’s a feeling of repetition too, with Asteroids, Centipede and Desert Falcon all having appeared on the previous compilation. It’s worth noting, however, that on Atari Collection 2 we do get the superior 7800 versions, rather than the more basic Atari 2600 ports featured on the first cartridge.

As so many of the Atari 2600’s heavy hitters were already featured on the first collection, the games here feel weaker by comparison too, for the most part. Having always enjoyed top-down racers, I was pleased to see Sprint Master making an appearing though – and the undeniable classic Yars’ Revenge is included here too. Radar Lock, Solaris and Realsports Tennis seem to be squeezing every last drop of potential from the original 2600 – even though they may look basic by modern standards, they’re actually really impressive titles for Atari’s 1977 console.

I might be alone in this, but Haunted House always baffled me and I could never tell what was going on; Bowling is a little too minimalistic to be fun, as is Human Cannonball too – making these probably the least interesting games on the cartridge. Though 1977 game Street Racer is also incredibly minimal, there’s an impressive sense of speed, which adds a satisfying challenge to its high score chasing fun. Single screen shooter Demons to Diamonds is dull, unfortunately, but the belatedly released Wizard (which was created in 1983 but not released until 2005 on an Atari Flashback plug and play console) offers some enjoyment at least.

Centipede sequel Millipede is here; it’s a bit more varied than its predecessor and just as addictive. Gauntlet-esque Dark Chambers is also an excellent addition to the collection. Lastly, Submarine Commander is a game that is a bit too ambitious for Atari’s console and Air Sea Battle is just a bit uninteresting.

In addition to the aforementioned 2600 games, five games from Atari’s 7800 console are also included. The aforementioned, Asteroids, Centipede and Desert Falcon ports are here and much improved over the 2600 versions, but there’s also street sports title Basketbrawl and vertical shooter Planet Smashers. All of these are good, if not great, games.

It’s a mixed bag then; the 2600 games are weaker overall, but a few stand out (Yars’ Revenge and Sprint Master being two personal favourites) and the 7800 titles would have had more of an impact if three of them hadn’t already appeared in their earlier incarnations on the previous Evercade Atari collection. As with many of the Evercade cartridges, the appeal of the collection can vary depending on your nostalgia for the games included, but it’s hard not to at least appreciate the value of another 20 games in a single cartridge, especially as it would cost quite a bit more if the original cartridges were purchased individually (with many of the individual games costing as much as this entire collection alone at current prices).

You can purchase Atari Collection 2 from Amazon here.

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