The Steam online digital distrubution system announced that Atari PC games would be added to their catalog of programs. One of the games, Atari 80 Classics in 1, is more of a bargain then meets the eye. A collection of retro Atari games from the arcades and the Atari 2600 game system, the package includes a bonus not listed in any of the marketing materials.
Each game in the collection has an Extras bonus content section. Usually this includes box art and original manuals. But the Atari archivists were very thorough and included the bonus mini-comics that were published in conjunction with DC Comics. These comics, while never valuable, do entertain on a cult status level. Atari comics had surprisingly high quality for what was essentially a marketing pack-in item.
Comics included in the collection are as follows:
Swordquest #1-3. Written by Roy Thomas and Gerry
Atari Force #3. Sci-fi from Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas. Artists included Ross Andru, Gil Kane, Dick Giordano and Mike DeCarlo. Atari Force proved popular enough that DC Comics published a second volume in the regular, monthly comic format. Unfortunately, the games collection only includes one of the issues since the rights for the other games that included the comics are no longer held by Atari.
Centipede #1. A light-hearted kids’ book in the style of Harvey Comics. An evil wizard turns Oliver the Elf’s forest friends into monsters. Who knew Centipede had a deep back story? We thought we were just shooting bugs.
Atari 80 Classics in 1 is available at Steampowered.com for $18.95. That’s 80 games and five hard-to-find comics… Why not?