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Atari Enters iPhone Gaming Market With Lawyers in Tow

Atari Enters iPhone Gaming Market With Lawyers in Tow

Atari has released two new iPhone games that might, with legal aid, displace some imitators. Missile Command and Super Breakout are two popular classics, now available for sale in the iTunes App Store for $4.99 each. According to Atari's blurb in the iTunes App Store descriptions, these games are "true evolutions of the original hits. "

Missile Command truly does feel like an evolution of the original. The gameplay is unchanged, and while the graphics are modernized, it still looks and feels like the original. If you squint hard enough you might even be able to see the big, square animated pixels from the past. A nice plus is that the game allows you to use game music or iPod music on your iPhone which is definitely a modern touch. You simply touch the screen where you want to aim and you are firing away at missiles in no time.

Missile Command Classic
Missile Command Modern

Super Breakout feels like the original, but there is no "true evolution" in this game. It's been polished up a bit, but hardly anything else has changed. Someone pointed out to that this game has been emulated or enhanced by many others via different clones of this Breakout gaming concept; clones that emulate, but seem to always exceed the original Super Breakout in features and innovations. Enhancements are limited to selection of a music source and a customizable background. Powerups and special blocks are added when the game is played in Super mode.

Breakout Classic
Breakout Modern

Both games also allow you to play with one or two players. The two player mode requires you to handover your iPhone to the other player for game play. No wireless playing mode between devices is supported.

So the games are great, but what about that lawyers? Atari's legal team sent letters out recently to the developers of Breakout clones that were for sale in the iTunes App Store. Atari claimed that those Apps were infringing on their intellectual property.

This tactic does not appear to be working. At press time, a competing Breakout type game SuperBall 2 is still for sale at $2.99 and a trail version for free is also available.