Atari Arcade – Play Retro Video Games In HTML5 [MUO Gaming]

Dave Parrack 13-09-2012

retro gamesAnyone who plays video games today owes a huge debt of gratitude to Atari and the founders and engineers who worked for the company during its formative years. Atari was responsible for many of the earliest arcade games and some of the earliest games consoles, and throughout the 1970s and 1980s helped shape the industry that now competes with Hollywood in terms of budgets and earnings.


My first games console was an Atari, and I still remember the day my dad brought it home and set it up for me and my brothers to play. Although I must have been no more than five years old, my love of gaming was forged at that very moment, a love that has lasted for 30 years and counting.

Atari Arcade

The history I have with Atari means I will always have a soft spot for those early titles. And with the Atari Arcade now featuring games playable directly in Web browsers with no need for Flash or Java – thanks to the power of HTML5 15 Sites That Do Amazing Things With HTML5 Read More – I can happily relive my childhood with new versions of some truly classic games.

There are eight retro games available to play on Atari Arcade at the time of writing: Pong, Asteroids, Missile Command, Super Breakout, Lunar Lander, Combat, Centipede, and Yars’ Revenge. The first five mentioned are detailed below, but I’ll let you discover the latter three by yourselves.


retro games

Pong was one of the earliest video games ever conceived, and it’s about as simple a game as you can get. This was table tennis in video game form circa 1972, and it still stands up to scrutiny even with its shiny new HTML5 uniform on. You control one paddle or bat, and the CPU controls the other; the aim of the game being to score points by hitting the ball beyond your opponent’s reach.


Top Tip: Moving the bat as the ball makes contact equals spin.


retro video games

Asteroids was the essential space shooter for many years, and it influenced countless other games in its genre. You control a spaceship as it spins around destroying the titular asteroids. Unfortunately, one shot doesn’t destroy an asteroid, it merely breaks it up, meaning you’re left with space debris that can quickly build into a nightmare.

Top Tip: Keep moving at all times, but stay well and truly in control.


Missile Command

retro video games

Missile Command sounds more fun than it actually is. You’re in charge of the defenses of this city against a brutal enemy attack. So with missiles raining down on you from all angles you fight fire with fire and shoot the threats down before they can hit home. This game is played with the mouse rather than the keyboard, and it’s a little hit and miss. Literally.

Top Tip: Focus on the direct threats to your missile silos first and foremost.

Super Breakout

retro video games


Super Breakout is basically Pong turned on its side with a wall of colored blocks instead of an opponent. The idea is to keep your ball (or balls) in play in order to destroy the whole wall. There are three game modes, all of which are more fun they should be for (sane) grown adults. Once again spin plays a big part in the success or failure of your efforts.

Top Tip: Get the ball in behind the wall to see a chain reaction of bouncy goodness begin.

Lunar Lander

retro games

Lunar Lander has to be the most ingenious-yet-frustrating game ever made. The concept is simple: land your lunar craft on one of the platforms provided using the thrusters at your disposal. But if you’re as heavy-handed as I am you’re more likely to crash the lunar craft rather than land it safely, whatever good intentions you start each attempt with.


Top Tip: No sudden or extravagant movements… try the slow, subtle, methodical approach.


Playing these retro games instantly brings memories flooding back, and summing up nostalgic feelings like that means Atari Arcade is more than worthy of your time and attention. Even if you’re too young to have played these classic video games the first time around then you’ll still be able to wring some fun out of Atari Arcade.

The games mentioned above are just the first of many due to be added to Atari Arcade. Not only is the Atari library 3 Awesome Online Destinations to Play Old Atari Games Read More to be raided again, the free development kit and tutorials that are available to download mean brand new titles will appear on Atari Arcade in the coming months and years.

Do you have a favorite amongst the games mentioned? Is there another Atari game you’d love to see given a makeover for the modern, HTML5-powered Web? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related topics: Atari, HTML5, Retro Gaming.

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  1. janel raelyn
    January 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Fantastic game! A new application for iPhone,iPad and Android. “River Raid” that one game which all generations will enjoy! Gamers who grew up playing on Atari remember their old times playing it! In this new version graphics have been changed into more modern ones. And since it is platform friendly, it is open for all platform users and gamers can even connect to players around the world, using multiplayer mode. Visit and enjoy! (

  2. rhoslug
    September 18, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Would love to see Joust make an appearance.

  3. Paul Girardin
    September 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm


    I was 16 when Pong came out!

    It all seems just an eye blink later and ... This morning, I wake up and I'm 56!

    Time sure does fly!

  4. Mani Ahmed
    September 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

    and for the record i never got around to playing or being hooked to any of the new and advance gaming consoles ... even owning a PS2 at a later date !

  5. Mani Ahmed
    September 17, 2012 at 7:42 am

    river raid and pacman is the name that comes to my mind with atari ... i had that huge console with no built in games even till 5 years back .... and had that for over 20 years till my new wife then decided to bring me to the real world :o those were lovely days and much simpler ... atari is a whole flash of memories ... ! miss those times ... atari, nintendo, super nintendo and then sega ... !

  6. Kao Vang
    September 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Memories. I remember when I first moved to the US, '89, I played my first video game... Asteroids.

  7. Sandra Davis
    September 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Will Atari post the game centerpede online this was my favorite game!!

    • Dave Parrack
      September 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      It's likely. The company has promised many more of their 100+ classics to come, so fingers crossed.

  8. Ramon Mondragon
    September 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Wow awesome ! I love lunar lander.

    • Dave Parrack
      September 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      I found Lunar Landing so frustrating. I seem to have the patience for it as I've aged.