Six Atari franchises that should see a reboot

Forty years ago from today, a little company called Atari was incorporated by the state of California. While the original company had plenty of bumps and pitfalls along the way (rest in peace, E.T.), there’s no denying that Atari played a major role in the development of videogames: both in the expansion of the arcade, as well as the popularity of the gaming console itself.

To millions of adults worldwide, the Atari 2600 represents the first home gaming console. Today, the modern Atari spends a majority of its business with iOS, producing modern equivalents of its classic titles, such as Centipede: Origins and Asteroids: Gunner. To celebrate the original Atari’s 40th anniversary, we’ve decided to pick out some of the best Atari franchises that could use a modern iOS reboot of their own.


Marble Madness

This 1984 isometric platform puzzler was a smash hit, but had its chances for a sequel squashed when prototypes performed poorly in location testing. What better way to revive a series than by bringing it to a platform that could perfectly emulate sloping a ball across a course with the accelerometer?



The classic 4-player hack and slash title has been updated and upgraded a few times, but we still haven’t seen our mythic friends duking it out in a full release since 2005’s Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows. The last time we saw a handheld Gauntlet title? Never, if you don’t count the re-skinned Gauntlet: The Third Encounter for the Atari Lynx. A 2008 reboot for the DS was completed and playable, but never hit the market. If any handheld platform can make a franchise viable again, iOS could do it.



So “It is the 21st century and there is time for Klax” might not read as smoothly as the original nineties craze, but this is one puzzler destined for another shot at the big time. The addictive “catch and drop” puzzle gameplay would work perfectly with slide controls.


Missile Command

The original tower defense game. The addictive arcade-style shooter challenged coordination, precision, and timing, and would be perfectly suited for a touch-based interface. Atari sold the rights for a Missile Command film to 20th Century Fox in 2011 – if such a film ever comes into existence, a new title is practically guaranteed.


S.T.U.N. Runner

This 3D racer/shooter is begging for a new iteration on the iOS. 3D visual capability? Check. Smooth racing controls? Check (via the built-in gyroscope). Room for high scores based on speed runs or perfect collecting? Check. Aside from the fact that our Editor-in-Chief Jim Squires has admitted to dumping more quarters than he’d like to admit on the original, you can triple-check us for the reboot here.



This game about racing in inner tubes is a hundred times more exciting than it sounds. You and the AI (or a friend) are challenged to race your way down a wild waterfall. Don’t like your friend? Chuck an empty can at him! This zany concept would be perfect with online multiplayer supporting more than two tubes, alongside an even greater repertoire of weaponry.

All said, huge props to Atari for constantly maintaining a presence in the videogames industry for 40 years. With their new trend of iOS releases, we can’t wait to see what franchises they’ll reanimate next.