It was a dismal Sunday night; my belly was bloated with the faithful flavours of a roast dinner, when I began furiously searching through my television for something to watch. After an hour or so, I decided enough was enough. There was nothing that was going to sooth my end-of-week brain. From that point on, I thought it would be a smart idea to indulge in some much needed Netflix, but what to watch?

Opening the app, I clicked onto the favourite’s column and there before my eyes, sat an urban gaming legend waiting to be unravelled. Being a massive fan of the internet, I’d heard of the story that was about to be told, but like everyone else, I didn’t know the truth. Atari: Game Over, how did a gaming giant that started so much, rapidly die?

The main concept of the programme is based around the theory that the ‘worst video game of all time’, made by Atari, had been buried in a New Mexico landfill because it was so awful. E.T. the video game, dubbed with flaws, a diabolical story and an extremely short turnover period, has been whispered as, ‘The grim reaper of gaming for the 80’s’ and in that, the cause of Atari’s grave. Is this true?

Stepping back in time, the visuals show the audience when Atari was born and a time when business was booming. From this, we grasp the concept of major success and witness the party lifestyle they lead. We see the designers living it up whilst they made gaming history.

With games like Centipede, Yars’ Revenge and Asteroids all being spawned into making millions, the industry gave the impression that it was going to live forever.Until one day it all started spiralling. Profit was shot down faster than Pac man on a power up pill and with that, the employee’s were cut. As the months went by, more people were struck off and as the saying goes, ‘They could see the light at the end of the tunnel’.

However, a chance came in off the back of the E.T. movie. They could generate a game spin off, but with that came a five week deadline. In the past, developers spent at least six months on a game before they even thought about releasing it, but Howard Scott Warshaw was given just over a month.

The game came out and ultimately failed. From then on nothing much was ever said about it, but in 2014, the power of the internet brought the legend back to life. It’s like a session of Chinese Whispers, one person tells another and then everyone on the web knows about it. After a short trend, it was briskly branded the death of Atari and the rumour of the burial spread like wildfire, hence the reason for the show.

Beginning the dig, the crew and millions of fans watch on in anticipation as their mystery is about to be revealed, or is it?

Without giving any spoilers away, I advise that if you are a fan of urban legends, retro gaming or just gaming in general, you should feast your eyes on this. Overall, it’s an interesting insight into gaming history, as well as a strong look at what brought most of today’s technology to life. Atari: Game Over is not only an archaeology dig, but is the knowledge and inspiration of today’s generation.