Top Ten by Frank Charlton

This issues top ten is by one of the most respected Atari users around. Frank Charlton used to be technical editor of ST Format, he is the sysop of Ad.Lib BBS and the man behind Tachyon communications.
Take it away Frank...

Having dithered about for a few hours over this, I can't honestly put these into any sort of priority at all. Everything listed here has stuck in my mind for some reason or other, and naming one as greater than the other would be unfair - so I'm going to cop out, and say they're all favourites. You might find some odd choices here, especially from a journalist who's had access to some of the most expensive commercial programs over the years - but I was an ST user long before I wrote for a living, and it's those years that provide most of my happiest memories ;)

Tempest 2000 (Jaguar)

I loved the arcade original way back in the mists of time, and Jeff Minter's explosive colourfest took a classic game to new heights. The sound, music, psychedelic graphics and teeth-grinding gameplay all make for a perfect package. This game alone should have made the Jaguar fly off the shelves, and even Atari-hating magazine writers loved it.

Alien Vs. Predator (Jaguar)

The other reason to buy a Jag, AvP is still a hell of a game. Superb sounds, graphics and a great artificial intelligence system made for a very, very thick and authentic atmosphere. Long before the PSX and Saturn, this was gaming at its best.

Rainbow Islands (ST)

Slick, fast, colourful and absolutely arcade perfect. Rainbow Islands is responsible for ruining more joysticks than I care to remember, and made me late for work more than once after a late-night session.

Dungeon Master (ST)

Remember the time when FTL hadn't released this for the Amiga, and Commodore mags and users worldwide were screaming for it? I do, since I was sat up 'til 4a.m. fighting my way through the dungeons of Chaos. Superb, and I can still pick it up and play today.

Almost Every Demo Ever Released (ST/Falcon)

I used to be a big demo collector years ago, and I still couldn't name a favourite. Right from the early efforts like the BIG Demo, through the first multi-disk megademos like Syntax Terror and Punish Your Machine, I had them all. Most magazine journalists hate demos for some reason, probably because they've never created anything original themselves. Not me - I loved them, and spent many happy hours ripping MODs and gawking at the latest effects. Demo coders - never, ever stop. Your push your machines to the limits in ways ordinary users like me never could.

MagiC/Mag!X (ST)

I was gobsmacked when I first saw the ST version of this excellent multitasking OS. Speed, ease of use and reliability, and it ran on a humble 8MHz ST! True pre-emptive multitasking, something the Mac OS still can't do after all these years. MagiC changed the way I work forever.

APEX Media (Falcon030)

I first saw Titan's David Encill demonstrating APEX and its amazing morphing at one of the old ST Review shows, and I wanted it even before I had a Falcon. As Dave still demonstrates at shows now, there's nothing anywhere to touch it in terms of speed and ease of use.

NeoChrome (ST)

I bought this from a local PD Library the same day I bought my first ST. After the Spectrum and 800XL, the ST's graphical capabilities were a revelation, and NeoChrome was my most used art package for years. I hardly ever sit down to create original art any more, but when I do, I miss this program a lot.

Jekyll (ST/Falcon)

I remember the excitement in the comms fraternity when this transfer protocol was released. Upload and download at the same time? And chat to the SysOp as well? We were amazed. I spent many an hour waffling to BBS SysOps while I cleaned out their filebases, and this program brings back some very happy comms memories :)

ka9q/NOS (ST/Falcon)

Hardly anyone knew what the Internet was, and programs like Netscape hadn't even been born. Those of us who hooked up to Demon with NOS in the very early days will remember swearing and screaming at this program, desperately trying to get mail to send or news to arrive - but we were on the Internet, and it was bloody marvellous!


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