Update: Sorry, folks. Looks like the sale has ended. The moose out front should have told you.

Atari is a company that is synonymous with video games, producing some of the very first hits in arcades during the 70s and 80s and sparking off a home console movement shortly thereafter. My first console was the Atari 2600, and although many of those games don't hold up that well today, many of them remain surprisingly good, and all are capable of tickling your nostalgia bone.

That's really the driving force behind Atari's Greatest Hits [Free], a collection of 100 of Atari's games from throughout the decades that have been translated to work on iOS hardware. To celebrate Atari's 40th(!) anniversary, the company is currently offering the entire 100 game package for free.

Well, technically the game has always been free, at least initially. You could download the shell app along with one game for free, and the rest of the catalog was available via in-app purchases. However, for the anniversary sale if you act quickly enough you can download the game and all in-app content is set to be free, and will remain that way as long as you keep the game installed on your device (i.e. this isn't tied directly to your iTunes account like normal IAP would be, so you can't re-download these games at a later date again for free).

But hey, that's still quite a deal. The Atari's Greatest Hits app itself is merely just ok from a playability perspective, I'd say. Most games have multiple control options so that there's bound to be something that suits you, but nothing ever feels ideal. However, if you have an iCade, the app fully supports it and that would clearly be the way to go.

Also, the actual game library isn't exactly going to set your pants on fire, despite the huge number of included games. There's some gems to be sure, but a lot of the real classics from Atari's arcade and home console heyday were 3rd party titles that aren't included here. For the full skinny, check out our review of Atari's Greatest Hits when it initially hit the App Store last year.

At any rate, Atari's Greatest Hits is a thoughtfully-designed little slice of video game history that fits snugly in your pocket and, despite some playability issues and a lack of heavy hitter titles, that fact alone is worth downloading the game while the in-app content is free. Better hurry, though, as it sounds like the promotion is only running until the end of today US time. And don't forget to keep the app installed in order to be able to keep all the free games you end up downloading from the collection.

  • Jason Kibbe

    Is there a quick and easy way to grab all of the games at once???

    • toxiccheese

      I had to click each and every single game one at a time. Didn't take too long though since they are all relatively small. Just about all of them are under a meg.

      • Jason Kibbe

        I did the same.  Too bad Atari games are more terrible than I remember as a kid...! :)

      • Adams Immersive

        Somehow I was really into Haunted House... but despite my renewed appreciation for retro-style games, I just can’t get into it! Still fun to have them in my collection.

  • Adams Immersive

    Tells me the price is $9.99. Anywhere in particular I should go?

    • Adams Immersive

      Ah—I see it’s tied to an update! Check your updates.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MGKMDABPUEAIAYIL5RC6WGE3AY Schuyler

    Nice bonus!

  • iblastoff

    No moon patrol? Damn

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001638515552 Peter Hirschberg

      Moon Patrol was a Williams game.

  • zornthgrt

    Anyone else having problems downloading games? I keep getting Internet connection blocking download try another connection message.

  • stormchild

    Not exactly looking forward to tapping 'download' 200 times (100x each for iPhone and iPad), but at least all those "free" games will vanish permanently if I ever need to restore or replace either device. But whatever…free is free.

    (Reminds me of the old saying "Linux is only free if your time is worthless.")

  • stormchild

    Haha…Pong weighs in at around 780 KB. That's just plain hilarious.

  • stormchild

    Can't believe this collection doesn't include the greatest video game ever made: ET.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.T._the_Extra-Terrestrial_(video_game)

  • http://twitter.com/mmustizer Michael Mustizer

    I never realized how much crap Atari out. All that hubbub just for an arcade perfect crystal castles!

  • http://twitter.com/studepaber Mr. Poopypants

    Just downloaded the game and not seeing how to get the games for free.  Went to downloaded the Crystal Castles game and it still wanted to charge me .99c?  I saw someone post above about updates but I'm not seeing any.  What am I doing wrong?

  • Matthew Keogh

    Me too. It looks like they're charging again. I'm giving it 1 star.

    • Kyle Carmitchel

      You're an idiot.

    • http://twitter.com/FraggsMedia Fraggs Media

      Really? Because they're charging for something that they created, they paid to develop, and they released you're going to jack the ratings with a 1 star? Grow up.

      • Matthew Keogh

        I didn't rate it 1 star just because it's over, but because it's over 6 hours after it was publicized. That was the main reason. Not the best controls either.

  • Soul_of_Wit

    Was this yesterday only? I sure can't download free IAP today. And, yes, I have updated the app.

  • FakeName

    I got the app yesterday, and only got the games I recognized/liked, since I was low in space on my iPod. However, even after the sale, all the games have a check next to each game (according to the list of Atari Arcade/2600 games.) Does this mean that I am entitled to download all the games for free, or do I need to memorize all the games I downloaded for free?

  • martintizzard

    I have the 40th Anniversary update which allows all games to be played until removed or uninstalled. Can anyone tell me if the recent version 1.6 update (Token Play) would stop me playing all games? Thanks