I can fill in some of the early history of the game Exploding Atoms.
The original concept (so far as I know) was a board game concept published in a British Magazine called Games & Puzzles some time in the late 1970s. I don't think the magazines are available online but boardgamegeek.com has a list of articles and I think it was Explosion in issue 55 (December 1976) published in the Playroom section which carried readers ideas for games.
The first computer version of the game (unless anyone wants to disagree) was written by me in 1979-80 for the Sharp MZ-80K and published by Knights Computers in Aberdeen. In 1979 I was a school kid mad about programming and I wanted to write a game from scratch. This is the one I chose and despite being chosen primarily as being something within my programming skills it turned out to be very popular.
Here's a review of the MZ-80K version from a 1982 computer magazine:
Exploding Atoms is a marvellously simple strategy game is for two players on the
Sharp MZ-80K. The action takes place on a 6x6 grid, where both players
place counters. You are not allowed to place your counter on a square
occupied by your opponent or last owned by your opponent and you place
The game is about overloading squares. Corner squares overload with
two counters, edge squares with three and the centre squares with
four. Observant readers will have noticed that these figures
correspond to the number of adjacent squares to each type. This is
because an overloaded square explodes, sending one counter into each
of the squares around it.
And if this causes an adjacent square to overload then that too will
explode and it is in this way that a chain reaction can begin. If your
counters explode into a square containing your opponent's counters
then that square is turned to your ownership. After some initial
sparring, the game quickly becomes critical as each player tries to
begin the reaction.
Critical because a miscalculation which leaves just one opponent
counter standing is usually fatal! Exploding Atoms comes on the same
cassette as Startrek and 3-D Maze it costs £8.00 from Aberdeen-based
Knights T.V. and Computers.
To the best of my knowledge all of the later programs can ultimately trace their heritage back to this version. (Just their heritage, I really hope none of them copied my schoolboy code.) Or, of course, maybe they also read the same games magazines as I did.