Never miss an Atari ST gaming video! Subscribe to this channel

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Pacmania - Atari ST

How do you take an all-time classic game, update it so that it genuinely feels like a different game, manage to keep all the things that made the original so good, and add a couple of extra features that make it even better? Somehow that's what Namco did when the took the classic Pacman formula, turned it into 3D (often a surefire recipe for disaster, but not in this instance), added some bells and whistled, and gave Pacman the ability to jump. Seriously, that one feature adds a whole new dimension to the game. I've tried to get a screenshot showing this, though my timing wasn't quite perfect - he's only in midair!

The graphics looked great despite still actually being pretty simple - convincingly three-dimensional without sacrificing clarity of viewpoint - and it plays like a dream. Look out ghosts, I'm one power pill away from eating you... oops, too late, dead again. Just one more game then...

Monday, 17 August 2009

Stormbringer - ZX Spectrum

A rather odd mixture of arcade-adventure and text-adventure (with a menu-based interface rather than a parser), a slightly incomprehensible plot (though I think it's a sequel to Magic Knight, which if I'd played it might have made this game make more sense), and as you can see from the screenshot, a penchant for killing you off very quickly for no apparent reason. (This was the third screen and I'd been playing for approximately 90 seconds!) The screenshot also nicely shows the dreaded colour clash for which the Speccy was famous.

Still, we all loved the Speccy at the time, and in our own unfathomable ways still do. By all accounts I remember this being a rather popular game though I never played it back then (that I can remember); this and a few other attempts at adventure games on the Spectrum from the time make me wonder how we ever managed to endure such cumbersome user interfaces. At any rate, I now appreciate my mouse more than ever!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Indoor Soccer - C16

This game really doesn't look or play well nowadays, but I mispent hours of my life on this game brought to us by The Magnificent Seven. In terms of gameplay it was very limited, and the flickering was very off-putting. However graphically it was pretty ambitious for the time - animated crowds (even most 16-bit footie games didn't have those!) and a side-scrolling pitch.

The lack of any league or cup options, named players, recognisable teams etc may seem a shocking omision these days, but I don't remember feeling that it was a big issue at the time. It was a football game pure and simple, and it has smiley faces in the crowds - a young lad in the early eighties was easily impressed, it seems!

Vectorball - Atari ST

Some games are just so indescribably odd that... you can't describe them. Take Vectorball, for example. Kind of a futuristic football game with two robots and a pitch that takes half an hour to generate.

Weird. Seriously weird. (And, as it happens, not particualrly playable!)