Monday, 31 August 2009

Atair 8-bit Games - Videos

Never owned an 8-bit Atari machine myself, but if you did... here are some memories for you.

Atari ST Games - Videos

If you ever owned an Atari ST, these are sure to bring back a lot of memories!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Factory Daze - **NEW** ZX Spectrum Game!!

Well, who'd have believed it... all this time, 27 years after the Speccy was first launched into the world, that it would not only still be fondly remembered by many and emulated by many more, but that there would actually be new games being released for it! To be honest I've never really looked for new Speccy games before since... well, it didn't occur to me that there would actually be any.

Factory Daze is the new release from Bob of Bob's Stuff, and is based around the idea of toy production, not all that dissimilar to Nightshift by LucasArts. To be honest I wasn't quite sure what I was doing when I tried it out, but smarter ones among you will no doubt catch on a lot quicker than I did. Retro gaming, cool graphics and a fun soundtrack - all encased in a brand new release! Wonders will never cease..
For more of Bob's games check out his download page.

Which ones did you recognise?

I thought it would be interesting to see just how many of those 100 Spectrum Games Video I could actually name... so here goes:

  1. ?
  2. R-Type
  3. ?
  4. Exolon
  5. Renegae (or Target Renegade?)
  6. Ghouls and Ghosts (I think)
  7. Bombjack
  8. Now I should know this one... game with a jeep and a helicoptor... just can't think of the name
  9. Either Hang On or Super Hang On
  10. Tetris
  11. Er... no, dunno
  12. Army Moves?
  13. Robocop
  14. Gauntlet
  15. Cybernoid
  16. Er... Cabal or something like that? Doesn't look like Operation Wolf or Thunderbolt...
  17. Rick Dengerous (wah!)
  18. Chase HQ
  19. International Karate
  20. Really not sure... was there a Speccy version of Turrican?
  21. ?
  22. Renegade... or Target Renegade... or Renegade 3?!?
  23. Drat.... probably one of the few isometric games I didn't play... should know it, but don't...
  24. Arkanoid (yes, I would have known it even without the big Arkanoid sign in the top left corner...)
  25. Deathchase
  26. 1942? No wait that was Bally Midway not Taito... kinda looked like Slapfight, but with a plane not a spaceship.
  27. Commando?
  28. Ah... now here we definitely have Operation Wolf!
  29. Could it be Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles...
  30. It's.... Batman!
  31. Nope... no idea...
  32. Bounder - a game I could never get into.
  33. Pipemania
  34. ?
  35. ?
  36. ?
  37. ?
  38. ?
  39. Gah... should know it...
  40. Navy Seals?
  41. Enduro Racer
  42. Well... it says Metrocross at the top of the screen, so...
  43. Er...
  44. Sabateur
  45. Ooh... I definitely don' t remember anything on the Speccy with graphics like that!
  46. Or is that one Commando?
  47. ?
  48. Laser Squad
  49. Into the Eagles Nest
  50. ?
  51. ?
  52. Um... Barbarian? (The Psygnosis one)
  53. Yea Air Kung Fu (or however you spell it)
  54. Hmm... those also look suspciously like Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles
  55. ?
  56. Dan Dare
  57. Thundercats!
  58. APB
  59. Jack the Nipper (or, possibly, Jack the Nipper 2)
  60. Now I dod remember this one... but still can't think of the title.
  61. Batman the Movie (the earlier Batman was Jon Ritman's masterpiece)
  62. Boulderdash (or maybe Dig-Dug... possibly Rockman)
  63. One of my all-time favourite Speccy games, Head Over Heels! (That Jon Ritman chap again, ably assisted by Bernie Drumand's graphics)
  64. Well I would have known it was Dizzy, but thanks to the header I now know it's Dizzy III. Personally I never really liked the Dizzy series of games, but they had a huge fanbase!
  65. Nebulus... John Phillips' innovative game, with fake 3D graphics that actually looked really good.
  66. Well I could be wrong, but that looked like Pengy to me
  67. Don't those chaps look a little like Italians? Perhaps even brothers? Was that the first Mario Bros game?
  68. Um... they look like less angry darleks, but I don't know what the game is
  69. Rainbow Islands
  70. I'm guessing the game is called Slightly Magic... never heard of it
  71. Monty Mole, or one of the many sequels
  72. The only thing it looks even slightly like to me is Magic Pockets, which I don't think was every released on the Speccy... so I don't know.
  73. Wizball
  74. The Speccy graphics look kinda wrong to be honest, but that must be The New Zealand Story
  75. Scooby dooby Doo!
  76. ?
  77. Pang!
  78. Bubble Bobble
  79. Er... Blood Money? Or Menace?
  80. ?
  81. Quazitron?
  82. Raffles?
  83. ?
  84. ?
  85. ?
  86. Alex Kidd in Wonderland?
  87. Are you seriously telling me that Marble Madness on the Speccy had more animated graphics than the Atari ST version!?! Or... was that not Marble Madness?...
  88. Unmistakably, Elite.
  89. Knightmare, I think. No wait... Knightlore.
  90. Nope, can't think of it.
  91. Lords of Midnight, or Doomdark.
  92. ?
  93. ?
  94. The Sentinal - that made it to the Speccy? Never knew that...
  95. Looks familiar, but can't place it
  96. Attic Attack
  97. ?
  98. Winter Games
  99. Skool Daze
  100. Monty Python

If you know any I couldn't get, or if I've got any wrong, please feel free to leave a comment!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

100 Spectrum Games Video

Found this cool video on YouTube this evening... brought back some memories, though I don't recognise every game.

Sky Road Remake - "Tasty Static"

Tasty indeed. For some psychadelic, roads hung in midair type fun, head on over to

Available for Windows, OS X and Linux, this has a load of levels available already (even the first few are pretty challenging) and plays really well. A few cool unlockable features have been added to the original game by Bluemoon. This is an excellent remake and very well worth downloading. I can't say that I really remember the original, but it's sort of similar to Trailblazer, a game I have fond memories of.

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

Shackled - Atari ST

What do you get when you make a Gauntlet clone but with much bigger sprites? You get... Shackled. To be fair it doesn't play all that badly, but the big sprites look clumsy and it lacks the manic action of Gauntlet (or more particularly, Gauntlet 2 in multiplayer when the IT monster was loose and player shots could stun other players!). Not terrible, but not really a game worth searching out.

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!)