Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ZombieCrypt


A few months ago I came up with the notion to create a zombie/horror slideshow based upon my lust for George A. Romero's zombies and also Resident Evil, Milla Jovovich, Evil Dead, etc, etc. However, my artistic skills aren't exactly the best so I asked a few people if they'd like to help donate some gruesome pics. My thanks to the boys listed below for their pics and Peter for his awesome slideshow which features a lower border scroller and cool YMT music! I've have enjoyed working on this silly project and I hope you all get some level of enjoyment from it? :^)

CREDITS

 - Production idea and childishly drawn images are by Meeeee!!
 - Sweet artistic skills are all by:
               Stuart Johns
               Peter Jørgensen
               Karim Mezaouri
               Aurélien Vaillant
               Credit to the "unknown" for those images I nabbed off the web (converted w/ Imagecopy)
 - Slideshow programmed by Peter Jørgensen.
 - Addams Family theme tune by Vic Wizzy and converted to YMT format by Peter.

LINKS

 - If you feel brave enough, you can grab this "awesome" horror slideshow via Demozoo website.
 - Other related downloads that you might also like:
               YMT Player
               Collaboration #2
               Space Slide Show

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hoog


Believe it or not, but Hoog is a shareware platformer released in 1994 by MP Lord - yes he of Droid fame. It's an incredible game, quite similar in looks to Creatures but with more of a puzzle theme including elements that reminded me of Sleepwalker and Lemmings. Our objective is simple - rescue baby Hoogs which are trapped inside cages and desperate to be freed. However, these little kiddies are daft and, once released, will blindly wander off through their dangerous new world and die. So let's release each one and help guide them all to safety.

  
Use those balloons wisely to avoid the various dangerous and always collect the free loot.

Hoog can walk, jump and chuck bombs but he's only a short fella so cannot do much without the help of helium-filled balloons to leap the landscape reaching those inaccessible areas. Various mechanics will aid our odd looking hero; look out for springs to bounce high into the air, switches that unlock hidden ledges and special gateways that transport Hoog long distances in the blink of an eye. Playing this platformer requires an enormous level of strategical thought; your babies aren't the brightest and need to be guided every step of the way. It would be disastrous if you were to free one without first clearing its path from monsters and avoiding burning fires or drowning.

  
Hang on, they look cute but also nasty... Hmm, let's blow them up just to be sure!!

Visually, this is one of the most impressive games I have ever played and it's now you should stop and remember that Hoog isn't commercial. The graphics are truly outstanding and some of the best I have ever seen with such astounding colours, parallax scrolling and beautifully drawn sprites. There are plenty of special effects like gorgeous exploding stars and I also love the neat touches - like Hoog smiling as he jumps and how he wiggles his bum when using balloons! (and you should forget emulation because Hoog scrolls infinitely better on a real Atari ST)

  
Collect everything you find for lots of glittery bonus points and a big grin on Hoog's face!

Once again, MP Lord has released a wonderful game and one which humiliates some of the commercial companies who rushed through sloppy ports. This just proves what the Atari ST is capable of - a magnificent example of great coding. It's not easy but is utterly superb and will keep you occupied for many hours with its humorously challenging gameplay. Hoog is one of my favourite #homebrew games and I cannot recommend it highly enough!!

  
The later levels are so cruel but there is a nifty cheat to access them straight away. Just ask...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Starburst


Starburst is a shareware game by Chris Skellern that grants us the gratifying experience of blowing everything up!! It's actually based on an old Sinclair QL game which is such an obscure oddity if there ever was one. Aesthetically, this isn't going to blow your mind with its 8-Bit graphics but I loved this and was reminded of Harrier Attack somewhat. The chipmusic is superb with in-game sampled sound effects that aren't all that bad.

The objective is to find six power bases and decimate them before attempting the ultimate goal of killing the super brain... Oooooh!! Pilot your spaceship through lots of rocky caverns, destroying everything and when I say everything I really do mean everything. Directional firing is available using the keypad, which I've demonstrated here.

What explosive fun this game is - I absolutely love Starburst. Stop thinking and destroy everything. Awesome!!

LINKS

 - The awesome Stonish website has Starburst on this Menu CD: Serenade #37.
 - Beat my high score if you can. No cheating!!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Atari ST games

        

How many Atari ST games can you fit onto a single floppy disk? No, it's not a bad joke because Peter Putnik already has the answer: a whopping twenty-three Atari ST games!! These are all heavily compressed on one bog-standard double density floppy disk and include classics like Arkanoid, Asteroids, Virus, Tempest, Head Over Heels, Pengy, Jet Set Willy, Crystal Castles, Xevious, Sentinel, Moon Patrol, Joust, and more - WOW!!

What, you don't believe me? Then I think you should clickety-click right now and grab the download - enjoy!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Magicland Dizzy


Being a bit of an odd bod, I've never taken much time to play any of the Dizzy games so figured I should choose one from this hugely popular series and see where it takes me. I've decided on Magicland Dizzy, probably because I was reminded of Stormbringer from my Spectrum 128 days. Amusingly, I've gone and picked one which wasn't designed by the Oliver Twins but Neal Vincent and programmed by Derek Leigh-Gilchrist of Captain Dynamo fame.

Well, having literally only played a few minutes, I can honestly say I'm shocked at how superb this is. The controls are spot-on perfect and I'm getting the distinct impression that my old brain won't be frustrated by any stupid puzzles. The graphics are beautiful with amazing cartoon artwork and lots of neat animations and other cool effects. Just look at that mean-looking troll in the animation above - this is better than watching Nick Jr! Okay, I think it's time I rescued Dylan, but Dozy is fast asleep so I should figure out how to wake him... Yep, I think I've enjoyed being an egg!

Have a blessed Easter everyone †

LINKS

 - 8BitChip have adapted this cute little egg for hard drive installation!
 - For those who need a floppy Menu CD then look no further than Old Games Finder.
 - I've found a nifty map by Dizzy's Lair which might come in handy.
 - GameFAQs has a walkthrough, but I'm not using it. Well, not yet anyways!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Narco Police


In the future... or rather... back in 2003 most of us were heavily dependent on hardcore drugs and our addiction made the dealers very rich and powerful. So the various nations of the world all got together to form an elite anti-drug unit: The A-Team. No, I meant NARCO POLICE who have been trained to rid this filth from existence!

Three Narco units are deployed to infiltrate the drug lord's hive which is located on a remote island, off Columbia. But it won't be easy because they have invested in extra security, including lots of marines and combat soldiers. You start with the 'option' of choosing your team's equipment and weaponry with an overhead map view of the island. This will allow you to view the landscape and chose an entrance into its network of dangerous underground tunnels.

It's here where we encounter lots of henchmen, security systems, and heavy artillery and, as we venture deeper, the enemy will surprise you by jumping out from hidden sidewalls or fall down from the ceiling for an ambush. So use the joystick to direct your gunfire at their location and reign an onslaught of gun violence! Controls can take a little getting used to with movement first feeling a little too sluggish which becomes all too apparent when trying to dodge a thrown grenade.

Other defences cannot be destroyed with your machine gun and require a more tactical approach. It's now that you realise your team needed the correct equipment... Interestingly, a terminal is also available with which to enter basic control commands, such as 'C' (which stands for 'chopper') to display information about your teams. The 'K' command is helpful in restoring vitality and the 'M1' command is rather entertaining in those sticky situations. A command list can be displayed using 'DIR'.

Now, I've always had a passion for 3D shooters, especially the first-person variety and, even though this is third-person, it's still a game I've enjoyed since the early 90s. Narco Police uses a pseudo-3D engine which pushes our old 8MHz processor quite well by using clipped graphics which increase as you walk, giving the illusion of movement. I even remember drooling over my ST's keyboard the first time I got to see this in action!

All characters are made from huge sprites which are nicely drawn and well detailed. However, animations can be hit or miss; baddies are a little wooden as they pop-up from nowhere to jerkily roll across our path. I do, however, like our hero who is nicely animated - even if he appears to walk with a suspect limp. A stomping title tune plays during the display of an 80s retro-styled image and all in-game sound effects are made using samples, which are quite nice. However, it's odd having no footstep sounds - perhaps our hero is just too stealthy for his own good?

Technically, this is a cracker and I always enjoy fighting idiot henchmen during my repetitive tunnel explorations. Sadly, my fun doesn't last because, once again, Dinamic have created another game that is ludicrously hard and I never last very long. I fear they tried to be too clever and should have simplified this as an arcade shoot 'em up without the stressful strategy and a fiddly terminal. Narco Police is great for a quick game or two but nothing long term unless you're gonna cheat... Perhaps they should just take the easy route and nuke the island instead? :-)

LINKS

 - 8BitChip recently released an awesome adapted version for hard drive installation.
 - All the floppy disks can be downloaded via Old Games Finder and I recommend Fuzion CD #28.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Ghouls 'n Ghosts


Today I thought that I would entertain myself with a few games of Ghouls 'n Ghosts, a classic platformer and a fantastic Atari ST conversion by Software Creations for US Gold. However, I only ended up laughing out loud whilst I suffered numerous deaths in utter frustration! For those that have been living on another planet, this is the sequel to Ghosts 'n Goblins, another game which I'm not particularly great at. Sigh... when will I ever learn?

  

This is a beautifully crafted conversion faithful to the original with rock-solid gameplay that will take many moons to master. The visuals are lovely with nice scrolling and superb sprites - who doesn't love it when Arthur bumps into a baddie and somehow loses his clothes? It sure doesn't make any sense but it has our 7-year old laughing her cotton socks off which is a win in my book. In fact, all sprites are beautifully drawn with gorgeous details - just look at the buzzards as a wonderful example. Musically, Ghouls 'N Ghosts features captivating tunes and some of the most memorable I've ever heard. Just listen to the first level's music. Wow, it doesn't get better than this!!

  

Ghouls N Ghosts is such a difficult game but it's also an arcade classic too. The Atari ST received a fantastic conversion which looks great, sounds incredible and offers you the chance to enjoy the most frustrating gameplay. Dare you accept this challenge? Bold players should either grab the floppies or a hard disk version. Good luck!!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Clod Hopper


Clod Hopper was released through the Budgie UK label back in 1992 by scener Goth, aka Gary Wheaton. It stars a fella called Bill that's in search of his girlfriend who somehow foolishly wandered off into the nearby plutonium mines which are inhabited by crazy creatures, numerous whacky puzzles and dangerous hazards. Women, uh? Luckily, she has left a convenient trail of footprints, so venture forth to rescue our beloved and save the day.

Each screen contains platforms that need walking over before we can exit and progress deeper into the mines - sound familiar? Anyhow, this isn't as easy as it sounds due to the tricky layout designs and cunning puzzle elements, which often need completing in a particular order. Watch out for those slippery slides, dangerous falls, and the nasty inhabitants who seem to love getting underfoot. Thankfully, there are magical items we can collect that will render them defenceless, if only for a short period of time. Some rooms will feature working machinery, often necessary to operate to help you clear the level, a fascinating concept which works very well. However, you shouldn't dawdle because Bill only has about five minutes of air supply in each room - before he suffers a cruel choking death!

This is a simple platformer that will probably appeal more to those who remember buying Bounty Bob or even Manic Miner. I love the style, it's so 8-bit and darn beautiful too. If I had to moan about anything, it would be the measly three lives which aren't nearly enough for such a challenging game. Clod Hopper is a freakishly brilliant old skool romp!!

LINKS

 - AtariMania features this within their Atari ST database website w/ download.
 - The mighty D-Bug has Clod Hopper on Menu CD #150 available via Old Games Finder.
 - Wanna watch the intro? Then load up the game and leave it be for a few minutes...

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Army Moves


The last time I played Army Moves was probably on my Spectrum +3 back in 1987, right before getting my Atari ST and I remember the game being part of Ocean's Live Ammo compilation and what a great compilation that was. However, it was extremely sluggish and I was also rubbish so I never managed to beat the first level (stop laughing).

Army Moves is developed by Dinamic, the same guys who brought us After The War, and is a scrolling arcade shooter with many ingredients 'borrowed' from a variety of great(er) games. It begins with you happily trundling over a damaged bridge in a surprisingly well-armed jeep. Fire your infinite supply of rockets at the constant flow of stupid enemies whilst hopping over potholes in the hope to safely reach the other side. Sound familiar?

  
I used to love playing this stage on my old Speccy +3 and the ST version is just as crude! :)

The next levels have you flying a helicopter over enemy territory protected by planes blindly shooting, whether you're in their sights or not. The controls here are agonisingly lethargic and it makes avoiding the enemy rather difficult. Oh, and don't forget to manually land on the helipad at the end otherwise you will suffer a suckers death! The next part is pretty much more of the same theme of nothing-you-haven't-seen-before with later levels taking through the jungle avoiding grenades and silly buzzards before it flips into something resembling Joe Blade!

Visually, I quite like what I see but that's probably because I'm reminded of my colour-clash days on the Speccy. The graphics are barebones, but everything scrolls along nicely and I do like the sprites with their fine detail and lots of colours. The helicopter levels even feature some rather simple parallax scrolling, which is a nice touch. However, there ain't anything that's gonna blow your mind and certainly nothing to push the Atari ST to its limits.

  
Reversed scrolling and very slow movements make stage two extremely frustrating!!

Army Moves is a jack of all trades but masters none! I do like some of Dinamic's ideas but they spoiled it with ludicrously long levels and a high difficulty. Plus you're sent back to the start after a life loss which is always going to be annoying! Ignoring the nearly-fun Jeep stage, I find it difficult to recommend this game - just play Moon Patrol, Silkworm or Joe Blade. This could so easily have been good but instead feels like a rushed 8-Bit conversion offering zero fun, zero playability and maximum frustration. I thought games were meant to be entertaining?

Fancy wearing camo and driving a jeep then download either the floppies or a hard disk version!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Jinks


Jinks appears a horizontally scrolling Breakout clone but is technically one of the worst Atari ST games ever released. A shameful port by Rainbow Arts with incredibly jerky scrolling that is enough to make your eyes bleed after only a few minutes of horrendous gameplay! Thankfully, Peter Putnik has begun work on an Atari STe version that makes use of the enhanced hardware for far better results, which you can see in the video above.

However, as with Son Shu Shi and After The War, all current copies of Jinks contain bad data so Peter is looking for somebody to supply an image of their floppy so he can repair this piece of hiSTory. Can you help?

Now, I've still no idea how to play Jinks but give it a try and see what you think! Answers on a postcard...

LINKS

 - This work-in-progress is available for both floppy and hard drive installation (Atari STe / TT / Falcon)
 - If you want to torture your eyeballs then the original (albeit bugged) game can be found via Old Games Finder.
 - Trusteft has a humorous recording of the original jerky game...

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Collaboration Two

     

     

Following on from last year's success, the sequel Collaboration #2 has today been released. The STatariART gang have been very busy and released lots more funky pixelart by many different people who submitted their Degas dabbles. Heck, you will even see a few images from yours truly - brace yourself and don't get your hopes up!

Clickety click to download Collaboration #2 via Demozoo (best viewed on a real Atari computer)