Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Black Tiger

Black Tiger is one of those games that I have loved since day one and today I got to play it once again after what feels like a lifetime ago! It's a good arcade conversion but sadly, my old joystick doesn't work well moving diagonally... So you will see lots of silly mistakes in my video recording. Honestly, it's the joystick!

This game is classic arcade fun - pick up that joystick and instantly you're having tons of fun leaping over the landscapes and pummelling monsters into oblivion. Each level not only looks superb but is really interesting to explore: I love the mechanics of clinging onto ledges to fire or leaping towards higher places in a dingy, creepy world. What a great adventure - arcade-style - and this is proving to be every bit as good as I remember.

However, I must say that the joystick controls are what impress me the most which is no easy task for the Atari one-button design. It is very responsive so therefore keeps the action going as fast as it should. The range of monsters is brilliant and what's better than powering-up with ridiculous weapons to crush your enemy?

Graphically, this is a stunner and considering no STe hardware scrolling is (sigh) utilised, but the old STf keeps up with the pace just fine. Sure, it's not as zippy as the arcade but it works, so I'm impressed how nice it moves considering what's going on. The sprites are ace - I love those wonky old skeletons the most. Overall, the design is something I adore because it works perfectly, so feels like a belting arcade experience.

Yep, this is pretty faithful to the original and I feel US Gold did us proud, especially considering they ignored the STe hardware... sigh... That would have been a huge deal with a little help from the Blitter. Still, as is, Black Tiger is fantastic and one of my favourite arcade conversions. Which means it scores top marks from me!!

Grab the floppies via Old Games Finder or HDD by Klaz!

Leap your way through the labyrinth, killing anything and everything that moves. Perfect!!

Clinging onto anything sturdy helps you get to those areas other beers cannot reach!.

Oh no, skeleton monsters!!! They look awesome but it's best to KILL THEM!!

Hang on, there's a little old man here. Let's kill him... wait... no, maybe not?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Atari STe demos

Awesome Atari STE demos!!

Circus BackSTage (link) (by BlaBLa, Cocoon & Sector One)
Appendix (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)
Cernit Trandafir (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)
Drone (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)
Massacre (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)
Strange roboTS (link) (by BlaBLa & Mandarine)
Summer Delights (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Killing Spree

I always loved The Lost Boys, they were like England's answer to the Carebears! Their demos are outstanding and I still remember my jaw dropping to the floor when I saw Ooh Crikey Wot a Scorcher - a masterpiece!!

And that "main menu" system used to access each demo screen? Impressive, to say the least? Hmm, but what would happen if it was adapted into a game? Would it be good enough? Why not take a look for yourself at Killing Spree. Also, Demozoo features a massive page dedicated to The Lost Boys and their fantastic catalogue.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

about me

I thought it might be "interesting" to provide some background information about myself for you folk living on the remote island of TOS :)

If you didn't know, my name is Steve and I have been an Atari ST nutter since 1988. Of course, I had also spent 1985-88 following Atari scene - which meant drooling over magazine ads and their ST game reviews!

Christmas 1988 was the year my great parents could afford to buy me my first ST, the 520 STfm. Heck, it even came with a ton of games: Xenon, Buggy Boy and Beyond The Ice Palace and none of them had weird colour clash!!

Yep, until that day, I had been a ZX Spectrum guy. But I regard the Atari ST as my first real computer because it wasn't just a gaming machine, it was so much more thanks to the power and wonderful GUI - using a mouse!! This machine helped me during my college years and I learned boring skills like word processing, pixel art, a little programming, DTP, and even networking. I owned this for about a year before upgrading to the new Atari STe. That was the day I finally got to hook up my speakers and listen to MOD tunes in stereo. I cannot remember which tracker I used but I doubt it came close to that jaw-dropper: Sirius!!

Anyhow, when I started working, I could afford to venture deeper into paradise and I bought myself a brand new Mega 1 ST because I started to dabble in 3D and DTP a little more. Yes, I send needed. Later into the 90s and I bought myself a second-hand Falcon and even a TT. The Falcon was my main machine and I finally got to see Doom on an Atari monitor! I had no need for a TT other than I wanted one - I was single and could afford it lol.

- The Mac Days -

My first Apple Mac, the 7600/120. Wow, it was expensive but worth it!!

However, as the late 90s evolved, I reached my Atari end - because the ST had already died and the Falcon thing never happened... So, sometime around the late 90s, I finally gave up and left to buy myself an Apple Mac 7600. The following years were spent running certain Atari software under MagicMac. But I admit this lessened over time as I found better Mac programs - so was sucked deeper into the exciting Mac world.

In the noughties, I started a website dedicated to third-party mods & singleplayer maps for all my favourite FPS games - I think I called it MegaTree (Yes, I was still a big Jet Set Willy fan!!). Anyhow, I did this because there was no support for the Mac gamer back then. Generally, we weren't able to play those fancy game mods so I converted many and wrote installation instructions and AppleScripts to launch the game w/ mod activated.

I had great fun doing this and I eventually began contacting developers of the mods that I couldn't get working because they used PC compiled code. So I would use their source to recompile specifically for the PPC Mac of the day. Busy days back then and I helped convert a LOT of mods for BF1942, Doom 3, Q4, CoD, etc...

It wasn't all work and no play, there was another game that became an addiction for many years, and I still play it today: Myth The Fallen Lords. This was incredible and kept me up until the early hours!! However, I'm too old these days for that malarkey and need lots of sleep!! Such an amazing game and something I still play a lot.

- Real Life Takes Over -

Okay, so let's get to the bad stuff about me... Meeting the girl of my dreams, starting a family and getting a house meant that something had to give. Yup, those old Atari's in my attic were sold to pay the bills. Well, they were almost given away as nobody wanted old Atari computers back then. In fact, I remember lowering the price of my TT and giving away my STe as an included freebie. Nobody wanted it otherwise... How times have changed!!

I regret selling up and still periodically look for a Falcon/TT on eBay. But the prices are ludicrously high so, unless I win the lottery, I'll sadly never own either machine again. Well, now I feel depressed... sigh...

Okay, let's fast forward to 2013 when something silly happened - I begin to take an interest in Atari ST games, demos and was even downloading old programs again. A spark ignited inside - I was suddenly back on the Atari ST wagon and pretty soon I was making videos for my YouTube channel. I even started to write reviews embedded into the description and it was these that eventually got moved over to a blogger website. And... here we are :-)

- The AtariCrypt -

For those interested, I have tried to make AtariCrypt a fun place for the community. Basically, because I was sick and tired of the Atari ST being ignored by the "retro gaming" websites. I hope you agree? And I hope you enjoy visiting and digging through the Crypt's archives that span over 5 years. Wow, has it been THAT long?

AtariCrypt has changed and moulded into a neat place on the net, even if I say so myself. Use the search tool right here to see how much content there is... Wow, that sounds bigheaded, right? Well, I've gone a little further a helped to dig out lost games like Bombaman and Whitewater Madness. Heck, I even made a slideshow!

All this with the help and friendship of some incredible ST nutters. People that I would never have known without being an ST nutter myself. Marko is always there for assistance, I think he knows more about the ST than anyone! Peter, what an amazing programmer/musician and a true Manic Miner. But the CPC sucks, sorry mate!!!

Did anyone realise that this was a zombie edited version of me in the ZombieCrypt slideshow??

OI!!! Wake up!!!

I hope this 'readme' file didn't bore you all too much? Before I go, I think it is fantastic to know that the Atari ST scene is so alive in the 21st century. I'm also blown away by everyone that visits my website: a homage to the best 16-bit computer on the planet. Greetings to all Atari ST nutters wherever you are - don't forget to say hello!

. . . . . . . stay Atari ST/e . . . . . . . . it's time to WRRRAAAAAAAAAP!!!!  :-)

Monday, November 10, 2014

H-Mec II

H Mec II carries on from where the first game nicely Jon and Sally Garry and appears to be a version of Pac-Man for the Atari STe. However, it's very different thanks to the monster AI which makes this more of a game of chase. The graphics are excellent and make use of the hardware scrolling, Blitter, and all those extra colours. Music is by a whole host of famous people like Tao, Big Alec, Count Zero and more. Timeless and utterly stunning tunes.

I could say that this is one of the better PacMan games out there but it's not. Sure, H-Mec 2 looks like PacMan and there are pills to nosh, but it actually plays differently when being chased around a maze by angry monsters. It's more like Lode Runner and pretty darn addictive too. You will love every second of this - it's a cracker!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

War Zone

War Zone is Core's attempt to take on the Commando format and release a frantic shoot 'em up Rambo would be proud of. Sadly, it doesn't quite work because of its extreme difficulty as it's just too darn easy to die thanks to poor mechanics. This is one of those moments when something looks and sounds better than it actually is...

What we have here is nothing more than an average shooter which is disappointing because it looked great from the screenshots I saw before playing. The problem is that difficulty level. I'm sure nobody tested this before releasing it, which is a shame. So I'd say stick with the likes of Fernandez Must Die, Ikari Warriors, and Commando.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I've always liked Pinball but I doubt you'd ever call me an addict of the game. Something about spending cash just to bounce a ball around a jazzy glass box never really grabbed my attention for very long... But, the ST seemed to receive a number of Pinball games and some were possibly better than the real thing? Perhaps that's because I'm tight with money or I just love to see how much the Atari ST/e could impress me!

Starball is different from the competition because it was made by a couple of Lancashire lads who probably had desires to become bedroom millionaires. Now, I doubt that ever happened as many ST gamers had given up following the homebrew scene by 1994, which is a shame because this is blummin' brilliant.

I love the dark tones and each table is different from what I expected with many cool fx.

Check out this awesome graphics and whoever expected to see those guys in a pinball game?!!

I love Starball, it's not got the polish of a certain commercial offering which is understandable, but it's still got its own style and oozes its own brand of character with such different tables. The graphics and sounds are gorgeous and everything moves down your SC1224 very fast. Okay, I'm a little unsure about the physics behind all this glam because sometimes things don't seem to perform as expected, but it's shareware so I must give it a break.

If you love Pinball, this is certainly worth download and I'm positive you'll enjoy it to bits. Too think £5 was the asking price back then is shockingly good value. What a superb "PD" game and possibly one of the ST's best.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

AtariCrypt website

Hello to each and every Atari ST gamer! I've decided to start a website to help promote the fun I'm having making videos of games, demos, musicdisks and other crazy stuff - like Utopos!! This is fun reliving the 80s/90s so I decided to start a blog - because it's free. Yeah, I'm a cheapskate but, let's see what happens with AtariCrypt...