Wednesday, December 30, 2015

R-Type Deluxe


An early beta of the new R-Type Deluxe has been released at STNICCC. This is a game that means so much to me for a couple of reasons: it's such a great shoot 'em up and my parents bought me this for my 17th birthday!

This new Deluxe version isn't merely a lame Amiga port but one designed to make use of the extra hardware lurking inside the Atari STe. This means the Blitter, hardware scrolling and stereo sounds. The pictures you see here were kindly sent to me by Stephen and I have also recorded a video for y'all to drool over! (from the previous beta)

Today has been an awesome day as I've played R-Type Deluxe for several hours and loved every second of it! Please remember, this is a Work In Progress. Well, its high time I stopped writing and played some more...

    

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

lotharek

Shortly before Christmas, the hard drive inside my Mega STE sadly died. Thankfully, I had only just backed it up the previous day (how lucky am I) but this did give me a big kick up the backside to invest in something better. After all, it was the original 47MB SCSI from 1991. So it was only a matter of time before it went BOOM!! ;-) and I needed to sort myself out with the only mass-storage option I fancied... That meant Lotharek to purchase their Ultrasatan which comes with an 8GB SD card capable of silly storage! Fancy going from 47MB to 8GB :)

Ultra...WHAT? Okay, for those that don't know, the Ultrasatan is a tiny piece of hardware that utilises common SD Cards as a mass storage device. Hardly a ground-breaking idea in today's world, but the old Atari computer will see it has an ordinary hard drive (but silent!)

Lotharek are quick! They delivered it on Christmas Eve so I've spent the entire holidays playing and the possibilities appear limitless because I am no longer struggling with meagre storage.

Lotharek's ultrasatan is a brilliant piece of Jookie kit. Buy this!!




One of the most famous shoot 'em ups ever - Xenon II Megablast. This will always be a firm favourite of mine and it was exciting to hear Peter Putnik had doctored it back in January with his magic.

The game now streams 25Khz music directly off the Ultrasatan - sorry STFM guys - this feature requires the audio co-processor hardware of the Atari STE. It's a jaw-dropping 32MB upgrade, which is an unbelievably huge size for an ST game and I certainly hope Peter converts more games in the future!








Drone, an Atari STe demo which I would personally class as a masterpiece with music, artwork and presentation are so far beyond excellent. Released back in 2012 by the legendary Dead Hackers. Drone is an 11+MB demo and was released for Sommarhack to pay special tribute to the Ultrasatan.
This is one of the best demos I've ever experienced.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

Stario!!


Super Stario Land was released in 1995 by Top Byte and might remind you of a certain game featuring a daft Italian plumber? Yep, it's pretty darn similar but this isn't merely a cheap clone but a great game in its own right that offers fantastic entertainment. It's a delight to play with controls that are both easy and responsive so feel authentic.

The graphics scroll by at a smooth 50fps with fine attention to detail, if small by ST standards. Sound effects are pretty chirpy and suit the console style but, if you press F9, then music will play by Big Alec!

I love this game. It's like having a Nintendo on your desk, but with a keyboard! A brilliant platformer.


Stario's Christmas was released in 1996 and must rank as one of the last commercial games ever for the Atari ST. It basically offers more of the same but within a Christmassy winter wonderland and is equal in every awesome respect to the first game. Look, if you loved Super Stario Land then you're gonna drool over your presents for Stario's Christmas. Yep, two incredible platformers to play over the holidays. Merry Christmas everyone †

LINKS

 - Hard disk installable games can be found over at 8BitChip.
 - Old Games Finder has access to every floppy disk.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

3D con kit

I've always been interested in 3D from my early computing years as a kid in the 80s using the ZX Spectrum.  Games like Ant Attack, Deathchase and then later on the mind-boggling Knight Lore. That game just blew my mind, so when I came across 3D Construction Kit for the Atari ST I was delighted.

After a little googling, I came across a fantastic resource by a Stuart Wilson that should be very helpful to get the best from the program. They also run an active FaceBook community that you should join.

3D Construction Kit is a wonderful application for making your own worlds and I hope this web resource is of some help to any of you guys that fancy trying it out? This video is the actual VHS recording that was released back in the day as a trainer. Fascinating stuff and it does explain many aspects of the program very nicely. There are lots of interesting projects already created on the Atari ST and many are blimmin'' excellent too!

At my request, Peter Putnik has graciously adapted 3D Construction Kit so it can now be installed onto a hard drive rather than being run from floppy disk, so download this version! Plus it will also run on all Atari's - the better your computer then the smoother your experience. My 16Mhz Mega STe runs it beautifully!  :-)

Monday, December 21, 2015

SWIV


Sometimes you need a release from this strange world and today I did just that with SWIV, an exceptional shoot ‘em up released in 1991 by Storm. Yes, I blasted the living daylights out of those military bad boys using my chopper!

What a cracking game this is, and extremely well developed too. So, I then went one further and recorded a video (under emulation) and noticed it felt a little slower compared to playing on a real Atari ST. Also, the sound effect are not as pronounced. All this is very odd but NOTHING ever compares to the real hardware.

SWIV is excellent. Certainly, an ageless shooter which I highly recommend. Download it from Klaz because this version supports installation to hard drive, cheats, and more. Of course, 8BitChip has an equally excellent download you should play with Old Games Finder having all the floppy images.
And just for giggles... Moments ago, my hard drive started to make a strange whirring noise, almost like it was trying its best to spin-up, but failing. I think SWIV killed it but I cannot complain because it was the original drive and therefore about 24 years old. Now that is quality and value for money, folks!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

We Were @

This is a brand new demo for the Atari STe and was only released 2 days ago by the mighty Leonard, of Oxygene. Yes, he has always been one of the most uniquely talented programmers but this production blew me away. Check out that Roto Zoomer! Do watch the end credits which feature many interesting details about the coding.

Truly amazing STuff. A beautiful production and certainly one of the best 16-Bit demos, ever!! [download]

Please note - this video was recorded using an emulator and YouTube itself suffers the quality somewhat.
If you can watch it on a real Atari computer - the way it was meant to be enjoyed :-)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Trans D-Bug Express


TDE is a program to convert your old floppies into MSA disk images. Yes, I know there are excellent apps already out like Jay MSA and Magic Shadow Archiver but TDE works at a technically lower level and therefore has far more success with those crusty old floppies. In fact, even if TDE fails with a dead part of a disk, it still offers you the option to save a good image thus you're able to rescue the remainder. Such an excellent and essential utility!

Those D-Bug'ers have the latest release of TDE to download so go grab it now!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fernandez Must Die


ImageWorks gave us this cool shoot 'em up in 1988 and it's a pretty much another Commando/Ikari Warriors clone designed to unleash our inner combat soldier. Every time I play, I'm reminded of those A-Team episodes which took place a dodgy part of South America and, just like in the tv show, an evil dictator is causing havoc! However, B.A. Baracus refuses to get on the plane, so pick up your weapon and head out to the killing fields for some fun.

  
Bullets flying and armouries to loot. This is just like being part of the A-Team!!

This war zone is stuff with enemy soldiers and their flying bullets so it's a good job our machine gun has unlimited ammo. Also, we have a rocket launcher for extra firepower and some buildings can be plundered by blowing off the door with dynamite and is especially useful on ammunition depots! Vehicles can be utilised, so why not mow down a few enemy soldiers along your journey? The visuals are very 1980s with a clean cartoon-like style and smooth scrolling. Sound effects are nice with various sampled sound effects too. Can't complain!

  
Watch out for sneaky soldiers hiding in the trees and also those operating gun turrets.

This is one of those games I'm glad I bought because it's incredibly good fun and highly addictive. Fernandez Must Die might have zero originality but it makes up for that with bucket loads of action. An awesome shoot 'em up.

Pick up your weapon, soldier and get out on that battlefield using either a floppy or hard disk!

  
The action comes thick and fast and the onslaught of soldiers never ceases. Oops, I died!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters


Oh no, evil Reptilons are hell-bent on destroying us and have taken hold of Planet X. They've enslaved the human population and forced them to build a robot army for an invasion. Jake and Duke are two heroes with a simple plan: destroy as many robots as possible, trash the computers, rescue every cute girl and save the day.

  

Robot Monsters is played in a fashion to other 3D isometric games, just imagine a pinch Buck Rogers mixed in with a dollop of Gauntlet and you get a general idea. Your main goal is to rescue the humans, without forgetting those held in stasis pods, and along the way are numerous traps designed for us soft fleshy humans: sharp spikes, rotating chunks of metal, and electric floor panels. All this is going on whilst Planet X constantly creates new enemy robots. The hoard is relentless but I do love the biscuit-looking models which are actually quite cute!

  

We have a laser weapon which is great but refrain from overuse otherwise it becomes less effective... Thankfully, it can be charged by collecting the green blobs that a dead robot can leave behind. There are also bombs - just hit the shift key and they detonate straight away killing anything within your vicinity - even the captives - so be careful. A canal stage appears after a few levels which offer extra bonuses but isn't essential to your overall progress and I wasn't too eager about it anyhow. The big Reptilon boss will first seem an impossible opponent but there is a cunning way to avoid it using a few bombs and a little joystick waggling... Just ask if you need any help.


  

I've really enjoyed playing this great game which is full to the brim of originality and frantic metallic mayhem. It's a demented game and I love its comical personality, characters, and superb gameplay. An iconic 16-Bit shooter!

Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters can be installed to hard disk or ran from floppy.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lupo Alberto


Late last night I came across an interesting post on AtariAge by Philsan concerning an unreleased game called Lupo Alberto. This is a platformer which (I think) is based on a European comic or a TV show? Well, after 25 years of existing in unreleased hell, the ST version finally gets to see the light of day (now listed on AtariMania)

First impressions are pretty good with lovely music, cartoon visuals and cute sprites roaming about. Just look at those chickens!! However, push-scrolling is used which is a severe shame because the game's mechanics demand proper scrolling. Well, it is unfinished so I shouldn't complain too much and the push technique is fast and responsive. Gameplay is tricky for such a cute looking platformer so I imagine lots of frustration ahead of me but I'm delighted we have a new game to play. I'm really looking forward to giving Lupo a proper going over tonight.

Update: during a game press CTRL and type: otrebla. Thanks to Luca Stradiotto!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

XENON

If I was to select one game which perfectly describes my exciting entrance into the (then) new world of 16-Bit computing - it's gotta be Xenon!! Such an iconic release and, because I came from the colour-clash world of ZX Spectrum, this blew me away with its amazing mind-boggling visuals/audio.

Literally, one of the first floppy disks that I carefully slid inside my new Atari ST, but I didn't know what to expect as the drive made its infamous click..click..click. Moments later my jaw hit the floor when I first saw those incredible graphics along with the zesty chiptunes by Dave Whittaker.

I had truly left behind the 8-Bit world and entered into another realm which is a feeling I shall never forget. Well folks, today is a good day, because I have just taken delivery of the original which is extraordinarily well preserved and feels almost brand new. I'm impressed and overjoyed to finally re-own this masterpiece. Gorgeous box art (click the pic)

Xenon is every bit as good as I remember. The gameplay starts off so well balanced with many baddies to encounter over a short area. We then there get to battle against a weird ball-like Alien ship. This takes a lot longer to kill than you first realise. (Well, for me anyhow!). Don't forget to waggle that joystick and flip your 'tank' into an aircraft at any time.

Xenon is pure brilliance. A true, and timeless, Atari ST classic which I urgently suggest you load up right now!

LINKS

 - Both D-Bug and 8BitChip have converted this great arcade game to run off hard drive!
 - Those needing a floppy disk can find Xenon on Timewarp #51 thanks to Stonish.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Pegasus


Satan has been a bad boy again and has turned the world on its head so it's our job to reverse his dastardly deeds before it's too late. You are Percius and fly the globe on a mythical horse called (wait for it) Pegasus and our adventure is split into two parts. A shoot 'em up has you flying on Pegasus and also a platformer where Percius is free to unleash his own hell using a rather large sword (it flips between these two gaming modes throughout).

The shoot 'em up parts are exciting and challenging, just imagine something like an R-Type but on horseback and you've got a general idea. Collect the crystals left behind from a kill to enhance your weaponry and there are also awesome power-ups to use. Plus you control Pegasus, a flying horse, how freaky cool is that? Graphics and sounds are a little bland but the scrolling is smooth and it plays well.

The platform levels follow and these are probably my personal favourites. Collect the crystals and kill baddies once again... but it plays good and scrolls along nicely to keep up with the action. Sadly, once again, it's a little bland in the audio department and needed far more enemies for better action.

Each stage is fun to play but it fails to stand out from the crowd. I fear Pegasus is a lazy port because it needs excitement, music and pizzazz sound effects so feels somewhat flat, which is a shame. The potential is staggering yet Gremlin didn't feel like getting the best from the Atari ST. An okay game but there are far better to choose from.

LINKS

 - Download Pegasus from the D-Bug and 8BitChip, both with hard drive support.
 - Floppy disks versions can be found using Old Games Finder.
 - You need to cheat? Then press P on the title screen and type in this code: FRUITBAT
          -> use the arrow keys to select your starting level.
          -> F1 for extra lives.
          -> F2 to select a power-up.
          -> F3 for an extra special weapon shot.
          -> F5 advance a level.
          -> F7 for a nifty shield.
 - To view the greetings, enter this code as a password on the title screen: CATFOOD.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The Ultimate Captive Guide


I recently bought Captive and anyone with a brain knows this to be an awesome RPG game by Mindscape. The Ultimate Captive Guide is a website created by Pierre Fournier and I'm sure you'll find extremely useful.

Captive's story is simple, you have been held a prisoner for a couple of hundred years for a crime you did not commit (and the A-Team thought they had it bad). After such a long time, your freedom from the unjust hell is your only goal in this RPG not too dissimilar to the Dungeon Master ilk. Playing through a fantastic 3D first-person perspective with a creative UI that has you configuring and controlling droids from a conveniently placed briefcase! The graphics are excellent with beautifully drawn monsters that add perfectly to the futuristic realism. Sound effects could have been a little more ambient but that doesn't spoil the captivating (sorry) atmosphere. This is truly an amazing adventure and one which will certainly eat away the spare hours. It's an experience to love living through, an outstanding RPG.

LINKS

 - I've found a neat video which should help Captive newcomers tremendously.
 - ST Format published this piccy in their magazine which I think is very helpful.
 - TIDBIT: the original release supported DMA audio but this was dropped for the v1.2 update. How odd :-(

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Jim Power in Mutant Planet


Jim Power In Mutant Planet was released by Loriciel in 1992 where we play as a member of the Special Warfare Unit. These are in charge of the President's personal security and, of course, his daughter was kidnapped by evil beings which infest a Mutant Planet. So it is your mission to kill everything, rescue the girl, and save the day. Yeah!!

You begin your adventure in a rather funky looking environment that reminds me of Enchanted Land. A strange world of whacky colours that is populated by stupid enemies aimlessly wondering back n' forth. I first thought this was going to be easy but it soon picks up the pace to become quite the challenge with levels that are as interesting as they are superbly designed. Controls feel spritely to suit the game style perfectly and I love the way you can easily hop from platforms without ever feeling the uncertainty of plummetting to your death. Weapons are upgradable and if your joystick has an autofire option then I'd consider the option of switching it on to enjoy some deadly killing fun.

The box art may look like it was ripped from a bad 80s action flick but thankfully the visuals are all of a standard that I would describe as outstanding. It's colour galore as Loriciel mock the supposed hardware limitations with ease to feature scrolling which is both fast and smooth. Sprites are simply gorgeous and look as cute as they are innovative. The audio will not dishearten (view the credits!) and provides a thumping title tune with even more stunning in-game chiptunes. Also, the option is available to play with only the sound effects, but I personally thought this wasn't nearly as good as those boppin' tunes. Overall, this is an easy recommendation for platforming fans because it looks and sounds as great as it plays. Jim Power might not have much originality but it's an absolute cracker. Play this!!

LINKS

 - 8BitChip has a version to install on your hard drive.
 - For those that require a floppy disk image, just see Old Games Finder.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sleeping Gods Lie


You're on Tessera, a world once rich but now suffering famine, disease, and a crime wave that only Robocop could fix. Their god, N'Gnir, strangely seems to be in slumber so it's your mission to find him, wake him up, and put an end to all the madness. It won't be easy because you must battle your way through the numerous different lands and each has eight kingdoms. This game is huge so pack some butties because it's unlikely you will be home for tea...

We begin from the comfort of our own castle which looks impressive from the outside but rather sparsely decorated within. Leaving here reveals the strange chaotic world with most of its populous being completely barmy. Almost all encounters feature a pebble fight to the death without any purpose and these brawls are all too frequent!

  
Your home and other buildings are impressive but obviously furnished by a guy...

Thankfully, a few characters are normal and these are the guys you should take the time to talk too for helpful information. As the box says, this isn't just an adventure game and is full to the brim with action and basic puzzles within a curious new world. There are many puzzles to be completed such as feeding a giant critter with mouldy cheese. These aren't brain-blasters and the information you acquire will soon fall into place if you talk to the right people. Oh, and look out for the rather odd level guardians...

The first-person engine is fast but the landscapes are sparse with distant objects being nothing more than fuzzy pixels - until close. The title music is chiptune magic but in-game sound effects are as sparse as the landscapes. Controls are perfect - mouse looks or moves but do also use the keyboard for a fantastic combination (not seen in the video). Hint, pressing F3 allows you to run rather than walk and I found this to be the greatest benefit.

  
This ain't a peaceful land and most people love to start fights by throwing pebbles like a child!!

Sleeping Gods Lie has some very interesting ideas but it's not perfect. The constant weird battles are initially funny but soon wear thin, however, things get better once you've found the slingshot. For an adventure, the character integration should be more inclusive but often fails to entertain and feels like it was added at the last hour.

Overall, there's no denying this adventure is enthralling and I loved exploring the lands. I feel this is something that requires time set aside to fully appreciate it so dig your heels into it one quiet weekend and get stuck in. If you have spare pebbles and enjoy childish battles then grab the floppies or better still install to a hard drive.

  
That pixelated mess is the first guardian but the second is freakishly cute (and hungry)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

YOPAZ IceStar


Yopaz is a brand new game by Cedric Bourse that features a happy chap with a lust for collecting stars within a Sokoban-inspired universe. The game runs within GEM but is super smooth and sound effects are simple but very nice. However, if you have 4MB Ram, then you can also enjoy beautiful ambient DMA sounds.

This uses the familiar format and takes it a step further by placing you in the vacuum of space which means you must follow the basic laws of physics. So, once Yopaz begins moving, he is committed to travelling in that particular direction until bumping into an object. Take your time because you will need to cunningly use ice blocks to manoeuvre yourself properly in order to collect all the stars dotted about each level. Other curious oddities exist like blocks that aren't ice but instead will teleport you out in a different place on the map and there is also an advanced mode for those with a sadistic desire to push their brains even harder - it's a KILLER choice so be warned!!

Cedric Bourse, aka Orion_ (not Orion), has a website where you can download a playable demo and he is only asking for $4 to purchase the full game. That is incredibly cheap and hardly going to break the bank. Brilliant game.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Bootsie


Bootsie, a utility by Stefan Krey that writes a boot sector to a floppy disk to perform many rather nifty system init functions. These will be useful for Atari owners with a hard drive or those fortunate to own a MSTE, TT or Falcon.

By default, my Mega STe boots up in an 8MHz "compatibility mode" which is great for gaming but pretty lame for everything else. After all, the entire boot process from start to end will be a lot slower than it could be at 16MHz. Enter Bootsie that can set the processor speed to steroid mode and it will also do lots more cool stuff, such as CPU caching, activate the Blitter chip, 60Hz display, and much more. What a fantastic utility that helps make a computer as zippy as is possible. Download it right now from Atari ST Essential Software List.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Ballerburg


Whilst enjoying my cuppa joe this morning (in my cool Atari ST mug) I stumbled upon a tweet about Ballerburg, an old turn-based artillery game by Eckhard Kruse. This is an ST classic and offers addictive and strategical gameplay to blast our enemy to smithereens and all using basic maths to calculate speed and direction.

However, Ballerburg requires the ability to read German and a monochrome hi-res monitor. But let's be honest, as ST users, we are familiar translating on the fly and there are many programs which fudge the ST's high-resolution mode. As I type, my Atari STe is running Ballerburg and I'm (trying) to teach our 6-year old daughter the basic mechanics... Sadly, that ain't going too well and I know she will be an easy victim so I'm going to destroy her Muwhahaha!!

LINKS

 - A download is available via Eckhard Kruse's website and also Ballerburg has a wiki page!
 - I use MonoPack to enable ST High Res on my colour monitor.
 - So, you didn't believe me about my Atari ST mug, uh?

Friday, November 06, 2015

The Immortal


You are a wizard and have been asked to help out another wizard that appears to be in a spot of bother. He is called Mordamir and somehow thinks your name is Dunric, which it isn't. So will you still help him? Of course, you will... However, it will involve exploring creepy dungeons infested with numerous nasty creatures. Still feeling brave? Well, it is time to wear clean underwear and venture forth into the realms of myth, sorcery, and brutal horror!

  
Never has such an adventure game featured so many tricks, traps, battles and vicious deaths!!

The Immortal is a scrolling isometric adventure set within a creepy labyrinth full of unforgiving traps and ghastly horrors. In fact, it's these characteristics which will torment even the most experienced adventurer along his journey and you will most definitely witness the bloodiest of deaths. This isn't a game you can complete in a few attempts because its design dictates the need for a determined player and one who will fall victim to many gruesome deaths.

  
Learn how to battle and defeat your foe. Sometimes you're rewarded - look at me - Weee!!

Lurking within the labyrinth are trolls, goblins and lots of other scary creatures with some have exquisite names - like The Shades, that you encounter early. A life form that hides in the darkness, only casting a faint shadow under firelight - are you scared yet? Each room is unique and has its own battles, treasures, and pitfalls to solve, so think first, be vigilant and always on your guard. The good news is that you can often avoid a confrontation by being stealthy, but brave warriors can always use their weapon or even conjure magic spells to beat their foe.

  
Watch your step in this crazy world. Even the monsters appear to hate each other!

Expect your endurance to be tested to the full with each level's cruel traps, thankfully each isn't overly large so they are within eventual reach of learning. Exploration is the key to success so examine everything that may help later on. Finally, don't forget to rest, if you see a straw bed then take the time for forty winks, gain a little health and maybe even an enlightening dream. There is no save game function instead you will be awarded level passwords which first seem disappointing but it certainly forces you to tread carefully thus creating a more knowledgeable adventurer.

  
Killing is tough work so let's take a nap before going for a ride. Whatever floats your boat!

The Immortal is a groundbreaker due to its gripping storyline, eerie atmospheric and a captivating adventure. Mix that in with both RPG and arcade elements and it's apparent why I love this game. An extremely excellent game offering hours of agonising pleasure as you uncover its secrets. The Immortal is a cruel yet highly addictive adventure.

Floppy disks can be found using Old Games Finder and 8BitChip has a hard disk installable version.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Rana Rama


Most action games have you playing as something rather cool, like a wizard or a musclebound warrior or perhaps even a Hollywood hero with a deadly automated weapon that never runs out of ammo. Well, not so with Ranarama. You're a novice magician called Mervyn who has accidentally turned himself into a frog? That's right, you're a frog!

   

Wizards have invaded and brought with them a horde of monster followers who killed everyone, although luckily they ignored the unassuming slimy frog. So it's time for you to leg'it and deal these evil beings a hefty dose of revenge! Played through an overhead view, you crawl a dungeon battling the numerous minion slaves of the powerful wizards. First impressions are of another action-packed Gauntlet clone and, although it looks aesthetically similar, it's quite different. Beginning in the upper area of this 8-level dungeon you must kill the baddies and defeat the wizards. Interestingly, only the places you have explored are visible and the baddies themselves are only seen when you’re within the same room. This makes entering new rooms an anxious moment and who knows what surprises lurk!

   

Monsters come in various scary shapes and sizes, starting with the humble Dwarf (I love those) leading up to the mighty Gargoyles. All can be killed with increasing efforts and wizards need to be defeated in a Countdown-style sub-game that has you rearranging letters to form the word "Ranarama". It's not easy and later wizards are very tricky, but once won, he dies and leaves behind his rune goodies. Magic plays its part in Ranarama and can be a little confusing at first but good ‘ol Mervyn has four categories at his disposal: offensive, defensive, effect and other powers. Look after yourself, all monsters (and even your own movements) can reduce energy but fear not because you can cast a spell or collect the energy cells which are frequently available. Finally, use the floor-based glyphs to activate special features like a map, status and casting powerful spells. This game is far bigger than you first imagine!

   

The graphics are superb with such a fine attention to detail and great use of colour. The in-game Sound effects are very good and the music is by Dave J. Rogers, he of Exolon and Zynaps fame so is absolutely superb. Ranarama was one of the first Atari ST games (I owned) to feature speech, thus always delivers a happy moment each time I hear the fuzzy woman speak. Overall, if you view the screenshots and are expecting a typical Gauntlet clone then you might be disappointed. Ranarama is quite different and offers a long-term mix of arcade action with so many hints of role-playing as you venture through the cunning levels. This is a very difficult adventure but it's also extremely rewarding so expect lots of late nights in. An utterly fantastic Atari ST game, a legendary Hewson game!

LINKS

 - The best download is made by 8BitChip if you have a hard drive.
 - Old Games Finder should suffice for all you floppy disk dudes!