Saturday, August 22, 2015


Of course, this is the Atari ST conversion but I've also recorded the ZX Spectrum game too :)

Today, I thought that I would descend deeper into the realms of retro gaming with an old great that I've not played since I was 14 years old, Starquake by BubbleBus / Mandarin Software. Like most people, I did not own an expensive Atari ST in 1985 and was instead using a ZX Spectrum. Yup, I've not played Starquake since the mid-80s!

You're a BLOB (BioLogically Operated Being) which has crash-landed on a planet and it's your job to save it before it implodes! Each screen is filled with cutesy (yet annoying) baddies that can zap away your energy or kill you outright. Thankfully you have a weapon but they are relentless with their swarm-like attacks. Curiously, you have no jump ability but instead, can build temporary platforms that help you reach those higher places which is cool.

The intro is short but not without good humour before the craziness begins!

Arghh those security doors!! But the beautiful artwork makes up for it, almost! ;-)

Also dotted about the map are hover-pads which you can make good use of. Starquake is such a big game and one which will instantly appeal whilst you somehow get yourself completely lost as you wander from screen to screen. There are tasks to complete, like collecting objects and computer codes, which is a lot harder than it sounds. Oddly, you cannot collect items when using a hover pad... so be prepared to think!

Overall, I found our Atari ST version to be a little harder than the original Speccy game but its definitely a brilliant conversion of the 8-bit classic. Graphically it's miles better but I must also say the music is a chiptune joy and I really enjoyed it. Yup, I highly recommend this oldskool Christmas cracker which offers a massive, long-term challenge.

Starquake can be downloaded via Old Games Finder and this is a map of the Speccy game, which I love.

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