Wednesday, August 31, 2016

BeGEMeD




Dear puzzle fans, brace yourself...

Forget playing Candy Crush on your phone because something better is available on your Atari STe. It's called BeGEMeD and is a twist on the Bejewelled theme by Alexander de Vries. Best of all, it's a new game for the Atari STe with 16 beautiful colours and DMA sound effects. Those familiar with the genre will love this version because it plays brilliantly and is challenging - without irritation or frustrating mechanics. You'll be playing for hours!

The graphics were designed by Carnivac and it's difficult to believe that he only used 16 colours. The quality of the design is superb so it actually appears there are far more on-screen. This talented use of a few colours in such a way is impressive. Accompanying the lush visuals is music by Dma-Sc, one of my favourite musicians and is mesmerisingly awesome. We also have familiar sound effects as we play. This includes samples letting us know how awesome we are!

Okay, games like this don't look exciting in screenshots, but let's look at the first anyhow...



The first screenshot... what a nice display with lovely colour and design!



ReadMe.TXT

Nice of you to visit this text, it will give you all the basic information you need to know to get started. Don’t worry it's easy so you will get the hang of it very soon!!

We are visiting Jack Bright, the castle lord of a medieval castle. He has already lived there for a lot of years and the castle needs some work. But his cash flow is a little bit on the downside so to earn some cash he has to swap gems for it.

He has lots of them hidden in his castle but it is a real mess. They are just piled on top of each other in no order at all. To swap them for cash he has to sort them out! But he can only do so if he has 3 or more of the same collection.

How does he do that? Well simple, just align 3 or more gems horizontal or vertical. For every successful swap, he earns those coins. Click the gem you van to swap with one of its neighbours and then choose the one you want to swap. Or even better just drag it over the other one by holding the mouse button, it both works...

As the coin meter reaches the top you have earned enough cash to go to the next level. The aim of the game is to reach the biggest high score of course.


The second screenshot... Well, it kinda looks the same as the first doesn't it. lol



The CryptO'pinion?

I contacted Alexander to thank him for developing a great game and... we got chatting... it was only a short time before I was beta-testing a new version. Which was ace and I'm thrilled to report numerous bug fixes and extra features.

This has been a blast because Alexander is a cool chap and I'm honoured to have played a (tiny) part in producing what is a fantastic and addictive puzzler. I'm confident with the following statement: BeGEMeD is one of the best Bejeweled games I have ever played. A fantastic game that looks and sounds as good as it plays. I love it and so will you!

AtariMania has the latest version to download

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Saboteur III - The Egyptian Mission




Durell on the Atari ST?

Saboteur 3 was released in 2012 by Shadow Team for the Atari STe and Falcon (STfm if you have a Blitter and TOS 1.04). Okay, I'll start by saying I'm a huge fan of Saboteur 2: Avenging Angel on the ZX Spectrum. It's a game I played to death and mapped - so I'm excited to see this release. Although I'm anxious and wondering how it will compare.

It's obviously an unofficial fan game based on the original games by legends Durell Software. Incredibly, it was programmed using GFA Basic. I know nothing of programming but it seems the perfect tool for developers - to this day!

Saboteur III The Egyptian Mission takes us into an ancient world looking for fragments of a key to unlock a treasure-filled sarcophagus. However, (this might not be much of a shock), but somebody has rigged most rooms with traps! Beware of killer spikes and scary creatures like mummies, bats, and scorpions. So don't expect this quest to be easy!!

Let's pause the read for a screenshot...



Ok, let's begin the mission... Yeah, that means killing Mommies!



Authentic or worse?

Each room is a pleasure for this oldskool gamer - it's like looking at a surreal retake of the original. I like the design layout employed by most rooms and there's always something that needs to be kicked to death using my ninja skillset. Looking at the map, Saboteur 3 is smaller than the previous games on the ZX Spectrum but who cares about that.

Movements are more or less what you expect with a few changes - down/fire makes our ninja hit under the belt without using the kicking mechanic. A slight change, yet not damageable to the playability. In fact, the joystick controls are responsive and I'm impressed with the fluency of our actions, helping make it feel authentically pleasing.

I expected differences but some changes to the gameplay mechanics irk me - like falling off a ledge. That is instant death rather than simply draining you of (replenishable) strength. Yes, I miss that bar and wonder why it was dropped. Also, I fail to see the point of those large spikes that pop up to impale you each and every time. And even during mid-jump!! However, the most annoying oddity is the ladders because too many go nowhere and that's just absurd.

Quite harsh there, eh? Better calm down a bit and view another screenshot...



As you progress, things get odd and very difficult! Perhaps too difficult?



Aesthetics

Visually, it's superb albeit overly colourful with too much yellow? Or is that how Egypt looks! However, I'm glad they didn't try replicating the original look and style (can you imagine the horror of mostly monochrome graphics?). The characters and their animations are great which makes kicking the baddies to death - an absolute joy!

The in-game music is by Dma-Sc and thus a beautiful example of his extraordinary chiptune talent. I still would have liked an option for (DMA) sound effects to play alongside the music. But I'm now being rather picky I guess?

I think we've got time for one more screenshot? How about one of me, dead...



Sooner or later, I usually end all my games looking this good! ;o)



The CryptO'pinion?

Saboteur 3 is a good platformer beat 'em up but, far from perfect. Sadly, I fear hardcore fans will enjoy picking at it as many official Saboteur characteristics are altered or missing. However, this is still a great game in its own right and I think that even Clive Townsend would enjoy playing this alternative take on his classic Saboteur. I sure did!!

A highly challenging platformer; admiringly recommended for both Saboteur fans and new Ninja wannabees.

Grab the download if you think you're tough enough!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Creatures




Cute & Cuddly Gaming

Somewhere in the far reaches of the universe is a planet called Blot. Much like early Eden, this is a wonderful place; everything is perfect and everyone is happy. The inhabitants are little creatures called the Blotians. However, for some peculiar reason, these guys got bored with their paradise and wanted something better so came up with the daft notion of a brand new identity - on a different planet. They're now called Fuzzy Wuzzies!!

Creatures was released in 1992 by Thalamus and programmed by Philip Watts of WJS Design. Yes, he of Leander and Ork, two decent scrolling games you should check out.

What these sad creatures didn't realise was that evil demons already lived on this new planet. And are a very bad-tempered bunch too! Needless to say, they should have been happy where they were because everyone has been captured and awaited a cruel and bloody fate. You are Clyde Radcliffe, your breath stinks terribly but it is your job to rescue all of your simple-minded friends from these vicious fiends! So good luck - you'll need it.

This sounds simply insane and I love that!! So let's view an authentic screenshot taken with my phone...





Actually, this is quite sadistic!

Clyde is the cutest thing and is equipped with a rapid-firing weapon, which is handy because many of the baddies annoyingly take numerous. Power-ups are available, I love the 'wriggler' effect the most but there are many others to choose from. However, your superpower is the funniest weapon of all, press and hold the fire button to breathe bad breath over anything that gets too close. A bad-breathed hero must surely be a first?

A good tip for Creatures is to not rush it. The enemies can take more than a few hits which is a little weird and can often feel a little OTT. Try to kill what's already on the screen before moving on and being overrun by evil cute critters. Okay, that's a simple and obvious tip, but there ya' go. Take it or leave it!

Controlling Clyde is a cinch thanks to great joystick controls and fantastic level designs which are fun to navigate. The monsters come in all sorts and always manage to bring a smile to this ugly mug of mine thanks to great attention to detail and cruel personalities. End-of-level scenes are particularly cruel (but funny) but employ a harsh time limit before a fellow Fuzzy Wuzzy meets their bloody death at the hands of a sadistic demon!

Wait! It's not screenshot time. Oh, no let's jazz this up with a video recording...





Sexy Pixels & Smooth Audio?

I love the lush aesthetics with beautiful colours and stunning artwork - the attention to detail is amazing. Wow, the sprites are as cute as they are evil, this game looks the part alright and never fails to impress. However, everything might look nice, but is spoiled by rubbish push-scrolling! Sure, that method works fine for games like Rick Dangerous, but not here.

The audio is excellent with a cool theme tune that has you bobbing away to its funky beats. I love it. Also, the sound effects are making use of the DMA hardware - if you're lucky enough to own an Atari STe? If so, they are ace!!!

Righto, let's break up the silence! The shock of that push scrolling means we have another screenshot...





The CryptO'pinion?

Creatures is very enjoyable with well-balanced gameplay and a fantastic (and sadistic) sense of humour. However, it was originally designed as a scrolling platformer and a scrolling platformer needs to SCROLL. So, it sadly falls short of the mark compared to other versions as it's hampered by what appears a rushed port. Maybe I'm too fussy? Tell me!

Don't get me wrong, Creatures is worth downloading because it is a good game with a superb theme, humour, controls and audio. However, it's a massive shame they didn't make full use of the Atari STe or even push the STfm like so many other companies did with their platformers already out by 1992. The list is near endless so what was stopping Thalamus?

Help Clyde now and grab it on floppy & hard drive.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Annex




Yet another FPS game!

Annex is a homebrew first-person shooter published by LAPD in 1995 and attempts to blend together the action of Doom using the gameplay mechanics of Dungeon Master. Nasty aliens have taken control of the science space station, Annex. Guess what? It's our job to kill every last one of them whilst fixing the life support reactors. Oh yeah!

At first, I didn't think this would work using the old 90° turns but it works out very nicely. Movement is performed using a combination of the keyboard and mouse: the keyboard walks and activates switches with the used mouse to aim and shoot. As you can imagine, this works well and whenever a bad guy sees you - they actually speak. This conveniently acts as a nifty "heads-up" alert so you're not taken by surprise. So, annihilate them for a gory blood splatter :-)

The graphics are great but lack variety for both colour and texture, thus things tend to get a little samey after a while. Sadly, there is also no map function to help us out - the docs do suggest making your own. A very good idea.

Annex is great. I like the way it combines action with adventure but you really need a pen and paper to map it (otherwise, it's easy to get lost!!). Far from perfect but fans of the first-person shooter genre should definitely take a look.

 * AtariMania has a download available from their Atari ST database.
 * Zogging Hell has a nice selection of the LAPD library.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Floyd The Droid



One of my earliest purchases

Floyd The Droid was developed in 1986 by Paul Lay for Analog Software. We're a droid who loves to explore but this trait got him into trouble so now he's stuck inside a (wait for it) topo-dimensional converter. So you're alone in the void of whatever this existence is and surrounded by weird enemies intent on our death.

This game is simple, shoot everything - robots, spaceships, C64's and more. We begin each game with 75% health and it increases with each enemy we kill. Sadly, it also decreases if you bump into them or if you shoot an Atari logo. Kill everything and move onto the next level to do it all over again at a faster rate. Don't panic!

Interestingly, you can hit F1-F6 to start on the following stages: 1, 10, 20, 30. 40 and 50.

The graphics are basic but it's all about the sprites which are huge and beautiful in their own weird way. The music is insanely awesome. Insane, because it's so zany and weird yet I also leave it playing as I love it. There is also speech which is quite superb for such an early ST game, and it's excellent. A lot of love went into this game.
 - I believe there was a hi-res version in the making but was it ever released?
 - AtariMania lists Floyd The Droid in their database and also Missing One Droid.
 - Atari 8-bit fans may also wanna click here: Floyd the Droid Goes Blastin'.
Overall, it's a little rough around the edges because it's an early title but this is also a piece of Atari ST history. Personally, I enjoy frantically blasting a relentless hoard of invading oddities - it never gets old and it's so addictive. This is ancient retro gaming at its best, so hit that fire button and try to last as long as you can!!


I managed to find the original of Missing One Droid and I just had to buy it!!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Frontier: Elite II



The End Of An Era...

After a worrying delay, Frontier Elite II was released in early 1994 by Gametek. It was unlike most other games due to its sheer size taking place amongst creation. Yep, that's right a whole universe of near-countless stars to explore which basically meant long gaming nights are ahead (over the decades and through to present day!)

Commander Jameson has sadly left this realm and you came along just in the nick of time to reap the benefits of his will reading. Being his favourite grandson, he left you 100 credits with strict instructions to stay clear of Vegas. He also left you his pride and joy, an Eagle Long Range Fighter - careful, don't scratch it. You now have the means and opportunity to explore the heavens so jump into your spaceship and begin the journey of a lifetime! And I mean that quite literally.

Sounds immense and it was/is so let's check out a couple of screenshots...



There are two basic starting positions and faster computers can even crank up the graphical details.




The Universe Is Yours!

After watching the awesome intro, various menu options are available to begin your first adventure and I advise selecting Option 1 which places you safely in the Ross 154 System. Or more precisely, at the Sirocco starport on the planet Merlin. You have 100 credits and a rather funky piece of 3D called your spaceship so starting at Sirocco is a great place to learn the ropes of the GUI and basic trading skills along with brushing up on your piloting skills.

Frontier is an open-world (space!) sandbox game that doesn't restrict in any traditional sense as you are free to travel almost anywhere and do almost anything you like. However, even gaming folklore doesn't come for free and this style of living costs money. So use the spaceship to provide yourself with a good living by means of job contracts and trading because everyone needs something. This is where you come in to make your hard-earned cash.

It's always about cash but don't let it become the love of money. Chill, and check out some more screenshots...



First things first, let's check out the cool spaceships and find dodgy jobs on the bulletin boards.




Trouble at t'mill?

Frontier's universe has two major factions, and this is the Trekkie part, for me. Firstly, we have the Federation which is based in the Sol system and then we have The Empire which is based within the Achenar system. Both offer a haven to live and trade but aren't exactly the best of friends. Also, outside the safety of their territory, you run the risk of running into pirates who want your precious cargo - and your life!! Who said life was gonna be easy?

These dogfights are difficult to master and possibly the hardest part of the entire game. Gone are the arcade-style controls in favour of realistic Newtonian physics which will affect the control of your spacecraft. So, momentum will first need to be compensated in order for you to slow down, stop or change direction. Perhaps it's now that I should advise saving your game at regular intervals? Learn physics because the pirates are tough cookies.

Do the pirates spoil it? I'll let you decide whilst you view a couple more screenshots...



Check out your local solar system and then see what goods are best to trade in...




Trade, Respect, Fight!

Ultimately, Frontier is all about trade and trying to earn yourself the means for a lucrative lifestyle through the adventures of space and exploring the heavens. Use your galactic map to explore a 3D perspective of creation to plan a route, dig for information to find out what they need, and then buy in bulk to earn lots of cash.

Enjoy your journey but prepare thyself because nothing beats making your first hyperspace jump - very exciting!! This automatically ends once you are within the vicinity of your destination, but the distance to travel is still huge, so don't forget to use the Stardreamer buttons to pass the time quicker! Auto-docking is finally supported and, once you've boarded, get details of goods sold to reap the biggest profits. Also, before you begin looking for another trade route, remember to refuel your ship otherwise you won't be able to make another hyperspace jump!

It's completely up to you how to live but these two screenshots were entirely my doing...



I love is exploring the universe. Hang on, what's that dot? Zoomed in... and saw this beauty!!




But Is It Any Good?

Stick with it and, after earning lots of money, you should consider checking out the Bulletin Board. It's here you can upgrade your ship or search for jobs like transporting passengers, helping to find a missing person, mining, military work or information. Heck, there is even a black market for those without a conscience where you can trade slaves, weapons, narcotics, or even be an assassin. However, this dark lifestyle will definitely take you into dangerous waters so will almost certainly attract the attention of the law. Are you ready for that kinda heat, bad boy?

Frontier is one heck of a game and one with immense potential and I'm hoping this feature will regenerate your interest to play. Frontier is all about progression and making the right choices to build up your own empire. Don't expect to jump into the pilot's seat and see the entire universe in one sitting because will take time, money and commitment. Frontier: Elite II is jaw-dropping and quite literally one of the best games, ever.

Grab yourself a slice of creation and play this immense game which you can find on either floppy or your hard drive. The manual is available on AtariMania and you can catch a glimpse of the 16-bit universe right now......

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Knight Lore



Uh, a Falcon game???

AtariCrypt is all about the Atari ST/e computers but I shall make an exception for its big brother: the 32-Bit Atari Falcon. This is because I was recently contacted by Janez Valant (Swe, of YesCREW) and he mentioned a Falcon release of Knight Lore that might be cool for those who don't know about it. I was one of them. How did I not know about this game?

I'm a big fan of Ultimate's famous isometric Spectrum game from 1984. I can even remember it being released and we were blown away by the next-gen visuals and also how each puzzle was presented as a 3D room. Okay, I had seen similar in 3D Ant Attack but definitely nothing at this new level. To be honest, it was one of those mind-blowing moments in history.

The Falcon version appears to be the complete game, featuring spot-on perfect gameplay too. In fact, it's probably better because there is no slowdown that the Speccy version suffered. However, gone is the lovely monochrome palette for something that is now very colourful. Ahem, perhaps too colourful for my liking? It feels unnecessary.

There was a part of me that didn't believe Janez yet here it is running on my virtual Falcon (Hatari) and it's brilliant. However, I must admit that I'm saddened it doesn't run on the ST/e. Ignoring the tacky colours, I don't see why the ST cannot handle it. Perhaps somebody out there knows the answer but if it's because of the many colours - I'll be very angry lol.

Anyhow, playing this iconic game on the Atari Falcon is fantastic. All I need now is a real Falcon...

 Download Knight Lore and relive 1984 ZX Spectrum style!! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

What's wrong with this picture?



Can you spot two things that are wrong?

Those with a keen eye will notice the larger screen space of my GEM desktop? What about the three resolutions that appear selectable? Well, if you saw these things then you're an Atari ST rock star and I salute you!

Yes, I've been experimenting with a few GEM programs that allow the use of larger resolutions and more cool stuff. Some support interlace to double the vertical resolution but that can look a little odd and hurts my eyes! (use 60Hz!!). Others can create a virtual screen by using the hardware scrolling of the Atari STe. But do you really wanna scroll?

Interestingly, some programs feature overscan. This is a technique used to make use of the empty borders and it sparked my curiosity. Using this extra screen space is excellent and comes without any slowdown. Most GEM programs should work perfectly fine and I'm left wondering why Atari couldn't have made this standard back in 1985?

I've made a bundled download of these programs - please let me know if there are others I've missed.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Magic Boy



Prepare to be amazed!

Magic Boy was released in 1993 by Empire and is one of the cutest platformers I have ever seen. Personally, it reminds me of Rainbow Islands because of its visual quality and ravishingly charming styles. This is gonna be good!

We play as Hewlett, a young boy with a magic wand who accidentally turned all the animals into freakishly cute monsters. Seems plausible to me but how do these things keep happening? Not to worry, it's our task to restore everything back to normal, so that means venturing forth through many beautiful worlds to tag & bag the nasties.

Firstly, check out this screenshot I've taken. Wear sunglasses and take a deep breath...



Magic Boy must be one of the most colourful games on the Atari ST.



Shoot, jump, bag & grab!

There are four massive worlds to explore (Sand Land, Wet World, Plastic Place, Future Zone) and each offers eight levels. Things begin relatively easily before lots of crafty tricks and traps are introduced. This difficulty is staggered gradually through the levels so helps to keep things interesting - without being too tough to play properly

This mild learning curve is nothing much for the easier levels. It's very easy to pick up and play, so you're instantly leaping your way through in no time. Make sure you collect all the power-ups which will aid your progress. Just watch out for anything that looks oddly cute - it's not really. It's very nasty so shoot it and then bag it. Great stuff!!

However, the later levels are challenging and I really mean really formidable!! Those cute critters are actually deceivingly mean and seem to know just when to strike with a perfectly well-timed shot. Also, the level layout increases with the usual moving tiles and others might dissolve or randomly disappear. Infuriatingly difficult which can be a shame sometimes as these later levels are impossible for a guy like me to complete.... lol... not without a cheat enabled!!

Wanna see another multi-coloured screenshot? I know you do...



Things are now starting to get serious with cunning-level designs for a tough challenge!



Aesthetics

This is literally one of the most stunning 16-bit games I have ever seen. This quality is thanks to John Dale and Leigh Christian who have created a game with bright, radiant visuals and so many comical characters. Nothing has been sacrificed and you will see your Atari ST looking this good AND that includes ultra-smooth scrolling. Wonderful stuff!!

Sound effects are excellent and best experienced when using an Atari STe. Yes, I said STe but that doesn't mean the ST is lacking. Not one bit. Accompanying music is perfect with a fun-themed high-quality tune, that remains in your head - all day. Yes, Magic Boy is most definitely one of the sexiest Atari ST games I have ever played.

Why couldn't every game have this much love put into it? Let's view another screenshot...



Future Zone has some incredible levels to hop through as does the quirky Plastic Place.



The CryptO'pinion?

You won't be shocked to hear that this is one seriously addictive platformer and I loved it. Yup, it's almost perfect and a genuine pleasure to play because it's so much fun and I really cannot think of something negative to say. Okay, okay, that difficulty in later levels is really tough but something weirdly reminiscent of games from the era.

The perfect game? Well, the controls, game mechanics, visuals, and audio are... Look, it's a showcase product but also loads of fun and a thrill to play. Doesn't this prove what the Atari ST/e is capable of when in the hands of talented people? So stop what you're doing and load it up - right now - because it's one of the best 16-bit platformers ever released.

Grab yourself either the floppy disk or a version to install onto a hard drive/Ultrasatan thanks to 8BitChip. For those who wanna flick through directly to the later levels then you will enjoy these codes. On the menu screen, press and hold down the desired keys before pressing fire to begin:

     -> Sand Land......(part 1)  =  S + 1

     -> Sand Land......(part 2)  =  S + 2
     -> Future Zone....(part 1)  =  F + 1
     -> Future Zone....(part 2)  =  F + 2
     -> Plastic Place..(part 1)  =  P + 1
     -> Plastic Place..(part 2)  =  P + 2
     -> Wet World......(part 1)  =  W + 1
     -> Wet World......(part 2)  =  W + 2





Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AtariCrypt box art?



Over the last few months, I've been taking pictures of my own ST games to feature within our box art section right here on AtariCrypt. Yesterday, I got quite a shock when a good friend of mine, Jose.Ant, created this fake box using my old avatar (a photo I took in Tombstone, Arizona. Just see the flickr link near the bottom of this page).

You know, the ST world sure has some awesome people and I absolutely love this image!!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Days Of Thunder



Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!!

Yes, I'm a big NASCAR fan and I've finally got around to playing Mindscape's Days Of Thunder which (I think) is the only stock car racer for the Atari ST. I did wonder how the sport might appear in 16-bits and it started off well with a fantastic title tune by David Whittaker. However, it was soon all downhill... Never have I seen a game look so bad.

The visuals are shocking on the eyes but it's the framerate that is total diarrhoea. The sound effects are actually worse and I truly do mean that. But I could forgive how a game looks and sound for great gameplay. Sadly, this has none. Could this be the worst Atari ST game ever? Well, put it this way, I could not stand to play more than a couple laps before rebooting in anger and utter disappointment. And that's my final thoughts about this disgusting stock car racer.

I wondered how my 16MHz Mega STe might perform with this dreadful game so I contacted Peter Putnik and he created a hard drive version... but even the extra MHz couldn't save it but thanks for trying mate!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Elf




Oi, big ears!

Elf was released in 1991 by Ocean Software and is a platformer with simple adventure mechanics for lots of cumulative puzzles. Each level appears so impressive with lush visuals that really appeal to me, so let's take a look...

We are Cornelius, a cool-looking dude whose girlfriend, Elisa, has been kidnapped by the evil Necriliousr. Armed with his magic ring (stop it!!) you must travel eight incredibly gorgeous landscapes, avoiding strange and wacky creatures and solving puzzles in order to rescue the love of your life. Yes, that's Elisa and not your Atari ST computer.

Well, hmm... I dunno about that lol. Okay, let's take a peep at a screenshot taken with my phone...


Upgrades are great - check me out here! But look at the incredible details in those critters!!



Finders Keepers?

Playing Elf is never boring, thanks to the world we have to explore and everything in it. That includes the puzzles which must be figured out logically and in some sort of order. Oddly, I'm reminded of the old ZX Spectrum games by David Jones. You know, trading items with NPC characters who require the silliest of items before providing something you require. It's brilliant but only experience and perseverance will grant success.

However, that's not easy thanks to a barrage of critters constantly invading the screen, think Black Lamp. They are often relentless and will try to stop you from solving the puzzles. So look for anything that might help along the way? Heck, items and even animals, to collate as "pets" that will be used as currency to purchase an assortment of power-ups - including firepower, extra lives, the ability to fly and much more.

Elf is a fascinating and long-winded game that won't be easy to finish. The quest is massive but it will entertain you every step of the way with humour and cool ideas: like when you have chased up a ladder, an impressive mechanic. Finally, and in true Atic Atac style, a tombstone is erected when dead and is rumoured to be haunted!

Yes, this game is huge and brilliant in almost all respects so let's view a clearer screenshot this time...


Beautifully drawn graphics with tons of extra colours thrown in. Look at that sky!



Aesthetics

The graphics are tremendous with outstanding attention to detail for both the scenery and characters. The baddies are some of the most detailed sprites I've seen so killing them almost makes me feel bad (almost). They have cute expressions with integrated novelties, like rocks that watch your every move. Believe this, the visuals are indeed stunning.

The audio is also great with amazing sound effects. However, it's the music I love the most which is by Matthew Cannon (remember Navy Seals?). Awesome tunes throughout thus proving once again that chip music is immortal!! In fact, I'd describe them as bewitching so I completely prefer playing this game with the music on.

When so much effort is put into any game it's something to celebrate! Perhaps this next screenshot isn't appropriate...


Ah, the screen you never want to see and in stark contrast to the jolly feel of the game.



The CryptO'pinion?

Here we go, nothing is perfect... yadda yadda yadda! Well, that's true and it applies to Elf. I felt that the number of lives was far too restricting considering the task at hand. I also found it a little annoying when some critters would walk onto the screen just as I was about to walk off, thus zapping valuable energy. Arghh, irritating!!

However, Elf is brilliant. It will sap away the hours whilst you enjoy shooting the cuties, trading and trying to figure out how to bribe your way off the first level. This is something that you need to experience as I feel this is one of the best platform/adventure titles there is. It's excellent and I cannot recommend Elf highly enough. Make time for this game!!

8BitChip has a version for hard disks
Floppy disks can be found via Old Games Finder.
Here is a walkthrough but don't spoil this awesome game!!


- MY HANDY TIPS -

Tweet Tweet, that cute little bird is hungry. Easy!
Red Indians love feathers...
Toilet paper? Ahem, surely too easy to solve?
That big guy? Well, he just loves roast chicken. Yum!!
If you must, type in CHOROPOO during gameplay for 99 Pets.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

1632 ATARI podcaST


It's always nice to see someone doing something creative for the ST scene and here is Atari 8-bit legend, Wade with a new podcaST. Obviously, this is about the Atari ST and by a guy that didn't originally care for it. Interesting? Maybe, so let's check this out and his re-discovery of the best 16-bit retro computer! <clickety click>

Even More ATARI ST Articles

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