Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ZombieCrypt


A few months ago I came up with the notion to create a slideshow based on a zombie/horror theme because I love George A. Romero and adore movies like Evil Dead and Resident Evil. Not to mention Milla Jovovich!!

I used Imagecopy 4 to convert several JPGs from various movies but that's where my artistic skills ended. I have none! So I asked a few friends if they'd like to donate some gruesome pics of their own. My thanks to the boys listed below for their images and Peter Jørgensen for his awesome slideshow. This program removes the lower border for a cool scroller, plays fantastic YMT music and can be launched from either floppy or hard drive.

I've really enjoyed working on this project and I hope all you ST nutters download it. Let me know :)


- CREDITS -


Production idea and childishly drawn images are by Meeeee!! :D
Artistic skills: Stuart Johns / Peter Jørgensen / Karim Mezaouri / Aurélien Vaillant
Also credit to the "unknown" for those images I nabbed off the web!
Slideshow programmed by Peter Jørgensen.
Addams Family theme tune by Vic Wizzy (converted Peter)



- SAMPLE IMAGES -





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. Whether or not that's a good thing I'll leave for you to decide...

Our objective is simple - rescue baby Hoogs that are trapped inside cages! Sounds so cruel? Yes, it is and they're trapped, waiting to be freed. However, these little kiddies are pretty darn stupid and, when released, will blindly wander off through their dangerous new world - and die!! They can get trapped, drown, or fry in burning flames. Yep, there's a lot of strategical thought needed when guiding these little babies home.

Hoog can walk, jump and even chuck bombs at his foes. However, he's only a short stubby fella so cannot do much without the help of his environment, like helium-filled balloons that can help reach those inaccessible areas. There are various other cool mechanics to aid our hero; look 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.



Visually, this is one of the most impressive "PD" games I have seen. The artwork is truly outstanding with astounding colours, parallax scrolling and beautifully drawn sprites. There are plenty of special effects like gorgeous exploding stars and I love the attention to detail - Hoog smiling as he jumps and how he wiggles his bum!

Audio is a treat and certainly proves that chiptunes will last forever. Get that tune out your head if you can!

Once again, MP Lord has released a wonderful game and one which humiliates many commercial companies who rushed through sloppy ports. It 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!!


DOWNLOAD & SCREENSHOTS -




Monday, April 17, 2017

Starburst


Starburst is a shareware game by Chris Skellern that grants us the gratifying opportunity to blow stuff up!! This space-shoot 'em up is based on an old Sinclair QL game, which is actually pretty cool when you think about it!

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

Okay, aesthetically, this isn't going to blow your mind with its basic 8-Bit visuals. However, that's the era I grew up in and I don't need fancy 16-bit graphics to enjoy any game. In fact, Starburst reminds me of Harrier Attack - remember that one? The chipmusic is superb with in-game sampled sound effects that aren't all that bad.

Starburst is dead simple and explosive fun so stop thinking and destroy everything!!


DOWNLOAD & MY HIGH SCORE -


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.

The graphics are beautiful with cartoon artwork by Leigh Christian (Magic Boy) which includes lots of neat animations and effects. Just look at that mean-looking troll in the animation above - it's better than watching Nick Jr. Audio hasn't been forgotten with stunning chip music to enjoy throughout. It's YM-tastic and I loved it!!

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. Okay, I think it's time I rescued Dylan? But Dozy is fast asleep so I should figure out how to wake him...

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 this addiction made the dealers 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. Yeah!!

Three Narco units are deployed to infiltrate the drug lord's hive which is located on a remote island, off Columbia. 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 which is important. Also, a map of the island allows you to view the landscape and chose an entrance into its network of underground tunnels.


Don't forget to visit the armoury before heading out into no-mans land!

There's little to actually plan but at least we get to tunnel in like killer worm cops!

It's now we encounter the 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 to ambush. So use the joystick to direct gunfire at their location and reign an onslaught of gun violence! Controls can take a little getting used to with movement first feeling awkward - but you will get used to dodging grenades in no time.

Other defences cannot be destroyed so easily and require a more tactical approach. (It's now that you realise your team needed the correct equipment). A terminal is available 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 sticky situations. A command list can be displayed using 'DIR'.


Come on, tell me you're not impressed by this floppy-disk based computer from 1985!!!

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!

Visually, this is gorgeous with huge sprites and nice animations. This is a 16-bit computer, right? Well, as impressive as it is (and it is) there are some minor issues: it's quite tacky when you see a wooden-looking bad guy waiting to be shot like a cardboard cutout. And there are some soldiers who love to roll across your screen in slo-mo! Thankfully, we are superbly animated as we walk the corridors. Well, even if there's a suspect limp lol.

Audio is fantastic and starts with a stomping title tune during the display of an 80s retro-styled title screen. All in-game sound effects are made from samples, which are impressive. However, it's odd walking without the sound of footsteps? Maybe I'm being picky and perhaps our hero is just too stealthy for his own good!!

Hands up who would love a job as a Narco Policeman? No, me neither! lol


The perspective used in this game is so impressive but that doesn't stop me from dying!

Technically, this game is a Christmas Cracker stuffed full of mayhem that gets the blood flowing. Who doesn't enjoy killing idiot henchmen during their repetitive tunnel explorations? Sadly, and once again, Dinamic has created another game that is ludicrously hard, which is a shame... Arghh, perhaps the Spanish are hardcore gamers? lol

Having said that, I couldn't help but be drawn back into the tunnels time and time again. Narco Police is one seriously addictive game for anyone that loves guns, loud explosions and plenty of killing. What a fistful of fun. Play this.

Narco Police floppy disks and a hard drive version

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 tough game and also an arcade classic. The Atari ST received a fantastic conversion which looks great, sounds incredible and offers you the chance to enjoy the most frustrating action. Dare you accept this challenge? Of course, you do and those brave players can grab either the floppies or a hard disk version.

Check out these screenshots while you decide how brave you really are... 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 foolishly wandered off into the nearby plutonium mines - which are inhabited by crazy creatures, numerous whacky puzzles and dangerous hazards. Women, uh? Luckily, she left a convenient trail of footprints so venture forth to rescue our beloved and save the day.

Bounty Bob fans will love this: each screen contains platforms that need walking over before we can exit and progress deeper into the mine. Anyhow, this isn't as easy as it sounds thanks to tricky level designs and cunning puzzle elements - and these 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.

First things first, watch and read the intro. It's really cool :-)

Thankfully, there are magical items we can collect that will render these creatures 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 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!

I've enjoyed this oldskool romp and I think it'll appeal to fans of Bounty Bob. My only gripe is the measly three lives which aren't enough for such a challenging game. Clod Hopper is a freakishly brilliant old skool platformer!!

- DOWNLOAD -

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Army Moves


The last time I played Army Moves was probably on my Spectrum +3 back in 1987 before getting an Atari ST. I remember this 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 was developed by Dinamic, the same guys who brought us After The War, and it's a scrolling 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 enemies whilst hopping over potholes in the hope to safely reach the other side. Sound familiar?


This jeep is ace! Realistic handling with fantastic leaping abilities! Yeah!! ;)

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 it 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.


I swear that jeep doesn't fly all the time!

Reversed scrolling is pretty weird and doesn't feel right so makes stage two quite frustrating!!

I do like some of Dinamic's ideas but they spoiled it with ludicrously long levels and 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 great but feels like a rushed 8-Bit conversion offering little fun mixed with a massive bundle of frustration. The first level is good but the rest is too difficult to be entertaining. Which is a shame.

Grab your camo and download the floppies or 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, Collaboration #2 has just been released. The STatariART gang have been very busy and created even more funky pixel art - by many different people who kindly submitted their Degas dabbles. Heck, you will even see a few images from yours truly - brace yourself and don't get your hopes up :o)

A lot of hard work went into this production and it's always fantastic to see so many people coming together like this. People who aren't often associated with the "scene" so let's hope we see many more disks. Any ideas? Contributions? Let us know. Until then, Clickety-Click and download Collaboration #2 via Demozoo. Enjoy!!


- SAMPLE IMAGES -