Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Fractal Engine


ST Format #42 featured The Fractal Engine by Daniel Grace and Mike Harris. I love programs like this and, after a couple of hours tinkering, I began creating some rather funky images. What a superb program this is and it's able to create really impressive images using tripped-out colourful effects - if you have the spare time?

Oh no, does this mean I'm turning into a groovy hippie? I hope not!! Anyhow, I hope you like my images which were all calculated using my own Atari STe. (Thanks to Michael Keenleyside for this link to the latest version)

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Only this morning did ST Survivor ask me for a video recording of Quartet, a new game based on the original, by Photonstorm. The task is to place pieces of four faces, into four slots, in four separate areas with bonuses awarded for a whole face. Watch my video recording and you will see that it's simpler than it reads - and very addictive!

Friday, July 28, 2017

The New Retro Show

I love finding YouTube channels with great Atari ST content and The New Retro Show is one such place to get my fix. It's run by a fella with a beard, called Mike! He's been addicted to the ST since he first got to play Dungeon Master (there's a shocker) and currently owns two machines: a Mega STe and a 1040 ST.

Now, after was watching this video I came up with the idea for a challenge and suggested a few games which have all appeared on AtariCrypt: Chubby Gristle, Cybernoid, Zynaps, along with a few others. Shockingly, he actually agreed to the challenge (Muwhahaha!!) and released the first Ironman Challenge which you can watch here.

My thanks to Mike for taking on my silly challenge but I am now looking forward to the second part!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Whitewater Madness

Whitewater Madness was under development in 1989 by Scott Williamson and Ed Schneider for Atari themselves and was designed specifically for the new Atari STe. Just imagine what would happen if you took Toobin' and then added a whole fist of violence. Whitewater Madness is the result, a vertically scrolling shooter which has us sailing a down a bizarre river through time - in a small Pod searching for green energy cells.

Collect these to raise your Warp Energy levels to maximum capacity so we can travel further through time. If successful, we are presented with an information screen telling you just how good (or bad) we did. However, if you failed to collect the required amount then you're sent back to the start again to do it all over again.

The controls are superb but you can also use the rapids for extra effect.

The controls are dead easy to get to grips with - and superbly responsive too I might add. I really love the directional method which works for fast and efficient guidance down the insane river raid. Picking up green "L" pills will re-charge the Pod and stop it from going BOOM but these are few, so collect as many as possible.

Our dinky is equipped with a rapid-firing mounted-gun! Which is a good job because we are under a constant onslaught of hazards and weird creatures. Try and avoid the many dangers such as rocky rapids, mines, artillery and other crazy stuff like kamikaze dinosaurs who love to leap from the shores! There are lots more to kill during the mayhem; cavemen, something that resembles a pterodactyl, a giant turtle, and centaurs. Love it!!

Those rapids are ace but you better watch out for the nasties - like kamikaze dinosaurs!

Scott tells me that the Blitter was used for the brisk scrolling which whizzes by and nicely keeps up with the hectic action. The sprites are small yet detailed with one exception, those massive kamikaze dinosaurs who love to leap from the shores - superb!! The DMA coprocessor is used to play the sampled effects and is super-duper. But I must admit to being disappointed with the (albeit nice) title tune which sounds very "STFM" in quality.

Whitewater Madness has the hallmarks of a fantastic oldskool game and is something I'd expect to see on the Atari 2600/5200. That is a compliment. I love the frantic Toobin-action which is perfectly balanced thus always great fun, yet still challenging without ever being impossible. Why Atari didn't release this game is unbelievable because it's a brilliant arcade boat ride adventure. And it's sailing all the way into the seas of retro gaming gold!!

Download the official images (w/ source) supplied by Scott.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Street Fighter II

The ST world constantly amazes me. Just when you think you've seen it all, a "new" version of Street Fighter pops up to slap you in the face!! Yep, I've never seen this before, so I gave it a try and was blown away.

It's developed for the Atari STe by none other than Patrice Mandin, a guy whom I'm grateful for giving us Doom and more. However, as you can see, it's incomplete without the full game content or even colour graphics. It runs using greyscale in ST low - not high/monochrome. As is, this is actually very playable and features support for two-players as Chun-Li and making use of the Blitter Chip, hardware scrolling and DMA stereo sounds.

Sadly, Patrice stopped development and left this in limbo - waiting for another techie to pick up the gauntlet. Great progress has already been achieved, and the source code is available, so it's sad that nobody has attempted to finish this incredible "beta". I think the potential is huge so download Street Fighter and prepare thy jaw to drop!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Wowy by Tomchi

I have just listened to this amazing tune called Wowy, by Tomchi (played using JAM) and simply had to record it.
Kick off your weekend in style and Download this gorgeous chiptune right now for your Atari STe!! 🎧

Friday, July 21, 2017


The French certainly had a unique style and this game proves that...

Okay, being the Grand Wizard's novice magician, we are eager to learn the ropes but quick to make silly mistakes! Like losing his precious scrolls and phials so now we must travel parallel worlds and retrieve them so get your magic wand at the ready because this is going to be a unique adventure you're unlikely to forget. And we'll be battling against all sorts of whacky characters: Buzzards, Sheppards, faithless Monks, reptiles, sea creatures, farmers, little girls, Vikings, walking trees, funny faces, and most throw something or will chase you!

I must say that the palettes used are pastel perfect with lovely artistic tones.

The big man has granted permission to use his magic which means the ability to cast the spells that provide a variety of unique ways to dispose of our foe. For example, the ring of fire scorches anyone who dares to get too close whereas the blue ring deflects enemy attacks. Another will open up the ground and swallow our victims whilst we can summon cages to trap those nearby. Possibly the best of all is shouting "Boo" to shoo off anything nasty!

Each spell activates immediately but, if you are quick, slap that Spacebar to stockpile it for later to use in combination with the Return key. Yes, it's quite a cumbersome design but it works well for those moments you're struggling. Each level ends when you reach the pentagram and must do battle with an end-of-level boss - the first throw babies at you! Once defeated, the Wizard's sphere appears and whisks you off to the next level.

Collect the funky power-ups and use all magic spells to the best of your ability!

The visuals are gorgeous with smooth scrolling across detailed landscapes using a very impressive and pleasing palette, I might add. However, it's the tremendous quality of all the characters which steal the limelight, never have I seen such beautiful sprites and their humour and animation are always so fantastic.

Audio is a mixed bag with each sound effect made from individual samples to suit their visual counterparts when casting spells. I adore the "Bla Bla Bla", this reminds me of the speech in Donkey Island. Sadly, the title music isn't as good and I cannot see the point of low-quality sampled music over the option of a crisp chiptune...

Hey, what's that? I've got a doppelganger to help me out so let's cage the beasts!

As much as it may try to hide behind its storyline, this is a generic shoot 'em up albeit with lots of cool power-ups and humour. It's obvious a lot of time and effort has gone into Mystical's production because it oozes so much fun and artistic quality. Sadly, it can be a little repetitive and it also has end-of-level bosses which are so frustrating, to say the least!! However, I have really enjoyed playing and I'm sure most gamers will enjoy its unique personality.

Pick up your magic wand and help out our poor magician using either a floppy or your hard disk.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hard 'n' Heavy

Hard 'n' Heavy follows on from Giana Sisters in true sequel fashion to offer more Mario-esque levels to run and jump through. However, the official release was poor with awful flip-screen scrolling that ultimately ruined what might have been a great conversion. Sure, flip might work well with come platformers, for example, Jet Set Willy, as this particular game would have been horrendous with scrolling. But Hard 'n' Heavy requires scrolling!!

Thankfully, that's where the bad lesson ends and good news begins because Peter Putnik has developed a version which features smooth as silk scrolling thanks to the use of the Blitter co-processor lurking inside every Atari STe. And also most other earlier models (incl later STFM models which had a Blitter or at least a hungry socket).

Hard 'n' Heavy obviously looks and feels similar to Giana Sisters, so if you didn't like that then you may as well look elsewhere right now. The physics exaggerate that Giana experience to feel more like we're floating and this took me a few goes to master. It's pretty weird! Okay, there are 25 levels of shooting the baddies and destroying blocks to search for those bonuses and even access to hidden levels. Also available is a two-player feature, with various game types, but I cannot comment more because I've no friends [boohoo].

Wow, this is superb and I'm sure any Giana Sisters fan will love what is basically more of the same with a few extra bells and whistles. Peter has done well to transform that pathetic commercial conversion into something it should have been all along. Just make sure you play it on a real computer to experience the silky-smooth movement. Overall, I do prefer Giana Sisters, but this is really enjoyable and highly recommended.

- Download Hard 'n' Heavy -

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Things Not To Do

Electronic Images released one of the most hilarious Atari ST demos I have ever seen. I did try and record a video but my emulator missed some graphics and also the sine scroller (which is beautiful) was jerking like it had a nervous twitch. So I burned the image to a floppy disk and it was perfect - because nothing beats the real hardware!!

Download this utterly stupid demo from AtariMania then turn up the volume and enjoy the show.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Menace is a great shoot 'em up and one of the few Psygnosis games I love - but what's with that YELLOW ship? I've always hated it so began to wonder if it was possible to change it... So, I contacted Atari ST wizard Peter Putnik and he came back with a solution. As you can see, our spaceship has a brand new paint job!

The caveat is the effect on the status panel, due to their use of the 16-colour palette. Try not to lose too much sleep over that! Of course, the game itself remains exactly the same - but with a spanky-new white ship. My thanks to Peter for being gracious with my request - this version of Menace is the only one I will now play. Love it :-)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Reanimators #6

Reanimators #6 features a few simple effects with a superb chiptune (hmm, it sounds familiar). You know me, I love sine scrollers and this one is a belter and displayed using the full range of lovely rainbow colours. On the disk is Thunderstrike is an incredible 3D shoot 'em up with outstanding graphics - it feels like an early Cybermorph ;-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

wave upon wave

There are many amazing artists out there and I've always had a soft spot for the guys that make up the incredible YM Rockerz. So here is the wonderful compilation called "wave upon wave" which they released 17 years ago! It features several tracks by their awesome musicians: 505, D-Force, Dma-Sc, Tao, Lotek Style and Milhouse.

It's impossible to pick a favourite, but I do love Shifter by Tao which you can listen to by clicking on the GEM green arrow. Check out the YM Rockerz website ... I think that I'm going to listen to "Seven" (again) tonight :-)

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Atari ST demos

I've just been going through the latest uploads on Demozoo and there have been many incredible releases of demos, artwork and music from both the Outline and Sommarhack parties. I'm constantly blown away by what the DHS boys can produce: the video above is of Midnight Sun for the Atari STe which runs in complete overscan. WOW!!

YouTube is nice but nothing beats the experience of a real Atari computer... #JustSaying


Saturday, July 08, 2017

P-47 Thunderbolt

P-47 was released in 1988 by Firebird and is based on the popular Jaleco arcade game. There are several levels through a wide variety of landscapes so put on your Biggles outfit because you're about to reach for the skies.

Any great shoot 'em up needs decent scrolling, awesome controls and lots of enemies to kill which P-47 has by the bucket load. It's immediately obvious the teamwork that went into development has certainly paid off with a quality product: choose either a 50/60Hz display with smooth parallax scrolling, great graphics throughout and fast sprites that honour the original. Funky chipmusic plays alongside the pizazz sound effects, both of which are great.

The action is hectic as the planes whizz onto the screen with tanks blasting their artillery - they're just asking for a MOAB!! Other levels have us flying through sunset clouds, pyramids, and over the seas - I love the missiles which emerge from underwater. Strangely, the bosses are often easy to defeat by simply positioning yourself in a safe place and repeatedly dropping a payload of bombs. Each level varies but the concept always remains the same: fly, avoid, panic, and kill everything you can. Yes, this game is one incredibly fun arcade blast 'em up!!

Where P-47 fails is the frustratingly high difficulty because your screen will always be cluttered with many baddies and a collision is inevitable. Stick with it; collect the power-ups, learn the enemy's attack pattern and keep on firing - practice makes perfect!! Sure, this is imperfect but it's also one I really enjoy and a darn fine shoot 'em up.


 - Stonish has the game on floppy disk and I recommend New Order #20 Menu CD.
 - Hard drive installable versions are available by both 8BitChip and D-Bug.
 - Enter "ZEBEDEE" into the high score. Press F1 for a level skip and press F2 for infinite lives. Have fun!!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Bold / Wiliness III

I recently came upon an unreleased shoot 'em up called Bold, by Laurent Kermel which I instantly loved. But then did something most guys don't normally do - I read the documentation!! This listed his website - which still worked - and it linked through to an Atari ST section that detailed lots of other unfinished games. Just look at these pictures of Slug, Dragoon Twins, Tenesis, and Empire. Impressive STuff I'm sure you will agree? O_o

I contacted Laurent to thank him for Bold and another game which I download - a Dungeon Master clone called Wiliness 3. I've only just started to play it, but boy is it a cracker. Laurent is a really nice guy who I enjoyed talking with - I urgently suggest fans of either shooters and RPGs should play Bold and Wiliness 3.

Take a look at the Atari ST section of his current website along with his superb YouTube video.

- B O L D -

Bold is a fantastic, albeit unfinished, shoot 'em up for the Atari ST/e which is influenced by a number of games. I personally see a cross between Zynaps or R-Type with very fast and frantic gameplay. Every enemy zooms onto the screen like they're on steroids so quick reactions are the order of the day. I love the graphics but it's a shame there's a large part of the screen unused - probably meant for a logo/status panel. Bold isn't controlled using a joystick but instead the mouse and, I admit that the thought of this failed to impress me, but I soon changed my mind after the first game because it's actually the perfect method necessary for sharp manoeuvrability.

Any model of ST is compatible but Bold runs better (and smoother) if you have a Blitter chip. Of course, all Atari STe computers are fine but others may need to shop with exxos to fill that empty socket inside their STFM. Sadly, those really old pre-1987 STs might not even have a socket to fill so I imagine an extra cost?

Although unfinished, this is furiously good fun with precise control via the mouse. Overall, a thrilling shooter!!


 - The Bold web page has the download and a nifty walkthrough of each level.
 - I made a video but I hate YouTube so advise you don't watch and instead PLAY the game :-)
 - A cheat code is mentioned in the interview with Laurent within Alive Magazine #09.
 - Chris Swinson, aka Exxos, sells Blitter chips but I've now exhausted my hardware knowledge...

- W I L I N E S S  III -

Laurent developed a Dungeon Master clone called Wiliness 3 which is shockingly professional and certainly on par with the FTL classic and another favourite of mine, Walls Of Illusion. The RPG experience is amazing with a familiar user interface as we crawl through another creepy dungeon. It's unfinished but 6 levels are playable and I liked the control system and those eerie sound effects. Wiliness had the potential to be a winner...


 - The Wiliness web page has the download and a BUCKET load of help and information!!
 - Finally, check out Walls Of Illusion and the newly updated Dungeon Master games for the Atari STe.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017


There are so many different boot sector programs which add cool fx onto a floppy. This also helps to prevent virus infections but we just love the effects and many are technically amazing! Bootblock by The Fingerbobs is one of my favourites and offers a number of choices. What you're seeing above is Bladerunners but there are more...

I love finding awesome programs like this!! What do you use or recommend I should also take a look at?

Monday, July 03, 2017

Flappy Bird

I always said I that wouldn't... but here we are!! Yes, the most annoying game comes to the Atari ST and I managed about 30 minutes before I was ready to throw the joystick out my window!! Well, at least it looks good as it torments you: the graphics are bright and colourful plus it's running in 1VBL too which means it's ultra-smooth.

However, I just don't get it and I'm wondering why the world appears to be in love with this flappy little flyer? The animation is just a clipping of the hell I went through - I hope y'all had a good giggle ;) but if you fancy gaming hell then download it from AtariMania. Heck, why not give either SuperFly or SantaFly a playtest too?

Sunday, July 02, 2017


Mud Pies is one of the oldest Atari ST games there is and stars Arnold, a kid who thought he would love the circus. However, it came to his town and he absolutely hated it - so he threw a pie at one of the clowns. Unfortunately, these clowns aren't known for having a good sense of humour so chased after him. There's only one thing left to do... No, we aren't running off home to tell our Mum, we're gonna throw even more pies!!

Each screen represents a tent from the circus and has an invading army of clowns - who look more like jelly monsters dressed up as Ronald McDonald! They're insane and wander waving their arms and chucking juggling pins. This invasion will last forever but the pies won't so look for an open door to another tent full of mud pies - and more clowns. Throwing a mud pie will see them flying off the screen and multiple hits scores extra points. Try not to get yourself trapped in a corner otherwise, you might receive a juggling pin knockout blow!

Just imagine the look on today's kids if you show 'em this 1985 game. Will they "get it"?

Challenge rooms are a little different to the standard tents because they have no mud pies but lots of clowns to avoid whilst you try to grab a prize - for 1000 points. Also, every 20,000 points, a secret door will magically appear for the chance to enter into a Mudslinging Round where you have 30 seconds to throw pies at wandering clowns!!

Don't clown about too much and get hit. If you do, two medics appear with a stretcher and carry you off to the first aid tent. Only three times can this happen before it's game over, but a freebie is awarded for every 10,000 points. A health meter is displayed top/left of the screen and is split into three segments with the middle one enabling you to run very fast. However, this speed is reduced if you become too hungry or if you've over-faced on burgers and fries. So try to keep your health a nice happy medium throughout for maximum agility.

Always frantic, always fun and so addictive. This game is eternal!!

Graphically, this isn't exactly stressing our Atari ST in the slightest. But remember that is was developed and released back in 1985 before programmers knew how to push this new computer. Having said that, it's got a certain Charley Chuck charm to it and, being a gamer since the early 1980s, I kinda love this retro look. Spot sound effects are okay but it is best to leave the music on. Again, this isn't anything near the quality we would expect but it's surprisingly enjoyable. I swear, I love how this game sounds and looks.

Mudpies is terribly good fun and a great take on the Food Fight theme with gameplay that transports you all the way back to your youth. There isn't a lot to this simple arcader but I've had so much fun slinging mud pies at clowns - this is so entertaining. Grab a piece of this old skool action for either floppy or hard drive. Enjoy!!

Oh, just take a look at the high score table!! Can ya' beat me??? ;-)