Friday, September 22, 2017

Space Monsters



Space Monsters was developed by Darren Ithell for Goodman PDL and I'm sure you've already guessed that it's a Panic conversion. I've happy memories of Sheer Panic [ZX Spectrum] so I had high hopes for the Atari ST game.

Each screen has platforms with numerous ladders and lots of horrid nasties roaming about. It's instant death if you bump into one so Spaceman has discovered the best way to kill these critters is to dig holes and hope they fall in. Once they've foolishly got themselves stuck (for a few seconds) we have an opportunity to whack 'em hard with our spade which sees them fall to a splattery death. Pretty gruesome idea but whatever works, right?

There are three types of monsters with the first being pretty gullible and easy to kill but the others aren't quite as dumb with their freakishly cunning AI. These guys are also much stronger and need to fall a greater distance to die. If any manage to climb out of a hole or fail to fall far enough, then they will come back stronger, faster and very angry!! There's also a time limit so don't dawdle and get them all killed before your oxygen runs out. Are you panicking yet?

I must say that Space Monsters has almost perfectly captured the authenticity of Panic in both visual style and playability. Gameplay begins quite easy but it soon becomes challenging when tactically digging holes and worrying what might creep up on you. Oddly, I couldn't fall through any holes but the controls are excellent and I absolutely love the incredibly funny sound effects. However, the monster's "ROAR" is too frightening for me!! o.O

Space Monsters is nothing short of retro gaming nostalgia at its finest. A brilliant game.

LINKS

 - I've recorded a video which shows just how bad I am at Panic. Well, I guess I panic too much!!
 - Space Monsters can be downloaded from the AtariMania website.
 - Wikipedia has a page about Space Panic for those too young to remember the original.