Sunday, November 05, 2017

The Lost World



Yet another unreleased game!

The Lost World was developed in 1989 by John Leather who, sadly, didn't manage to find a publisher. The game itself is complete, except for the audio and he "only" managed to create half of the planned 100 levels. What a slacker, eh? I've always loved platformers of this ilk and it's obvious that John was inspired by various 8-Bit games with superb level names and a character that even walks quite similar to Master Willy, which I liked.

Since then, Grazey added an unreleased Mad Max chiptune that plays in the background. This ended the deafening silence and suits the gameplay too. So, I just had to tick this off my bucket list and take it for a spin...


Just look at the intricate layout and design. You ain't gonna complete this on your first go!!


Let's begin!

The Lost World is very challenging and I admit to struggling at first. The first screen is tough and it took me more than a few attempts before I beat it. Thankfully, this game is generous with many bonuses littered throughout along with stickmen for extra lives. Pressing the spacebar displays a dialogue of potential spells and potions for effects like invulnerability. Also, I love how each screen has a different name, like Pie Processing Plant!!

The controls are superb with simple movements that feel natural for a 2D platformer. You'll appreciate that because the level design is very cunning with lots of hazards, be it a sharp object, sinking ledges or tricky jumps. Evil critters roam the screens and they aren't limited to simply moving back 'n forth. Did I mention this was a tough platformer? Well, level two is actually a little easier but the third cranked up that difficulty once again. Sadly, I didn't beat 'The Locksmith' so I fear it's doubtful I'll be disappointed John didn't fulfil the plan to create more screens!

Perhaps I should try the level editor? Yep, if dozens of levels aren't enough for you, then why not try creating some for yourself using the in-game editor? That's quite exciting and the potential is huge!



Whatever you do, don't forget the keys... What's the little man doing there?


Willy's mansion never looked this good!

The graphics are a true 16-Bit spin on an 8-Bit genre and look lovely. Every screen is stuffed to the brim with incredible decor using intricate attention to detail. I love the colour schemes and sprites move smoothly.

Audio never made it into the original and made your Atari ST as loud as a ZX81. Thankfully, Grazey (Psycho Hacking Force) changed that so we now get to enjoy a fantastic Mad Max chiptune. It's brilliant, of course, but I admit to missing sound effects for the jumping and collisions. I know, I'm being picky but I do miss those effects.


That purple flying monster is a pain in the £@$!! and killed me more than once!


The CryptO'pinion?

For a homebrew game, this is huge and I don't simply mean the number of levels. The creativity that went into the development is exquisite and there is always something new that catches you out and makes you come back for more. However, it is really hard so be warned!! But please, don't be a wimp, learn the mechanics and beat its cruel learning curve. When you do, you are rewarded with a tremendously addictive platformer.


D-Bug has both of the downloads and
AtariMania has level editor help!

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