Tuesday, January 30, 2018


After drooling over Sinister Development's Centipede, there seemed little reason for another so I skipped by Robert Dytmire's Megapede without giving it a second thought. Thankfully, I later went back to enjoy what is nothing less than a fantastic homebrew effort with bosses, extra swarms, level-select and support for adults or kids. Sounds are great but I adore the clunky 8-Bit style visuals with comically cute sprites and enormous mushrooms.

Don't be an idiot like me because this is a fantastic millipede conversion and I absolutely LOVE it to bits!!

Monday, January 29, 2018


Spinning in space

Whirligig was developed by Maelstrom Games of Midwinter fame for Firebird and I've recorded a short video which I thought might be fun to share. Why? Simply because I cannot play Whirligig for love nor money - zipping about in space without ever being able to properly control my direction is agonising. If I happened to kill one of the baddies, it was pure luck because I usually end up killing myself instead!! This is a good game but could so easily have been great with a bit of thought...

Technically, Whirligig is incredibly impressive and I know I could have dug my heels in and mastered the controls. However, I couldn't be bothered which is my mood today. Enjoy my video recording and I promise to try harder next time :o)

* Floppy disks can be nabbed off Exxos [Automation #10] and via Stonish [Klapauzius #1].
AtariMania has links to reviews and the manual. In hindsight perhaps I should have read that? lol

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Alien Blast

A quickie news flash!!

Our Atari world is buzzing with news of Matthieu Isorez giving away his copy of Alien Blast!! Previous public releases crashed on level 3 due to data corruption and we've been needing the original disks/files since. Finally, we have them and can play the later levels - which is exactly how I plan to spend the rest of my Sunday!!!

More to come when I have the time. Thanks to Marko Latvanen @AtariMania for the heads-up :)

Saturday, January 27, 2018


Another ST game gets updated

Jamie Hamshere (aka junosix of Droid fame) has released an upgrade of Klax for the Atari STe. This new release uses the arcade game's sampled sound effects which beats the original's chirpy chip by miles.

The game is basically a 3D Tetris which Domark released in 1990. Once again, we're stacking piles of coloured tiles but this time they are travelling towards us and need to be dropped into a bin, making sure they stack vertically, horizontally or diagonally. It sounds simple but this is a brutal game that demands lightning-fast reactions.

What a fabulous upgrade to replace the drab effects with super-duper arcade sounds using the audio coprocessor. I'm sure Tetris and brainteaser addicts will love Klax even more now that it sounds this good!! Nice one Jamie.

AtariMania hosts both the STfm original and this spanky new Atari STe update to download.
Need help? I know I did... just hit the '4' key to play to the final level. Good luck! ;-)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Alien Thing

In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream

Alien Thing was released late in the ST's life by 999 Software for Top Byte and is an alien-inspired shooter. So, if you've ever played Alien Syndrome, Gauntlet or Storm then you'll know exactly what to expect from this overhead shoot 'em up. It's the same old story: heading for Earth is a distant spaceship filled to the brim with a vicious alien hoard hungry for our blood. It's time to tool up, sneak on board, and begin mercilessly killing anything that looks like it bites.

Their spaceship is split into 11 levels with each requiring a mission to be completed. The first starts off simple (kill everything!!) with later missions far more complex. If you happen to fail, then you are immediately sent straight back to the beginning. This is a bit of a bummer, especially when coming into deadly contact with alien blood.

This ship is huge, yet with a clear definition in design, so you won't lose your bearings within a complex that looks the same! There are locked doorways. Almost every corridor has some kind of door which can be opened, one way or another. Key cards are a good idea and these can usually be found hidden inside the blue cabinets - along with other bonuses like a 1UP and ammo. However, use these cards wisely because not every door needs to be immediately opened.

Okay, I think that we need to stop reading and view a couple of scary Alien screenshots...

Argh, those green pools of acid! Let's get rid of 'em right away!

I love those splatter effects - they are quite messy but in a good way!

They mostly come out at night, mostly

Joystick controls are excellent and responsive so it's easy navigating this ship, even if I oddly move quicker than the aliens! These beasts are everywhere - so stay frosty - because they can withstand several hits before turning into a splattered mess. Their eggs must be quickly blown up before a new alien is born and pops out to eat you!

Dead aliens leave behind pools of poisonous slime that need to be destroyed before you can pass. Each of your weapons has a varying level of effectiveness and the flamethrower is awesome so try searching the orange cabinets for yours. However, I'm not fresh on the laser which needs a recharge too frequently for my liking. It could have lasted a little longer!

So, we have great joystick controls and lots of aliens to kill. This game is fantastic fun and something you need to download and play right away. However, there are also a couple of other versions you might wanna try...
Supplementary... Alien Thing also has two "sequels" which you might wanna check out? There is an Exper Edition which was designed to be more challenging. However, I found many of the changes actually made the gameplay ridiculously difficult, thus frustrating. There is also a Director's Cut that never got released. Thankfully, there is a demo and this game looked very promising!! It features a change of visual perspective, new enemies/missions, and lots of DMA sound effects.

Alien Thing (above) and the updated Expert Edition (lower)

This is a simple example of the differences, ie: map changes, items, pools of gunk, etc.

Close your eyes, baby

Actually, no don't do that!! Open your eyes wide to enjoy the nicely drawn graphics. Everything is well-designed and I liked the contrast of vivid colours used against the spaceship's metallic structure and the near-luminous green aliens really do stand out. This works so well, even if the aliens walk like squashed spiders! Sadly, the scrolling isn't too great and should have been smoother - it's disappointing that the Atari ST'e hardware wasn't used to full effect. WHYYYY??

The audio is fantastic with assorted sound effects for just about every action. Many of them are ripped, I like the Star Trek doors opening. Okay, some effects are quite crude but that doesn't mean they're not superb because these are genuinely entertaining. The weirdest of all is when an alien dies. That is almost as strange as our own pitiful death cry.
On an STFM the quality is good but quite fuzzy whereas the STE makes full use of its DMA hardware brilliantly.
Alien Thing looks and sounds great so that can only mean one thing! Yes, it's screenshot time...

Explore everywhere and leave lots of dead bodies in your wake!

Tooled up and patrolling the corridors... Surely, this is a gamer's perfect dream?

I guess we’re not leaving soon?

Okay, we're done with the Alien quotes. Did you get them all? Anyhow, what did I think about Alien Thing? Well, nothing is perfect and it provided a few things to whine about - when a corridor is blocked by a pool of slime that's impossible to destroy because it's too close to a wall. Also, one touch of slime means instant death! Plus it's silly having just one sound effect for a shot - regardless of the weapon. Wooo, hang on a moment?? Let's end the moaning, please!

Alien Thing is a decent take on the "Alien Breed" theme. To think this came from a small company late in the ST's life is marvellous. It's superb - with a nifty balance of arcade-style action, exploration, and tactical/strategic thinking. The missions are challenging but enjoyable and I never felt overwhelmed by its distinguishable maze-like design.

You've guessed it, I absolutely love Alien Thing because it's a blast and you will love it too. So stop your grinnin' and drop your linen because this is a seriously addictive shooter!! (and yes, I just had to get one last quote in there didn't I)

Separate downloads are scattered about all over the internet for each of the Alien Thing games. So I've bundled together all the best versions which you can freely download off my Dropbox. For those struggling, there is a genius password system (just press the "/?" key on the menu) and use these codes: PARTY,  WORK,  LARD,  WHEEE,  HELLO,  HARD,  GOSH,  NIGHT,  PEN,  RULER

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Thanks to the insanity of Eckhard Kruse, I've been hooked on graveyards, weird skeletons and ghosts for over 30 years. Yes, it sure looks silly, but this is an ST classic and something I just had to share. Grusel can be download from Eckhard's own website but don't forget Ballerburg, an outstanding turn-based strategic shooter!

This little demo is nothing less than a timeless classic.

Sunday, January 21, 2018



HangAbout was released in 1995 by John Hodskinson and is one of the quirkiest games I shall feature here, I'm sure of it. Ignore what you're seeing above and read on... Three (randomly generated) mountains need to be climbed by a little stickman with the first being relatively easy. The second is harder and the third is a killer!

Each mountainside has ridges to which our adventurer can cling. He uses these to find a route to the top. However, if you fall too far then expect nothing more than a pixelated mess of death. It's quite brilliant albeit not what you wanna see! Our stickman can make use of his arm to reach those parts that are a pinch out of reach. Sometimes, the route appears blocked by a gap too large so a "megajump" can be used - but only once! Use it wisely.

Overall, HangAbout! is one of those games that first appears rubbish and with rubbish graphics. But it actually turns out to be incredible and extremely addictive. In fact, it's gobsmackingly brilliant and all for less than 10Kb. Amazing!!

Download PD Games Compilation Disk #2 which features another by John called Haywire.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Turrican II - The Music

Check this out!!

Turrican II The Music by Black (aka Scott Clifford). A music disk for both ST computers shows just how great this game's tunes really are. Also, included is a selection of stereo remixes for the Atari STe so what more could you want? I've recorded this video and it plays about a minute from ten random tracks - but you should nab the download via Demozoo to hear all the tunes yourself. Of course, it's best experienced using a real Atari STe - so crank up the volume!!

Credits and the download...

Black - Code
Jochen Hippel - Music
Sven Meier - Graphics

Friday, January 19, 2018

Burger Dream

Burger Dream is Reisoft's spin on 'Clowns & Balloons' with a Ronald McDonald lookalike who is collecting flying burgers. Imagine Breakout with a dollop of Space Invaders - but replace the aliens with juicy hamburgers!

Ronald is left to feel the wind in his wig because we are in control of a couple of goons who move a trampoline contraption that allows him to bounce high in the air and collect burgers. These are scrolling across the screen to make it extra difficult. However, try not to drop Ronny otherwise he ends up in a crumpled heap.

The mouse is used for left/right movement and is perfectly implemented for smooth and precise control. However, the graphics aren't exactly 16-bit in quality, more like something I would have drawn! Only the blind will appreciate these pixels? Burger Dream is hideous and repetitive but I admit it was also surprisingly enjoyable.

Download a Big Mac right now!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Wiggly Slimy snakes!

NIBE is a Nibbler/Snake game by Marc Bourlon that features an ever-greedy snake who wants to chomp his way through lots of apples. However, this gluttony makes him grow longer with each bite so it becomes harder to protect him from bumping into walls or even his own tail. You get the idea, so it's our job to help him eat his way through lots of screens - and many are pretty cruel in their design. You can even change the game's speed (if you dare!!)

The graphics are humble and suit the retro theme perfectly. Plus I love its title screen which is actually a really good intro. Sadly, there are no sound effects so Mad Max music plays throughout - never a bad thing!! Overall, Nibe is pretty straightforward yet also extremely challenging thanks to a sinister design. Stick with it because the basic mechanics are spot-on and Nibe will certainly test your reactions, patience and concentration so prepare thyself to be tormented!!

Here are a couple of links for downloads, screenshots, and another game you might enjoy...

Floppy disk downloads appear to be quite rare.
And if you enjoyed Nibe then try N.o.B.I. - Racing!!

This is a level that looks so easy but it's completely the opposite! So tricky so be warned.

Oh yeah, I definitely think this is going to be easy. Ask me if I ever completed it...

Sunday, January 14, 2018


It's time for more nostalgia

Breakout is an excellent GEM desktop accessory that lets us play the game of brick-busting at any time. I had this installed on my boot drive back in the day and remember marvelling at the multitasking capabilities of my lovely Atari ST computer!! It seemed like black magic, even if ACCs faked that illusion in TOS/GEM!
Of course, it works best in a multitasking OS - just use MagiC, MiNT or Geneva!
The game itself is basic, but great fun and works in all resolutions too. However, I doubt anyone will choose this over the magnificent Bolo which is the best version on the Atari ST. Still, finding this little ACC has made my day once again 30 years later. So, thank you to whoever developed this - please, get in touch and say hello.

Okay, it's time to hit that download button... Erm, link I meant to say. Enjoy this piece of hiSTory!!

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Holocaust is an (unreleased) vertically-scrolling shoot 'em up developed by Dattrax Software and later given away in ST Format. It's incredibly fast and features lots of enemies to kill, bonuses and bosses to annihilate! Heck, it has a couple of cool intros and even talks out loud which is something any Currah MicroSpeech fan will adore.

The gameplay is initially very frantic and makes Wings Of Death look easy! It's disappointing that we're given only one life (without bonuses) which is lame and I would have expected at least three to tame this rabid beast!! The graphics might not look ace but they move at a brisk 50fps which is ultra-cool. Music is gorgeous!

Brace yourself for a breathtaking shoot 'em up. Only the strong need to apply for this one... sheesh!!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sector One Music Disk

Your ears are gonna love this one...

Sector One is a music disk by Denis Huguet (ST Ghost) that pushes the DMA audio hardware to the limits with many cool stereo tunes - some feature 8/16 channels. Yup, it's quite mindblowing and certainly proves the power lurking underneath the STe's grey plastic case. We also have options to choose the various playback frequencies and also control the volume, treble, bass and more. Yep, this is a technical masterpiece and I love the Just Buggin' tune!!

Brighten up your evening with my recording or download this beauty for yourself!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Special Forces (box art)

Update: once you're done here, check out the Special Forces webpage!!

Yeah, it's box art day!

Look what the postman has delivered: Special Forces!! This is the sequel to Airborn Ranger, released in 1992 by gaming gods MicroProse. I've wanted to own this game for a very long time! So I'm extremely excited and eagerly looking forward to getting my teeth into it over the coming nights - I'll try not to ruin the box. Ha, I am sooooo funny!

Special Forces is an incredible action/strategy game and something that I hope to cover in more detail someday. Until then, you can enjoy the photograph of my own copy - but please, ignore the sexy girl and play this excellent game for yourself. Downloads are available for floppy disk and I recommend FOF #109A/#109B. Play via hard disk if you can!

Wanna see more Atari ST games from my own collection? Of course, you do!! [link]

Additional - I have made a YouTube recording of the unboxing which includes lots of yapping by yours truly. It's a thank you for our generous supporters of AtariCrypt. This was fun but I need a camera stand!! (ask for link)

Sunday, January 07, 2018



I wonder how many got that? Anyhow, let's kick off the new year with awesome box art from my collection. I bought Frankenstein for only a couple of quid and instantly fell in love with the comical artwork that reminds me of (you guessed it) Young Frankenstein. Plus I don't own anything else by Zeppelin so it's a sweet addition to my collection.

This platformer was released in 1992 and is, of course, horror-themed and feels like it's taken ideas from a selection of games, like Warlock and Horror Zombies. We're a slave to the bad-tempered doctor who needs several chilling items that should help him regenerate life into a dead corpse. A good twist on the expected storyline I'm sure you'll agree?

The cover is obviously excellent, let's now take a look at the back of the back and the box contents...

Nice style around the back too, I thought.

Here's the floppy disk. Exciting stuff, right?

And finally, the manual. It's more of a pamphlet that opens out. Not bad I guess for a budget game...

Egor - Half man... Half creature... All idiot!

Yes, we are Egor. A fella who, not only has a hump the size of Texas but is also the doctor's unappreciated lackey. He suffers his demand to find several gruesome items and to complete this he needs several oddities ranging from a pillow to a hanged man's body which is left abandoned in the woods. Absolutely brilliant stuff and very B-movie too - love it!!

This is a game all about following orders. Your orders come from the doctor who needs different parts for his ... experiment. You're nothing more than a number, so follow his orders and seek out everything he needs. Easy, right?

The play area is huge and you begin in the mad doctor's castle but we are free to explore wherever we choose. That includes the dungeons or going outside into a spooky forest and into the local village with its creepy morgue. There are many creatures along the way like spiders, skulls, wolfmen, ghosts, rats and even animated body parts.

Here is a little animation I made a while back that should give an idea of how the game plays...

Climb trees, dodge bats, spiders, zombies and more. A fantastic night out!

Things that go bump in the night

Egor isn't exactly the bravest guy and hates creepy things, so there is a fright-o-meter that displays his current state of mind. This ranges from "okay" to "panic" and will degrade each time he touches something nasty. Once he's a blithering wreck, Egor will drop whatever he's carrying to rush back to the Doctor. He loses a life by getting a 5-ton weight dropped on him whilst suffering verbal abuse. And then he gets punched in the face!

Yes, it's a harsh life being the servant of the insane Doctor Frankenstein. However, it's rumoured that a young serving wench is the one kind soul who may help to reduce his anxiety issues... hmm saying nothing...

No platformer is worth its salt unless the control mechanics are smooth, precise and responsive. It always saddens me when a potentially great platformer has been ruined by controls that don't feel quite right - just look at Chuckie Egg II right here on AtariCrypt as a cruel example of how to spoil an 8-Bit classic! Thankfully, Egor's walking speed is just right and he also jumps with such effortless ease. Spot-on perfect joystick controls, I say.

Just look at that iron maiden and the broken arm hanging in the chains. Superb!

Big tips

This is a simple game at heart, it really is just a case of finding items scattered about many rooms. So, why not have a dry run and explore the entire map first, rather than jumping straight in? I would also recommend making notes of all item locations too. So, as you stumble upon something that can be carried, make a note of the location.

For those with even more spare time on their hands, I would recommend the above BUT also go a step further. Because of a nasty time limit (I hate timers!!) why not collect as many items as possible that are located only in the most distant places? Bring them over to the doctor's castle and leave as many as you can here. This will save a lot of time.

However, all this depends on you having lots of spare time. If not, maybe play something else? ;)

Fancy a cheat? Hmm, it will ruin the game but if you're sick and tired of getting scared then enter this code as an high-score “J4Z”. Now start a new game and you will never get scared again! (sadly, the timer remains unaffected)

Watch yourself out there, you're no hero so keep an eye on the fright-o-meter.


Graphically, this is a mixed bag for me. Don't get me wrong, each screen has an extraordinary cartoon-like style, especially in the 'Spooky Forest' with scary trees, ghosts, bats, and funny zombie-like men. I am constantly amazed by the attention to detail and throughout we have excellent animations for all. Hey, I love that pitchfork guy!

The game uses a push-scrolling technique which is a little too slow and I feel flick-screen would have been a much better option. It's the only quibble I have because push feels unnecessarily too sluggish.

Sound effects are good but limited to collecting items, bumping into monsters and strange lightning weather. This lightning will get more frequent as you progress through the game collecting items. Towards the end, it's really sinister!

Well, here is my hi-score for a game using no cheats. No sir. Honest... (Can you beat it?)

The CryptO'pinion?

This is a cracking platformer with progressively challenging gameplay as you go on the hunt each time. I adore its spooky theme and each screen is incredibly detailed without ever becoming impossibly hard to conquer. I can spend hours exploring its huge map which constantly reminds me of my 8-Bit days playing games like Chiller, Chuckie Egg 2, etc.

A positively simple platformer that doesn't technically push the Atari ST nor needed to. The gameplay is on top form and great fun which is what matters. Give it the time it deserves as this is one of the best platformers and I love it!!

If this gives you the hump then grab it on floppy or hard disk!