Sunday, June 10, 2018


Be Trigger-happy!

I've spent much of my recent time trolling through loads of disks using the nifty Floppy Image Runner and eventually came across this beauty. Quartz was released in 1988 by Firebird and is a tripped-out 8-way shooter that has us playing inside a cloud of sub-atomic particles. Each stage is a variety of short mini-stages quite similar to Asteroids but there are also incredible horizontal and vertical shooters along with some impressive 3D effects.

Our job is to shoot the colourful hadrons, transforming them into quarks - which we blast into tiny neutrinos. Collecting these eventually offers a selection of power-ups ranging from ship repairs to a variety of awesome weapons. The end-of-level boss is perfect for the physicists lurking within and needs to be shot several times until it spins into oblivion. Lives are limited but you're offered the chance to continue on - if you're willing to give up a weapon - which is actually a strange idea but one that forces you to play better rather than simply whining for extra lives!

I'm gobsmacked with just how brilliant this is with its frantic action, rich graphics and chirpy audio not to mention its beautiful parallax scrolling. My 8-year-old daughter gave this a playtest and she found the controls daunting but soon got the hang of it and said it was crazy but lots of fun. And I think that sums up Quartz very nicely!!

Fancy taking this groovy spaceship for a spin?
Then grab the floppy or hard disk game right now!


  1. This does not seem to have fared well with time. Looks a small playfield and a bit clunky graphics but it was probably great at the time. Would be a great title for a HD remake though I reckon.... with modern tunes too...

    1. Honestly, I first wondered about the screen size but it really didn't matter at all. The gameplay suits this so well imho. Play it :)

  2. The smaller the screen the faster the full screen re-draw by the 68000 without separate hardware assist, This WAS ST gaming, I love it for what it was. Much much much better than an the NES systems that friends had. We were playing Dungeon Master while they were toying with Zelda. At the time, it mattered because the choice of hardware meant you were stuck wit hwhat you could get. Now that we can play anything, any time, I can appreciate more, but then, it was these ST games that pushed my hardware and were created by genius coders!

    1. I hear you and I also support DM over Zelda any day. Even though I had Zelda too...


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