Tuesday, October 16, 2018


It's been a while since I posted into our Music section so I went looking for something extra special and then I remembered about this gem. It's a Dark Rock remake of the Rob Hubbard original and it blew me away!! Okay, I'll award 100 points if you can tell me the game? Just don't look at the title... or the image... Pah, never mind then.

All credits for this remake to Yoshitaka Hojo who you should check out right now on Soundcloud :)

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Atari ST and The Creative People


It was only back in August when I posted just how impressed I was with volume 2 and, within the blink of an eye, Marco has the third instalment up on Indiegogo. The first two volumes are beauties and I'm expecting more of the same from the final part of this outstanding trilogy. It's currently shy of 70% funded and only days remain...

L E T' S   M A K E   T H I S   H A P P E N !!

Sunday, October 14, 2018


Yomo is an oldskool shoot 'em up by Aaron Fothergill for Mandarin Software and a runner-up in The 1989 Games Writer Of The Year Award competition. I've always liked its 8-bit look and finally got around to booting it up. Firstly, don't get your hopes up too high because this ain't no glamourous Bitmap Brothers product: the graphics are pretty much lame with titchy sprites and ugly scrolling that had my Atari STe crying out in agony. However, I must admit that the sounds aren't too bad and those crunchy samples are quite nice - the lightning is oddly my favourite.

The world is viewed two-dimensionally with a landscape populated by many destructible buildings and whacky vehicles which use the most frustrating mechanics. Our character is a tiny stickman who's on a mission to recover a dodgy nuke dropped behind enemy lines. However, this won't be easy because the baddies are constantly attacking so why not fire off a few heat-seeking missiles before jumping inside something probably stolen from the 1960s? On foot isn't fun, but if you see other stickmen wobbling across your screen then hit fire and gun 'em down!!

Yomo is complete pants but its also surprisingly fun and the ability to jump into any aircraft is genius. However, there isn't enough given ammo and collecting extra supplies is laborious and quite tricky during the heat of battle. Overall, Yomo is frustrating and quite difficult but if you enjoy blowing stuff up then it's possibly worth downloading.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


I've enjoyed Rubicon on and off for many years. It's quite simply my kinda game because it's a stupid mix of both platformer and shoot 'em up genres. However, I admit that I'm rubbish and often failed to reach the third level - sometimes I cannot get by the first!! So, today I've whacked on the trainer and played through to the end.

The Fingerbobs had a grim view of the future and by 2011 there should have been a nuclear accident which transformed the local wildlife into vicious mutations. Apparently, it's so bad that Finland and Russia were evacuated. It's our mission to kill everything and disarm the weapons before these creatures find a way to blow us all up!!

Level one introduces us to the unfair mechanics so it's not long before infinite lives is enabled!!

I love level two with its enormous enemies and trapdoors which are host something silly.

The first thing that hits you is the tracker music which is stereo on the Atari STe and very nice. Why couldn't other developers go that extra mile? Anyhow, the aesthetics keep on getting better with superb in-game graphics: smooth scrolling across gorgeous landscapes with a wide variety of mutated monsters. The attention to details is outstanding but animations are hit and miss because some are great whilst others are oddly void of any extra frames.

Sadly, slowdown occurs when particular (and ginormous) enemies are on-screen so I'm a little disappointed they didn't also utilise the Blitter along with the DMA. Curiously, this framerate drop occurs mostly for unanimated sprites like the Ceratopia which is rather surprising after battling a screen-sized skeleton and a giant squid!

Level three continues the theme but in the snow! That tank driver should have ducked down...

We're Pitfall Harry in level four with sinking stepping stones, spikes and lots of monkeys!

There are seven levels and each is pretty much the same but with different graphics. However, I absolutely loved the last two levels which reminded me of Thunder Jaws and, of course, Aliens. Our hero has access to lots of weapons and the single-shot gun initially does the trick well but it's not long before you need to upgrade to something with a little more muscle because those bigger enemies are nigh on impossible to kill with your peashooter.

The laser sucks but there are many other great weapons to choose from like the "Scatter" and "Napalm" (my fave). However, we start with zero ammo for everything other than our basic gun so must instead collect ammo boxes which are periodically dropped in. This isn't too bad but is made awkward because you must first press the required Function Key to choose your desired weapon before making the pickup. I would have prefered random types of ammo dropped which would save us from fumbling for the right key before it frustratingly disappears!!

Level five is incredible with many obscure enemies so upgrade your weapons!

Level six takes us in deep waters and I dare anyone not to love every second of this.

Rubicon is great fun but doesn't break the mould and is also stupidly hard at times, especially on level two and three. Also, gameplay is pretty much the same regardless of the beautifully designed environments. Having said all that, I really love this quirky platformer with its freakish enemies and huge monsters - level six and seven are my favourites. Yup, Rubicon is far from perfect but it's still bucket loads of fun and is definitely worth your time.

If you fancy going shirtless and flexing those rippling muscles before bravely taking on the mutated hoard then you have a good choice: grab either the floppies or one of these versions for your hard drive: 8BitChip or D-Bug.

The final level has us battling Aliens, Facehuggers, giant eggs, and even the queen herself!!

The ending screens aren't exactly worth all the effort. Hmm, where have I heard that kipper line before? ;)

Thursday, October 04, 2018


Thomas Ilg, of Laserball and Anarcho Ride fame, has released an early beta of his next project: Frogs. This is an Atari STe conversion of the C64 original and features more of the same zany gameplay with up to four little froggies frantically hopping around ponds munching defenceless bugs. Older ST's are compatible to a degree but it's best on the Atari STe computer thanks to the Blitter graphics and DMA sound effects (chip music isn't yet complete).

Clickety click to read of other Atari ST games currently #InDev :-)

Each pond has various rocks and temporary lilypads which stay on the water's surface for only a short time. Hop around the screen looking for bugs and then press fire to stick out your tongue and feed your belly. Be quick and beat the other players but watch out because their AI is absolutely superb - it's great fun watching them brawl amongst themselves!! Oh, tongues have more than one use but don't let yourself be pushed around too much!!

Numerous ponds are available with three different gameplay modes and support for 2-4 players. Controls are rather unique using the keyboard, joystick, Jagpad or ST4PLAYER via the parallel port. Players can either be human or computer-controlled and there's even the option for a Midi link-up. Tell me you're not impressed!!

A boxed version is possibly in the pipeline with the option to include the ST4PLAYER adaptor - so watch this space. Overall, Frogs is a great conversion but is certainly best with friends. We've had a laugh playing it here and our 9yr old chatterbox thinks this is a wonderful game. Thus, this write-up needs nothing more said from me...

There are many ponds with which to feed and (in the third pic) you can even use C64 graphics.