Sunday, 31 January 2010

Llamatron 2112

A couple of years ago while browsing the internet I was educated about the arcade classic, Robotron 2084. Shortly afterwards, I found myself emulating the game in MAME. Though I was certain I had never played the game before, it seemed strangely reminiscent to something I had somehow played in the past. I quickly stopped caring and went about my daily business until the other day when I accidentally came across this

Llamatron 2112, a clone of Robotron 2084 for DOS made by legendary game programmer/designer Jeff Minter and his company, Llamasoft in 1992. Llamasoft were responsible for many llama and camel-based games during the 80s and early 90s, and Jeff would later go on to create the Atari Jaguar classic, Tempest 2000, and more recently, Space Giraffe.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

More garbage on its way

I suspect many people travel to this blog for the latest and greatest news on my one-man-mission to somehow document every notable obscure pirate video game on the planet. I've been in the process of swapping computers, and the new one isn't a fan of my old internet setup. It does, however, have a 23-inch 1080p monitor, so it's difficult to complain.

Of course this means I've had to ignore new dumps such as this. PANDA WORLD. Yes that's right, the way to protect an endangered species isn't to force them to mate in captivity, you just need to construct a giant robot that will hurl up a few babies every now and then.

Monday, 25 January 2010


Yep, it's time to unearth some forgotten 90s abandonware for the sake of nostalgia. Oscar, a game that stars Disney reject Oscar on the search for Oscars that look like Oscar but aren't actually Oscars. Released in 1993 by now defunct Flair Software (whose main base of operations wasn't too far away from here), Oscar managed to be released for three different Amiga systems, as well as appearing as part of the ever expanding DOS market. It also showed up late for the Super Nintendo, but by that time (1995) most people were looking ahead to the next generation of video games. But despite Oscar's face re-occurring time and time again for the Commodore fans, the game was quickly forgotten about due to the hoards of other similar (and better) platformers of the time.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Dark Ages

Hey kids, time to open that box of DOS once again

Dark Ages, a 16-colour platforming legend, released in February of 1991 by Apogee Software. It was paired with a musical score that relied on a Adlib sound card - a first for the shareware market of the time. Yet despite being somewhat groundbreaking, it's often overlooked in favour of later platformers such as Duke Nukem or Commander Keen, most likely because it never recieved any sequels.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

One Man and his Droid

Commodore 64 time. It pushed its competition into near-bankruptcy, it had a sound chip that still manages to get used in dance tracks today, and it was superior to all other home computers at the time in almost every way. It also had a selection of games that sold for as little as £1.99, which is a bit mad when you consider these days it can be £20, £30, £40 or more for something fresh.

Here's two pounds worth of game - One Man and his Droid, released in 1985 by Mastertronic (who would later go on to successfully distribute the Sega Master System in Europe before being bought out and merged into Sega). Now strictly speaking this wasn't a C64 exclusive - ports appeared on the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari 800 and the elusive Commodore 16, but it's the Commodore 64 version that gets the spotlight because like in most cases, it has the best music.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Juno First

Yet another game you likely haven't played, Juno First. Released into arcades in 1983, it was Konami's first attempt to mimic the frantic shoot 'em up gameplay styles first seen in the likes of William's Defender, Robotron 2084 and Sinistar, but it also draws inspiration from the likes of Nintendo's Radar Scope in the sense that gameplay is made to look as if it is inclined at an angle. Aren't pixels clever?

Monday, 4 January 2010

Dr. Rudy

It's a brand new year and a brand new decade, but that's not going to stop me from finding decaying old programs from the early 1990s that nobody has played in years!

Presenting "Dr. Rudy", a DOS game initially released in 1991 and is quite clearly a Dr. Mario clone. NES emulation through DOS wouldn't really kick-off until 1997 and it would take even longer for other Nintendo systems to be supported, so for many years this was one of the only ways you could play Dr. Mario on your IBM compatible PC.

It's notable for two reasons... or maybe three. One, it's yet another example of a very early Mario fangame... sort of (nineteen years old and still beating modern attempts!), two it'll run on even the most insanely underpowered PCs and three because I still claim Dr. Hello is worth caring about and this shares a similar concept.