Monday 31 May 2010

Doctor Who (Amiga)

Thought I might as well hunt them all down... I mean there's not too many and they're all extremely obscure.

Simply titled Doctor Who, this is another Amiga game that came out in 1992. If you decided to hunt down Dalek Attack after last post, you may notice that this looks a bit better already. Well that's because it is. No need to force a Doctor Who theme out of the Amiga's sound chip - the developers Accursed Toys just ripped it straight from the early 80s era of the programme. Makes sense.

Sunday 30 May 2010

Dalek Attack

"A Doctor Who video game (that isn't associated with Top Trumps). I haven't seen that before!" say the current video game press in regards to the recently announced "Doctor Who: The Adventure Games" for Windows PCs and Macs. How soon they forget that there's been Doctor Who games released every few years since 1983!

And somehow I can hardly blame them.

Here's the fourth attempt. 1992's "Dalek Attack" - an attempt to cash in on the 16-bit craze. The BBC tasked Alternative Software with creating a platformer, with the intent to release for the British audience hiding behind their Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS or ZX Spectrum computers, with the latter being only released due to popular demand. You know you've got problems when you're releasing a game for a decade old computer rather than the popular video game consoles of the time.

Tuesday 25 May 2010

A Blog Squirrel Special

The latest version of DOSBox, released earlier this month, gives Frogger some water. It got me thinking... this port is a bit redundant, I WONDER HOW MANY OTHERS ARE

So, presenting A Blog Squirrel special on CGA arcade ports. A comparison of some of the earliest PC games with their arcade counterparts. From this little test I've found that old IBM PC ports tend to be 54.29% accurate... if that means anything.

It was a little too big to squeeze into a single blog post, which is why it's being hosted separately. It also wasn't really suited for tORP since there wasn't much research going on. Anyway, if you have time, check it out.

Sunday 23 May 2010


Time to hurt ourselves again with another unlicensed game from days gone by. Despite spewing their fare share of garbage back in the day, I haven't mentioned the pirate group "Sachen" much... probably because most of their games are centred around gambling. It doesn't even feel right to associate them with the word "pirate", because like companies such as Wisdom Tree they don't appear to be a bunch of crooks, just a group that's trying to appeal to a market Nintendo neglected... and that almost seems fair game.

So time to look at one of their better works. "Pyramid", an original title that took the formula found in Tetris and thought "it's not hip to be square", adding... TRIANGLES into gameplay. Well, it is a video game developer's favourite shape.

Sunday 16 May 2010

If you're into sprite sheets

I wrote a guide on how to make them not suck.

This was intended for the folks at MFGG (the first part covers MFGG's database system, TCSMS) but large parts can apply to any site that stores sprites for a living. I haven't mirrored it here (yet) because it's still a work in progress and I'm not sure if I'll be adding more.

It isn't completely related to this blog but it's good to try and spread a message.

Wing War

1992 was the year of the Sega Model 1 arcade board. Gone were the days of the Sega System series - now was the time to embrace flat-shaded 3D polygons, wear a cap backwards and carry around large bits of musical equipment in an attempt to look cool. Sega AM2 first broke the 2D mould with the critically acclaimed Virtua Racing. And then they did it again with Virtua Fighter. Didn't get that on Nintendo... because they weren't really in the arcade industry.

But there was also this. Wing War, the last Model 1 game which saw release in 1994. It's long been forgotten as it was the only Model 1 game not to leave arcades. This is blasphemy of course, because Wing War is fantastic.

Monday 3 May 2010

Super Stario Land

No really.

We're off to the village of the Atari ST this time, to discover the wonders of yet another unlicensed Mario clone. This one, titled "Super Stario Land" was sold in the UK in about 1995-ish by a group known as "Top Byte Software". There appears to be a Christmas version too... but I'll leave that to another day.