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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Award won!

Well, how about that! Looks like my pesky little blog has been included into the Top 75 Retro Gaming Blogs list at Feedspot. Click on the award on the right panel just below my contact gadget to see the full Top 75. FRGCB was at number 57 this week, which I thought was surprisingly high. But hey, thanks for the support!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Sabre Wulf (Ultimate Play The Game, 1984)

Designed by Chris and Tim Stamper (Ashby Computers and Graphics Ltd.)
Programming by Chris Stamper and John Lathbury.
Graphics by Tim Stamper and Carole Stamper.
Originally published for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k in 1984.

Converted for the Acorn BBC Micro by Paul Proctor, and published by Ultimate Play the Game in 1984.
Converted for the Commodore 64 by Greg Duddle (Mr. Micro Ltd.), and published by Firebird Software in 1985.
Converted for the Amstrad CPC in 1985 by Ashby Computers and Graphics Ltd., and published by Ultimate Play the Game. No further details known.

Unofficial conversion for the Commodore Plus/4 by Gary "GC841" Cooper in 2012.
Unofficial conversion for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A written by Rasmus Moustgaard in 2014.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


In the last few years, the retro game developing scene has come forth in finally bringing out old Spectrum classic from Ultimate Play The Game (most notably games by the Stamper brothers) to machines that didn't previously have official conversions of such games as Knight Lore and Alien 8 for the 8-bit Atari computers, Pentagram and Gunfright for various Commodore machines, the already pointed-out (in credits) unofficial conversions of Sabre Wulf, and the most recently, Cookie for the C64.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (Accolade, 1990)

Developed by Horror Soft

Designed and written by Alan Bridgman, Keith Wadhams, Michael Woodroffe and Simon Woodroffe. Graphics by Kevin Preston, Paul Drummond, Michael Landreth and Philip Nixon. Music by Dave Hasler.

C64 version: Programming by Bruce le Feaux. Graphics by Kevin Preston, Paul Drummond, Mark Sample and Philip Nixon. Music by Sean "Odie" Connolly.

Published for Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and IBM-PC compatibles in 1990 by Accolade. Published for the Commodore 64 in 1991 by Flair Software. Published for the NEC PC-98 computers in 1992 by Acclaim Japan.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


WARNING: This entry contains somewhat disturbing in-game graphics. Proceed at your own risk.

The final Halloween-themed comparison article for FRGCB is dedicated to everyone's favourite - and only - mixture of cleavage and gory horror adventuring based on a horror/comedy movie based on the weekly KHJ-TV horror movie presentation show, Elvira's Movie Macabre. To most of us non-Americans, Cassandra Peterson's career was mostly visible due to Elvira, and she did make a career out of the character, encompassing two feature films, the original Movie Macabre and two reboots of the show (the other one was called 13 Nights of Elvira), a good deal of special cameo appearances in various other TV shows and movies, and she even recorded several songs for Elvira's Halloween music compilation albums. Interestingly, Elvira was originally considered to be the voice for the ending speech in Michael Jackson's song "Thriller" (written by Rod Temperton), before Vincent Price was chosen. Anyhow, Elvira, the brand, is still very much alive, which you can see clearly from visiting her website. Now, enough of advertising, let's get to the actual meat of the matter. Worry not, though - even though I've taken enough time to work on this, this entry isn't super-lengthy.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Tom (Kingsoft, 1984)

Written by Udo Gertz for Commodore Vic-20 (+16k), C64 and C16. Music for the C64 and Vic-20 versions by Brigitte Gertz. Released by Anirog in the United Kingdom as "Tom Thumb".

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GAME STATUS


I was called on to write something special for the RESET magazine celebrating its 10th issue an unexpectedly great elongation of a while ago, so I decided to choose something truly special. As the magazine specializes in all matters related to Commodore, contrary to previous occasions, this time I thought it would be a nice change seeing three Commodore machines put against each other in one man's battle to get in grips with each Commodore machine's difficulties in coding. This article was originally prepared about 11 months ago, and it was finally published a couple of weeks ago - but I have to say, the wait was well worth it! Go and order yourself a copy of the magazine from Binary Zone Interactive Retrostore, or if you're cheap, check the fantastic new layout from the free pdf version once it gets released on the RESET website. Now, back to the point. As I guess we all Commodore fans might agree, it's an almost universally acknowledged fact, that the C16 version rewrite is the best one, but in case you haven't read the RESET article already, here's your chance to see what's what, and why.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

TWOFER #17: Unique Games Corrections

1. Bigtop Barney (Interceptor Software, 1984)

Written by Jason Benham for the Commodore 64, with music by Robert Westgate. Released by Interceptor Software in 1984.

Converted for the Amstrad CPC by Alan Bridgman, with music by Tim Gibson. Published on Interceptor's "Players" budget label in 1986.



2. Harricana - International Snowmobile Race (Loriciel, 1990)

AMSTRAD CPC version: Designed by Bernard Auré, Programming by Olivier Richez, Graphics by Ivan Gaidonov, Philippe Tesson and Richard Martens; Music by Michel Winogradoff.

ATARI ST and COMMODORE AMIGA versions: Design and programming by Bernard Auré (Benoist Aron?); Graphics by Ivan Gaidonov, Philippe Tesson and Richard Martens; Music by Michel Winogradoff.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS, PLURAL


If the title doesn't tell you enough, let's elaborate. Back when I was still doing the Unique Games series, I made a few mistaken inclusions, these two games being some of the most glaring ones, but there were a few other games I could still make comparisons of, if anyone's interested. The thing is, though, most of the other games only became available for more platforms in the recent years, and the other two most obvious titles would have been rather obscure games called Illusions and Brain Strainers, both of which I thought felt unique enough, but were revealed not to be exclusive to the Colecovision... but I'll go with these two for now, because they're more interesting on a general basis.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Zorro (Datasoft, 1985)

Designed by James Garon, Kelly Day, John Ludin, Roy Langston and Terry Shakespeare.

Written by James Garon for the Atari 8-bit computers and Commodore 64 in 1985, with graphics by Kelly Day. Converted for the Apple ][ by Rick Mirsky and James Garon. Music for the C64 version by John A. Fitzpatrick. Released in North America by Datasoft, and in Europe by U.S. Gold in 1985.

Converted for the Amstrad CPC in 1985 and for the ZX Spectrum 48k in 1986 by James Software Ltd., and published by U.S. Gold.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


This is perhaps going to sound a bit worrisome for some of you, but when I started on this blog, I decided that Bruce Lee and Zorro would be the two "bookend" comparison articles. Well, worry not, because there's still a good few comparisons to come, but this does mark the beginning of the end of FRGCB. There should be enough games on my to-do list at least until the end of this year, and perhaps a little further beyond, and I'm doing Zorro now only because I want the last foreseeable comparison article to be a properly high note. Now, let's get back to the basics, and hope there will be no similar updates to this as they were for Bruce Lee.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Overlander (Elite Systems, 1988)

Designed by Simon Cook

ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC versions: Programming by Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, graphics by Gary Tonge and Peter Tattersall, music and sound effects by Mark Cooksey. Published in 1988 by Elite.

Commodore 64 version: Programming by Richard Underhill, graphics by Peter Tattersall, loading screen by Paul Walker, music and sound effects by Mark Cooksey. Published in 1988 by Elite.

Atari ST and Commodore Amiga versions: Programming by Darren Pegg, graphics by Simon Cook, Gary Tonge and Peter Tattersall, ST music and sound effects by Jason C. Brooke, Amiga music and sound effects by Mark Cooksey. Published in 1989 by Elite.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


When I started planning on taking the blog back into regular form, I decided I wanted to do something light and easy, so I decided to take a look at one of my old driving game favourites: Overlander. I remember buying this from some electronics shop in a sale of two tapes for a reduced price, and from the very few choices available, the other choice was Supertrux, because I didn't know anything about it - as opposed to knowing all the other games were useless. Anyway, judging by the information on the regular websites - Lemon64, CPC-Power and World of Spectrum, it looked to be just a regular threesome. But of course, things have a tendency to get more difficult when you least expect them to. This one just had to have two 16-bit versions as well, and naturally, in addition to the traditional three-way 8-bit battle, we would also have the other traditional 16-bit battle on our hands. Since the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga versions aren't too well known, this is a good opportunity to get to know them better, in case the game's 8-bit versions offer no surprises.