Quick and fun games are the order of this week as the continuation of a rather hefty I.T. project at work has left me with very little downtime again. Thankfully, we can see light at the end of the tunnel (or is that tunnel vision due to lack of sleep?) and I can get stuck into something a little more involving soon as I’ve been promising myself a return to either the land of Midwinter or the seas of Carrier Command.
First up on the list is a some vintage fun and a very early title by Mr ‘Yak’, Jeff Minter.
Centipede – Sinclair ZX81 (1981)
Over the past few years, I’ve become quite fond of Uncle Clive’s little black box and it’s game library which still provide snippets of fun despite it’s meager hardware limitations (and even more fun when you throw in a ZXpand unit). Centipede might not look much and missing a few things from the arcade original but that doesn’t stop it from being a damn fun retro game as you aim even higher to best your own and your mates highscore.
OOOOOOOO vs “
Choose from 20 speed settings (20 being the slowest and 1 being well, quite frankly, insane!) and select 1-5 lives. Personally I’ve been starting on speed 20 with one life and after clearing each stage, the game speed increases.
Make it past Wave 3 and OOOOOOOO starts firing “.” fullstops at you….very unsportsmanlike of him too!
Yay, I beat Jeff’s highscore!…oh wait….dammit.
The next two games I’ve been playing an awful lot of this week are a couple of PD releases on the Commodore Amiga.
First up, we have a remake of one of my favourite arcade games.
Depthcharge – Commodore Amiga (1994)
This is a cracking remake of the 1977 game by Gremlin. Apart from the upgraded graphics (in colour too..woooo!), it’s pretty much on par with the original (bottom left).
The key difference with the Amiga version is the overall speed in which the game plays. Those subs dash around underwater a hefty odd rate of knotts whilst releasing a barrage of mines and torpedoes to the surface. The original arcade game had a much slower pace and required accurately timed release of your depth charges. I think I still prefer the original, but this Amiga version is still great fun and the lack of timer means you can blast away until you get hit.
Do you get bonus points for making your own sonar ping SFX’s? 🙂
Depthcharge can be found on the Assassins PD disk #165 which you can download from Back to the Roots website – http://www.back2roots.org/Get/Assassins%20Disk%20165%2C1/
Next up is a remake of Thrust
Fleuch (v.2) – Commodore Amiga (1993)
I’m loving the chunky retro look to Fleuch and it plays just as well as most other Thrust clones. Key layout is just perfect.
Incoming from those gun turrets can often be accurate and relentless which certainly makes for one exciting gravity game.
Do I sneak down and collect the orb ASAP or take out the gun first? There’s not much room down here to do either! Steady as she goes.
Moving around in the tunnels can be a bit tricky, and things get even trickier once you’re towing the orb.
Fleuch can also be dowloaded from BTTR via Assasins PD disk #166 – http://www.back2roots.org/Get/Assassins%20Disk%20166%2C1/
Lunchtime gaming has quite literally been a blast with this rather cool mouse driven arena shooter –
Death vs. Monstars (Flash/Web).
Simple yet fun. Move auto firing Death (you) around the screen and destroy the invading Monstars. Holding down the left mouse button will lock your gun position to so you can strafe the suckers if things get a little hot. Pick up the coins and stars left behind as you’ll need these later.
Each kill increases a meter at the bottom of the screen. Once full, double click the left button to release a smart bomb. Handy when things get even hotter.
Alternatively, if you’re getting pummelled and find yourself in bullet hell, press and hold the space bar which will activate a Matrix style slow-mo bullet time. Very handy for getting oneself out of a jam and outflanking Neo style.
After killing the required number of Monstars (countdown at the top left), you finally get to spend all that lovely dosh on upgrades.
You’re going to need them!