Gremlin Graphics was a developer who lasted a long time — from the early 8-bit days right up until the early 2000s, when the company was swallowed by Infogrames, and then folded. Today the Gremlin spirit lives on in the developer Sumo Digital.
Zone X is a classic Atari game from Gremlin Graphics I remember playing back in the day and never being able to get very far with. Turns out I still can’t get very far with it, but it’s an interesting game nonetheless!
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Racing games used to be very different to how we know them today — primarily due to the limitations of the hardware on which they were running.
Instead of unfolding in lovingly rendered, minutely detailed 3D polygonal worlds as most of today’s racers are, they took what we now call a “vanishing point” approach, where the road was drawn using two converging lines to simulate a sense of perspective, and sprites drawn at various sizes were placed along the sides of the track to assist with the illusion of movement and speed.
Of all the racers designed in this way — and there are many, including some developed quite recently! — Kemco’s Top Racer, also known as Top Gear, is one of the finest out there. This is a game that still gets regular play from a lot of racing enthusiasts today — plus now you can enjoy it as part of the Piko Interactive Collection 1 cartridge for Blaze’s Evercade retro gaming system. So let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Top Racer: Definitely-Not-Lotus Turbo Challenge
There are some games that, when they release, you just know they’re going to be all-time greats, forever regarded as classics.
Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge from Gremlin Graphics was definitely one of those games. It pushed the “vanishing point” racer formula massively with its split-screen two-player action and its variety of interesting courses, and its presentation and gameplay were immaculate.
It would go on to form the basis of the widely beloved Top Gear for Super NES, which would go on to inspire more recent works such as Horizon Chase Turbo. And it still plays like a dream today. So please put your hands together and give it up for a true racing legend.
It’s weird how some memories stick with you for the longest time, for seemingly no reason whatsoever.
Prior to picking up a copy again recently, I hadn’t played Top Gear on the Super NES since the early ’90s when it was first released. And yet upon firing it up I confirmed something I had suspected for a while: its music had indeed been stuck in my head for nearly thirty years.
I was also pleased to discover that Top Gear is indeed still a whole lot of fun — and a great example of a type of racing game that has been rendered largely obsolete by the advances in technology over the years.
Continue reading SNES Essentials: Top Gear