Tag Archives: Gremlin Graphics

Atari A to Z: Trailblazer

Trailblazer is an early game from Gremlin Graphics — and one which still holds up well today. Just as well, really, as it’s actually had a surprising number of rereleases and ports over the years!

The concept is simple: control a rolling ball as it speeds down cosmic causeways, doing your best not to fall in the big black holes. And there are a lot of big black holes to fall into, as well as speedy-uppy tiles, jumpy tiles and warp tiles. Never a dull moment!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: John Lowe’s Ultimate Darts

Darts! One game, one hundred yen. I’ll try it once. Except it wasn’t one hundred yen, it was twenty quid, and it offered quite a variety of different darts-related experiences for your money.

Darts video games have never really taken off, aside from as minigames inside other games (hence the Shenmue reference above) but for a while a number of developers tried to make them work. John Lowe’s Ultimate Darts for Atari ST, brought to us by Gremlin Graphics, was a solid effort — and presents far less risk of accidentally impaling the cat or puncturing a loved one than real at-home darts.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: Venus the Flytrap

Gremlin Graphics were known for putting out great games, right from the 8-bit era up until their disappearance in 2003.

Venus the Flytrap was a great title from the 16-bit era, featuring an inventive take on arcade-style shoot ’em up gameplay combined with platforming. It looked great, too, even on the Atari ST — in fact, some people even prefer the ST version to the Amiga incarnation of this game, which is a rare occurrence!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Zone X

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!

Atari A to Z

Top Racer: Definitely-Not-Lotus Turbo Challenge

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

Atari ST A to Z: Lotus Esprit 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.

Atari A to Z

SNES Essentials: Top Gear

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