Ocean Software were rather well known for their licensed movie tie-in games — some of which were better (and more creative) than others.
This video game adaptation of Short Circuit, which was exclusive to 8-bit home computers, is one of their more inventive titles, combining a significant adventure game component with a possibly unbeatable arcade-style segment. The exact implementation varies a bit from platform to platform, but today we’re having a go at the 128K ZX Spectrum version!
Ocean Software were a funny old bunch. One minute they’d be putting out absolute tosh with the name of a big-name movie on the box, the next they’d be putting out some truly excellent original titles.
Elf for Atari ST falls firmly into the latter category, as the Will Ferrell movie of the same name was several years off at the time of its original release. Instead, what we have here is a great example of the “arcade adventure” genre that doesn’t really exist any more — a type of game that blends fast action with the kind of interactions typically associated with pure adventures. And just a touch of casual racism for good measure. Different times and all that.
Whenever someone mentions the Atari ST to you, doubtless the first thing you think of is the delicious, relatively low-calorie cheesy potato snack known as Quavers.
What do you mean, no? Well, that might all change after today’s game, in which the erstwhile mascot of this longstanding British junk food favourite is tasked with clearing a series of puzzle-tastic levels while attempting not to fall into the abyss inside his computer. It makes about as much sense as it sounds, but it’s a surprisingly fun time — and the product placement isn’t as obnoxious as you might expect.
Check out the game in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
A well-known name in the 16-bit home computer era here in Europe was Ocean Software.
Ocean had many strings to their bow, but one of their most reliable sources of income was movie tie-in games, many of which drew criticism for being somewhat derivative and unimaginative platform games, but which sold well regardless. A good example of a game where they tried something a little bit different from the usual formula was Batman: The Movie.
That said, the opening stage is a platform game, and is so monstrously difficult I’d be surprised if everyone saw the other things the game had to offer without making use of the cheat mode… I know I certainly didn’t!