Tag Archives: puzzle game

Boom Boom Rocket: Classical (Exploding) Gas

Quick! Name three Bizarre Creations games! GO!

If your entire list consisted of Project Gotham Racing games, you just about scrape a passing grade. If you remembered to mention Metropolis Street Racer, take five bonus marks. Including any Geometry Wars games in there (except Geometry Wars 3, which wasn’t them) gets you an additional five marks. Remembering The Club exists gets you a gold star — and hold that thought, we’ll definitely come back to that one.

If Boom Boom Rocket was anywhere in your list, however, you get exclusive membership into the Cool People Club. Benefits include never being able to get a small selection of classical music out of your head, the constant desire to tap your foot any time you see a fireworks display, and optional free hugs. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on…

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Atari ST A to Z: Castle Master

The “Freescape” games released by Incentive Software were all rather interesting for a variety of reasons.

Most notably, they represented some of the earliest examples of a multi-purpose, cross-platform 3D engine at work — Freescape was so flexible that it would run on everything from the ZX Spectrum up to Atari ST, Amiga and MS-DOS PC, though obviously with some limitations on the less powerful platforms!

Castle Master was one of the last Freescape games to be released on 16-bit platforms, and it’s also one of the most mysterious and intriguing. Let’s go for a little explore, shall we?

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

OMG Zombies: In The Middle of a Chain Reaction

Prejudice is an ugly thing, but it’s important to acknowledge it when you allow it to affect you.

Consequently, dear reader, I don’t mind admitting that when I was presented with the opportunity to take a look at a new Switch game called OMG Zombies that, at its launch, cost just 99p (it’s now £3.99 after the initial discount) I was… shall we say, a little skeptical about whether or not this would be a worthwhile experience.

Internet slang in the title? Check. Use of zombies, arguably the most overused foe in all of video gaming history? Check. A distinctly “mobile-tier” price point? Check. This game would certainly have an uphill struggle to impress me.

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Atari ST A to Z: Batman – The Movie

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!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari ST A to Z: Airball

There are some games in which it feels absolutely impossible to get anywhere meaningful… but where you still feel you’re having a good time regardless.

One such example is Airball for the Atari ST, a strange isometric adventure in which you play an unfortunate young individual who crossed paths with an evil wizard with a penchant for turning people into rubber balls.

Can you escape from the wizard’s mansion? It has over 150 rooms, you know…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari A to Z: Yoomp

Although the Atari 8-bit range of computers mostly lost what little “mainstream” relevance they had with the onset of the 16-bit era — which, in turn, was killed off by the widespread adoption of standardised MS-DOS and Windows PCs — there are a few dedicated developers out there still plugging away at this old hardware.

The results these modern maestros can get out of ancient computers can be, at times, absolutely astonishing. Some form part of what is known as the “demoscene”, producing audible and graphical showcases that push the hardware to its absolute limits. Others take that extra step and add true interactivity, making actual games with impressive visuals and sounds to show what they’re really capable of.

Yoomp from 2007 is an example of the latter. It makes use of some clever graphical techniques, fully optimised for both PAL and NTSC displays, and some delightfully catchy, toe-tapping music courtesy of the Atari’s trusty POKEY chip. If you’d like to find out more about this game — and download it for free to try for yourself — check out the official website here.

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Taito Essentials: Volfied

Mid to late ’80s Taito were good at a lot of things, but one thing they were particularly good at was iterating on an established formula and bringing it more “up to date”.

Probably the most famous example of this is Arkanoid, a game which took the incredibly simple concept of Atari’s Breakout — hit ball with paddle to destroy bricks, repeat until screen clear or player displays sufficient incompetence — and enhanced it with “enemies”, powerups and a wide variety of different levels.

Well, as Arkanoid was to Breakout, so Volfied was to Qix. At least this time around they ripped off their own game…

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