I have a soft spot for Microdeal’s Goldrunner. It was one of the first games I played on the Atari ST, and while it’s monstrously difficult and quite annoying at times, there’s something about it that kept me coming back for more.
It was likely a combination of things: the impressive performance, the excellent Rob Hubbard music, the sampled speech repeatedly bidding you “Welcome” even when you’d been playing for hours… it all combined to make one of the best Atari ST games out there, and a game I still enjoy a fair bit today.
Microdeal offered the Atari ST some solid support in its early days, with the software they published covering a wide variety of genres — and not just games.
Probably one of the most “traditional” games they published was Jupiter Probe, one of many games by the prolific Steve Bak, and a solid shoot ’em up in its own right — even if its concept and setting is based on… somewhat shaky scientific foundation, to say the least. Music by the legendary Rob Hubbard, though!
The shoot ’em up is a genre of gaming with a long and proud history. While the best shoot ’em ups tend to be associated with arcades and consoles, home computers played host to some right crackers too.
One such example is Firebird’s Warhawk, a vertically scrolling shooter with big, chunky sprites and smooth, slick gameplay. It’s an immensely satisfying but challenging shooter — and one that still holds up really well today.
Plus the Rob Hubbard soundtrack on the title screen is absolutely iconic… but hang on, doesn’t it sound a bit familiar…?