Dungeon Master on the Atari ST

Dungeon_Master_Box_ArtThis is the one. This is probably my favourite game of all time ever. There are other games I’ve spent longer playing- Championship Manager being the one that springs immediately to mind- but I don’t think there is a game that either holds such a place in my affections or had as profound an affect on me as FTL’s Dungeon Master. Heck, even though it ran fine on my 520STFM, those poor buggers with Amigas had to wait ages and then they needed a meg of RAM to even play it! Continue reading

Posted in 16bit | Leave a comment

The world of magazines

There are still a few video game magazines that shift some issues in print, Edge and Retrogamer are the two that immediately spring to mind to me, but by and large it’s now mostly online sites. It makes sense of course, the immediacy of publication of news, and the ability to put streaming video in, have all contributed to the demise of the magazine. Comment sections and forums have too, although whether this is a good thing or not depends on your point of view. Personally I think the comment section of the vast majority of gaming sites are toxic hazards that should be avoided at all costs but that’s another story. Continue reading

Posted in retrostalgia | Leave a comment

Gauntlet on the Atari ST

Gauntlet Atari STRed Elf shot the food! And a huge punch up ensued between my younger brother and me. It was 1987, I was 12, he was ten, and he wasn’t happy as that proclamation had been preceded by Blue Warrior needs food…badly!*  Playing Gauntlet was fun, and it was also fun to frustrate and thwart the person you were playing with, especially if he was two years younger and had a temper like a grizzly with toothache. Continue reading

Posted in 16bit | Leave a comment

Populous on the Atari ST

populous 11989. What a year. Batman returned to the cinema after a 33 year hiatus, considerably less camp but no less peculiar, I was 14, hormonal, covered in spots and in love. With Populous on the Atari ST as well as a girl in my class at school. I never managed to ask her out on a date but 27 years later, we’re returning to Populous to see if it’s still as much fun as I remember. Continue reading

Posted in 16bit | 2 Comments

Moving from a C64 to an Atari ST


As I’ve said before, I was late to the Commodore 64. It’s early days were well behind it when I bought mine. This was good in some ways; there were already established budget brands that weren’t just churning out rubbish but were actually re-releasing classics of yester year at pretty great prices. It was a good way to build up a cheap library of good, if not new, games. Continue reading

Posted in 16bit | Leave a comment

1986 and all that

From reading our game play throughs, you would be forgiven in thinking I spent every single waking hour I wasn’t at school sat in front of a computer in the 80’s.

That wasn’t really the case though, mostly because the paucity of childrens TV meant we actually had a lot of spare time. Kids telly back then ran from about 3:15 until 5:35, starting with stuff for the little kids, and ending up with something like Blue Peter or right at the end of the decade, Rolf’s Cartoon Club and then Neighbours. I was forever missing Rolf’s Cartoon Club because that was invariably when my mum used to dish up dinner and we had to sit at the dining room table and eat. The torture. Continue reading

Posted in retrostalgia | Leave a comment

Delta on Commodore 64

Odelta-c64-coverur brief sojourn with the Commodore 64 comes to an end with Thalamus’ Delta. Delta was one of the handful of games that Thalamus released between 1986 and 1991. At the time I didn’t realise the controversy that their games engendered- Thalamus had been set up by the publishing house that published ZZAP64! which lead to accusations of biased reviews. All I know is Delta was probably the game that I most associate with the C64, after Wizball at any rate. Continue reading

Posted in 8bit | Leave a comment

California Games on Commodore 64

california_gamesWe started off this week by having a look across Epyx broad span of “Games”- Winter Games, Summer Games and California Games. After some deliberation we decided on California Games because it had that cooler vibe that Sam seemed to find hilarious. I mean, half pipe alone is hilarious if you’re 8. Slightly less so if you have to load each individual event in though…

California Games is a bodacious spin on the multi sports games that were popular in the mid to late 80’s. Starting with Daley Thompson’s Decathalon on the Speccy, a game that’s focus on excessive waggle broke many a Quickshot Pro joystick, 1987’s California Games was really the pinicle of the format. It focuses around some more gnarly sports. Well, some of them are gnarly- half pipe band surfing certainly are- but others like foot bag (hacky sack) and roller-skating are a bit comedy. And in now way should you ever call the flying disc Frisbee because that’s a trademark! Continue reading

Posted in 8bit | Leave a comment

Bubble Bobble on Commodore 64

Bubble_bobble_CoverBubble Bobble has to be one of my favourite games of all time. I first played a demo of it on a cover tape for the Spectrum (on ACE magazine, there was a scandal you know, initially they accidentally put the entire game on the tape but managed to recall the vast majority of them before the full game got out into the wild). I loved the demo, moved on to a Commodore 64, bought it, loved it again, moved on to an Atari ST, bought it again, and eventually I even bought the double pack of Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands on the Sega Saturn. Continue reading

Posted in 8bit | Leave a comment

Stuck in the past

We’ve had a sick lad this week, so normal service will resume next week but in the interim, here’s a post I have for such occasions on how I utterly fail to move with the times!


Like many grown up children, I still consider my parents house sort of free storage for “stuff” I want but don’t necessarily have the space to store or the inclination to use currently. I do however live in constant fear of my stuff being lethally disposed of without so much as a by your leave. This is mostly as a result of all of my Action Force sets and figures mysteriously disappearing a few years ago; one of the few things of genuine value to me that I hadn’t previously rescued. Every time I pop over there now, I have a rummage and take some things home with me. Continue reading

Posted in retrostalgia | Leave a comment