Archive for the ‘General games’ Category

Break/Space – break it, but don’t pay for it

26 August, 2017
BreakSpace

“To baldly go where no-one has gone before!”

Coming out of my shell (I’m busy, I’ve a real-life job and everything plus … acht who am I trying to kid I’m a lazy fucker. Anyway…) to punt you in the direction of Break/Space, a likeably compact, sci-fi space-faring roguelike for the ZX Spectrum. Originally programmed in BASIC as part of a game jam, it was subsequently ported to machine code and has received a number of updates to iron out bugs and tweak gameplay (as of writing it’s on V1.8). Combat, trading and exploration are all crammed into likeably jolly 8×8-graphic-based grids full of planets, alien ships and anomalys. And it’s free.
More information and downloads here.

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CKD – it’s what all the cool kids are calling it

28 April, 2017

You probably already know by now that Crystal Kingdom Dizzy has received a belated

CKDizzy

Is a Kingdom even the ideal governmental form for crystals?

port to the ZX Spectrum, one of the machines the egg-who-wears-boxing-gloves-for-some-fucking-reason made his name on. You might wonder what the point of that would be, considering that the game was already published on the ZX Spectrum back in 1992. Playing it for a few seconds makes you realise what the point was – this is CKD given a complete overhaul with a new, smooth, game engine, superbly reworked graphics and new music and sounds. It’s a huge improvement on the original commercial release (which wasn’t bad in the first place) and a perfect example of what love, care and enthusiasm can create over time. It’d be great to see the same talent lavished on a new game, Dizzy-related or not.

As I’m lead to understand 16th century London sex workers used to say “Get It Here”

Drink-a-penta-milk-a-day

1 April, 2017

Pentagorat is a new (well, a few months old) isometric platform game for the Commodore Vic-20. Yes, you read

Penta

Like someone with a weird accent saying “paint a goat”

that right. Taking the role of a wee dude who looks awfully like ZX Spectrum unofficial mascot Horace, the player finds themselves locked in a weird castle without explanation and has to find their way out. Despite the infamous “fat” pixels of the Vic, it all looks surprisingly good and, even better, moves at a fair old pace. The relatively small memory of the Vic also means that rather than the meandering corridors sometimes to be found in games of this type (yes, Bobby Bearing, I’m looking at you) puzzles and action come pretty thick and fast with most rooms providing some kind of challenge or conundrum to overcome.

Available as a digital file or in good old 1980s format. It tastes great, as part of this nutritious breakfast.

Happy happy joy joy gaming news

11 February, 2017
jng2

This

In what has become a dark world of depressing national and international developments and frequent disappointments, let us all rejoice at the news that Rake In Grass are working on a sequel to their brilliant side-scrolling shooter Jets ‘n’ Guns.

Read all about it.

If you’ve somehow neglected to play the original, it’s available on something called The Steams, and probably elsewhere.

What happens when you play this set of CDs?

6 December, 2016
redder

(not quite) All The Crystals

I’ve not been posting much here in recent months. Sorry, apart from my generally being rubbish and lazy I’ve also started a new job which tends to leave me knackered and therefore provides ample excuses for not doing anything.

Anyway, I thought rather than just leave this place to gather more cobwebs I’d do a post or two about games I’m enjoying at the moment which probably aren’t getting vast amounts of coverage everywhere (i.e. they’re not Battlefield 1 or Civilization VIIIIIIIII). First up is Redder. This game is around six years old now, having originally appeared as a free online game, but is far too good for that kind of nonsense and is now also available in delicious download-and-keep flavour in exchange for currency.

Essentially an 8-bit style exploration/metroidvania platform game about collecting crystals, what lifts this above the average are the often-brilliant, frequent puzzles largely built around activating and deactivating red and green blocks, as well as the atmosphere created by the subdued colour palette and brilliantly melancholy music. It’s a great example of gameplay and graphics/sound combining into a successful whole. Plus it feels like it could have run on a ZX Spectrum, and that always gets extra marks from me.

Redder is available from itch.io here.

I’m QUAKING in my boots (I don’t have any boots)

5 July, 2016
Quake

“Hi, do you have a moment? Don’t worry, I’m not selling anything!”

One of the great things about the current generation of videogames and videogaming is the way that older stuff has been re-embraced. Not just the aesthetics, where we’ve seen “8-bit” graphics and sound become fashionable with the explosion of independent titles; but also the games themselves. “Abandoned” commercial software of the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s has been dusted off, tweaked and fixed for modern platforms and put back on sale again, largely thanks to digital distributors like GOG and Steam who’ve managed to snap-up the rights to a lot of previously abandoned software which was designed for DOS-based 486 PCs and which previously needed a hat with a fucking propellor on the top at the very least to even think about getting it to work on your complex emulator of choice.

And with that has come something more unexpected – updates and expansions for software that’s over a decade old but which has a diehard as well as a growing, new, fanbase. Not just the HD “remixes” of old software (the success of which has been kind of mixed) but whole new content. Notable examples include new expansions for Age Of Empires II, Balder’s Gate (complete with neckbeard/GG-infuriating characters and dialogue, none of which would have actually bothered anyone when BG was originally released, ironically enough) and, now, a brand new official episode for Quake (from the people who brought us the new Wolfenstein game). Yes, that Quake. The one that came out in 1996. In fact it was actually released to mark the game’s (gulp weisold!) 20th anniversary.

Here’s a link to the RPS article about the new episode which contains a direct link to the download. Happy, erm, “quaking” (‘what?!’).

Kayvez

2 July, 2016
Caves

“Here in my cave, I feel unsafest of all…”

Caves is a great wee roguelike for Android that might have slipped under a few peoples radars. It’s fairly simple to play (and any complexities are learnt as you go rather than through a tedious tutorial, or at least that was the case in the version I originally played) but tough and unforgiving like all the best of its genre. It’s still in development and new versions are released on a regular basis, but as it’s freeware there’s no real excuse to wait until a finished version, if it ever rests on its laurels long enough for that to happen in any meaningful sense.

Caves can be downloaded for Android devices here.

My Issyos, your Issyos, a’body’s Issyos

15 December, 2015

Never mind The Star Wars, or Elite: What Should Have Been In The First Version,

Issyos

“Try my Christmas roasted scarab beetle!”

the release you should all be getting excited about is The Curse of Issyos. Creators Locomalito have an incredibly high hit rate when it comes to retro-style games that actually play as well as the best stuff of yesteryear as opposed to just look a bit like them (#names). This latest game is a scrolling platformer with vaguely Sega Master System/NES-era graphics and the usual great score from Gryzor87. It’s set in the age of Greek myth and is heavily influenced by the likes of the 1960s great SFX/bad acting film Jason and the Argonauts. What the flippety flop are you waiting for? Download it now for free from its website, you silly.

Sab95

2 December, 2015

There’s been a bit of a buzz around the fact that Clive Townsend is

Sab95

Ninja kicks the shit out of, erm, some kind of troll thing (it’s the ’90s!)

working on an update to his classic 1980s platform-and-stealth ninja games Saboteur and Saboteur 2 (the latter featuring a female protagonist long before it made neckbeards and that Tory blogger with ice-cream coloured hair all angry on Twitter). Doing a spot of online googling about this lead to me discover that there was an unofficial Saboteur game released for DOS-based PCs in the 1990s. No really, it has a site and everything.

I’m intrigued, I’m going to play it and then, in a few days, I’m going to report back. It’ll probably be shite. The knocked-off Mortal Kombat stuff is already making me roll my eyes. But it also might be brilliant because, hey, you never know.

Meanwhile, information on Townsend’s official update can be found a his website here.

 

“I will not play this game as the image only changes 30 times a second”

25 October, 2015
Let's not mention that kickstarter, tho'

Let’s not mention that kickstarter, tho’

I’m as happy as anyone else (that’s happy, you cynics!) to hear news of a new version of Crystal Kingdom Dizzy for the ZX Spectrum but I can’t help but worry a bit about this…

“will feature a 50fps engine, renewed graphics, more animated sprites”

Oh man, have the Framerate Police got to the ZX Spectrum community as well now?! How will they feel knowing it can never be in HD (“Bro”)?