Wow, we're really digging out some oldies here. Another game recently recommended to me by Pixel Prospector, this one was a bit of a surprise. Coded by Andy Noble and released through the Retrospec label back in 2006, Annihilation is a shameless (yet rather good) Geometry Wars clone. Well, perhaps bootleg would be a more appropriate description, but more on that in a bit.
For those of you unfamiliar with Retrospec, their normal output consists of PC updates and remakes of classic (and not so classic) Spectrum games - so Annihilation is more than a slight deviation from their usual output. Created by Andy purely due to his frustration at being unable to purchase an XBox360 at the time of launch, the origins of this game trace back to him watching a youtube video of Geometry Wars and being desperate to play it. So, after studying the video over and over, he knocked together this neat little remake using BlitzMax to satisfy his urge.
Being based on a video alone this could, indeed should have gone horribly wrong, but Andy's coding heritage runs back to the Amiga's glory days and he has years of remaking practice under his belt. I'm not quite sure how this one slipped under Bizarre Creation's radar (they shut down dozens of similar games, despite the fact that GW itself owed more than a little of it's inspiration to another game, *cough* Robotron *cough*), but I'm glad it did - especially considering the criminal length of time it took for an official PC version to appear.
Annihilation, although understandably not identical to the original, is a very close copy of the popular arena shooter - and at the bargain price of free you'd be a fool to miss out on this little gem.
Download the game here (from Andy Noble's site).