Monday, 12 September 2011

Retro News Update

Time for another round-up of news from the retro scene! With the results (and downloads) from the 2011 ABBUC Software Contest due any day now, the focus today is on the Atari 8-Bit scene, but there's also a couple of 2600/VCS games, one for the VIC20 and even a Videopac/Odyssey title thrown in this update for good measure. As always, full reviews will follow soon.

Mighty Jill Off Preview (Atari XE/XL)

Probably worthy of a news update all by itself, we at RGCD expect Morons Of H.A.R. to win this year's ABBUC Software Contest with their 8-Bit remake of Auntie Pixelante's acclaimed BDSM-themed hardcore platformer. Loosely based on Mighty Bomb Jack (the home computer sequel to the coin-op classic), Mighty Jill Off is a extreme test of old-school jump 'n' run skill and it'll be interesting to see if the difficulty of the Mac and PC version is matched on the Atari. Check the video and let us know what you think!
Marbled (Atari XE/XL)

Another competition entry for ABBUC, and another remake - however, this time it's of an old Amiga indie game called Marbles, a puzzler that I can actually recall playing back in the day on my A1200 (I think it was a on magazine coverdisk - remember those?). Marbled on the Atari actually looks a lot nicer than it's drab Amiga counterpart thanks to the colourful palette, and from the video it seems that Marek Pavlík and Zdeněk Eisenhammer have done a great job of replicating the original levels and game design.
RoxBlox (Atari XE/XL)
OK, I have to confess - I couldn't find out much information on RoxBlox, other than this youtube video - so that's all I can say about this entry.
Diamond Hunt 2 (VIC20)

New VIC20 games don't pop up too often, and Diamond Hunt 2 makes a welcome addition to the machine's homebrew library. Based on a game written in BASIC back in 2005, Diamond Hunt 2 is a machine language re-write of a simple yet solid collect 'em up with monsters and traps to avoid and treasure to collect. The notable feature here is the randomly generated mazes that add a good deal of re-playability and making it worth a download if you're a fan of the machine.

Astro Dodge (Videopac/Odyssey 2)
Only a few weeks after announcing Shifted for the Vectrex, it seems that Revival Studios are about to release a new game cartridge for the Magnavox Odyssey 2 / Videopac system in the form of Astro Dodge, a survival avoid 'em up in which you must pilot a vunerable little space craft through the heart of an endless meteor storm. Boasting an online scoreboard and 'animated multicolor sprites' amongst other features, if you've got the system and a spare 40 euros burning a hole in your pocket you might want to pre-order a copy.
Frantic (Atari 2600)

I just love Berzerk, so this Atari 2600 conversion has got me considering yet again whether or not I can sneak a VCS into the house without the wife noticing (like much like Lead did a few years back). Yes, I'm aware that there's already an official port of Berzerk on the machine, but Spiceware's Frantic is considerably more enhanced thanks to the ARM processor in the Harmony cartridge used to run the game. Or something. I don't know what that means really, but I enjoyed the game thoroughly via emulation once I'd figured out how to get it to work. Check the discussion thread on AtariAge for more details.
Bell Hopper (Atari 2600)

Released at the Assembly 2011 demo party, it may well be technically impressive and fun to play, but the paddle-controlled Bell Hopper is just a tad too bleepy for me. To the point where it makes me want to break something, in fact. The sound on this video could be used as a form of torture, but hey, it does look very cute with that bunny sprite leaping around the screen. Here's hoping that the sound can be randomised or something prior to the final release.