Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Milk Race (Mastertronic, 1987)

Developed by Icon Design Ltd.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum version by Phil Berry and Stuart Ruecroft.
Atari 8-bit version by Paul D. Marshall with music by Tony Williams.
Music for other versions by David Whittaker.
No other credits are known.

Published by Mastertronic for the Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore 64, MSX and Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1987.

The C64 version was also re-released in North America as "Ten Speed" in 1988 by Mastertronic.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


Another 1987 game from Mastertronic gets a comparison, but this time I chose Milk Race because of its sadly underutilised genre: cycling. I have always been a big fan of cycling in general, and racing bicycles and BMX bikes have rarely gotten the kind of high quality games they deserve. I'm not completely sure, whether Milk Race actually fits the bill, but at least it's one of the rare cycling games that can actually be made a comparison about.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

The Island of Dr. Destructo (Mastertronic, 1987)

Developed by Clockwork Game Systems.
Amstrad and Spectrum versions written by Eugene Messina with graphics by David Lincoln-Howes.
C64 version written by Richard Aplin with music by David Whittaker.
Published through Mastertronic's Bulldog label in 1987.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


The third annual Mastertronic May starts with another rare example of an Amstrad original to be featured on the blog, which is also the first of Eugene Messina's only two 8-bit games ever created - the other one being the game included in Incentive Software's 3D Construction Kit; and the first of only four games he ever had a hand in. Rather neatly, it also brings a slightly different aspect to one of the most common occurences in 8-bit game comparisons, because these cases usually originate either on the C64 or the ZX Spectrum.

Monday, 18 April 2022

TWOFER #23: Reset Run'n'Guns!


1. Bazooka Bill (Melbourne House, 1985)

Programming by Brian Post
Graphics by David O'Callaghan and Russel Comte
Music by Neil Brennan
Originally released for the Commodore 64 by Melbourne House/Arcade in 1985.
Also published by Spinnaker Software in North America, and as "Colorado Bill" by Micropool in Germany.
Converted for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum by Brian Post and Craig Smith, with graphics by Greg Holland, and published by Melbourne House/Arcade in 1986.

2. Foxx Fights Back (ImageWorks, 1988)
Developed for the Commodore 64 by Denton Designs
Programming by Dave Colclough
Music by Fred Gray
Converted for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum by John Heap.
Both versions released by ImageWorks (Mirrorsoft) in 1988.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS, PLURAL


Issue #14 of the lately re-energized Reset64 magazine was to be themed around run'n'gun games, meaning the likes of Contra, Green Beret and such. To my surprise, there didn't seem to be all that many games on the C64 that would go with the relative compactness required from a magazine article, so I made two optional comparisons of Bazooka Bill and Foxx Fights Back to have the comparison chosen for Reset #14 from. As it turned out, I couldn't exactly get the comparison of Bazooka Bill finished before the intended deadline, perhaps all for the better,  for reasons I shall mention later. The intention, of course, was to eventually posting both of them on the blog as a traditional two-for-one entry.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

NGOTY: Endless Forms Most Beautiful (Stonechat Productions, 2012)

Originally written by Dave Hughes for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, with music by Dr. Thomas, and released digitally in 2012 by Stonechat Productions; re-released on cassette by Monument Microgames in 2017. Based on Dave Hughes' original Spectrum Crap Games Compo 2010 game 2010: A Philatelist's Story and its 2011 sequel, Stamp Quest.

Windows PC remake of EFMB written in 2012 by Locomalito, with graphics and music by Gryzor87.

A sequel, The Lost Tapes of Albion was also developed and published by Stonechat Productions in 2012.

A conversion of The Lost Tapes of Albion was made for the SAM Coupé as The Lost Disks of SAM, as well as another variation for the SAM Coupé called Moby DX; and a Commodore Amiga remake of EFBM and Lost Tapes, titled The Incredible Adventures of Moebius Goatlizard:
Programming by Andrew Gillen; Graphics and music by Andrew Gillen and Jaco van der Walt; Published in 2013 by Black Jet. 

MSX version named Lizard Willy written by sfranck72 in 2016.

Another sequel, Biscuits in Hell written by Dave Hughes for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, with music by Yerzmyey, and published in 2017 by Monument Microgames.

Commodore 64 version of EFMB based on the 2012 Windows remake:
Programming and graphics by Rikib80
Music, sound effects and playtesting by nm156
Title screen and attract mode graphics by Hend
Music player and I/O code by Lasse Öörni
Published by Rikib80 on itch.io in 2019.

Pokitto remake of EFMB titled Endless Forms Most Pokittoful developed and published in 2019 by Black Jet.

Atari 8-bit version of Biscuits in Hell written by Paul Lay, Darryl Guenther and Jaden. Published on an ABBUC Magazine coverdisk in June 2020. Also released for Atari 5200 in October 2020.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


Since the New Game Of The Month feature has become such a rarity in recent years, it might as well be called New Game Of The Year from now on. Today's entry, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, shall be the first of its kind, officially, although the previous New Game Of The Month already was the only one featured that year (2019). But as you might have gathered by the credits, this is not just another comparison.

Sunday, 13 March 2022

FRGCB's YouTube series "My Nostalgia Trip Games" starting fourth season!

Just a quick reminder for all you YouTubing folks out there, who didn't catch my hint at the end of the comparison of Zybex, that the fourth season of My Nostalgia Trip Games has now launched. Here's the first episode; subscribe for my channel if you wanna stay alert!



Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Zybex (Zeppelin Games, 1988)

Designed by Kevin Franklin and Michael Owens.

C64 Programming by Kevin Franklin
Atari programming by Brian Jobling
Graphics by Michael Owens
Sounds by Adam Gilmore
Published by Zeppelin Games in 1988 for Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit computers.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum conversion by Gareth Briggs, with graphics by Kevin Franklin and Michael Owens.
Published by Zeppelin Games in 1989.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


FRGCB is back from a relatively brief time off, and we're starting 2022 with a fairly lightweight comparison of a game that will almost certainly keep the bottom end of the alphabetical list of the blog henceforth. This comparison was requested some time ago by an anonymous reader, which makes it as good a reason as any to start this year off with it, and I have to admit some curiosity for this one, because although Zybex seems to be one of the best-regarded horizontal space shooters of all time on the 8-bit home computers, it's one that I never actually played until starting to write this comparison.

Friday, 24 December 2021

SPECIAL VIDEO: 12 Games of Christmas!

It was a close call this year, but here's the special Christmas video presentation, as promised. This year, I'm doing a quick run-through of 12 strictly Christmas-themed games for various retrogaming platforms, most of which have been mentioned in this blog already in some form or another.

With this, I wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas (or whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating), and a better next year! I'll be taking a relatively short break from posting anything here, but keep an eye on more FRGCB content around the end of February or early March.