The story rumbles on...
Atari people still like to play new games on their Fuji boxes, and some
Atari people can't be asked to wait the all too long intervals between
Reservoir Gods releases. A few of these are even motivated to do something
about this situation for themselves, the very bold ones defying the
conventional wisdom that "No good can come of Gem and games together!"
The Gem Candy Xmas Compo.
The Atari news site www.atari-users.net decided to do something themselves,
around last Xmas, with a games competition combining the normally exclusive
concepts. This sparkled a bit less than it might have done, but a couple of
entries were successful in reaching the daylight.
Matthias Jaap, sometime penguin frightener, and copious gem apps programmer
hits the boards running with his 'Noughts and Crosses' based concept. It
looks sleek, and new, and the graphics are very Xmassy too. Matthias even
goes one further with a reworking of the 'Highwire' source code, to provide
a nicely tricked-up interface for this game.
Scrunched-up Penguin in screengrab shocker!
It plays very simplistically too, a perfect two player game for when the
pencil and paper are absent, but your nearby reasonable-spec Atari is
switched on, hmmm.
The other entry comes from another non-amateur outfit too. Anthill
Industries proudly present a more dynamic arcade-based production called
'Santa Run'. This is a 'dodge/pick up the objects' vertical scroller, where
you are in charge of Santa, frantically ski-ing through the forest, trying
to retrieve lost presents and candy, but avoiding crashing into the snowmen
Dashing across the snow he goes...
The game is time-based, and quite subtle, in that you pick up more points,
the faster you go. The numbers of sprites onscreen can be set up according
to how fast your hardware is. Control is through the cursor keys, and the
feel is slightly 'sticky'. It is not a bad effort, but loses out in
comparison to the not totally dissimilar Reservoir Gods 'Santafly'. There
are no lesbian helpers in this game.
Both these games can be found at:-www.gemcandy.org
Pierre Tonthat strikes back!
But it seems that Lycos.fr can hit harder?!
Pierre, or Rajah Lone, has been a busy fellow in these last few weeks. Not
content with giving us a new version of 'DGem', the Dungeon Master in GEM,
he's also come up with a version of the Manga sliding puzzle in GEM as well!
DGem has got to version 0.16, and seems to be almost there. Added to it in
this April 2003 release, are characters, new objects, and things like
keyholes and fountains. It is not quite there yet, described by the author
as "a Minos-like (or maze) game." But indications are promising.
I'd be more than happy to share some personal views with you about the
niceness of this GEM concept, but it seems that the Lycos.fr server is
hiding all his downloads away from me, as I just come up with an error page
each time, although everything I try points to those files being just inches
away from my hands! Ideas anyone? If you have better luck downloading this,
and the Manga game, then head over to rajah.atari.org now.
As it is, take a look at this nice picture which seems to have an awful lot
of hope in it.
"Now I'm sure this is the way to the bikini babes splash-pool!"
And other news..
You may remember me reviewing a 'GEM-Elite' some time ago, which came to
this world, courtesy of Holger Weets. This was almost a perfect reproduction
of the real thing, apart from one or two missing and still to be added
things, such as, erm, properly working scanners. It also needed a higher end
machine, even a CT2 class machine was the *minimum* sensible choice, and
that was only made playable by screwing it down to run on a mono screen mode!
It was based on an 'open-source' Elite project for other platforms, and I'm
not sure if Holger was going to finish it or not, but we've been denied the
opportunity of trying this one out on our brand new CT60's in any case!
There is a rather large David Braben-shaped fly in this ointment, who
objected to all the freelance interest in the 'Elite' concept in general,
and his source code in particular. With writs flying, he pulled off the
legal equivalent of killing off belly-button fluff with an orbital laser
platform, by getting the reverse-engineered version of the original BBC
micro source off the airwaves. This ruling seems to apply to all other
tribute band remixes of the original 'Elite', so people like Holger are
getting nervous, and GEM-Elite is no more.
What a miserable tosser that Braben fellow is!
And on that happy note, I bid you a good day!
CiH, for Alive Mag,June '03