This homebrew PC remake of Ultimate Play the Game‘s 1983 Spectrum hit Atic Atac was published for free in 2006. It is one of Retrospec‘s better remakes.
You can play as a knight, a wizard, or a serf and must explore a large haunted mansion, looking for the three parts of the A.C.G. key which will allow you to escape out of the front door.
Enemies spawn in each room and doors constantly open and close, so you have to wait for them to open before you can go through them. There are also coloured gates that require the same colour key to allow you to pass through them.
Occasionally you’ll find a ‘boss’ monster that is either guarding an item or that will chase you the moment you enter the room. These can either be killed by carrying the right weapon (you’ll know when you have it in your possession because the associated monster will run away from you, rather than chase you), or distracted by luring it towards something. Frankenstein’s Monster can be killed with the wrench; Dracula can be killed with the crucifix; The Mummy can be lured with the leaf, and Quasimodo can be lured with the frog’s leg. You’re not required to kill these monsters, but doing so might make your quest easier. Especially as they will quickly sap your life energy if you touch them.
Other things that will drain your life energy are poisonous mushrooms (avoid these at all costs), or collisions with regular, spawning monsters. Your life energy is indicated by the cooked chicken in the display panel on the right. When it is all bone and no meat, you lose a life. You can re-fill a portion of the chicken by collecting food items that are found liberally spread throughout the mansion.
This Atic Atac remake has a lot of nice touches, like each character class having its own introductory animation and death screen; brilliant sound effects; added extras to pick up (like the ZX Spectrum or the bag of money); and interesting lighting and colour effects, like the fact that the screen mimics an old, scratched black and white film when in Dracula’s room. The music is also excellent.
The graphics are not bad, but they’re not great either, mostly because the colours aren’t very bold and the transparency effects on the spawning enemies make them look a bit weak. I would’ve preferred bolder use of colours and less transparency on enemies (the game just doesn’t need it).
In spite of these weaknesses, this remake plays really well and is very much worth a download and play. I’m just glad that the developers didn’t mess up re-making arguably Ultimate‘s best game.