Category Archives: Ocean Software

Ocean Software was a Manchester-based video game development and publishing house that was founded in 1983 by David Ward and Jon Woods. It was known for its ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 games (although it did publish for a wide variety of formats), and its movie licenses. Ocean was wound-up in 1998, and later sold to Infogrames. Bandai Namco acquired the rights to the Ocean label in 2009.

Midnight Resistance, ZX Spectrum

The ZX Spectrum conversion of Data East‘s Midnight Resistance was created by Jim Bagley and Keith Tinman and was published by Ocean Software in 1990. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that it is probably the best run-and-gun shooter on the humble Speccy, and punches well above the machine’s weight.

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Cobra, Commodore 64

The 1986 Commodore 64 version of Cobra – based on the Sylvester Stallone film of the same name – is infamous for its sheer awfulness. It is based on the more successful ZX Spectrum game, designed and programmed by the late Jonathan Smith, but has lost a great deal in translation to the C64.

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Worms, Atari Jaguar

The Atari Jaguar version of Team 17‘s Worms was developed by Ocean Software and first published by Telegames in 1998. It was the final Atari-licensed title to be released for the Jaguar. This port is based on the PlayStation version of Worms, which is a good thing because the PS1 version is arguably the best version of the game ever made.

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Syndicate, Atari Jaguar

Bullfrog‘s classic tactical action game, Syndicate, was published for the Atari Jaguar by Ocean Software in 1995, and while the game works well enough it does suffer a bit from the switch from mouse to gamepad controls.

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Batman, Amstrad CPC

The Amstrad CPC version of Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond‘s classic isometric platform game is arguably even better than the ZX Spectrum original it is based upon. Mainly because of the extra colours, which make a big difference.

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Mr. Wimpy, Commodore 64

The Commodore 64 version of Ocean Software‘s Mr. Wimpy was programmed by David Selwood and was first published in 1984. And unfortunately this simple BurgerTime rip-off has a similar problem to the terrible BBC Micro version, although this time it’s an issue getting on to ladders – not off of them (which is a big problem in the BBC version). In the C64 version you’ll lose lives unnecessarily, because the fast-moving enemies will often get you while you’re struggling to line yourself up to climb a ladder. Which can be hugely frustrating. It’s not quite as bad as the BBC version, but it’s still a tangible problem with the controls.

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Mr. Wimpy, BBC Micro

The BBC Micro conversion of Ocean Software‘s infamous BurgerTime rip-off, Mr. Wimpy, was coded by Richard Kay and first released in 1984. And – without any hesitation – I can say that it is absolutely terrible.

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Toki, Atari ST

The Atari ST version of the 1989 arcade platform game, Toki, was developed and published by Ocean Software in 1991. And it is a decent adaptation of the arcade game, but with a reduced colour palette and screen size.

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Super Hunchback, Game Boy

Developed by Ocean Software and first published in 1992, Super Hunchback is a sequel to the Hunchback games that were successful in the mid 1980s (which were all based on the arcade game, Hunchback, by Century Electronics).

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Operation Wolf, Atari ST

Taito‘s classic mounted gun arcade shooter, Operation Wolf, was ported to the Atari ST and Amiga by Ocean Software and first published in 1988. At the time it reviewed quite well, but my feeling has always been that it was never really any good to begin with. I had an Atari ST back in 1988 and remember not being that impressed with the game, even though magazines at the time were generally praising it.

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