Category Archives: Superior Software

Conqueror, Archimedes

Conqueror is a 1988 release from Superior Software, designed and programmed by Jonathan Griffiths. It’s a 3D tank game that was released as a sequel to Zarch – and it uses the same game engine.

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Zarch, Archimedes

David Braben‘s 1987 shoot ’em up, Zarch, is probably the most well-known Archimedes game around. It was an early release for the Acorn computer and it really made the gaming world sit up and take notice.

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Exile, Amiga (AGA version)

Jeremy Smith and Peter Irvin‘s groundbreaking Exile first came out on the BBC Model B in 1988 and was later converted to other systems.

The Amiga AGA version of Exile was handled by Audiogenic and came out in 1995.

Of the three versions of Amiga Exile available, two are notably different.

The earlier OCS version is more of a remake of the original Exile, with smaller sprites thoughout the game, and no grey background rocks. You can also easily identify the OCS version due to the purple panel at the bottom of the game screen.

The later AGA version (shown here) dispenses with the panel and uses overlays and on-screen messages instead. And – instead of a small guy in a space suit – you start as a large, blonde tough guy with a jet pack.

In fact: all the main sprites and backgrounds in AGA Exile have been given a size and a colour boost, although the playing area seems smaller than in the original Amiga version. Which is not ideal.

The gameplay is essentially the same as the OCS version though.

No idea why there are two versions. To make this version of Exile more like a console game for the CD32 is probably the reason.

Remember: if you want to play Exile in its original form on the Amiga, try the OCS version. If you want the suped-up, ‘Duke Nukem’ version, go for the AGA version. Or: just play both if you’re clever enough to get them both working.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exile_(1988_video_game)

Exile, Amiga (OCS version)

Jeremy Smith and Peter Irvin‘s groundbreaking Exile first came out on the BBC Model B in 1988 and was later converted to other systems.

The Amiga OCS version of Exile was handled by Audiogenic and came out in 1991.

Actually, three versions of Amiga Exile were released… An OCS version in 1991 (purple panel at the bottom), and an AGA version (with no bottom panel), and a CD32 version in 1995. Each took advantage of the Amiga‘s different graphics capabilities.

Exile‘s 2D, side-scrolling, underground exploration/shooting gameplay translates very well to the Amiga too. The scrolling is fast and smooth and the inertia is very good.

The 1991 Amiga version of Exile is much more like the original 8-bit versions than the later AGA version. All the usual tricks work, like using the Record function to Teleport past immovable robots. Picking up guns and shooting angry birds. It’s all there…

Exile is not a particularly well known Amiga game, but it is definitely up there with the best of them.

Flying around on a jetpack, blasting things to pieces inside a big cavern is a whole world of fun, and the core of the original Exile.

The physics. Exile is all about the physics.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exile_(1988_video_game)

Exile, BBC Micro

The BBC Micro version was the very first version of Jeremy Smith and Peter Irvin‘s classic Exile, released through Superior Software in 1988.

Yes, it has gaudy graphics, and yes: the gameplay takes some getting your head around, but Exile is undoubtedly a stunning piece of game design and world-building. Considering the limitations of the host machine.

At its core is a simple gravity game where you control a small spaceman. When you start exploring the caverns you begin to realise that there’s a whole ‘nother world out there. And some very annoying birds…

Exile is an extraordinary gaming achievement for a 32K machine. BBC Model B’s with more RAM could load an enhanced version of the game, with a larger playing area, sampled sound effects and digitised speech.

This classic BBC game inspired a whole series of side-scrolling shooters throughout the 1990s, and was re-made by its original creators several times for other platforms.

The even better Commodore 64 version, by the original programmers (with graphics by Paul Docherty), can be seen here.

There are two Amiga versions: the OCS version and the AGA version.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exile_(1988_video_game)

Exile, Commodore 64

Jeremy Smith and Peter Irvin‘s groundbreaking Exile first came out on the BBC Model B in 1988 and was later converted to other systems.

Including the Commodore 64.

Of all the versions of Exile I’ve played I’d have to say that the Commodore 64 version is arguably the best. Because the graphics are so nice. Because the gravity, inertia and feeling of flying around on a jet pack, in a free form, windy world, are just so good – so ahead of their time.

The controls are a bit weird (for picking up and using objects), granted, but the speed with which your man zips around, and the control you can take over him (if you know what you’re doing) is absolutely tremendous.

Descending lower and lower into the caverns, the adversaries become more vociferous in their aggressiveness, many can fire rockets at you, so you’ve got to be on your toes. A quicksave slot in a emulator helps, because playing Exile without reloading is marginally less fun than messing around and experimenting with the in-game physics.

Exile is actually one of the first really sophisticated gravity games ever released on home computer systems. The two designers, Smith and Irvin, definitely created gaming brilliance.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exile_(1988_video_game)
Guide: http://tin.at/c64/exile/exile.sol.htm

Virus, Amiga

David Braben‘s Virus was originally developed and released as Zarch on the Acorn Archimedes in 1987, then later converted to other home computers under its more well-known title, Virus, in 1988.

I like the Amiga version. It’s fast and smooth, and fairly easy to control. Well, actually, Virus is notoriously difficult to control, but if you practise you’ll rack the points up.

It’s worth a look to see the cool 3D graphics.

More: Virus on Wikipedia