The BBC Micro conversion of Ultimate‘s classic Lunar Jetman is a very good one, using a high res display mode for the graphics, which are mostly monochrome (just like the Spectrum original).
The Commodore 64 version of Ultimate‘s classic Sabre Wulf was made by Greg Duddle of Mr. Micro for Firebird Software, who published the game in 1985.
The BBC Micro version of Ultimate Play The Game‘s classic Sabre Wulf is so chunky and garish that it hurts the eyes! That said: it plays well enough.
Another isometric action adventure from Ultimate Play The Game, this one with a Wild West theme.
Gunfright was first released in 1985 and uses the Filmation II Engine as first seen in Nightshade.
You play a sheriff in a small town called Black Rock who must hunt and kill a gang of outlaws who are hiding in it.
The game starts with a minigame – a shooting gallery type game – where money can be earned by shooting falling bags. The money can then be used to buy ammunition.
The main part of the game is similar to Nightshade – exploring an isometric, scrolling environment. Residents wander the streets and some are even helpful and point towards the outlaws. These residents have to be protected, though, as any deaths are penalised with fines.
When you find an outlaw Gunfright again switches to the shooting gallery game, only this time you must shoot the bad guy before he shoots you. You can wait for him to draw, or you can just plug him ASAP.
Graphically, Gunfright decent enough. It’s not as colourful as Nightshade was, but it does have character.
Gunfright was the first Ultimate-developed game to be published by another company. US Gold were the ones who released it, and not long afterwards they bought Ultimate out. So Gunfright is seen by some as the last ‘proper’ Ultimate game.
Nightshade is an isometric action adventure, released by Ultimate Play The Game for the ZX Spectrum in 1985.
It is something of a continuation of the Knight Lore theme, with the Filmation Engine once again employed to provide the environment and physics, only this time the screen scrolls, with the main character staying in the middle.
You play a knight who is trapped inside a plague-ridden village and who must track down and defeat four evil demons who are wreaking havok. People in the village have been turned into vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures and are now after your blood. You can pick up antibodies inside houses and fire them at infected villagers to destroy them. To kill the demons you need to find one of four special weapons and use the correct one against them. Certainly not an easy task because the position of the weapons and demons changes with every game.
Nightshade is another fine Ultimate release from the mid Eighties. It’s certainly not up with their very best, but it is an impressive and important 8-bit game nonetheless.
Set in a post-apocalypse USA (in the year 3472, no less), Tranz Am is an overhead racing game where the aim is to collect eight cups (The Great Cups of Ultimate), which have been randomly dispersed around the continent.
Fuel is scarce, and finding petrol pumps is essential in the battle to keep going. Obstacles will lose you a car if you crash into them, and other cars pull kamikaze style attacks on you.
Featuring a cute robot (called Robbie) whose job it is to keep the insects away from the plants.
Pssst is another cute – and excellent – arcade-style action game from Ultimate Play The Game – part of their 16K ZX Spectrum “marvels” collection from 1983.