I’m sorry to say this because I love what Retrospec tried to do with this 2008 remake of Ultimate Play the Game‘s classic Alien 8, but the end result is unplayable, infuriating and flawed.
A twenty one year-old remake of a thirty eight year-old game… John Dow‘s Pssst PC conversion was originally released in 2000 for MS-DOS and it’s not a bad effort, with decent enough graphics and responsive controls. The game was later ported to work in Windows, but there is a problem with that (see below).
This 2009 homebrew remake of Ultimate Play the Game‘s classic Alien 8 was created for the MSX2 by Manuel Pazos and Daniel Celemin. The graphics have obviously had a serious make-over and look beautiful, but the gameplay seems to be the same as the original, with noticeable (some might say “game-crippling”) slowdown.
This Atari 8-bit homebrew conversion of Ultimate Play the Game‘s Alien 8 was created by Fandal, Miker, and Emkay in 2013. It wasn’t written from scratch, though; it was ported from the BBC Micro version (according to various sources online), but unfortunately it doesn’t play as well as the Beeb version. It has a fundamental flaw that completely ruins the game…
This homebrew conversion of Ultimate‘s classic Alien 8 was released for the Commodore 64 in 2020. The original game was only ever officially released for the ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, MSX, and Amstrad CPC, but never for the C64. And the ironic thing is that this conversion is arguably the best version of Alien 8 out there.
The BBC Micro conversion of Alien 8 has responsive controls and runs slightly faster than the original Spectrum version. It still suffers from slowdown when there are a number of moving objects on screen at once.
The MSX version of Ultimate‘s classic isometric action adventure, Alien 8, is almost identical to the ZX Spectrum original – including slowdown caused by sound effects playing and lots of on-screen movement.
Developed by Obsidian and published by LucasArts in 2004, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is a fitting sequel to one of the best Star Wars games of all time.
Rotox was published by U.S. Gold in 1990. It is an obscure-but-interesting overhead robot shooter, with flat, polygonal platforms suspended over an infinite drop. Which you must of course avoid falling into.
Another great “hidden gem” on the Atari ST – Wrangler, developed by Magnetic Fields and published by Alternative Software in 1988.
Wrangler a strange isometric puzzle game, with you playing the role of a robotic cowboy called “Glint Eastwood” (groan), and who must patrol various levels, collecting a required number of coloured tiles in order to shut down some alien gates. It’s a difficult game to explain, but is quite easy to play when you get the hang of it, and also quite compelling.