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.
By the time Pentagram came out in 1986, famous development and publishing house – Ultimate Play The Game – had been sold off to US Gold. How much of Pentagram was therefore down to Ultimate‘s designers, and how much was down to US Gold‘s programmers, is still a matter for debate. Most likely, Pentagram was a construct of US Gold, with Ultimate providing only the initial ideas, graphics and game engine (the famous Filmation Engine).
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.
Entombed was Ultimate Play The Game‘s first (and possibly only) hit game on the Commodore 64. It received rave reviews from most who played it back in 1985 and the gaming world was generally quite receptive of it.
In it you play Sir Arthur Pendragon and must negotiate your way through a deadly Egyptian tomb. Some of the puzzles are obscure and the sprites are quite chunky, but overall Entombed is still quite compelling to play now. Certainly more so than some of its successors.
As the series went on it received more and more slatings, and Sir Arthur Pendragon and his miserable little game series finally died a death. 🙂
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.