What can you say about a game that's become a worldwide institution? A game that has not only had its own TV show (the Frogger cartoon was shown on American TV as part of Saturday Supercade), but has featured in numerous songs (from 'Froggy's Lament' in 1982 to the Sugababes hit 'Freak Like Me' in 2002). It has appeared on virtually every home system and has had more than 15 sequels (though notably only one arcade sequel; 1991's Ribbit). Surprisingly, however, Frogger wasn't the genesis of the series. It's actually a remake of a game from 1972 called 'Freeway'; created at Washington University for the early PDS-1 microcomputer.
After the worldwide phenomenon that was Pac Man, Namco found it difficult to recreate anywhere near the level of success that our pill popping friend did. Which is a pity as it has meant that games such as Rally-X have been living under that sizeable cloud ever since.
When people hear the name Irem, they think of one game and one game only. But 5 years before they were to create the seminal R-Type, Irem coders were cutting their teeth on a very different battle to destroy the alien invaders.
On December 27th 2004 several satellites and telescopes from around the world detected an explosion on the surface of SGR 1806-20, a neutron star 50,000 light years away. The resulting flash of energy which lasted only a tenth of a second, released more energy than the Sun emits in 150,000 years. But that Starquake was a fart in whirlpool compared to Bubble Bus' superlative platform adventure namesake.
After first appearing in the platform game Automania, Wally Week went on to star in 4 more games. By nature of its off the wall story and fun puzzles, it is his second incarnation in Pyjamarama that he is most fondly remembered.
Anyone who was drawn by the excellent artwork for Nodes of Yesod may have been surprised to find that this wasn't a serious game about space exploration. A quick read of the instructions will soon shoot down any thoughts of serious back stories and simulation style game play.
Before we start let me lay (you like what I did there?) something to rest. Despite what everyone tries to tell you, Chuckie Egg was not originally created for the BBC computer. Chuckie Egg is 100% a Spectrum game. It is easy to see how the story got scrambled though as the original game was only half complete when a spotty Nigel Alderton (aged 16 1/4;) took his Spectrum code to A'n'F Software with high hopes for fame and fortune. Not wanting to put all their chuckies in one basket, A'n'F decided that the Spectrum game and its BBC conversion would be developed side by side. But rest assured that the Spectrum was the chicken and BBC the egg (or should that be the other way around?).
As a child of the seventies it is difficult to talk about pirates without slipping into jokes about Sea-man Stains and Master Bates. Well ahoy there mateys there will be none of that plagiaristic nonsense here!