Space Giraffe

Conversations about Space Giraffe tend to focus on how it looks. How it sounds is just as important, though. Every enemy, every shot, every single interaction with Jeff Minter's vivid and relentlessly busy tube blaster comes with its own distinct audio cue, from the escalating knife-on-a-wineglass chimes of a flower being trimmed, to the push-button beep of a sneeze bouncing back into the playing field. The more I play it, the more I've started to realise that Space Giraffe's ultimately about a weird form of triangulation - about zeroing in on the location of a threat by combining the imperfect data from your eyes with the imperfect data from your ears. This alone makes it one of the most exciting and original games ever created, if you ask me - and also one of the most divisive.

FeatureLlamasoft's Jeff Minter

On Space Giraffe PC and other animals.

Space Giraffe launched on PC yesterday, just over a year after the psychedelic shooter carved a divide between critics on Xbox Live Arcade. And as a colourful, retro, and often bewildering blaster, Space Giraffe flaunts many of the same characteristics as its creator, Jeff Minter, who's been making games with Llamasoft since 1982. Working across just about every popular gaming platform, Minter has turfed out classics like Tempest 2000 and Gridrunner. He also rather likes animals, and lives on a farm with nine sheep, two llamas and one pygmy goat. To mark the release of the PC Giraffe, we sat down with him for a chat.

Minter halts dev blogging

Cross at reaction to rant.

Space Giraffe developer Jeff Minter has said he's going to stop writing about game development on his blog after taking a bit of a shoeing for a late-night post earlier in the week where he complained bitterly that the Xbox Live Arcade version of Frogger was outselling his latest game "by more than ten to one".

Space Giraffe gets patch

Space Giraffe gets patch

Defends it from alien zebras.

Llamasoft will be tinkering with Space Giraffe later this week, and the results will be free to download.

You will no longer be allowed to indefinitely hold the power zone at its maximum on a given level, for starters, and enemies have wised up to being juggled and will not let you do it any more. And so they should; bullies.

Because of this, the leaderboards and start level bonuses will be refreshed, although you will still have all of your unlocked content available.

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Space Giraffe

Space Giraffe


Two reviews? What's the point of that? Well, Space Giraffe is not a normal game, y'see, and is probably the most hotly debated game this year, or any other year. Some people think it's an unfathomable load of tosh, others seem to think it's really rather splendid. So rather than provide you with one viewpoint, we looked at two contrasting opinions of Jeff Minter's Xbox Live Arcade shooter. We're good to you like that.

Kristan's take

This game is not Tempest.No, really, Jeff Minter says so, and he should know - he made the game. Look at the 'How to Play' section in Space Giraffe's main menu, and there it is. Clear as day are the words: "This game is not Tempest." And if Jeff said so, pointedly, then I guess we should kindly refrain from comparing it to Tempest right now.

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Space Giraffe tomorrow

Plus Street Trace: NYC.

Space Giraffe and Street Trace: NYC will be tomorrow's Live Arcade offerings at 400 (GBP 3.40 / EUR 4.80) and 800 (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60) points respectively.

Minter keen to do more XBLA

And a Wii game. Some day.

Jeff Minter says he'd like to "get cracking on another Xbox Live Arcade game" once he's done with Space Giraffe, but that he'd "certainly like to work with the Wii" at some point in the future. "It's just a question of marshalling the time for it," he tells Gamasutra.

Space Giraffe in alpha

Minter's loving it.

Jeff Minter loves a good animal romp, especially his project dubbed "Space Giraffe", which has now reached alpha stage.

More on Minter's XBLA game

It's about a giraffe in space.

Everybody's favourite Tempest developer Jeff Minter - a man never seen far from a llama (certainly not in rubbish website copy) - is planning to bring space giraffes to Xbox Live Arcade next year.

Minter doing Live Arcade shooter

Based on Neon engine.

Jeff Minter's working on a new shooter for Xbox Live running on the engine for Neon - the rather spangly audio visualisation routine he designed for the Xbox 360 dashboard.