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Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:33 pm
by sebadude
Which games did you discover through a covertape? Which demos provided you with an introduction to your favourite 8-bit series? Or was there a classic old game you discovered because it had been given a new lease of life on a covertape late in a system's life? Here are some of mine..


Creatures, Foxx Fights Back
This was on my second ever C64 magazine, an issue of Zzap! 64 in 1990:
http://amr.abime.net/issue_1298

The Creatures demo blew me away - the animation, graphics, richly layered music, and above all the atmosphere and humour - the particular level was a 'puzzle' game but it didn't feel like one. I became a huge fan of the Creatures games because of this demo!

Foxx Fights Back was brilliant too - if a little hard to control, it was very hard to jump between islands - and typical of some of the zany concepts bandied around on the C64 and Spectrum in the 80s. You were a fox collecting chickens and other items to take back to the wife - but all while being pursued by hounds on bikes! Don't worry though - you have a gun... only problem with this game is that I suspect it didn't have a conclusion and was therefore impossible to complete. Kept me amused though!


Hovver Bovver
This popped up on a Commodore Format covertape (I think) once the game had been around for a while - but I loved the quirky British eccentricity of the type you'd also see in LLamasoft games and the like.


Maze Mania
Quite a late one (possibly), again from Commodore Format - a brilliant puzzle game where you'd wander around a maze changing the colour of the floor tiles until they'd all switched from one shade to another - though of course it's never quite that simple...


Sensitive
This was a PD game in which you had to make your way from a tile on one side of the screen to a tile on the other, touching every tile on the way only once (or in some instances twice) to make them all disappear. Very tricky, very addictive...


...so, over to you - what covertape memories do you have, and what games/series/genres did they lead you to? :)

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:44 pm
by Mire Mare
sebadude wrote:Sensitive

This was a PD game in which you had to make your way from a tile on one side of the screen to a tile on the other, touching every tile on the way only once (or in some instances twice) to make them all disappear. Very tricky, very addictive...
Sensitive was one of my favourite cover tape full games too. Simple effective graphics, great music and riveting playability even though it sometimes drove me nuts when the 'blob' didn't change direction when I was sure I'd moved in time!

The Exile demo, on a Zzap! Covertape I think, was superb. I got hooked on this and spent ages roaming around the landscape. In fact the demo was so engrossing that I never did buy the game!

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:55 pm
by themightymartin
Back in the covertape days I was a little too young to be buying magazines, but I did discover a few classics through coverdiscs/CDs:

Worms I first discovered this through a cover CD on a short-lived gaming magazine geared towards young teenagers (I can't remember what it was called).

Doom, Dark Forces, Rise of the Triad, System Shock, Descent PC Gamer once ran a feature on what were referred to at the time as "Doom clones", and produced a cover CD featuring demos and shareware examples of the genre, including the classics mentioned above.

Scramble Ok this is cheating a little bit I know, but Personal Computer World did a coverdisc featuring what they called a "Virtual Pub" which included a fruit machine game, Virtual Pool and a very good freeware remake of Scramble.

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:08 pm
by skooldaze_eric
First covertape I got was from Sinclair user in '88. Bear a grudge was a Space Harrier type game with the SU staff as the enemies and was pretty good.

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:23 pm
by Crunchy
I was amazed when Batty was given away on a speccy mag covertape. Thought it was awesome. Easily the best Arkanoid clone on that machine and it was totally free.

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:28 pm
by TMR
sebadude wrote:Sensitive
This was a PD game in which you had to make your way from a tile on one side of the screen to a tile on the other, touching every tile on the way only once (or in some instances twice) to make them all disappear. Very tricky, very addictive...
Sensitive wasn't public domain, it was one of many European commercial titles that were accidentally added to some of the PD libraries for a while.

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:30 pm
by sebadude
Tell the staff at Commodore Format, they're the ones who supplied me with the details! ;)

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:42 pm
by TMR
sebadude wrote:Tell the staff at Commodore Format, they're the ones who supplied me with the details! ;)
i sort of did, that's partly how they ended up publishing one of my games... =-)

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:25 pm
by The Laird
Batty - Your Sinclair

Simply amazing

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:49 pm
by bensonrad
Mean Streak - not sure if this was a commercial game or PD, but we killed many hours playing this as kids, a sort of isometric motorbike game, where you shoot on coming stuff and avoid oil slicks, baddies and holes in the road.

Great game.

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:51 pm
by bsg
Crunchy wrote:I was amazed when Batty was given away on a speccy mag covertape. Thought it was awesome. Easily the best Arkanoid clone on that machine and it was totally free.
Definately a +1 on this... it beat the cack out of Arkanoid and had the added bonus of being free!! 8)

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:54 pm
by DreamcastRIP
Jagfest_UK wrote:Batty - Your Sinclair

Simply amazing
WORD!!! One of my favourite ever Speccy games... and it was a covertape. So many great memories of that game which I can relive today with the superb port of it on Elite's iOS app. :D

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:19 am
by JazzFunk
Loved it when Your Sinclair put Dinamic's Dustin on one of their covertapes, really liked that game and was surprised to get a game that hadn't already been released.

Also think one of the later Crash tapes had Micronaut One on, would never have experienced it otherwise. Never truly got into it but I used to find it quite mesmerising, so loaded it up a fair bit.

Another +1 for Batty, much better than Speccy Arkanoid.

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:57 am
by gunbladelad
For me, my first Covertape that I remember would've been "Blues Brothers" on Amstrad Action - a magazine that later introduced me - via later covertapes - to "little-known" games such as;

Elite
Ikari Warriors
North and South
Exolon
Stormlord
Logistic

OK, granted, only Logistic's probably "little known", but to me it was a great little Public Domain game that I loved and still play today

Re: Covertape classics

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:08 am
by delbert_trout
Another +1 for Batty from me, brilliant game with some great two-player cooperative fun. Don't think it was one that came free with a covertape for our CPC though unfortunately.

Particular Amstrad Action covertape highlights for me were:

* Ade Edmondson's 'How to be a Complete Bastard' - the one my schoolmates always used to want to come back to mine and play on for a good laugh, couldn't beat a good amount of toilet humour in a computer game :)
* Lost Caves - a 'dig for all the all the diamonds' type affair, very similar in concept to The Pit. Played this quite often.
* Wriggler - You played one of two worms who were supposedly having a race through a large flip-screen maze game. Lots to explore, but as I remember I don't think it was actually possible to catch up with your CPU-controlled mate beyond the first few screens!

A few good first-level demos of some upcoming games as well - was particularly impressed by the conversion of the Turtles arcade beat-em-up at the time (not enough to want to blow out for the full game though) :mrgreen: