TBA Software CD
David Bradforth gets all nostalgic with this new collection from R-Comp Interactive
Early in March this year, Martin Piper announced to all on comp.sys.acorn.announce the end of TBA Software. There was a fear that this would result in yet more games becoming unavailable to all and sundry, but this wasn't to be the case: very soon after TBA Software announced its closure, R-Comp Interactive completed negotiations to release a very special compilation CD-ROM.
The result is this: the TBA Software Classics Collection, a superb collection supplied on gold disc. Contained within are:
BHP - Brutal Horse Power
Brutal Horse Power has the honour of being perhaps one of the best racing games ever released for RISC OS computers. I do say honour lightly due to the fact that under ten have been released in total since 1987, but despite what the critics thought of it first time around it's actually a pretty good game. If you enter this expecting the depth and breadth of classic Sega games, you'll be sorely disappointed. If however you're just looking for a moments madness you'll love it.
If you don't love it, then you now have the opportunity to change it for the better: this CD-ROM contains the full source code, plus the Holograph system required to edit the graphics aspects of it. Sure you need to be a bit of a programmer, and know loads of BASIC, ARM (and a little C too) but if you're prepared to put the work in perhaps a BHP 2 is not out of the question!
Here's a cute little blaster if ever I saw one...
This one places you in control of a spaceship being guided through a seemingly endless mass of hoops, loops and enemy ships. With a load of groovy powerups, things to shoot and a pretty good tune, too. This is another one for which the source code has been supplied: playing would definitely seem to be in order as although the game is pretty good, it's not the most addictive affair due to its linear nature.
Remember the likes of Fireball (CIS)? Dragonball is just yet another take on Arkanoid, a classic game from the days of the Amiga. It's also pretty good, although at its original release it would've probably done considerably better had the price been about a tenner instead of £25. I'd love nothing more than to see a sequel for Dragonball: unless, however, you're hacker of the year this won't be possible - the source code has been lost in the depths of time.
Formula Two Thousand
A space age race game! The race starts, as most do, with a count down; then you zoom off along a space based very windey path. There's a real knack to getting everything running in the right place, at the right time without it all coming back to bite you. When I discover what this is, I'll pass it onto you: I have to admit that I had real troubles playing just the demo of this game. Still, over the years to come I'm sure I'll give it a few more goes!
Seems to be a very strange little puzzle game...didn't particularly please me visually, and the sound was just awful. The most annoying thing, however, was that the game was not supplied with any instructions; and I had very real difficulty trying to work out how to control my 'blob'.
For a price of just under £25, R-Comp Interactive have yet another stunning games offering for RISC OS users. I would personally question the logic in offering the titles without at least a guide to playing through the keyboard/mouse: with Merp, particularly, this caused all manner of headaches! Final word: good collection, better if I'd known what I was doing properly!