Desktop Repton Plus
Matt Thompson marks the 20th anniversary since the release of the first ever Repton game, way back in 1985.
so what better way to celebrate 20 years of collecting diamonds and avoiding falling rocks, by bringing everyone's favourite lizard right up to date.
Desktop Repton Plus as the name implies, is an update of the Desktop Repton package with some new features added, upon loading you are presented with the standard Desktop Repton banner.
From here you can choose Repton 1, 2 or 3, they will then load into the icon bar, click on the icon and the Repton status screen will open and and you can start the game from there.
The most notable change in this version is the graphics, which have been considerably improved and are of a much better quality than the earlier versions, all the characters in the game have had their graphics updated, however should you prefer the original graphics they still exist and can be selected from the game menu.
At the moment, these new graphics are only available with Repton 1, but future releases may see this change.
The other notable difference in this release of Desktop Repton is the inclusion of lots of new levels, the Repton 2 + Repton 3 levels are the same as before, but there are lots of new levels for Repton 1, there are 6 categories in total, the original Repton levels, the ones from the PC version and also some new ones which are only in this release, so plenty of new levels to try and complete, this is a particularly welcome feature as despite the many re-releases of Repton, none of them have had any new levels to play so its good to have a new challenge.
The rest of the Desktop Repton program is as it was previously, Repton 2 + Repton 3 are the same , Repton 3 comes with the Around The World, Life Of Repton and Repton Thru Time screens, plus the usual level + graphics editors,and the game can be run in the desktop in a big window, small window, and in full screen mode, although currently only in the desktop mode on the Iyonix but this is being looked into and should be resolved soon.
There is the possibility that future versions of Repton 2 will include both the new graphics and levels from the PC version, and maybe from Repton 3 PC version as well, when it has been released. It would be good to have a new version of the game editor which allow you to make new levels with these new graphics.
Desktop Repton plus will run on any RISC OS machine from RISC OS 3.1 through to the Iyonix, however there is an issue at the moment with it running on the Iyonix as the new graphics do not get displayed only the original ones, at the time of writing this issue is being looked at and hopefully will be resolved soon, but the new levels are fully playable, just without the new graphics.
This is the best version of Repton so far for RISC OS machines, and is by no means the finished article either as there are plenty of options for enhancements to the game, I would recommend it to anyone who likes Repton purely on the fact that there are loads of new levels to play, but with the addition of the new graphics as well it really looks like a new game rather than just an update, my only real criticism is the use of the same tunes as the 1988 version, you can't have Repton 1 without 'The Entertainer' being played it wouldn't be the same, but there must be better versions of this tune out there than this maestro rendition.
This new version of Repton is just one of many new updated versions of old Superior Software BBC Micro classics that Superior Interactive have released for the PC, there is also Ravenskull, Pipeline, and Galaforce Worlds. Future releases include Codename Droid, Repton3 and Quest, these games can be converted to RISC OS, it just needs somebody to do it, so if there any programmers out there who would like to help with the conversion of these games to RISC OS, then contact David Bradforth at Alligata Software on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been told that there is a new version of Ravenskull waiting to be converted to RISC OS just needs somebody to do it, so if you fancy doing this conversion, drop Alligata Software a line at the above mentioned email address.
Summing up then I highly recommend this to anyone who likes playing games, past and present Repton fans, and anyone who likes a challenge and being entertained at the same time, Repton is one of the all time Acorn greats and here he is still going strong 20 years after that first diamond was collected!