Tuesday is new games day on Antstream, and this week our six-legged pals have a solid trio.
The clear marquee title of the 3 is Worms from Team 17 on the Amiga, wherein no-legged pals attempt to murder each other in an artillery style. This was an instant classic on release, adding a ton of charm to a classic design.
Teams of wrigglers take turns to select weapons, move about the map and lob ordinance into the wind, hoping for a direct hit on a hapless foe. This launched an entire franchise, and is still a hoot in controller-swapping multiplayer.
All together now : 'John Kettley is a weatherman, a weatherman..etc'
Grid Trap for the Spectrum is next up. I don't know if it's policy for Antstream to dig up the most obscure Speccy games possible, but this is one from 1986 that never got reviewed by a single Spectrum magazine, although there is a single review of the Vic-20 version in Commodore User. They didn't much like it.
It's a tile-based action game, where you have to simply move in 4 directions to collect bombs before their fuses expire. There are wandering boots that'll stamp you to death, and skulls that will kill you if you stumble on to them. The trick is that the floor tiles disappear after you step on them once, so you need to be careful that you're not trapping yourself. It's colourful and fairly slick, and possibly deserved more attention at the time. Go ahead and give it some now.
Gridtrap sets off some red flags
Last but not least there's Life on Mars, which does not feature the music of David Bowie. Nor does it feature 70's coppers. Instead, this MSX title from 2016 is an impressive 2D metroidvania. The plot begins with Earth losing contact with humans' first colony on Mars. A starship is dispatched on a 7-month mission to investigate. Having arrived at the red planet, the captain then decides that it's probably nothing to worry about and sends down a lone technician to fix everything. Hilarity ensues.
A quite impressive intro opens proceedings, with some lovely music that sets a mysterious atmosphere. This immersive feel carries through as you explore the abandoned colony and the story unfolds. The platform collision is a little imprecise for my liking, and it does commit the cardinal sin of respawning enemies if you leave a room and come back in. There's a nice bit of depth here, however, and this may well prove the longest-lived of the 3 games added to Antstream this week.
In the future, all space stations will be run on MSXs