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Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Tubular Worlds (PC / MS-DOS / Amiga / 1994)


I was going to play the Amiga game but that kept on crashing on me so I chose to do the PC version instead which is very similar if not identical.
A great R-type/Nemesis/Gradius like shoot'm up for PC and Amiga systems. Very nice smooth scrolling and a wonderful use of the 256 colours of the VGA palette. It spreads around 4 levels (worlds), has a nice weapons upgrade system comparable to that of Konami and Compile shooters. Nice soundtrack and great sound FX using the wonderful Sounblaster and FM synthesis. A two player mode is optional but I was unable to show you that as I didn't have a second player available to me. The game is controlled through either mouse, joystick or keyboard

Matt Barton's picture

New Bundle in a Box -- Deep Space

Deep Space is here! Grab the whole thing now for a mere 5 bucks! And yes, there's SHMUPS for Mark--check out Death Ray Manta! Here's the announcement:

Deep Space Bundle gets spaced out with TEN more games

Bundle In A Box: Deep Space (http://bundle-in-a-box.com/) was rich from the start. It exclusively debuted the eye-melting Death Ray Manta and offered you Jeff Minter’s arcade Tempest influenced masterpiece Space Giraffe, surreal RPG-adventure Dark Scavenger, remade C64 classic Armalyte, space-combat sims The Wreckless and Sol: Exodus, retro-inspired platformer Robot Riot, freshly released shooter Miner Wars Arena and an impressive selection of extras and bonuses.

Now, with the addition of the complete Bagfull of Wrong explosive bundle-within-a-bundle and its 10 loud, glowing and psychedelic arcade games, the Deep Space bundle got even richer! And more exciting too.

Matt Barton's picture

If Only Spirit Had Attended More Quilting Bees

Phone Home, Damnit!Pick up, you Nickel-plated Nincompoop!It's Wednesday, May 25th, 2011. A day that will promptly be forgotten and wasted. I imagine when you're old, infirm, and rotting away in a nursing home tended by a robot who's stopped responding to your cries for help, you'd gladly give it all for just one more day like you're going to have today. To be young, healthy, and free, just (gasp) one more day! And on that note, news.

First off, something really neat: Depixelizing Pixel Art: Upscaling Retro 8-bit Games. It took me a little while to figure out what's going on here, but it amounts to a new algorithm that turns blocky pixel images into smooth vector images. The actual article is pretty technical, but also includes lots more cool transformations. I can see tech like this being used to "update" old games, perhaps even on-the-fly. The researchers really seem to get what they're doing, too, and believe they've "managed to capture some of the charm of the original" from the 8-bit "masterpieces." Can't wait to see what Samantha Fox will look like.

Matt Barton's picture

Close-Up Look at Mercury

Here's some pretty incredible news for space buffs--close-ups of Mercury, one of the most puzzling objects in our solar system. You can learn more at Space.com and of course Nasa.gov. I guess it'd be dumb to call anything associated with Mercury "cool," but when I see stuff like this movie I get excited. Good to know NASA isn't just sitting on its laurels, though I'm still bitter that we haven't got a colony on Mars yet. At this rate, we'll be hit by a giant asteroid and extinct before we get self-sustaining colonies started anywhere else.


Bill Loguidice's picture

Pluto is No Longer a Planet - Commodore Needs to Issue an Update!

Visible Solar System (Commodore, 1982) for the C-64: Screenshot from www.lemon64.comVisible Solar System (Commodore, 1982) for the C-64: Screenshot from www.lemon64.comWell, the final decision has been handed down and Pluto is no longer a planet to the chagrin of many and to the relief of others. It was an exciting several days in the world of anstronomy and science when we could have had as many as 12 planets, but in actuality ended up losing one of the 9 we've known for roughly the last century. It actually saddens me that the 12 planet resolution didn't pass, as it seemed to make the solar system a bit more interesting, but based on the science of it all, it's better to reclassify Pluto and its pivotal twin, Charon. Full story here. A rather agressive blog entry here (8/24/2006 entry).

Matt Barton's picture

Space Synth: The Best Electronic Music Ever Made?

Protonic StormProtonic StormTo put it mildly, I'm a big fan of electronic and computer music. Please don't confuse that with techno, dance, trance, or house music. While I have nothing against these other sub-genres of electronic music, I, er, don't listen to them. Think instead of acts like Tangerine Dream (my hero), Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Jarre, and, to some extent, Kraftwerk. However, my latest obsession is with a genre I've recently discovered: Space Synth. What's great about this genre is that unlike most electronica, these tunes actually have melodies (i.e., you'll be humming them for weeks after you've heard them). I think I've found where all the talent ended up that lost mass consumer appeal in the late 80s! At any rate, I've found a website where you can sample some excellent space synth and see what you think.

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