A few of my favourite things: Game Boy games!

September 29, 2015

The Game Boy, good times! Currently mine is in the loft, the plastic protective screen has fallen off, and it takes a few knocks to get it working, but it’s original, and has plenty of great gaming memories for me, mainly keeping me occupied over a few school summer holidays, and the odd Christmas when I’d run out of Bond or Carry On movies to watch.

Here are a few of my favourite games below, although playing them today gives me eye strain, even with the light magnifier, how did we manage it back in the day? And at the end a few honourable mentions.

Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening


Still my favourite Legend of Zelda game to this day, even with the twist ending the story was amazing and bizarre all at the same time, I mean, who thought up the Windfish? Always a pleasure to play I’ve re-bought this on the 3DS, I’m getting old and it’s slightly easier to see and navigate. The dungeons are some of the most memorable for me and they still hold up to this day. I’ve still got my eye on that owl though, I’m sure he’s up to something.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins


I remember playing on a friends copy of Super Mario Land and being suitably impressed that I could play a Mario title on a handheld, having only played previously on the NES. So much so when this one was released I remember specifically saving up money (all £19.99 of it, by mowing lawns for neighbours) to specifically buy this game, I bought it and played it over the entire summer holidays! All that gardening was totally worth it, still one of my favourite Mario titles.



Well, it was packaged in the box, so you couldn’t really avoid not playing it, especially if it was the only game you had for awhile. Unforgettable music and gameplay, still great, and I still only like this version though, anything newer just doesn’t seem to have the same impact/hold on me when playing. Also, the only game I had up until Pokémon that could use the link cable, pretty inventive and impressive to me at the time.

Tiny Toons 2: Montana’s Movie Madness


I have this weird soft spot for cartoon licences across many, if not all, retro gaming consoles, especially the Mega Drive, but for the Game Boy this one in particular grabbed my attention growing up. I loved the box art with Buster and the idea that it was a movie themed storyline in the game (I also have a penchant for other movie based games, such as ‘Premiere’ on the Amiga). I loved the platforming action in this one and the little running animation they gave to Buster. Good times!

Pokémon Red


Why ‘Red’, I hear you cry? Well, mainly because my best mate had Blue, and after all, the object is to catch them all, no good if I bought Blue as well. I also partly decided on this version because of Charizard on the cover. I love that Pokémon, even in Pokémon Y I’m using Charizard. One of the Game Boy games I most regret losing, along with Tiny Toons, by lending them out to someone who didn’t return them.

A few honourable mentions:

Donkey Kong Land
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
The Simpsons: Bart and the Beanstalk
Kirby’s Dream Land

What are your favourite Game Boy games from back in the day? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!







The Sound of CITV: Top Ten Children’s ITV Theme Tunes

September 23, 2015

James Hare:

Great post, loved re-watching all these intro’s, most of these would definitely be in my top 10, especially Trap Door, Dogtanian and Duckula.

Only one I didn’t know was Bangers and Mash! Also glad someone else remembers The Dreamstone, thought it was just me!

Originally posted on Wee Lin's Blog:

To celebrate their 60th anniversary on the air in the UK, ITV gave us The Sound of ITV: The Nation’s Favourite Theme Tune. As I only spotted one children’s programme on the list (Thunderbirds) I decided to celebrate my own wasted youth with a top ten list.

Though many, MANY classics were shown on this channel when I were a nipper (including X Men, TMNT and those awesome Disney Club cartoons) I’ve decided to stick with the programmes made for or by ITV. Also I’m not really considering the shows themselves – just the opening themes, as those were often the best bits. I mean, does anyone remember anything about Spatz apart from the piano tune and the little man tap dancing on the burger? Nope, didn’t think so.

Anyway, here it is – the Top Ten CITV Theme Tunes.

  1. Button Moon

Ah, here’s one…

View original 776 more words

Altered Beast Comic 2.0

August 11, 2015

Few additions and corrections… also, I can see these 2 getting their own sitcom.

Added more panels...

Added more panels…


Altered Beast

August 10, 2015

First go at some sort of webcomic, this has probably been done a thousand times before but hey, this one is all mine. It’s a classic and memorable opening, but not really for amazing reasons, but definitely funny ones.

Everyone hears something different, but this is what I can hear when this guy speaks, there’s a reason the rest of his opening dialogue is typed out. I’m wondering how long these 2 could continue trying to understand each other until one just gives up.

Apologies for the slightly dodgy skills in Photoshop. Click on the image to show full size.

Communication is key to success.

Communication is key to success.

Thanks all!


Minecraft – The Retro Look

June 1, 2015

After years of internal debate I finally decided to buy Minecraft, I’ve no idea why it took so long but the final thought that won the argument was… “Sure, why not”.

I’ve been playing the single player game, which pretty much goes thus; mining, crafting, building stuff, moving on, mining, crafting, building stuff, moving on, accidentally destroying village and local population, moving on, mining, crafting… you get the picture.

However, in addition to this I’ve also been inspired to build some stuff in creative mode (thanks to Helen on twitter). So feel free take a look at the fruits of my desk based labours below, the internet is alive with good reference material so a little research went into each character before hand. I found it an absorbing, fun and relaxing way to pass the time and a great way to recreate some awesome retro gaming icons.

Excuse me, are you going to eat those?

Excuse me, are you going to eat those?

Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde

Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde

Pac-Man homage!

Pac-Man homage!

Sneaky Goomba


Dizzy hanging out with Guybrush (MI2)

Dizzy hanging out with Guybrush (MI2)

Dizzy, I love this guy :)

Tetris, seemed a good blocky place to start

Perhaps more to follow soon.

Thanks for looking and take care :)



Reality Check

April 14, 2015


Good news everyone, sort of… If you thought I didn’t post much now, just wait until August. Time for another Reality Check, this one though might have longer term effects on life in general… What I’m trying to say is, and badly, I’m going to be a Dad by the summer time!

It’s not immediately time to pack up all the games and consoles but preparations are being made to put a lot of stuff into the loft, and make room for new things, such as a cot, moses basket… and other foreign objects I’m learning all about (pram shopping is one hell of an experience, like buying a car, but more confusing).

Gaming won’t stop completely, but there’s a good chance the posts here on Reality Glitch might. I’m inspired by the amount of retro gaming Dads out there on twitter, proving that it is possible to continue your hobby whilst having kids, but at the moment I’m not wanting the distraction, I’m panicking enough as it is.

My Amiga 500 will be packed away neatly in its original box, the games stored in large plastic crates, the other games and consoles too. They might make an appearance again one day. I’ll still be tweeting away about random retro stuff, and re-tweeting all your awesome finds, pictures, reviews and collections as usual, so please follow me on twitter below.

Back in the loft with you old friend.

Thanks for reading, and donations of pipes, slippers and other Dad stuff welcome…

All the best


My top 5 N64 games

March 10, 2015

Ye Olde N64 logo

I’ve found the more you like a particular system, the harder it is to pick your top ‘5, 10, 15’ favourite games. I get the feeling many retro gaming ‘top’ lists change on a daily basis, I know mine do.

I find it harder to write a top 5 for the Amiga than I do, say the N64, as I’ve only ever owned and played a limited number of games for the latter. Therefore my list is of a limited nature in that the top 5 is taken from about 20 N64 games I’ve actually ever played extensively.

On the other hand, I’ve played many more Amiga games, over a hundred that I could class as ones I know well, and also still enjoy playing, therefore, harder to pick just 5.

Anyways, enough waffling, on to my top 5 N64 games, and the odd reason why they are my favourites.

Perfect Dark

Cool ass metallic N64 logo followed by awesome Perfect Dark title screen

Cool ass metallic N64 logo followed by awesome Perfect Dark title screen

As much as I love GoldenEye, game and movie, Perfect Dark had me gripped from the start and throughout, it was a great story within an amazing sci-fi setting, with a great lead character in Joanna Dark. Arguably an improved game all round compared to GoldenEye, bigger levels, better graphics, huge sound track and an awesome array of weaponry (Ed – You better start looking for the body armour making comments like that).

On top of the single player the multi-player blew me away with the amount of customisation you could do by making your own custom combat scenarios, and fighting bots or other players. The game is still fantastic to this day, whether you’re playing alone or with friends.

Lylat Wars

Lylat Wars, had the huge box, with huge manual, and little rumble pak

Lylat Wars, had the huge box, with huge manual, and little rumble pak

Again, like with Perfect Dark, it’s the multi-player that sells it to me in this game, as much fun and polished as the single player is there’s nothing better than jumping in your Arwing and having awesome dogfights around Corneria with other players, however, unlike Perfect Dark you’ll need to have a few friends around to join in for this one.

I used to love the rush to be the first to grab the double laser, or a bomb, which would give you a nice advantage for a little while. I also noticed, with the group I played with at least, no-one ever wanted to be the tanks in multi-player, they never seemed quite as good, or fun to play.

Mario Kart 64

I couldn't find a google image I liked, so here's a home made one...

I couldn’t find a Google image I liked, so here’s a home made one…

My favourite version to date, there’s nothing in particular I can say to explain why its my favourite, apart from the fact there’s not a single track in the whole game I entirely dislike, but definitely quite a few I’m better at than others.

A few of my favourite tracks are Koopa Troopa Beach, Wario Stadium and Royal Raceway, the first 2 offer some great short cuts and I love visiting Peach’s Castle in Royal Raceway. Probably my least favourite tracks are Sherbet Land and Yoshi Valley, I just can’t get my head round the latter and the former I get too distracted by penguins.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

So good I bought it twice... (sucker)

So good I bought it twice… (sucker)

Not my favourite Legend of Zelda game, (see Link’s Awakening), but Ocarina of Time was definitely the first larger scale adventure in the series I enjoyed and completed. My knowledge of the series was pretty limited having never owned a NES or SNES before my N64, so apart from the aforementioned Game Boy game this was pretty much my introduction to the series. The sheer colour and scale of the game world after playing Link’s Awakening was pretty awesome and I’ve definitely been a bigger fan of the series ever since this one.

I can still hear the Ocarina songs in my head, and my favourite level is the Shadow Temple, great atmosphere, creepy bad guys and weirdest boss by far, my least favourite is the Spirit Temple (you just couldn’t top the Shadow Temple before it).

 Rogue Squadron

Do you want to fly an X-Wing? Nah. Said nobody ever.

Do you want to fly an X-Wing? Naaaah* (*Said nobody ever)

I do like a good Star Wars game, and Rogue Squadron was awesome, even its name gets me a little bit excited (Ed – easy tiger). I find the foggy graphics a little off putting these days but then I’ve noticed that with a lot of my favourite N64 games. This was pretty much the first time I got to fly an X-Wing in a Star Wars game, so I was already sold, after borrowing it from a friend (for far too long) I ended up buying my own copy.

I’ve never quite gotten gold for every mission, and I’m not sure I’ve even finished it, but it was fun to play, great to fly each different fighter, and destroy the Empire along the way. It was a close match between this and Shadows of the Empire, but Rogue Squadron hits the nostalgia button just a little bit harder.

Thanks for taking a look at this list of my top 5 games on the N64! What are yours? I’m almost certain yours will be different, and possibly even for different reasons! Crazy.

Honourable mentions and not quite appearing in this list:

GoldenEye, Shadows of the Empire, Pokemon Stadium, F-Zero X, Donkey Kong 64



Zany Golf

January 31, 2015
Advert for Zany Golf

Advert for Zany Golf

Developer: Sandcastle

Coder: Will Harvey

Disks: 1

Publisher: Electronic Arts (1988)

Platform: Amiga 500

Anyone for golf? No? Then how about Zany Golf? Still no? Ah well, luckily for me this is a 1 to 4 player game. It’s the only golf game I ever owned or played back in the day, so its high on my nostalgic feeling list, although I was also never very good at it (I couldn’t get past hole 5 ‘Fans’). Now I’ve returned to Zany Golf to see how I fair, spurred on by the fact I’ve recently beaten Tom in Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker for the first ever time.

Hamburger course, title graphics

Hamburger course, title graphics

The game starts you off gently with a relatively easy first hole (no real surprises or manic mouse wiggling required), but with each level beyond that they become progressively harder and more challenging. There are 9 holes in total, each with their own par and unique game mechanics, a score card helps the players keep a tally on who’s winning. Hole 2 ‘Hamburger’ eases the player further in by demonstrating how the game is slightly different to a normal crazy golf course; a giant hamburger covers the hole, the player has to click the left mouse button to bounce the burger up and down, and then time their shot so the burger is in the air for the ball to roll into the hole, timing is crucial.

Windmill, nice n easy to start....

Windmill, nice n easy to start….

From ‘Hamburger’ onward the player is required to either activate something, time their shots, or in one case use fans to blow the ball around the entire course. Despite these extra game play mechanics in each course the controls are some of the most basic I’ve ever come across in any golf game, relying purely on the mouse to line up your shot, pull the cursor back for power, and releasing to take the shot. It is easy to follow and see what’s happening as the graphics are simple and fun, and kind of what you’d expect a crazy golf course to look like (I’ve not been to many, once on Jersey I think…). I like the effort that’s gone into each hole to make it look as colourful as possible, including the excellent title graphics introducing each one.

Love these title graphics which appear for each hole

Love these title graphics which appear for each hole

What I most enjoy about Zany Golf is that each level is unique, challenging and fun to play. It’s easy to pick a favourite and a least favourite. One of my favourites is the ‘Pinball’ course (literally a mini pinball game before putting the ball), followed closely by an earlier course ‘Hamburger’, mentioned above. My least favourite is the course ‘Ant Hill’, a disappointing one given the clever design of the other holes, and the final level ‘Energy’, looks pretty but I still have no idea what’s going on or how I even finished it.

Pinball course, my favourite!

Pinball course, my favourite!

Energy, final level, looks amazing, but bloody hard

Energy, final level, looks amazing, but bloody hard

Zany Golf is still a great little game, and by that I mean I wish it offered slightly more holes, as it comes across as quite short. However, in this case quality wins out over quantity, the course design is superb and in some cases very inventive and each course provides a decent enough challenge that you don’t whizz through the game too quickly, and there’s always a small amount of replay value to try to best your own scores, or compete against other players.

I’m glad to say on this occasion I made it past hole 5 ‘Fans’, in fact, I finished the game. I’ve definitely noticed when revisiting some of these old games I have more patience these days, I’m assuming back in the day I was rage quitting every 5 seconds. Zany Golf is fun and inventive but a little short, purely from a selfish point of view I wanted to keep playing, it’s a fun game! It also has the most manic (and a little annoying) title music since Rolling Ronny. Despite the latter I’d highly recommend giving it a try.

Just in case you wanted to know, my score card is below!

Not bad...

Not bad…

More info and links!

Lemon Amiga page for Zany Golf

Amiga Computing Vol 1 No 12 (May 1989) Zany Golf review (95%)

CU Commodore User Amiga-64 (Apr 1989) Zany Golf review (80%)

Amiga Action 16 (Jan 1991) Zany Golf (Budget) review (81%)

Old School. Literally.

January 14, 2015

The following post is about hardware and software I remember (sort of) using throughout my school life, it doesn’t include systems used outside of school, even though they were way more fun. So I thought I’d start 2015 off with some personal history (yay?).

This was an idea I had last year but has taken me ages to get around to writing it, I wasn’t sure if it would be that interesting, and after more thought I realised I couldn’t remember that much about the systems we used to use at school. However, I’ve had a couple of helpers on this one to jog my memory, so here are the combined results! What computers did you use at school? What software and games did you play? Let me know in the comments below!

Special thanks to Simon and Nigel for their help and input in this post.

Old School. Literally.

Old School. Literally.

First School (or infant school)

RealityGlitch: My earliest memories of using any sort of computer hardware in school was a piece of hardware that sat all by itself in the corner of the classroom. The software on it we used was for drawing and painting. What seemed unique about this memory is that I remember painting (white screen, simple shapes and colours) by using a stylus (connected with a black curly lead to the hardware). Felt like magic at the time, now it seems more like a touch screen painting program, however, given this was the mid 80s that still seems pretty special. As I don’t remember the name of it, or much more than the above, I’ve not been able to find a picture or anymore information on it.

Middle School (or junior school)

Simon: We had acorn 3000’s, computers with the orange function keys. One of the programs we used to use was Impression Junior, we used to use it to draw I think, there might have also been another  drawing and painting program. A game we used to play (at break times naturally… Ed) was Moonquake. Just loved that game and used to play it all the time during break time, we were in year 7 at the time so this is just before moving up to secondary school.

Blowing things up, Moon style...

Blowing things up, Moon style…

RealityGlith: I also remember having a BBC Micro available to use in Middle School. I remember there being a single computer in our classroom, it sat on the side and we were occasionally allowed to use it. Oddly enough I don’t remember using this computer for anything in lessons. I had contacted one of my old teachers but I didn’t get a response. One of these games we played on the Acorn 3000 was indeed called Moonquake, it was a Bomberman clone, you played on the keyboard and the game play was the familiar top down grid, you blasted your way through blocks to reach the enemies.

Secondary School

RealityGlitch: Hmm, I think I should have paid more attention in school… I remember using the Acorn Archimedes, with 2Mb of RAM, which were eventually upgraded to 4Mb. Some of the software was Visual  Basic/Stylus,  the former of which we used to program and move little Lego models.

The 3 games we had was Pac-Mania, Cannon Fodder and Lemmings, I remember playing Pac-Mania quite a bit, so much so I ended up getting it for my Amiga 500 so I could play it at home as well. Good times.

One of my favourite Pac-Man games

One of my favourite Pac-Man games

Nigel: From memory, the software was the generic spreadsheet, word processing and database packages that came with system, the free program that came with the Archimedes was called DRAW.

Simon: Secondary School we had acorn 4000’s, which were like a small white desktop box with separate keyboards and mice. We used to run Impression Style which was the more grown up version of Impression Junior. We also used Eureka, a spreadsheet and database program. However because the machines only had 2mb of RAM we could only run one or the other, never at the same time. Eventually we did upgrade from 2mb to 4mb, I remember helping our teacher to upgrade them at break and lunch times.

I vaguely remember there being a manual parallel port switch to an Epson lx100 dot matrix printer, and we had to switch it over when you wanted to print from your computer.

The library had a mixture of Acorn 3000 and 4000’s, but they also had two Acorn 5000’s. These were good because they had both an Acorn and a PC in them. You used to flick the front plastic bracket over and it would change from an Acorn to a PC running Windows 95 (I think – or maybe windows 3.1).

Acorn 5000, shiny

Just to re-iterate, this was more of a personal trip down memory lane, memories can be blurry, I’ve done a little research but as with most personal pieces the more I look into the history and information the more blurred the lines become between memory and current knowledge, it’s not supposed to be a comprehensive history of school computers.
Thought I just needed to mention this as before it’s been pointed out I don’t research enough on these things. Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts below.
Please follow the link here to read a quick review of Moonquake for the Acorn.
All the best!

Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker

September 5, 2014

Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker

Publisher: Virgin Games

Year: 1991

Genre: Sport/Snooker

Disks: 1

Creator: Archer MacLean

What can I say about this one that hasn’t already been said? Probably lots, but I’m too lazy for that. Still, I thought I’d give this one another go after 20 years.

Check out that title, more bright colours than a dulux paint factory at the end of a rainbow.

Check out that title, more bright colours than a dulux paint factory at the end of a rainbow.

That catchy intro music and swirly colourful animated title screen brings back a few memories, well, memories of watching someone else play this. Someone who was reluctant to give up the mouse and let me have a go. Sitting back I used to watch Tom (the ‘easy’ level AI in the game) quickly dispatch his human opponent again and again, seeing how hard the game was I was probably pleased not to be playing. Still, the few times I did get to give it a go it was often a white wash, I didn’t dare try to play against Dick, Harry or Jimmy. I quickly moved onto Archer MacLean’s Pool and left this one in the box.

First game, and loss, to Tom

First game, and loss, to Tom *shakes fist*

I didn’t fully appreciate this game back then (I was only 10, more interested in Turrican and Hunter if I remember rightly) but playing it now I’m actually enjoying it a lot more. Tom is just as hard to beat, but with patience and practice, I did start to show signs of improvement (200 more games and you’ve got him!). Too often whilst playing, just when I thought I was on a winning break, the pressure would get to much and I’d give it away. The final game came down to the pink and black. The games difficulty is probably the only criticism you could make, but with practice (and lots of patience) it is something you could probably overcome quite quickly.

Highest break in this match... its the little victories

Highest break in this match… its the little victories

After a few matches with Tom, just for a lark, I took on Jimmy, just to see what it was like difficulty wise. I scored 1 point. I’m happy with that. I’m sure the Jimmy level in the game is just in fact a demo, giving you control of the break (where I scored my 1 point) and momentarily giving you hope before Jimmy clears the table with lightning (whirlwind?) speed.

Got him on the ropes...

Got him on the ropes… check out those stats!

Back to Tom, who I played around 10 times, it was nice to see my scores improve with each game. Tom does make silly mistakes, often giving away points, but 1 or 2 mistakes doesn’t hide the fact his skill level increases dramatically after these, suddenly making incredibly difficult pots, high breaks, and often scoring even when a shot goes awry (jammy git). Just when you think you’ve won, he’ll knock the ball in from the next room without using his hands.

The closest I came to winning, fluffed it on the pink and black. I hate Tom.

The closest I came to winning, fluffed it on the pink and black. I hate Tom.

Still lots of fun to be had with this, it’s definitely a classic retro title, but more importantly, game play wise, it doesn’t feel dated at all. The controls are smooth and give you all the help, direction and angles you could possibly need for taking your shot. The sound effects are loud and fun, as are the funny faces and flies that appear on the table if you take too long over a shot. The graphics are bright and colourful but simple, which is exactly what you would expect and need for a snooker game.

My favourite part of the game, not that I was skilful enough to get one, was the round of applause that emanates from the darkness surrounding the table when you get a high enough break. It gives an extra dimension to the atmosphere of the game, one of my fondest memories is imagining the huge ‘unseen’ crowd watching on from the sidelines.

Difficultly aside the game play is still top, I’ll be playing this one for a long time to come.


Jimmy Whites Whirlwind Snooker Info Lemon Amiga http://www.lemonamiga.com/?game_id=616

Amiga Action 24 (Sep 1991) http://amr.abime.net/review_6134

Amiga Power 4 (Aug 1991) http://amr.abime.net/review_195

Check out the video below for Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker on Commodore Amiga. Gameplay & Commentary from the awesome @SteveBenway

Please check out the links below, lots of Amiga and Amiga Games info to be had!

Hall of Light http://hol.abime.net/

Lemon Amiga http://www.lemonamiga.com/

Amiga Magazine Rack http://amr.abime.net/


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