HALLUCIN-O-BOMBLETS

Retro Gamer - - THE MAKING OF: BATALYX -

A lit­tle bit of As­ter­oids DNA, a lot of fire­power and a plethora of odd en­e­mies to de­stroy make Hallucin-o-bomblets an en­ter­tain­ing and ac­ces­si­ble opener. Though dis­patch­ing a set num­ber of bad­dies to progress to the next wave is not dif­fi­cult in it­self, the chal­lenge is to avoid fre­quent col­li­sions, which re­duces your hit count and thus adds to the time needed to achieve the com­ple­tion icon for this sub­game. In­dis­crim­i­nate blast­ing does not help, mak­ing this a more thought­ful shooter than you might ex­pect. “I like this one,” smiles Jeff. “It’s fun. The idea came from the bul­lets in your ship be­ing your re­ac­tion mass. You had to fire away from the di­rec­tion you wanted to move.” Isn’t that rather coun­ter­in­tu­itive? “Yeah, but I like do­ing that and when you get used to it, it’s pretty cool.” The ar­ray of sur­real foes that swarm around your lit­tle ship are not your typ­i­cal alien ad­ver­saries, ei­ther. From floppy disks to ag­gres­sive ‘Eyes Of Prov­i­dence’, each has a spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for Jeff. “A lot of the sprites in it were in­spired by the var­i­ous peo­ple I knew on Com­punet, like the stylised cougar head was a homage to this guy called Cougar.

The skull and cross­bones rep­re­sented soft­ware piracy and the ac­tual ro­tat­ing ship you con­trol is from Bomb Jack. I just like ref­er­enc­ing games I’ve loved.” And what about the giant spliffs that try to smoke your ship? “Oh, that was just me,” Jeff winks.

» [C64] The ti­tle of each wave scrolls along the bot­tom of the screen and shows Jeff’s love of puns has a long history.

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