You like pool? Reckon you’re good at pool? Well, how about if it was in an antigravity cube with pockets in the corners and customisable air friction?
Those are the questions that the unusual QBall for Atari ST attempts to answer, presenting a simple but impressively slick 3D view of the playfield in question, detailed controls and a stiff challenge for even those who think they have a fine command over the laws of physics.
QBall was the work of Adam Billyard, who is perhaps best known for his 8-bit 3D racer Elektra Glide; QBall represents a rare 16-bit appearance for both him and publisher English Software.
Pretty much everyone who plays games can probably name at least one title that they respect, but absolutely can’t abide the thought of playing ever again.
For me, one of those games is Elektra Glide, an incredibly popular title developed by Adam Billyard and published by English Software. It’s a technical tour-de-force for the Atari 8-bit, for sure, featuring spectacularly speedy 3D-style graphics, parallax scrolling, wonderful use of colour and an incredibly memorable soundtrack.
I also despise playing it with almost every fibre of my being; I’d thought returning to it some thirty-two years after its original release might have caused my opinions to mellow on it somewhat, but nope! Still, it sure is pretty…
Today’s Atari 8-Bit game shows us that even back in the 1980s, programmers weren’t above churning out something just to make a quick buck.
Enter Henri by one Adam Billyard, a developer who would later go on to produce great things for The English Software Company — specifically the technically stunning (but exceedingly irritating) racer Elektra Glide, and the well-animated one-on-one fighting game Chop Suey.
At the time he put out Henri, however, he was just trying to scrape together enough money for his air fare to get home. The result was a competent, if relatively unremarkable Mr. Do! clone. I hope you like the sound of Bach…