Mandarin Software’s STOS marketed itself as “The Game Creator”, but really it was a lot more than that — it was a whole programming language based on the conventions of BASIC, meaning you could do a wide variety of things with it.
One of the showcase titles included with the STOS package was Zoltar, a simple shoot ’em up that tasked you with taking down pre-scripted waves of aliens as they swooped, bobbed and weaved around the screen. As a game, it’s not great, but it’s a good showcase of what STOS is capable of — particularly as it includes a fully functional built-in level editor!
In today’s Atari ST A to Z, my cat Patti decides to make a guest appearance during the introduction, which will hopefully be reason enough for some of you to watch.
For those of you who continue to watch after the introduction, we’ve got a rather unusual and interesting game today: Ynis Witrin: Isle of Glass, which is an action adventure created using Mandarin Software’s STOS Basic, and which there appears to be very little information about online.
It turns out to be a rather entertaining game, though, and one that I’m kind of intrigued to explore in further depth at some point in the future. In the meantime, check out my experiences in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Back in the 8- and 16-bit days, everyone was encouraged to try their hand at programming. The 8-bit microcomputers came with BASIC built-in, while 16-bit platforms played host to packages such as STOS.
Mouth Trap, part of a compilation called Games Galore, was put together by Darren Ithell as a demonstration of what the BASIC-like STOS programming language was capable of producing in the hands of someone who knew what they were doing. And the result was a rather convincing, enjoyable game that wouldn’t have looked out of place in an arcade.
Returning to it today, it’s still an enjoyable game, too — an interesting twist on the single-screen arcade game formula, with more than a hint of dot-eating funtimes, albeit without the maze. Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
While it’s primarily the 8-bit home microcomputer era that is associated with the “bedroom programmer”, thanks to the fact that most systems came with the programming language BASIC built into ROM, some of this still went on in the 16-bit era.
A popular platform for independent game development on Atari ST was STOS (short for ST Operating System). This was a BASIC-like language with a lot of features specifically geared towards game development: things like sprite handling, scrolling, music and sound generation, all that sort of thing.
STOS’ publisher Mandarin Software collected a bunch of impressive efforts from talented developers and bundled them together in a commercially available showcase compilation called Games Galore. One of those games was Yomo, which is the subject of today’s video!
The ’90s were an era of “attitude”, not just in video games, but in popular culture at large — and especially in children’s TV.
One largely forgotten attempt at an edgy mascot was Gilbert, the snot-encrusted alien who first appeared as part of the Saturday morning show Get Fresh, and subsequently found success in his own right.
Naturally, he also had his own video game that allowed you to take control of the dribbling snot monster himself as he attempted to track down the parts of his spaceship that his jealous countrymen had hidden from him. Clearly, the only solution is to play lots of arcade games!