Throwback Friday: The Bitmap Bros: Part 1


For my first few weeks of Throwback Friday I am going to be taking a look into some of my favourite developers and publishers from my good ol’ days of the Amiga A500. I’ll start with as you’ve probably guessed, with one of my all time favourites the mighty Bitmap Bros. During the late Eighties and early Nineties The Bitmap Bros bought me some of the most entertaining and visually pleasing games to grace my large off white slab which was my Amiga.

The Bitmap Bros Logo

Probably the first Bitmap Bros game I remember playing was Speedball, a futuristic brutal sports game a bit like football only with a lot more violence. However it wasn’t until Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe was released that i really got the Speedball bug. At the time this was the pinnacle of gaming goodness for me and i spent countless hours trying to finish it. It was pretty simple stuff really as there was only one button on my Quickfire joystick, it controlled everything from passes to shots to sliding tackles and punches. Played in a metal clad arena with a goal at each end, the match started with the ball being shot out of the centre spot and a mad scramble to gain control of it. Ten points were awarded for goals but could be multiplied by the use of the star board on the side of the arena. Also in the arena were warps, bouncers and a device that powered up the ball so it could take down anyone in it’s path. Sonically the game sounded great, the rising chorus of the crowd as you came up to score a goal and the vendor in the crowds shouting ‘Ice Cream, Ice Cream’ all added a great deal to the experience, and to this day I can still remember how the opening tune went.

Speedball 2 Logo

Next up is Xenon 2: Megablast a sci-fi vertical scrolling shooter. There are a few fond memories of this game, probably the most notable was the music. It featured the song Megablast by Bomb the Bass, I can definitely remember how this went as the song is burned into my brain from playing Xenon 2 too much. Another massive feature of Xenon 2 was the shear amount of power-ups you could fit on your ship. These could be gained from destroying floating crates and from the brilliantly named Colin the Alien who would pop up with his shop part way through the levels. Everything from missiles, rear shooters and giant lasers could be bolted to your little ship until you took up a large proportion of the screen with your attachments. Another memory is not such a good one, you see Xenon 2 was hard, granite hard. Imagine this you’ve spent ages ploughing through the game collecting all the power-ups possible, you’ve managed to defeat the final boss and what do you get for your efforts? Well I’ll tell you, Colin the Alien shopkeeper pops up on screen, congratulates you on finishing the game then tells you to turn off your computer and then the screen goes black. Not the most amazing ending you’ll agree but the joy of Xenon 2 was the getting there.

Xenon 2: Megablast

Please come back next week when I’ll talk about the brilliant Chaos Engine and Gods.

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