Tony Crowther

During the early 80's home computer boom, a number of young computer game programmers appeared on the scene, each home computer format had their own prominent stars. One of the most well known and certainly popular, was the boy genius Antony ‘Tony’ Crowther (aka Ratt), who quickly became a legend on the Commodore 64 game scene - not only with what he could achieve visually on the Commodore 64, but also because of his ability to create a good game in just a few weeks of coding!

He was raved about in the C64 gaming magazines and with good reason - this kid could code things on a home computer that made other programmers efforts look rather mundane.

Tony Crowther specialised in graphics that gave his games a polished and professional look, making them visually striking and impressive, allowing them to stand out from the crowd. These trademark graphics led some people to purchase a game because of the graphics rather than for the gameplay. This is similar to the Rob Hubbard music phenomenon.

In the early years of Tony Crowther's Commodore 64 gaming career, he worked for the software company, Alligata software. Where he produced a catalogue of games, some that proved popular and really made a mark were Killer Watt, the Blagger (series), and of course, Loco.

Killer Watt involved moving through caverns blowing up light bulbs (that’s where the “watt” comes in!). It was an original, fun and addictive game that even to this day still remains one of Crowther’s most enjoyable games.

Killer Watt
Killer Watt by Alligata Software

He also created a series of games, based around a central character, which consisted of Blagger, Son of Blagger and Blagger Goes To Hollywood (although Tony only did the music for this title, as the actual programming was done by Marcus Altman). The first two Blagger games proved quite popular. Blagger was similar in concept to Manic Miner, containing the sometimes frustrating but addictive gameplay. Son of Blagger was also platform based, with a neat 3D style look, but not sacrificing the gameplay of the original. Although the difficulty level was increased, it was certainly the better of the two.

Blagger by Alligata Software

Son Of Blagger
Son Of Blagger by Alligata Software

The final game in the series was Blagger Goes to Hollywood, an interesting concept as it was based around popular 80's Hollywood films and television series. The game consisted of a number of rooms which you could enter, and a nice touch was that each film character had their own familiar music from the films! So everytime you entered a characters room the appropriate music would play! So if you entered a room which contained Batman, E.T. or the Incredible Hulk then the music from the tv series or film would play! Unfortunately the game didn't quite live up to the hype and could of been better, but it was certainly enjoyable for a short period of time.

Blagger Goes To Hollywood
Blagger Goes To Hollywood by Alligata Software

Blagger Goes To Hollywood
Blagger Goes To Hollywood Advert