Unfortunately as always seems to be the case with any team of people (rather like a family), eventually some members of Taskset had a few disagreements and differences, mainly between the Managing Director Andy Walker and Tony 'Gibbo' Gibson. These differences largely appear to be the usual office politics and particularly the development of the game Seaside Special. Tony Gibson and fellow programmer/musician Mark Harrison, who were given the task of developing the game, wanted to make an environmental as well as a political statement with the game. This stemmed from Tony Gibson's support of an environmental group called the Green party. Tony Gibson wanted some of the profits of the game to be given as a financial donation to this group and the inlay of the games cover would include a text comment to this fact and probably implying opposition to Nuclear energy. Remember, this was around the time of a serious leak at the (BNFL) British nuclear power plant in Sellafield. So it was a topical and controversial issue of the day.

Andy Walker decided that this would be a step to far. Taskset as previously mentioned was having numerous difficulties at the time, and anything else that contributed to this could be fatal. Personally, I think Andy Walker was right to be wary of this, on two counts: the game Seaside Special was obviously making a political/environmental statement anyway, as it involved the main character Radium Rodney visiting 10 Downing Street and throwing radio-active seaweed at top British politicians, who appeared at the windows! Also, due to the arrival on the British political scene, of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher  (the Iron Lady), who won landslide election victories as leader of the Conservative (Tory) Party in the 1980's and was clearly and firmly pro-nuclear.  As we now know, Tasksets fate was already sealed for other reasons, so perhaps this would not of made much difference, in fact a little controversy may of helped!

The friction between Andy Walker and Tony Gibson continued and eventually Tony Gibson even started working from home, rather than going into the Office, although Tony offered another reason for this, which was due to other members of the Taskset programming team, incessantly listening to Radio One, which annoyed Gibbo, it was to say the least - not particularly conducive to concentrating and programming the latest game!

With the eventual break-up and collapse of the Taskset company, some of the Taskset programmers went on to produce software for other game companies. Tony Gibson went on to develop Ghettoblaster for Virgin games. Interestingly, the bad feeling between Walker and Gibbo appears to have spilled over into Gibbo's creative flair - with one of the in-game enemies being called a 'Tone Deaf Walker'. I doubt very much if Walker was amused...

Ghettoblaster has all the quality you would expect from a Taskset game and in some ways I would regard this as Taskset’s last great game rather than Souls of Darkon! conceptually brilliant, with good, fun, gameplay.

Tony 'Gibbo' Gibson and Mark Harrison
Tony 'Gibbo' Gibson and Mark Harrison
ex-Taskset programmers - Ghettoblasting.

Ghettoblaster Virgin Games
Ghettoblaster by Tony Gibson aka "Gibbo"
a former Taskset programmer

You play the character of Rockin' Rodney with the objective of finding and collecting ten music demo tapes and delivering them to the InterDisc music shop on Funky Street!

As you progress though the streets of Funky Town you can blast any people that bother you with a tune from your Ghettoblaster which puts them in a dance trance!

Its all done to a time limit and when the counter on your Ghettoblaster reaches 999 its game over.

Some great, catchy tunes throughout, neat animation and originality all add up to make this a classic game in the Taskset tradition.

The game Yabba Dabba Doo by Quicksilva based on the famous Flintstones cartoon was also done by some of the old Taskset team and it certainly showed, as the quality graphics were obvious, with well drawn cartoon characters – Fred Flintstone has never looked better! Unfortunately the game did suffer from rather difficult gameplay, which marred what could of been an excellent game. An “avatar” of the Fred Flintstone character is available for use in the Commodore Zone discussion forum.

They were also behind the Quicksilva games - Rupert and the Toymaker’s Party and Rupert and the Ice Castle – again you can see the trademark Taskset features in these games – The main character Rupert Bear is beautifully drawn. The background graphics especially on Toymaker are well defined, and colourful. The gameplay is above average on both games, with the Toy Maker’s Party probably the better of the two.

Yabba Dabba Doo! QuickSilva
Yabba Dabba Doo
by former Taskset programmers

Rupert and the Toymaker's Party Quicksilva
Rupert Bear and the Toymaker's Party
by former Taskset programmers

In my opinion, it was a great shame that Taskset disappeared from the scene. This is one of the few companies that should have survived and deserved to. If you consider the success of other companies at the time that are still around today, like Activision or Electronic Arts - it makes you wonder what Taskset would of achieved if they had stayed in business until now. They may well of ended up developing some of the greatest games to ever grace a home computer, there can be no doubt that they had the talent, imagination and ambition. They were a great loss, but with their software legacy they have earned their place in the gaming history of the Commodore 64.