Gridrunner - Hesware
Gridrunner by Hesware
Gridrunner, released in 1983.

If you can remember the Vic 20 game Centipede, then this will be familiar, but with some cool additions.

Basically you move around a grid, while trying to avoid lasers firing at you. Upon hitting an enemy caterpillar, it will split into smaller caterpillars, which you will need to eliminate.

This is quite a simple concept, which integrated rather well with the gameplay - being fun and addictive.

This was Jeff's first game released under the Hesware label. In later years this game was also released in other incarnations, Matrix (sequel) and Voidrunner (prequel).

Laserzone, released in 1983.

A variation on the space invader shootem-up. But like the original arcade space invaders, the simplicity of the game is what makes it enjoyable and addictive.

You play the part of a Zone Gunner, with the objective of saving your Laser Zone from devastation by pesky aliens. Your weaponry consists of a plasma cannon to zap the aliens to oblivion.

I can remember seeing this game advertised in the old Commodore VicSoft catalogue, with other Llamasoft games, like Hover Bovver.

Laserzone - Llamasoft
Laserzone by Llamasoft

Ancipital - Llamasoft
Ancipital by Llamasoft

Ancipital, released in 1984.

One of Jeff's later creations. It is (as he likes to call it), a progressive arcade game, with 100 rooms and where the main character is half man and half goat! I always thought it was like a fusion of Space Invaders/Wizards Lair/Robotron (but that's just me).

A shootem-up that involved moving from screen to screen, collecting items and avoiding any obstacles in the way. A nice touch was the clever use of sound that varied from room to room.

There was an option for Strobe FX which caused a flickering colour effect, which prevented the game from looking rather bland. It played quite well and as with all Jeff's games was weird. I suspect it would come with a health and safety warning now, with the increased awareness of epilepsy!

Hellgate, released in 1984.

Similar to Laserzone, but much more difficult with 4 firing turrets that need to be controlled to zap the enemies on screen. Quite manic and hard to play. It can become a bit tedious after a while, but if your reactions are quick enough then you may appreciate the challenge.

Hellgate - Llamasoft
Hellgate by Llamasoft

Revenge Of The Mutant Camels - Llamasoft
Revenge Of The Mutant Camels by Llamasoft

Revenge of the Mutant Camels, released in 1984.

This game is a cross between Space Invaders and Defender. It's almost a fusion of the PSS games Metroblitz and Neoclyps all rolled into one and on steroids! in typical Jeff Minter style with larger than life colour graphics. The objective is to walk the camels far enough and kill all the incoming enemies. A fast, fun and enjoyable shootem-up, which remains one of Jeff's more popular games.