Mama Llama

Camel Ye Faithful and knuckle down to a session of

JEFF MINTER'S newest smasherooni - and a

continuation of the Ungulant Saga.

TONY TAKOUSHI reports...

JEFF MINTER's pilgrimage to Peru last October was the inspiration for his latest game called Mama Llama. It features a (surprise!) mother Llama and her two babies, all of whom are being attacked, in the best Minter tradition, by aliens.

Llamasoft - Mama Llama Advert
Llamasoft Mama Llama Advert

The game follows the Minter style of a good shoot'em up but uses smooth scrolling backdrops to good effect. The scrolling backdrops are a first in that they are very colourful (unlike Tony Crowther who sticks firmly to four background colours).

The overall aim is to survive and protect the baby llamas, who mimic their mothers every action so as she leaps and spits at the aliens so do they! You have many sectors to patrol, with scanners within each section to help you locate any approaching nasties.

Following on from Sheep in Space and Ancipital, Minter has further evolved his gravity routines to allow incredible permutations on the alien attack patterns and on the movement of the llama. If you manage to clear a sector a warp gate will open to another sector, but you can choose to stay where you are a little longer.

Other sectors include the Inca City, Egyptian City, Space City, Rock City and Inca Homeworld - the gravity and viciousness of the aliens being suitably altered for each.

One of the most outstanding features of Minter games is his increasing ability to make the game feel good to play. When you pick up the joystick it feels true. Real gamers will know what I mean (the rest of you will just have to work at it!).

At the time of review the game was only half complete and had to be reviewed as such due to print deadlines but even semi-complete its quality stood out and I look forward to the finished item.

Rescue on Fractalus could be the finest 3D game in existence - that is said hand on heart. Behind Jaggi Lines (as it is otherwise called) was written by an Atari / Lucasfilm team who based it on the film Return of the Jedi.


You are placed in a cockpit looking out of your mothership preparing for launch. Press the fire button and the screen explodes into a crescendo of colour (honest!) as you zoom out through a launch tunnel and descend to the planet on a rescue mission for standard pilots.

Mama Llama - Llamasoft
Mama Llama by Llamasoft

Rescue on Fractalus - Lucasfilm
Rescue on Fractalus by Lucasfilm

As you fly around the planet your instruments show where the stranded pilots are and you have to get within three lengths of them before you cut out your engines to land and rescue them. After you land you must switch off your boosters and wait for the pilot to run toward your ship from his wrecked craft.

As he nears you open the airlock (a beautiful soft hiss of air this) and wait for him to bang on the hull of your ship as he clambers in. You then fire the boosters, pull the ship's nose up and fly around to rescue the other pilots.

Life is not exactly easy as there are enemy posts positioned around the mountain tops firing on you - and the pilots you try to rescue could be aliens who trundle up to your ship and smash your viewing screen.

I cannot really being to do this game justice in a written review as it has to be experience to be believed. The way your craft swoops into valleys and climbs up the sides of mountains and drops down over them gives an incredible feeling of exhilaration. There is a game called Encounter on the market from Novagen (a Battlezone clone) that offers very fast 3D graphics, but this Atari game humbles it.


Rescue on Fractalus has 99 levels to choose from, with anything from 3 to 33 pilots to rescue, accurate and fast enemy laser posts and ever-increasing aliens masquerading as pilots.

It is officially available in the US now and Atari plan to release it in the UK, although no firm date is available at present.

I can think of no better reason to go out and buy an Atari than to play this game, and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Lucasfilm - Rescue on Fractalus Cover
Lucasfilm Rescue on Fractalus Cover

Article reproduced from Big K magazine February 1985 edition.
Although all text appears unchanged, some photographs or images have been added or modified for aesthetic purposes.
The "Ramalama! It's Mama Llama" page appeared in the original magazine, but not as part of the "Goatbuster" article. It has been added because of the relevancy to the Mama Llama game mentioned in Goatbuster. It is also by the same author of "Goatbuster", Tony Takoushi.

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Thank you to the following websites which were used for sourcing some images that appear in this article:, Dave's Home Page, Lemon 64, Medwaypvb, MobyGames,,, The Video Game Museum, Wikipedia, ZX81 Stuff.