Attack Of The Mutant Camels

reviewed by Les Ellingham


Issue 11

Sep/Oct 84

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*** STAR GAME***

LLAMASOFT          16K          1/2 PLAYERS

In the words of the hairy Llama man himself. Like, WOW, man.... this is a real blast! Mutant Camels comes to the Atari with a vengeance. Not just a translation but a full blown adaptation using all of the Atari's powerful features including display list interrupts, scrolling, player missile graphics, animation and AWESOME sound. Llamasoft have been bandying the word AWESOME about for some time but now that he has had the chance to pull the stops out of an Atari, I am sure that Jeff Minter now knows what AWESOME really means. You don't really need to read any further, just get your 7.50 (yes, that's all) off to Llamasoft and wait for a superbly packaged, excellently programmed, top quality cassette to drop through your door. You won't regret it.

For those of you who don't know anything of the Llama man's games, let me give you some details of this one. It helps to know a little about the game's designer, Jeff Minter, a kind of young eccentric in the grand English tradition who lives in a sixties time-warp, is in love with Llamas and writes weird games about Mutant Camels and Sheep in Space. Don't let the eccentricity fool you, the man is a brilliant programmer and has his finger right on the pulse of the eighties micro/arcade scene. The game features an attempt by the race of Zzyax to stop mankind from leaving Earth and exploring the galaxy by using genetic engineering on camels to create 90 foot high, neutronium-shielded, laser spitting beasts designed to bring death and destruction to Earth. The beasts can be destroyed by neutron-canon bolts from a highly manoeuvrable fighter ship and that is your task. The Camels march relentlessly across the screen and you must destroy them one by one by pumping them full of neutron bolts. Your ship is shielded but loses shield power each time you collide with a Camel or are hit by a laser bolt until nine hits destroy the ship. The colours are brilliant with display list interrupts or GTIA forming the sky, pyramids on the horizon and a Forward scrolling foreground. If you destroy all Camels on a level you go into hyperwarp phase and must avoid missiles as the terrain scrolls by at incredible speed. Colours on the hyperwarp are even better.

The only game to have been reviewed in PAGE 6 which has been given the title STAR GAME! Partly because there has not been a better Atari game at this price, partly because it proves to the world that Atari is the best home computer around and last but not least because any man that is mad enough to admit publicly that he loves llamas must be alright. The fact that he can write brilliant programs helps too.

Atari software generally sells in quite small quantities compared with other micros and if Jeff Minter is to adapt his other games it will require you to show your dedication and support by buying this in your thousands. If you love arcade games, you could not spend 7.50 more effectively. Buy it, get all your friends round and show them what a great game on the best micro looks like and get them to buy both an Atari and Attack of the Mutant Camels.