[PlayStation 5] Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story Review

by EdEN, Owner

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story from Digital Eclipse is an outstanding retrospective of the indie legend’s career. Learn more in our Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story review!


Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story from Digital Eclipse is an outstanding retrospective of the indie legend’s career. I had a lot of fun playing a pair of Jeff’s games for review over the years, such as Tempest 4000 on the PlayStation 4 back in 2018, as well as Akka Arrh, a game based on a prototype from way back in the 1980s, which finally got a PlayStation release early last year. While those games are not here, there’s more than plenty in here to keep you busy for a while.

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The game’s content will be split into four chapters: The Early Years, The Hairy Years, The Light Fantastic, and The Tempest. You’ll be checking out video interviews with people like Harold Goldberg, Gary Whitta, Gary Penn, Bex Trista, Jim McCauley, Jim Cope, Gary Liddon, Steinar Lund, Mo Warden, Mike Thomsen, and, of course, Jeff Minter himself. There will also be several photos of different locations and times in Jeff’s life, notes with additional info – including comments from Jeff (called Minter-Views), and documentation such as the handwritten manual for Star Fire. This interactive experience has been created with the support of Paul Docherty, who directed the documentary Heart of Neon about Jeff Minter.


You can go step by step and learn more about Jeff’s journey, starting back in 1979 on the Commodore PET, going through a period of illness due to a case of pericarditis that allowed him to focus his efforts on improving his skills, to making a name for himself thanks to the crazy designs included in his games. When did you last take control of a camel to shoot at enemies? You can also jump straight into playing his games at any time by pressing the Square button on the menu. It follows what The Making of Karateka did, which is not a bad thing!

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The games start on the Sinclair ZX81 with 3D3D and Centipede, and we then get a plethora of hardware options, such as Deflex V, Ratman, Abductor, Gridrunner, Andes Attack, Laser Zone, Mattix: Gridrunner 2, Metagactic Llamas, and Hellgate on the Commodore VIC-20. We then jump to the beloved Commodore 64 with Rox 64, Gridrunner, Attack of the Mutant Camels, Matrix: Gridrrunner 2, Metagalactic Llamas, Psychedelia, Ancipital, Revenge of the Mutant Camels, sequel Revenge of the Mutant Camels 2, Batalyx, Sheep in Space, Hellgate, Hover Bovver, Voidrunner, Iris Alpha, Laser Zone, Mama Llama,


We have some Atari representation, with Attack of the Mutant Camels, Colourspace, Gridrunner, Hower Bovver, and Turboflex on Atari 8-Bit, Llamatron: 2112 and Revenge of the Mutant Camels and Super Gridrunner on Atari ST, and a game you’re probably more familiar with Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar! There are also games for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum – a.k.a. the Specy – with City Bomb, Headbanger’s Heaven, Rox III, and Superflex. We have one game on Konix Multi-System with Attack of the Mutant Camels ‘89. The funny thing about that last one is that it’s a game that was eventually canceled since the Konix never saw the light of day.

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Oh, and did I mention we also get a reimagined take on one of Jeff’s classic games thanks to Gridrunner Remastered? As was the case for Karateka Remastered in the previous entry in this collection, Gridrunner Remastered expands on what Jeff Minter did with Gridrunner way back in 1982. At its core, Gridrunner Remastered is based on the Commodore 64 version while giving us a game that looks, sounds, and feels,


And now, it’s time to talk about the trophies! Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story has a full trophy list with a shiny Platinum trophy. The list includes 2 Bronze trophies, 2 Silver trophies, and 10 Gold trophies. You’ll have to exit the cube maze in 3D3D, locate the hidden DNA visualizer in Idris Alpha, get an entry on the high score list with a time of 01:30 or less in Deflex V, and reach levels 3, 7, and 15 in Gridrunner Remastered, to name some examples. And since this is a Cross-Buy title, you can download both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game and work on each of their separate trophy lists.

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I had a lot of fun taking The Making of Karateka for a spin last year and was eagerly looking forward to the next game in Digital Eclipse’s new Gold Master Series. I’m here to report that Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story follows what The Making of Karateka did, now giving us a deep dive into the 40+ years career of indie legend Jeff Minter. There are plenty of videos, pictures, documentation, game manuals, and more than 40 games to enjoy in a digital package that is a must-play on Sony’s console. Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is available as a Cross-Buy title, so your $29.99 purchase will allow you to download both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost.

Disclaimer
This Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Digital Eclipse.

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