Adding to an ever growing list, the latest title from AMCOG Games is TIMERUN, and it had its first public release at the recent MUG RISC OS Xmas Market, and is now available to buy from !Store, priced at £9.99.
The game couldn’t be simpler to describe than “it’s a shoot ’em up” – but it should be described in a more complicated way because, well, there’s a little more to it than that. Like one of the most famous shoot ’em ups there is, the all-time classic Space Invaders, you are in a craft at the bottom of the screen firing your missiles at the alien ships above you.
However, whereas the eponymous invaders in the classic game are moving in formation, relentlessly advancing on your position, in TIMERUN you are racing to reach time bombs deployed by the aliens – Chronites – to target Earth space stations.
You need to get to each time bomb before it explodes, seeing off or avoiding the Chronite forces as you go. To do so, you must advance through the level, facing a number of different types of alien vessel as you go, with more powerful enemy ships as you close in on your target – and all against the clock.
Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to rescue station crew by picking up their escape capsules, along with power ups that enhance your weaponry – and you’ll be able to boost your speed occasionally by making use of time ramps.
To see what the game play is like in practice, there is a video available to watch on YouTube.
Running at 800×600 pixels, the game features full colour graphics, sound effects courtesy of AMCOG’s own RDSP module, and support for joysticks on RISC OS 5. There are eleven different types of alien, with various formation attack modes, and multiple end of level ‘bosses’.
As ever with an AMCOG release, TIMERUN also features original music, and there is a video online of Tony Bartram recording the theme tune for the game, and one of him sketching another piece of music that was used in it.
The game is compatible with most modern RISC OS 4 and 5 systems, though a Raspberry Pi 2 is recommended if using a computer based around those boards.
It’s interesting to note that the RISC OS version of the game isn’t the original – the version number of the latest release is in fact 2.62. The game actually began life much earlier, and if you buy it from !Store you’ll also find a copy of the BBC Micro version in the Zip file as a bonus, which can be played using an emulator. The Beeb version of the game is much simpler, and is described by Tony as being more in the style of Space Invaders – and it can also be played online if you have a capable web browser.
For some historical interest, here are a couple of scans of drawings and notes from 1985, when the game was at the planning/design stage: