Over the last month, we’ve been playing every single* Net Yaroze game that made it on to the covermounted discs of the UK edition of The Official Playstation Magazine. As we played them, we ranked them in order of how much we liked them. This is our top twenty games:
*well, unless we missed one or two…
20. Adventure Game
Author: Ben James • Genre: Puzzle
If you’ve played a match-three game, such as Bejeweled or Candy Crush Saga, before then you’ll know what Squeak is all about. In Squeak’s case, the items you need to match are different types of fruit. If you are feeling adventurous, you can switch them out for vegetables
How much you enjoy this game will probably depend on if you burnt yourself out playing Candy Crush on your phone a few years back.
Author: Tom Madams • Genre: 3D Shooter
You are a two-legged robot thing (possibly inspired by the AT-ST’s from Star Wars), and you have to stomp around four arenas killing all the bad robots. You can collect power ups, which extend your energy, as well as bombs which blast everything on screen.
It’s good fun, and if I had one complaint it would be that you move a bit slow. But it’s a big robot, and makes a nice stomping noise, so I can forgive it of that.
Author: Team Parc • Genre: Action
You start at the middle of the screen, which is constantly scrolling upwards. If you don’t move you’re gonna get squished by the spikes at the top, so the only way is downwards.
You can play Down single-player, but it’s so much more fun with friends. And there’s funky music too.
Author: James Shaughnessy • Genre: Racing / Dogfight
Gravitation was coded by James Shaughnessy, who took inspiration from the Amiga game, Gravity Force.
There are two ways to play, and both are best played with two player. Mode one is Race, where you race around a course, trying either to beat the clock or the opponent.
Dogfight mode dispenses with the race element, and the aim is to basically find the other player and shoot the hell out of them.
15. Pushy IIb
Author: R. Fred Williams • Genre: Puzzle
Pushy IIB is based on block-pushing game, Sokoban. If you are not familiar with Sokoban, the idea is to move a number of crates to a target location. Once this is done the level ends, and it is on to the next level.
Pushy IIB is no different. If you like Sokoban games, you’ll be in your element here.
Author: Matt Verran • Genre: Puzzle
Each level sees you needing to collect a certain amount of diamonds before you can head to the goal and progress to the next level – though you’ll need to make sure you do it in the time limit.
I really liked Roller. It’s one of those games where when you lose, you feel it’s your own fault rather than the game’s, which is always the sign of a well designed game.
13. Haunted Maze
Author: Ed Federmeyer • Genre: Maze
Haunted Maze is a 3D-maze game, where your hero has to go around a maze avoiding zombie-looking-monsters, and picking up what looks like giant Lucky Charms.
The game is fast, and much of the time is spent trying to shake off the zombies by leading them on a merry dance. Like many Net Yaroze games, Haunted Maze is simple, but it’s also great fun and stands up to repeat play.
12. Snowball Fight
Author: Stuart Ashley • Genre: First-Person Shooter
The game is straightforward. Get keys, open doors, pick up first-aid packs, and avoid bad-guys. Clone only has one bad-guy to shoot. A skeleton with blue eyes. THEY ARE TERRIFYING.
Clone is a scary claustrophobic, and while it won’t any best-FPS awards, it is certainly good fun.
Author: Philippe-Andre Lorin • Genre: Fixed Shooter
INVS is a Galaga type game that features different types of enemies, each have their own quirks and ways of attack. One little blue chap likes to come down and zap energy from the ground before getting fat and flying off, and sometimes coming back later to seek revenge on you for shooting their pals.
Author: Ben James • Genre: Top-Down Shooter
Psychon is basically Alien Breed. Top down view – check, picking up first aid kits, money and key cards – check, shooting all the things – check, running about on a maze-like space ship thing – check, simultaneous two player option – check!
The game is fun, especially in two player, and highly recommended if you like games like Alien Breed, Gauntlet etc. Plus when you die, you get the chance to continue, so you aren’t stuck with playing the first parts all over again.
8. Decaying Orbit
Author: DragonShadow Industries • Genre: Action
The idea of Decaying Orbit is to fly your ship from one planet to a target planet, using Thrust/Asteroid-like controls. To make it more difficult other planets will draw you in with their gravitational pull, and ‘cloudy’ areas will make flying more difficult.
Once you get to the target planet, the mission is complete, and you move on to the next one. As you get further into the game, you will have tasks to achieve before the target planet is revealed to you, such as shooting down all of the enemies.
7. Robot Ron
Author: Matt Verran • Genre: Multidirectional Shooter
The game looks great, and very of its time. If you can imagine what Robotron would look like if the graphics were made by The Designers Republic (of WipeOut fame), then you’ve got an idea of how this looks. (sadly the screenshots don’t do it justice)
6. Super Bub Contest
Author: Alex Herbert • Genre: Puzzle
Super Bub Contest is a game that falls in to the genre known as throw-coloured-bubbles-up-and-get-matching-ones-to-disappear-thus-causing-a-bit-of-chaos-on-your-opponent’s-side.
5. Terra Incognita
Author: Team Fatal • Genre: Action RPG
Terra Incognita is a bit of a poster-child for the Net Yaroze. An ambitious arcade-adventure / RPG, which looks far from home-made.
You start off on a boat, where your shipmate is trying to talk you out of going to the island to find the Golden Pedestal.
Terra Incognita is highly polished for a Net Yaroze game, and if you like action adventure games then certainly seek this out.
4. Total Soccer Yaroze
Author: Charles Chapman • Genre: Sports / Soccer
If you’ve played Kick Off or Sensible Soccer, then you will be familiar with how you play Total Soccer. It plays very similar to those two games, and you can adjust how high up the camera is, so you can get it looking more like Kick Off, or more like Sensi!
Like the above two games it really comes into its own when playing in two player mode.
3. Rocks ‘n’ Gems
Rocks ‘n’ Gems is basically Boulder Dash. If you’ve never played Boulder Dash before, the aim of the game is to collect gems, while avoiding boulders falling on your head, enemies catching you, or blocking yourself in. Once you have collected all of the gems you can make your way to the exit and on to the next level.
I love Rocks ‘n’ Gems. The style and polish reminds me of the late Edgar M. Vidal’s Deluxe Galaga and Deluxe Pacman.
2. Blitter Boy
Author: Chris Chadwick • Genre: Multidirectional Shooter
Imagine a cross-between Robotron and Flicky, where you not only have to rescue the last family on earth, but you also have to guide them to an exit. Well you don’t need to imagine no longer as this is basically the idea behind Blitter Boy.
Blitter Boy is a fun game to play – go around the arena shooting Pac-Man ghosts and guide the babies to the exit in the centre of the screen. When you touch a baby, a little heart comes out and starts following you. Like Flicky, if an enemy touches a baby, it doesn’t harm it, but it does stop following you.
1. Time Slip
Author: David Johnston and Mike Goatley • Genre: Platform / Puzzle
Time Slip is a platform puzzle game featuring a snail. You collect coins and then go to the exit. But every minute, there is a time slip, and the past version of you replays your previous actions. This can be a help, or a hindrance – as if you come into contact with one of your past echoes, you die. And break the universe.
In playing all these Net Yaroze games, Time Slip is the one I have played the most so far. I am addicted to it in the same way I used to be with Lemmings, nearly thirty years ago. I lie awake at night, thinking about the level I’m stuck on, itching to play again to see if I can make my Groudhog-day-Gastropod get to the exit.
Go play it.
What were your favourite Net Yaroze games on the UK Official Playstation Magazine discs? Let us know in the comments!