Ganymed (Commodore Amiga)

by PaulEMoz in , , ,

So, after writing my top 11 iOS games of last year, I fancied a break before I started on the big boy games. So I was scrolling through GameBase, and as I went through the Amiga games, clicking on random games and looking at screenshots, I saw one that featured AT-ATs. Fantastic! Let's have a go at that.

Echo station 3-T-8, we have spotted something a lot like Imperial walkers, but that aren't actually Imperial walkers.

The game was, and indeed is called Ganymed. An odd title for sure, and no doubt a riff on Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. That moon is largely covered in ice, much like the planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, where AT-ATs march relentlessly in, smashing anything in their path.

And so, with that connection made, I settled down for a good blast.

You know, there have been some really good games featuring large walkers that you must shoot down. Parker's own The Empire Strikes Back, on the Atari VCS/2600, was a tense, thrilling blast, where you took your fragile snowspeeder to battle the Empire's mighty walkers. I spent hours on that game, which may well have been the very first game responsible for giving me an aching thumb.

Who'd have thought that blowing up a metal beast would result in an explosion of jam and custard?

Then there was Jeff Minter's Attack of the Mutant Camels. Although this had a distinctly British sense of humour added to the mix, the core gameplay was much the same, and probably accounted for a lot of knackered fire buttons on computer systems across the globe.

Ganymed is not a really good game featuring large walkers. It is, in fact, a shit game featuring large walkers. Essentially, it's the old Atari Empire Strikes Back game, with arguable better graphics and inarguably worse gameplay. Each level sees you take off in your snowspeeder ship, scrolling from right to left to confront the giant metal beasts, of which there are three.

You're just running around like a headless chicken.

Yes, each level contains a not-exactly-unmanageable three enemy walkers. Defeat them and you whizz off to the next level. Take a couple of hits and you die. Let them reach the right of the screen, and it's game over, quite unceremoniously and without fanfare. Just a message saying "You lost all your ships".

And that's it. It's rubbish. Of all the things to stop on randomly, I managed to hit Ganymed. Out of 50,000 games over 18 systems, I landed on Ganymed. I won't be making that mistake again.