Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story Logo
Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story Icon
Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story

Developer: Digital Eclipse

  • Price: $29.99
  • Release Date: Mar 13, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1 - 2
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: T [Teen]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    Put together with great care and thoroughness, if you love the games of Jeff Minter this is a treat

    While there have been quite a number of retro gaming collections on the Switch, they’ve tended to vary pretty wildly in terms of the overall care put into their production. Some have settled for merely slapping a number of emulated classics into a simple interface and calling it a day, while others have tried to add value with additional materials like game art, interviews, and other extras. I think the pinnacle of these efforts in this generation was the Atari 50 Collection, which had a very polished interface, plenty of games to enjoy, and a wide array of information, video features, and supplemental art that helped flesh out that company’s decades of accomplishments.

    The same company behind that release, Digital Eclipse, has now put a comparable effort into chronicling the life and wildly different games made by industry legend Jeff Minter, the man behind such quirky classics as Gridrunner, Attack of the Mutant Camels, Llamatron, the colorful Tempest 2000, Polybius and many more. Through a series of interviews, factoids, old photos, and even things like hand-written player’s manuals made for some of his early games you’ll get the opportunity to see the progression of Jeff’s career from teaching himself programming, to making a name for himself in the early British gaming industry, to working for the likes of Atari and more.

    On the other side of the coin, you’ll also get the opportunity to play 42 games that he worked on that span 8 different systems, watching as both the technology and his own skills continued to develop and become more distinctive. In particular, his tendency to use odd animals and sometimes practically psychedelic colors absolutely helped him to put his unique mark on practically everything he’s worked on and this collection is a testament to his strange trip through the years.

    Possibly the biggest challenge here, in terms of a selling point, is whether you may be familiar with Minter, or at least his work. Despite being in the industry for decades, and working on numerous projects, if you’ve never encountered anything made by him this may not have quite as much appeal. Granted, you’ll have the opportunity to become fully familiar with both him and his work, but it doesn’t then have the same allure as it would to loving fans. All said, this is another excellent collection of the life, works, and stories of someone influential in the industry, but the subject of interest is absolutely far less known than the likes of an industry titan like Atari. Still, I think projects like this are important for helping to preserve the history of the gaming industry, and the people who helped to shape it, so it absolutely has value worthy of appreciation.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Nindie Choice! [8.0]

Nindie Spotlight

. All rights reserved