Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Bitmap Brothers - A THREE PART STORY (1)

The Bitmap Brothers

They also weren’t afraid of a bit of shameless self promotion, with promo shots featuring the team posing in shades and bomber jackets, one could easily be fooled into thinking they were rock-stars (they were often referred to as gaming’s KLF by the gaming press)

Whether you realise it or not, it’s likelythat anyone who grew up through the 80’s and 90’s will recognise something the Bitmaps have done, their games even featuring as part of live phone-in-and-play quizzes on Saturday morning telly (Xenon on ITV’s Get Fresh, and Magic Pockets on both BBC1’s Going Live and ITV’s Motormouth)

Background/Key Persons

Based in Wapping East London, the Bitmaps were founded by Mike Montgomery, Eric Matthews and Steve Kelly. 

Their early titles; Xenon and Speedball garnered some acclaim, but it was their respective sequels that blasted the Bitmaps to the top of the league; Xenon 2: Megablast with its thumping techno soundtrack (by electro producer Tim Simenon, aka Bomb The Bass), and Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe with its polished arcade style graphics and dystopian setting.

To escape the creative constraints imposed by publishers The Bitmaps craftily started to publish their own games under the mantle Renegade Software, and continued to thrill fans with Magic Pockets (their take on the ‘cutsey’ platformer which they somehow managed to stamp with an element of cool), Gods (ingenious puzzle-based platformer with amazingly detailed artwork), and steam-punk shooter The Chaos Engine (blunderbuss!).

Later release ‘Z’ although a solid RTS and great fun (building robot armies to crush the enemy), fell into the shadow of the hugely popular Command and Conquer, and despite spawning a sequel Z: Soldiers and spin-off World War II: Frontline Command, it never managed to generate the excitement or success of their earlier releases.

GamesYouloved would like to thank, Graham 'Bones' Jones.  Our Guest Blogger for his RETRO gaming memories. We will carry on with Graham's Gaming Memories of the amazing BITMAP BROTHERS very soon....PART TWO NEXT WEEK!!

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