1984 Ultimate Play The Game
Platform: BBC Micro
Generally if we talk of unreleased games and Ultimate, instantly we think back to the infamous “Mire Mare” which has haunted us for many years. Instead we have had to make do with discoveries such as Solar Jetman and Lunar Jetman on the C64.
However, adding to the list is Cookie on the BBC Micro, which would shock fans of the platform way back in 2002.
Older generations of gamer may not have played this game, so here is a brief explanation of those not in the know:
The game itself puts you in control of Charlie the Chef, who keeps his ingredients locked in the larder. The ingredients can escape and bring out various nasties with them. Charlie must stun escaping ingredients with flour bombs and knock them into the mixing bowl, while ensuring the nasties get sent to the bins.
Cookie’s existence on the BBC Micro was to be something of a shock to many people, especially Stairway To Hell (http://www.stairwaytohell.com), who were recovering lost BBC Micro titles through their website. Regular contributor to Stairway To Hell, Dick Greening caused shock waves by contributing the previously unreleased (and complete!) disk image of Cookie in 2002. How?
Remarkable was the fact that no official BBC Micro version was ever heard of until it surfaced like it did. Even Rare’s own website stated Cookie was only ever released for the Spectrum.
The game was developed and converted by Paul Proctor, who has converted the game extremely well, with the additional use of colour to enhance graphics. Gameplay is left untouched, featuring playability that matches its spectrum counterpart.
Not only was the game recovery itself significant, but there were also unheard musical delights composed by none other than Martin Galway. Great renditions of Food Glorious Food and other jingles add to what is a fantastic conversion.
So, how did this particular effort manage to escape the dungeons of Ultimate/Rare?
Dick Greening got in touch with GTW in 2010 and mentioned that Cookie arrived in his hands via a games circle swap between three friends. The third was a BBC engineer that Dick met whilst working at the BBC – they cracked and swapped tape-based games via the Royal Mail system. He provided the game to Stairway To Hell, who then released the game via their Lost and Found section.
It is strange that a complete game like this was left unreleased when other BBC Ultimate titles did see release. Possibly Cookie was a bit too late, and Ultimate felt it wouldn’t sell. It still remains a mystery and hopefully Paul Proctor will shed some light, but crucially the game is finally here and can be enjoyed as originally intended.
A fantastic finding! – Go and grab it from http://www.stairwaytohell.com or download from here: