1991 Core Design

Platforms: Commodore Amiga and Atari ST

Following on from the recent post on Cyber Fight, comes yet another 3D futuristic sports title in the shape of Retro. A title being developed for Core Design by Steve Northcott (programming) and Simon Phipps (artwork).

No doubt with a bit of inspiration from the recent success of Speedball 2, the Core Design duo had come up with a nifty 3D polygon routine and sprite algorithm to come up with a potentially winning formula (or so it seemed!).


ACE magazine gave a bit of background story to the game, suggesting that teams from all over the Solar System compete in the Retro League. Each game pitting two heavily armed and heavily armoured teams of six players against each other in a no-holds-barred scrap.

The aim of the game would be to fire a metal ball into the oppositions goal, but with a lot of violence in between trying to do so. To get around you would use massive jetpacks to fly around, with the pitch scrolling in a similar way to Millennium’s Stormball.

Simon Phipps told ACE magazine that the game was born from Steve, where he had wanted to do a 3D first-person football game. In the beginning Steve was looking to do everything from polygons, but once Simon got involved – they started to implement a sprite scaling system to mix in as well and give better details for the game characters.

Working out

The game would also feature a Gym, like with Speedball 2, where you could add enhancements to your players and beef them up for the next match. The difference here with Retro was that you could also add weapons and upgrade them – where Speedball had nothing like that.

According to magazines, the sprite scaling effect was particularly impressive and overall it was shaping up fairly well if the press details were anything to go by. No particular surprise when learning that Steve had previously worked on titles such as Driller for the Commodore 64.


It seemed that much was still being worked out on how the game would play, and once Simon had finished the artwork – Steve was left to try and finish the game. There were mentions of drawbacks, as you get with most projects – though CU Amiga seemed confident that they’d get a review copy the very next month.

Sadly this was never to be, and the game would completely disappear without a trace and any real further mention. Perhaps Steve couldn’t quite get the game working in a satisfactory way that was fully playable? Hopefully we’ll find out some day soon and hear from both Steve and Simon.

With thanks to Karl Kuras for suggesting to cover the title, Ross Sillifant for the extra scan and Stephen Stuttard for the hi-res scans.


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