Gem Quest was a game from Hex (aka Cory) of Pixel Developments – A demo group from UK’s very own Compunet. Some of their demos got featured in ZZap!64 magazine (e.g. Hunter Killer). Unfortunately, due to further studies, the game was never finished.
The game can be best described as a mixture of Parallax, Z, Survivor – with some nice graphics throughout with 8-directional scrolling. The idea was to collect gems from the levels to then open up an exit door to escape to the next level. Various ships, crossbones would cause you to loose energy/shield power.
The game was released in a preview state that is still playable, where there are aliens that you can shoot. This is believed to be the last known version that was developed.
According to Cory, the game was at a 55% complete status and just needed a few months to finish off, as well as some final graphics from his colleague Toby Eglesfield. The preview contains graphics developed by Cory himself.
Overall, the preview is very promising indeed, and no doubt one of the budget labels would have snapped the game up had it been finished. Additionally, the game may have had music and fx by Matt Gray had things got further.
Luckily we have what remains here, so unless Cory finds any more of this game – then it will be a case closed on this one! Check out the download and enjoy!
Contributions: Cory Kin
Cory Kin speaks about work on Gem Quest:
“It is an 8 way map scroll shoot/collect ’em-up type of game. It has nice graphics that stands out even today to some degree. If you would like to have the game preview as a T64 or D64 image, I can provide.
The game preview from CSdb is the only and last known version that I had transferred from C64 floppy disk. There is no other version out there.
The game was at 55% and needed a few months to finish and polish it off (e.g. the player’s chrome space ship instead of being just a white ball).
It was intended to have music from Matt Gray and some final graphics from Tob as well as we were good friends but due to my studies, I had to leave the C64 scene behind. The game was targeted for a budget label publisher at the time (e.g. Firebird/Silverbird, Players, Mastertronic).
Gem Quest was supposed to be a mixture of an eight way scroller shoot-em-up and collect-em-up type of game. It was inspired by popular games that I liked to play at the time such as Parallax, Z, Boulder Dash, Zone Ranger, and Survivor. The player’s shield was supposed to play a major part in the game play so that the player had freedom to fly all over the level to find and collect the strategically placed gems. By hovering on the glowing ‘S’ character, you would recharge your shield. Collision with the skull and high obstacles with shadow, and warning blinker lights would cause you to loose shield.
Once all the gems had been collected, an exit door would appear to teleport you to the next level. I wish I had finished the game back in 1990, it was intended to have music and sound fx by Matt Gray, and at least some graphics and level design contributions from Toby but it was never to be, and here it is today as an unfinished project in the familiar tones of too little too late.”