An interesting title next from Software Projects which I never heard of until Peter Weighill sent in a scan of the game’s advert. Heebie Jeebies is another bunged into the archives for our search… Yet another Software Projects title which seemed to disappear without trace. Although Software Projects continued to around 1987 with Hysteria, this never surfaced… although adverts were published.
Was the game actually released in limited numbers? We managed to get hold of an ex-employee from Software Projects, who remembered a little about the game, and suggested it was developed by an Irish guy who might have been named “Niall”. There seems to be no records in Gamebase of any programmers having this first name, so it could well be a one off programming job that didn’t quite make it.
Well, this proved to be a bit of a red herring, as in 2014 – Robbie Graham confirmed that his brother Andrew Graham was the coder of this game. Andrew later worked on Trojan Warrior and Pro Ski Simulator, before later becoming famous for working on Micro Machines.
Andrew had written the game when he was still at school and a bedroom programmer. He had sent it to a few companies, and actually visited Software Projects in Liverpool. An exciting time for Andrew, where he met Matthew Smith.
The game was actually completed, though Andrew isn’t sure why it never actually got released. He was actually paid for his work, and of course the game was fully advertised in the likes of C+VG.
As for the game itself, Heebie Jeebies was described as follows within the advert:
“You play the roll of a spider in this extremely compelling game and you are faced with escaping from some very perilous situations. You are trapped in a hole from which you must escape, but there are other insects in the hole which make your task more difficult, as contact with any of them will lead to instant death.
However, you are not totally defenseless, you are capable of leaving a web trail which only snails can cross. By collecting the twigs that are littered around and storing them against the left hand side of the hole between the two stones, a bridge will form and you will be able to climb out. But be careful – there are 15 hazardous situations to contend with – each one more difficult than the last.”
Andrew mentioned that the game featured an in-game cover of “Dance of the sugar plum fairy” and the graphic style was inspired by seeing screenshots of Atic Attack (although he had never played it back then).
Overall the game sounded quite good, although its difficult to judge from a game’s advert and the screenshots. It looks like your typical game from the early 80’s. Andrew suggests that people may find the game very slow moving and that the game is nothing special. Regardless, it would be great to see the game properly preserved.
Andrew later went on to work on the likes of Micro Machines and Psycho Pinball, and he offers GTW64 hope that the game could be saved some day soon. He has offered to look through his storage for the game, and hopefully we could well see it surface very soon. Lets hope the tape still plays!
Finally, in 2020 – under our noses all along from the Megatree disks, the loading screen from the game has been recovered. Drawn by Stoo Fotheringham and added to the downloads section.
Contributions: Peter Weighill, Tobias Samuelsson, Robbie Graham, Andrew Graham
- 15/06/20 – Recovery of unused loading screen and establishment of another artist.
- 25/03/14 – Major discovery of actual programmer and more details about the game itself added.
Very interesting that it was developed but never released. I can’t remember any reviews in the major magazines of the time, so likely it was only kept in-house by Software Projects. Hopefully the programmer may dig out his disks and find it for preservation. I fear that’s the only hope for it to surface, but will keep watching ebay for any listings of tapes bearing the Software Projects logo or mention.
Wonderful to see some progress! :)
now only the game itself remains ;)
How does it go with this one!
As it was 100% complete I really hope we can find it! :D
Not good i’m afraid Dasse – coder hasn’t managed to find it just yet. I’ll keep checking periodically.
No more news about HJ yet? :O
Hi Dasse, chased a few times but they hadn’t managed to find anything. Last time I checked, they were hoping they might find it at their brothers or parents. I will check again soon and will keep checking fairly periodically. Don’t want to peeve them off too much though at the same time :) It’s one of those things that if it does turn up, they will get in touch again to help see it preserved.
I never thought this game even existed! wonderful!
Come on now Andrew, go and find it! :)