Found hiding on a bunch of old Compunet disks by Viktor Vargor came this interesting little preview of a Submarine game by none other than Mike (Kernal) Berry, who later went on to create Boing!, Reckless Rufus and the other GTW, Savage Platforms.
How did we know it was by Mike?… Well, hazarded a guess and apart from the fact that the disk image had Mike’s name, it was also full of all his demos and nothing else. Oh, and Mike himself confirmed that this was his game 🙂
The game simply consists of a 2/3 sprite yellow submarine on a single screen with a bit of scenary. I imagine that the game would have later scrolled and been similiar to Airworf, but underwater.
This preview is lacking on playability, and the main ship is the only thing that is interactive. The coloured blocks present are there for testing the collision detection, which it seems Mike must have been trying to tweak at the time.
When asked about the game, Mike gave said
"Iron Fish wasn’t really marketed for anyone really. I knocked it up during a day of particular boredom.
I had fancy ideas about creating fancy water effects and giant mechanical fish (a little like the one in Stingray!). I think I probably only spent about 2-3 days on it maximum, then life go in the way :)"
So that was it, the game never progressed any further and never got offered to any companies. Surely it would have done had the game been finished. This was merely a project which Mike started and lost interest in, as do many programmers with various projects.
The game essentially is a lost relic of Mike’s programming past, and is a small indication of some of the early thoughts that Mike had during his C64 coding time. A shame it never got complete, but there you go 🙂
All that remains is a main sprite and test gfx… Case closed…
Contributions: Mike Berry, Viktor Vargor