Yet another game in development for the C64 by Martech, and late into its C64 life. This was a rather special Spectrum game which sadly didn’t recieve the recognition it deserved (although it was flagged up in Retro Gamer magazine recently).
The game is a flip screen platform affair, feeling slightly like Cybernoid from the look of the screenshots, but with you controlling a wolf/hog like character with a gun.
The game is split into two parts, starting in the Mines, and then proceding onto a huge tower level to get to the end of the game. Overall it was very playable, well recieved but not really recognised too much over the years to come like other games.
I can’t say the C64 conversion was highly anticipated, but it was advertised and looked a rather nice title to look forward to. Was “The Light” behind the C64 conversion as well as the other versions?
Many of the guys interviewed as research knew nothing of the C64 game. Michael Archer (who did C64 based work) confirmed that he had left Martech before Rex had begun development.
In 2014 – Graeme Mason got in touch with Dave Martin from Martech, who confirmed pretty much that the game was never really started – although advertised. After getting the Spectrum edition out, Martech’s focus went straight onto the Atari ST and Amiga platforms and moved away from the 8-bits. Martech got very occupied with two new studios that they had set up recently. They would have loved to have seen a C64 edition, but Creative Reality didn’t take it on and only took care of Z80 versions.
It means that it is very likely that the game was never started for the C64 and we will likely never find anything of a conversion. Unless someone steps forward out of the blue – this is it i’m afraid!
For more details on Martech and their story – look out for issue 133 of Retro Gamer magazine for the full feature written by Graeme Mason.
Contributions: Graeme Mason, David Martin, Ross Sillifant
David Martin recalls about Rex and its missing C64 edition:
“By the time Rex came out, our eye was on a bigger picture. But I loved Rex and it deserved to be a bigger hit. It was definitely the best spectrum game we did, maybe the last decent one we did. But It got lost a little.
We advertised it for the C64 as we planned it…but I think our attention was very much focused on the studios, and the atari st and amiga. I think we just moved away from it and it was their [Creative Reality’s] game. We just didn’t want to take it on.”
18/07/14 – Graeme Mason and Dave Martin confirm that Rex was never started on the C64. Huge shame!
The inlay for the 1989 C64 reissue of Spindizzy by Winner has an advert for Rex – “Look Out For Another Award Winning Game”. It’s almost certainly an error (presumably they simply didn’t change the packaging across formats) but it may be worth speaking to the guys from Alternative (of which Winner was the later reissue label) to see if they had reason to believe there was a C64 version, or if they ever saw anything?
My guess is that it was an error Martin, as I don’t think Alternative arranged for conversions. Worth a try though – so I will ask Roger when I speak to him next.
If I ever get a response from David Martin of Martech I’ll post here I promise!