Starburst may have actually seen a release, but in very limited numbers. The game was offered for sale as part of a GEMS compilation pack by Digital Dynamite. An advert was listed in Issue 61 of Zzap, with a review of just the text adventure game which came as part of the pack of 4 games. The adventure game managed to find its way out though… http://www.gamebase64.com/game.php?id=9297&d=18&h=0
Duncan Scott Kershaw confirms that the game was infact his game that was released eventually by Commodore Disk User….
Apparently Duncan sold the game to Digital Dynamite, and the game appeared on Commodore Disk user without his consent.
Sadly it seems that the idea of 4 mixed games genres of unknown quality in a mail order advert for £8-11 wasn’t a great idea, and so Digital Dynamite disappeared without trace, and it seems not really anyone picked up a copy.
But regarding saving the game – we hit luck with Andrew Rodger, Duncan Kershaw and Mark Wilson all had copies. Duncan started things by digging out some photos of the GEMS collection, and then Mark Wilson followed recently with the disks themselves.
Mark had backed up the game to D64 images – and has very kindly passed these onto GTW to include and show Castle Boy and Stratagos for the for the first time. It is very possible that only those involved on the project ever got a copy in the way of a complimentary copy. What is warming to learn, is that all the developers seem to have got paid for their work – but the company themselves just didn’t make the money and Digital Dynamite was no more. A shame!
Well, although CDU released the game – it seems that they had released potentially an earlier version of Duncan’s game without permission. This version for Digital Dynamite may well be more complete, but for certain contains some previously unheard music by Andy Brown. This has been kindly ripped out by Ian Coog and we have now added the SID files for this – there are 4 tunes in total.
As a result, we have added screenshots now and a download for the pack, as this is pretty much the complete edition of the game, which is a neat vertically scrolling blaster!
Enjoy and case closed!
Contributions: Andrew Fisher, Andrew Rodger, Duncan Kershaw, Mark Wilson, Ian Coog
Duncan Kershaw talks about work on Starburst:
“That was my game. I seem to remember it was sold to them around the same time the game appeared on Commodore Disk user (without my consent..)
Apologies if anyone ever played Starburst, it was pretty awful.”
- 13/01/14 – Added scans confirming existence of GEMS pack
- 15/02/14 – Added Gems pack download
- 16/02/14 – Added SID from Ian Coog