Our next entry popped up via Twitter in late 2020 thanks to Mark Hardisty, who spotted ex-C64 developer Chris Hester posting up some photos of a game that he worked on.
Ultrabulb seems to be a kind of Spindizzy clone, looking very similar – though having some lovely curved tiles for one the screens. Chris (who previously had created the adventure game Runaway) took the game to Vector Grafix after an interview. Their suggestion was to preload the levels offscreen.
Chris later dug out some notes and sketches relating to the game, which suggests that tiles would have different effects. A tile with an arrow in one direction would prevent you moving in the other for instance, and mystery blocks would either disappear or potentially add to your score. There were potentially boulders to push around on the map, blocks that would disappear and monsters that follow around certain paths.
Monsters would either move around in an X direction, or Y direction – with firefly type enemies inspired by Boulderdash, which would move around a particular path with respect to one side. From one of the pages, it seems the inspirations for the game were from Gauntlet, Boulderdash and Paradroid – as well as Spindizzy (which isn’t mentioned specifically, but we can only assume).
That’s all we know at the moment, but hope to learn more about the game from Chris soon – who will also be providing scans of the photos. The game itself may sadly be lost for good, though Chris does have a few disks knocking about that may have something of it.
By the sounds of it, the game was never finished. It’s early days yet, and this page is a placeholder for now whilst we try and find out more and flesh out the story of the game and hope something of it could be found to recover and show.
Contributions: Mark Hardisty, Chris Hester