• Graeme Mason

Homebrew Heaven on Antstream Arcade

Along with its huge range of original and officially-licensed retro games, Antstream Arcade also

champions the vibrant homebrew scene, that collective of classic computer fans creating games for their particular favourite retro machine. With several homebrew games already resident on the service and more incoming, it’s about time we celebrated these wonderful modern games on old systems, on Antstream Arcade!


Bug’s Quest For Tapes

System: Amstrad CPC

Year released: 2021

Developer: YB Games

The platform genre has proven fertile ground for retro developers over the years and YB Games, AKA Yellow Belly, again treads this popular trail with Bug’s Quest For Tapes. Starring the eponymous insect, on a mission to retrieve the holy grail of Eighties-style cassette tapes, the game takes place within a series of increasingly-nefarious caves, each one containing instant death enemies and chin-stroking puzzles. But fear not, for Bug is in possession of an acrobatic jump and with your sense of timing and gaming skills to help, he’ll soon be collecting all those tapes with glee. Like many of the 8-bit home computers, the Amstrad CPC has a fervent following today and Bug’s Quest For Tapes is Yellow Belly’s loving tribute to the colourful and playable games that entertained Amstrad owners back in the its heyday.


Golden Wing

System: Commodore Amiga

Year released: 2018

Developer: Copper Sky

There’s an incredible array of Commodore Amiga games on Antstream Arcade including this

homebrew effort from Copper Sky, released three years ago. Piloting the titular spacecraft, the

player is thrust into the middle of a lethal meteor storm, the result of an alien invasion that has

caused a chain reaction throughout The Solar System. As hotshot pilot Jason Crusher, it’s your duty to defend us against this brutal mass of rocks – fortunately the Golden Wing craft is armed with powerful laser cannons and can pick up the power-ups that frequently appear during battle. Golden Wing is a fantastically playable shoot-‘em-up that celebrates not just the Commodore Amiga but also the golden era of arcade gaming with its Asteroids-style gameplay.


Flea

System: Nintendo Entertainment System

Year released: 2020

Developer: Lowtek Games

Created by Scottish developer Lowtek Games, specifically Alastair Low, Flea is the buzzing tale of

Henry The Flea. Like his fellow insect, Bug, Flea is on a quest, but instead of tapes he’s after blood!

Throughout a series of caverns, Flea jumps and dodges, picking up jars of blood and satisfying his

craving before proceeding to the next location. As a homebrew game, Flea successfully bridges the time between the NES’ release and its development thanks to a sweet evocation of modern games such as Doodle Jump combined with classic Nintendo hardcore gameplay.


Galencia

System: Commodore 64

Year released: 2017

Developer: Protovision

Back in 2017, Protovision created this delightful shooter for the Commodore 64 and we are proud to now host it on Antstream Arcade. In Galencia, the warnings of the declining bee population are ignored by the human population. Alerted to the problem, the bees’ powerful guardians arrive from a distant planet, poised to exterminate the source of the problem – humans! It’s over to ace pilot Amy and her faithful canine co-pilot to jump into the Galencia fighter aircraft and destroy the aliens. With 50 levels including bonus rounds, asteroid fields and more, Galencia is a magnificent modern interpretation of classic fixed-screen shoot-‘em-ups, specifically the Galaga series. Some great tunes, sound effects and frantic boss battles complete this amazing package.


Millie & Molly

System: Commodore 64

Year released: 2020

Developer: Below The Tower

Millie &Molly is a devious puzzler from the mind of Commodore 64 homebrew star – and a coder

from back in the day – Carleton Handley, assisted by artist Saul Cross and musician Hasse Axelsson-Svala. Inspired by the platform games of the C64’s prime along with the graphical fidelity of arcade games such as Tecmo’s Solomon’s Key and the gameplay of Gameboy title Catrap, Millie & Molly is the story of two sisters who are trying to rid their world of monsters. Each level presents an increasing set of obstacles to negotiate and there are 100 screens in total. A pleasing mix of contemporary and retro stylings, Millie & Molly’s rewind facility, enabling clumsy gamers to retrace their steps and try again is ingenious and helps make it a fabulous homebrew addition to Antstream Arcade.


A Prelude To Chaos

System: ZX Spectrum

Year released: 2015

Developer: Egotrip

Originally released back in 2015, A Prelude To Chaos is the latest homebrew game to hit Antstream Arcade, and is our first post-commercial era ZX Spectrum game. Presented in the spirit of legendary Speccy flip screen arcade adventures such as Sabre Wulf and Project Future, A Prelude To Chaos is a marvellously retro-chic trawl around an industrial and countryside world, collecting crystals and objects to help the game’s star, Amy, progress past many of its obstacles. Tough and labyrinthine, this a superior puzzle game with plenty to explore – look out for more Spectrum homebrew soon on Antstream Arcade!


Reshoot R

System: Commodore Amiga

Year released: 2019

Developer: spieleschreiber

Our final homebrew game is another Commodore Amiga game, and another retro-inspired shoot-

‘em-up. If you remember classic shoot-‘em-ups such as R-Type and Nemesis (Gradius) then this will

bring back floods of memories. Coded by Richard Loewenstein with graphics by Kevin Saunders and music by Martin Ahman, Reshoot R is a manic shooter that blends the organic aesthetic of Xenon II and Salamander with a huge range of extra weapons, power-ups and high score multipliers. Stretching the bounds of what was thought technically possible, this is a smooth and powerful modern shoot-‘em-up – on the Commodore Amiga computer!


Also on Antstream Arcade we have the frantic boulder dodging Amiga game Dodgy Rocks and with more incoming – including the splat-tastic Turbo Tomato – there’s plenty of homebrew heaven to enjoy on Antstream Arcade. Watch out for more soon!

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