Synapse Software & Other Acid-ish Games

As everybody knows, all the early hacker/entrepreneurs were on acid. All the time. Yes. In the games industry, Jeff Minter is probably the most obvious example. But I recently stumbled across Synapse Software, which made some hot stuff in the early 80s, with pretty good soundtracks too.

Rainbow Walker (video) looks nice and synchronizes the music to your movements. There’s Drelbs (video), where you are a walking eyeball that traps an angry face and kiss a girl to go to another dimension. In Mindwalker you are a deranged professor who enters his own mind to repair it by connecting identities with landscapes, locate a “shard of sanity” by using audio cues in a maze of pulsing neurons, etc. Check a video of it here.

Relax is a game that uses biofeedback and was designed to make you relax by looking at kaleidoscopic patterns, playing slow games, etc. There’s an article about it here and the C64-version is here. After a while they started to work with interactive fiction (“text adventures” – you saw Get Lamp, right?). It seems that Mindwheel was their biggest success. “At its most basic level, the game is about telepathy” (here).

Some other nice old games with a psychedelic/stoner flair are:
  • Deus Ex Machina (video)
  • IQ / Worms? (video) – a sound game
  • Alpha Waves / Continuum (video) – early 3D stuff
  • I, Robot (video)
  • Master of the Lamps (video)
  • Hoi (video) – sound/visuals from RAM-trash + SIDmon!
  • Little Computer People
  • …and a playstation-game called LSD?

9 Responses to “Synapse Software & Other Acid-ish Games”

  1. b-knox Says:

    thanks for the ‘get lamb’ heads up!!! :D/

  2. dimi ghost Says:

    great post, thank you ! %)

  3. boomlinde Says:

    your whole life’s just a percentage scoooore

  4. The First Recording of Chipmusic, or What? « CHIPFLIP Says:

    […] which used a separate audio cassette player for the music. I mentioned their game Deus Ex Machina here, which had a very strange atmosphere to it. PiMania seems to be an equally bizarre game, that […]

  5. Omri Suleiman Says:

    Sensible software always seemed quite trippy to me, the Blue Meanies in Wizball being one example

  6. Trixter Says:

    You forgot the classic psychedelic Weird Dreams:

    Wonderful post — I had never heard of some of these.

  7. Cartridge Music – the Best of Two Worlds? | CHIPFLIP Says:

    […] in the 1980’s there was 8-bit generative visuals like Jeff Minter’s Psychedelia (and other acid-ish stuff hm) that taps into earlier things like Atari’s Video […]

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