British industry luminaries – what is your favourite British videogame?

Iain Simons, Director of GameCity in Nottingham.

I was weaned on the work of Jeff Minter from Gridrunner on the VIC-20 onwards, and fell in love with Ancipital on the Commodore 64. Batalyx brought together everything you needed to know about his work, wrapped in a brilliant time-based structure. In lesser hooves, it could have been a fragmented collection of mini-games – instead, it feels like a completely cohesive and uncompromised whole. No wonder it was a Zzap Sizzler!

Kate Russell, Presenter BBC Click!

Elite on the BBC Micro was the game that sparked my interest in technology back when I was 11 years old. I remember being in awe of the infinite world that existed inside this little black box on the table. This game was just white lines drawn on a black screen, but it still blew my mind, as we’d never seen anything like it before. When I imagine how different the games of the next few decades will be from what we know today, the possibilities are incredibly exciting

Ian Livingstone  OBE. Chairman, Sumo Digital Ltd, Co-creator of the Fighting Fantasy series and co-author of the Livingstone-Hope NextGen report.

I should not try to influence your choice on the best of British games!

Andy Payne  OBE. Just Flight, AppyNation, Ukie, BAFTA and Creative Industries Council

Best British game of all-time? Hmmm, Elite, Guild of Thieves, The Pawn, Starglider?

Tom Bramwell, Operations Director of Eurogamer Network.

There are lots of games made by British studios that mean something special to me. Rare’s Viva Pinata holds a particular fondness – a beautiful synthesis of resource management and cute animals – but GTA III is easily my favourite. It was one of the first 3D worlds that gave the player a real sense of freedom – a place where you weren’t penned in by invisible walls, load screens, strict rules and linear objectives – and it was built by grown-up storytellers with an eye for good satire, who proceeded to run riot with the absurdity of the American Dream. It’s hard to think of a more important release in the last 20 years worldwide, let alone in Britain.

Tristan Donovan, author of the acclaimed Replay: The History of Video Games and games journalist.

Most games don’t age well, but 18 years on from its release, UFO: Enemy Unknown is still a must play. It’s the pinnacle of Brit game legend Julian Gollop’s career-long focus on turn-based tactical strategy, and makes masterminding Earth’s response to an alien invasion an utterly compelling experience that drips with tension and atmosphere.

Charles Cecil  MBE, creator of Broken Sword and founder of Revolution Software.

Apart from Broken Sword of course, my favourite game choice goes to Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto III in particular. The DMA team, led by Dave Jones, came up with the edgy 2D, plan-view steal-a-car classic. Then the move to 3D took another great leap of vision – for me, GTA III is one of the most revolutionary and interesting games ever written. It encapsulates the spirit of William Hogarth and all those great British engineers – the fusing of creativity, technical expertise, and, when needed, entrepreneurship. Genius.

Bruce Grove, CEO Polystream

At the ripe old age of eleven I blew all my savings on a ZX81. That was my start in technology but it was also where I encountered 3D Monster Maze. All of a sudden I was immersed in this maze where a wrong turn could see me running for my life being chased by a T-Rex. At the time I remember it being truly breathtaking and even a little scary. Elite was another on the BBC that I played for endless hours: strategy, economics, battle readiness, and vector graphics, awesome, awesome vector graphics. But, if you asked me for my favourite ever, probably Lemmings: good grief, absolute genius, wait, I blow this one up to save the other ones, ok, let’s do it.


First published as part of the Games Britannia festival in 2012.





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