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Revenge of the Mutant Camels

Available Platforms: Commodore 64, Amiga

Revenge of the Mutant Camels is a side-scrolling shooter written by Jeff Minter for the Commodore 64 and released in 1984 by Llamasoft.


91/100 based on 6 Editorial reviews. Add your vote

OS supportedWin7 64 bit, Win8 64bit, Windows 10
Updated30 December 2023

Game Review

Revenge of the Mutant Camels is a side-scrolling shooter written by Jeff Minter for the Commodore 64 and released in 1984 by Llamasoft. The game was a kind of sequel to another shooter called Attack of the Mutant Camels (also known as Advance of the Mega Camels). Despite being a classic on the Commodore 64, Revenge of the Mutant Camels was ported eight years later (1992) to the Amiga, Atari ST, and MS-DOS, with slightly improved versions and enhanced graphics.

The legendary English programmer Jeff Minter, founder of Llamasoft, began programming on early 8-bit computers, from the Commodore PET to the ZX-81 to the Vic-20. However, success came with Llamasoft and the first games for the Commodore 64. The Mutant Camels series is undoubtedly one of the most famous. Revenge (like Attack) is a game where a camel (apparently mutant) walks horizontally across the screen, shooting at surreal enemies, including phone booths, Polo mints (icons of the 80s), explosive sheep, and much more. The shooting camel somewhat resembles the AT-AT walker from Star Wars, and indeed, this shooter recalls the game Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Atari 2600 from 1982, where we could control the famous "walker" from the Star Wars saga. Of course, the theme here is completely different and, if anything, more fun, as it immerses players in an almost psychedelic atmosphere.

Your camel has a "neutronium" level represented by a bar. Once depleted, you lose one of the five lives. If you complete a level before the bar runs out, it recharges, and you move on to the next level, which usually features different waves of enemies. The first enemies you'll encounter are vulture-like creatures, but then you'll face clouds from which dog and cat heads fall, little men reminiscent of Manic Miner, small camels, and the other enemies mentioned earlier. You'll find strange things in the background to enhance the psychedelic feeling, like pyramids with eyes popping out to watch you. It's definitely a trip into the world of 8-bit video games!

The controls are peculiar because moving the joystick without pressing the fire button causes the camel to move more to the right or left (without ever stopping walking), jump, or crouch. Pressing the fire button while moving the joystick in a direction shoots in that direction. Pressing the fire button without indicating a direction has no effect. So, the mechanics are different from a classic space shooter like Defender (of which Minter was a fan) or Gradius, games where the spaceship only shoots horizontally. The hordes of enemies that arrive differently at each level require different strategies. Often, it's more about avoiding enemies by finding the right method based on their movements rather than shooting wildly to destroy as many as possible. This makes you play repeatedly, not so much to improve your reflexes but more to develop the right techniques based on the enemy patterns. In short, it's a shooter that requires a bit of thinking.

Revenge of the Mutant Camels is an absolute programming masterpiece. There are dozens of enemies on the screen, continuous scrolling, an animated background, a character that walks continuously, and controls that respond absolutely without delay. It's a true programming masterpiece on the Commodore 64. It is considered one of the best games created for this platform and can be found in the Top 10 of numerous rankings.

In 1991, Jeff Minter himself created the version of Revenge of the Mutant Camels for Amiga, using Devpac, Replay-8, and Deluxe Paint. Interestingly, in 1988, Mastertronic released Revenge Of The Mutant Camels 2 for Amiga without any involvement from Minter. This quasi-sequel was truly disappointing and was criticized by the public, leading Minter to create his version years later. Jeff Minter's version was released in 1992 as shareware. The game was complete, but users were encouraged to register. This led to other 16-bit releases, especially on Atari ST and MS-DOS. These versions add several new features, such as power-ups falling from above that enhance your weapon. Most importantly, the ability to play in two is added, where the second player controls a kind of anthropomorphic goat (reminiscent of Shadow of the Beast). You can also choose to play with the goat controlled by the CPU, but personally, I think the game becomes too easy in this way.

It's hard to say which of the two versions you should choose. The original Commodore 64 is a milestone in the world of computer games, while the Amiga version, also by the original author, has additional features. We offer you both so that you can choose!

Review by: GN Team
Published: 30 December 2023 5:18 pm

Download Revenge of the Mutant Camels - Amiga Version amiga

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Amiga version 1.0 - Language: English - Size: 6.82 Mb

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Commodore 64 version 1.5 - Language: English - Size: 17.03 Mb

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