Venus The Flytrap is a shooter/platformer created by Gremlin Graphics and released in 1990 exclusively for the Atari ST and Amiga.
In the game, you control a robot insect that has to save the world and defeat other insects trying to clean the earth from the plague of humanity. Using all your weapons and power-ups, you must get through 8 worlds, including Frozen Wastes, Caverns, and Death Valley.
The game didn't reach great popularity, but it was appreciated for its original gameplay and the great mix between shooter and platformer.
Venus the Flytrap was one of Sheffield-based Gremlin Graphics’ most iconic games. Being a software house in my home town, their release always felt extra special and were always guaranteed to come with excellent music, graphics and gameplay.
As a shooter/arcade game fan, the release of Venus was particularly exciting – it's a lovely idea with really nice vibrant graphics and a distinctive atmosphere. The first level is perhaps the most memorable, and the mecha-fly you control game is superb. This in itself is perhaps why the game is so fondly remembered, owning to the unique way it operates.
The first few levels certainly are the business, with colourful, detailed graphics and atmospheric proto-industrial music. Sadly, after the third or fourth level, you’re faced with the same enemy sprites on each world (which no longer match the environment they’re in) and there is a decline in the quality of the background graphics on occasion, especially on the Kaverns world. There aren’t even any end of level bosses to fight, which seems like a strange oversight for a platform shooter such as this. Even the bonus levels are the same each time.
It is one huge game, but it seriously lacks variety, which is a great shame, leaving you with little incentive to persist. The final hellish world of skulls and bones is a real challenge, but again, with no big fight at the end, it is somewhat of an anticlimax.
It is easy to criticise these games of a previous era, looking at them today, so we must’t forget their impact at the time. Venus the Flytrap does have a degree of lasting appeal, perhaps because of its originality at the time.