All Terrain Gardener (ATG)


All Terrain Gardener (ATG) was a mad C64 platform caper where you played a gardener who had to dash around screens, rescuing plants and flowers before they drowned. A swarm of killer bees was going to thwart you (amongst other things), and all you had to protect yourself was a trowel.

David ‘Ubik’ Korn had already written a few budget games for TelecomSoft, including two great drum kit synthesiser titles, Micro Rhythm and Micro Rhythm +, as well as a conversion of Thrust II and Arcade Classics, all for the Commodore 64.

The graphics were by the amazing Paul 'Dokk' Docherty, who has revealed in a recent interview that he really enjoyed working on ATG. Paul really went to town on the sprite animation, and the game used some nifty overlaid sprite routines to make the whole thing look really slick on the Commodore 64.

ATG was almost finished (apart from a few things here and there) when BT sold TelecomSoft to MicroProse (UK) Ltd in mid 1989. MicroProse sold the Silverbird budget label soon afterwards, and so ATG needed a new publisher. Prompted by Gary Liddon (whose own game Tyger! Tyger! also never saw the light of day at TelecomSoft), Dave fixed the bugs, slightly amended the game and tried to raise some interest at Codemasters. Unfortunately, it was not to be, and so the game remained lost until C64 fanzine Commodore Zone interviewed Dave and persuaded him to allow ATG to go on issue 15's cover disk.

The screenshots shown here are from the Commodore Zone release of ATG, which was turned into a single file and compressed for the magazine by editor Jason Kelk, who also wrote a budget title called Protocol that failed to get signed by TelecomSoft in the end.

What do you think?