Lasers and Labyrinths

Memories

Lasers and Labyrinths was a game from Mindware, the same developers who wrote the 16-bit versions of Tracker.

The game was essentially a sci-fi based Dungeon Master clone. The graphics were by Terry Greer, who had produced exceptional graphics in the past on the Sinclair Spectrum for Interceptor Micros text adventures (Heroes of Karn, Jewels of Babylon, Aftershock, etc.). He had also previously worked for Firebird on the ST/Amiga game Pandora.

Lasers and Labyrinths started on-board the Searcher Seven mothership, which was parked at a safe distance away from the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. The game required the player to visit several large asteroids, solving a series of quests and returning to the mothership alive.

If a character died in the game, a new one could be grown from embryos stored in a chamber on the mothership. The characters had the usual RPG stats but they also had extra PSI abilities (mind reading, etc.).

Lasers and Labyrinths was shelved in early 1989 after Mindware failed to deliver development versions that met the agreed contractual milestones. I can remember sitting down with (I think) either Tim Roberts or Peter Moreland in the testing room and looking at the last version they had sent, checking the working features of the game off against the project milestones.

Unfortunately, Mindware ceased trading as a result of Lasers and Labyrinths being cancelled by Rainbird.

The game specification document was an interesting read, but none of the delivered development versions really allowed the player to do anything other than walk about a few corridors and pick up a few items. There were plenty of hatching alien eggs dotted around the mothership corridors, but other than that the game wasn’t really in a state where it could be played.

Xenomorph

With the game cancelled, artist Terry Greer was free to do what he liked with the graphics he had produced. He used them a year or so later in the game Xenomorph, which was published by Pandora for the ST, Amiga and the C64. Terry Greer was credited as graphic artist and co-designer on the game.

To anyone outside of TelecomSoft, the link between Rainbird’s doomed Lasers and Labyrinths and Pandora’s Xenomorph wasn’t well known – until now.

Update – Terry Greer now has his own web site and he gives some details about Lasers and Labyrinth’s there as well!

One thought on “Lasers and Labyrinths

  1. Ross Sillifant

    I had the pleasure of not only playing Xenomorph on the ST, but more recently interviewing him for Volume 2 of ST Gamer magazine and reading his books.

    The chap is a scholar and a gent and it’s fantastic to see his lost work covered here.

    Reply

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