The Bitmap Brothers: Universe review

A new book presents the history and designs behind such games as Speedball and Xenon. Here's our review of The Bitmap Brothers: Universe.


In movie-making, as in other forms of art, we're used to the notion that some people's work is recognisable at a glance. But what about videogames? Back in the 80s and 90s, the Bitmap Brothers were among the very first design teams to create games so distinctive in their look, sound and feel that you instantly knew it was one of theirs. Having first exploded onto the gaming scene in 1988 with Xenon - a kind of variation on Toaplan's arcade shooter Slapfight, except you could transform into a tank - the Bitmap Brothers set about creating a style that was slick and unspeakably cool.

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When it came to studios with a unique style, the closest forerunner to the Bitmaps,
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