Have You Played… Kid Gloves?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

If you could print out the screenshots of Kid Gloves in my brain, they would be hi-def pristine cartoon graphics. Memories have access to extraordinary upgrades. Kid Gloves looks bloody awful.

I had it for the Atari ST, which in my mind apparently came with a GTX 1080 installed, and it was one of those games I just played and played and played, I think because of a dearth of other options?

Although maybe we should give my brain some slack, because this really looks like an 8bit game, despite running on the future-o-tech of the Atari and Amiga. The game itself, was a flick-screen platformer, and what I most strongly remember was that you had to be really careful about how you finished any one screen because it defined your starting point on the next.

And the caveman. He was a bastard to kill. And the flames, always falling in the flames. And the oranges. And the ankhs. I had no bloody idea what an ankh was in 1990, despite there being in every single game published, like it was a legal requirement or something. And, er, my memories are entirely the pictures, aren’t they? Do you remember it any better?

20 Comments

  1. vast_anusse103 says:

    I had an ST, but I have never even heard of this I’m afraid. Funny thing is that as technology develops the memories appear to develop along with them. My friends and I (yes I have plural friends) had a retro weekend in about 1994 to play stuff like Speedball 2 and possibly Crazy Cars. It lasted about an hour until we switched on the PS 1 and played a modern game instead, Soul Blade :-) Nostalgia is fun, but shit.

  2. wonkavision says:

    I’m 39 and remember the games I played as a kid exactly the way they actually looked. I’ve not once been shocked upon seeing an old game.

    People often say nostalgia makes games seem better than they actually were, but I’ve never found that to be the case. I played great games as a kid, and I knew shitty games when I saw them. I tried to get my nephew into games, though, and he kept buying licensed console titles. He loved them! I remember thinking, So that’s why people talk the way they do about nostalgia. They liked shitty games.

    • RuySan says:

      When i started revisiting Amiga games with emulators the only thing that i mismembered was the resolution. The games were much more pixelated than I remembered. Besides that, Shadow Of The Beast is still a very good looking game, and will probably be until the end of time.

      And Kid Gloves, that game came free with Amiga Power for one of its first issues, and it was pretty decent, even if graphically wasn’t great.

      • DrJ3RK says:

        If you don’t use some filtering, or scanline type screen effects, emulated Amiga (and other old CRT-expecting machines) will look very chunky/pixelated on PCs. CRTs kind of rounded the pixels out in the lower horizontal scan frequencies used by most of these old systems. I believe on US screens that was typically 15.7KHz. (whereas something like VGA on a PC was 31.something KHz, and still made square(er) pixels on a CRT. Now on LCDs and such, you’ll get square pixels on everything.

        That’s where the graphic filters, or scanline modes come in. Also, if you can find Aperture Grill filters, those usually look very nice (and Arcade screen like). You may already know all this, but thought I’d mention it if you want to get your emulated games looking a bit more like what you remember.

        • isolatedRay says:

          I used My Amiga with a RGB Monitor. It produced a nicer picture then a TV.

        • RuySan says:

          Yes, now I use some kind of scanline filter for almost all my emulation, except when I’m screenshoting for my blog, because it doesn’t look nice scanlines with small images.

          • DrJ3RK says:

            Nice. I agree, as soon as you try to scale an image with scanline filters things get ugly. I need to see if WinUAE has some of the aperture grill type filters that MAME has. It’s a pretty nice effect with some games.

  3. DrJ3RK says:

    I’ve played this a bit. Before I got my Amiga 500, a friend had one. My brother and I would go over and play Shadow of the Beast, Kid Gloves, Puffy’s Saga, Awesome, Treasure Trap, Stryx and later Shadow of the Beast II. I got my Amiga shortly after that. :)

  4. AutonomyLost says:

    I have not, but I used to play the shit out of Kid Chameleon! That game was legit. Looked very similar.

  5. unimural says:

    I still remember the Amiga version having digitized speech samples. “Kid Gloves” at the opening screen and the “Oh no!” on player death are the ones I remember. I suppose it must have been one of the earlier Amiga games I played for that to have made such an impression. I also remember the game being very hard. I suspect I never got that far in it and think I kind of hated the game.

  6. dylan says:

    John, you just solved a mystery that’s been tickling my brain for decades.

    When you’re a kid in a new city and your parents are getting to know other adults, you get dragged off to a lot of strangers’ homes for tea. Often it’s the last time you’ll ever meet the strangers’ kids, so I never had the chance to ask about the cartoon boy they were moving around the TV screen, or the reason the cartoon boy was throwing oranges inside of a burning jungle, or the meaning of that strange word they kept using–“ankh”.

    Fun to have the mystery solved. I imagine the game is not great.

  7. Mcshufts says:

    Still love the title screen music but it’s a horrible game to play. It’s nothing like Kid Chameleon.

  8. Da5e says:

    …yeah, why *were* there so many ankhs in the late eighties to mid nineties? And why did they stop? Were they perhaps Bronk’s Sigil?

    • Ghostwise says:

      It had some importance in Ultima IV

    • thekelvingreen says:

      I imagine it has something to do with Xenoxxx.

    • April March says:

      If I had to take a wild guess, I’d say it’s because games needed a symbol for life, but didn’t want to use a cross because it might be seen as [anti-]religious and Satanic Panic was close on their heels. That or goths. Probably goths actually.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Goth was relatively big back in the 90’s, I imagine that had some influence on it.

  9. Sin Vega says:

    I have not, but it is one of my favourite Doomtree tracks. This is a much happier outcome, I feel.

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    Big Dunc says:

    I definitely played it on the Atari ST but I think it might have only been a demo and only included a level or two.

    • isolatedRay says:

      I had it on Amiga 500, but it was pirated. Sorry to the devs, I know its wrong. I don’t pirate anything anymore :)