The Konix Multi-system Games

Here are the know games that were either in development for the Konix Multi-system or had been planed to be. Some have screen shots from magazines and some have videos provided with kind permission of Jon Dean (the guy that actually filmed them). Please don't distribute or re-produce these videos as they remain Jon Dean's Copyright.

Rotox - Binary Design


I can't work out if this was developed on the KMS and ported to other machines after the death of the KMS. It certainly did find its way onto at least the Atari ST and possibly the Amiga. The screenshots below are from the ST version, but the video is from the KMS version.

Revenge of Starglider I assume was to be a 3D game - this I know for sure definitely was. Although in a top down perspective. It showed at least that the Konix could show rotational and scaling effects in 3D - not a as nice a way of showing off a machine as having a full 3D display like Starglider may have had.

Rotox - Konix Multi-system

ROTOX (development title) (Expected availability MARCH '90)

Original 3D space game based upon floating agricultural platforms in space which have been overrun by some kind of alien... it is your job to get to the bottom of it! Fast shoot-'em-up with high speed rotating graphics. Also works with Konix Power Chair. Written by Binary Design.

Another title which used the Power Chair - with no obvious reason or justification. Don't get me wrong - I think it's a great idea that if you go out and spend a lot of money on a peripheral, you don't want to have to buy a specific game just to use it and then wait and wait for another game to be developed to use it. It is obvious that Wyn or Jon recognised the syndrome described and made sure all the games (or the majority) gave some sort of added dimension through the addition of the Power Chair and that you weren't left with a "White Elephant" (and quite an expensive one at that).

Blurb from box:

ROTOX - The man was a trooper in the Elite marines, injured on combat duty.
ROTOX - the cyborg has been transformed by 22nd century science into a devastating cybernetic fighting machine, ROTOX - the game is the proving ground.
Specially constructed landscapes in deepest space provide a nightmare environment of deadly machines and hostile life forms. Mistakes are fatal, but success will lead ROTOX to the high-powered weaponry he needs to escape....
SURVIVE - and you will build yourself into a lethal fighting machine.
FAIL - and your soul will wander the galaxy forever...
You want a revolution? You're got it! ROTOSCAPE combines the colourful detail of large sprites with the complete freedom to move around a background landscape constructed of polygons. Watch in amazement as this detailed background zooms, scrolls and rotates through 360 degrees around you, giving an incredibly lifelike feel to the game.

This was also published by US Gold - written by Binary Design (who were later called Creative Minds).

Not a particularly well received game on other platforms - getting 43/100 on Amiga and 40/100 on PC from Powerplay magazine.

Translated from German, Powerplay had this to say about the Amiga version "The enemy formations are as arbitrarily as a tax assessment, the graphics are as deserted as a new homeland concrete settlement, and the sound must have been programmed by a torturer. In short, Rotox makes little fun."

And they didn't care for the PC version either "The rapidly rotating robot from the Action game "Rotox" drives now also its nuisance on MSDOS PC'S. Unfortunately it's also here with the unsatisfactory Action game, which can impress only by the graphic turning effect of the screen. The graphics look bearable, poor under EGA and CGA under VGA. For my part the Rotox robot can rust."

Excuse the bablefish translation - but I think the message is pretty clear.

Reviews and score courtesy Mobygames

I never played Rotox so I can't comment, the effect must have been a simple precursor to the SNES's mode 7.


Nick Speakman (now the owner of Matrix Software) formerly of Binary Design describes how they took on Rotox:

Rotox was based on an obscure Atari over-head shooter which rotated the whole screen. We used to play at an arcade most lunchtimes, and me and Paul Ranson set about trying to think of a way to replicate it. The problem was that the Atari game used hardware to rotate the screen, kind of like mode 7 on the SNES so that was a non-starter. We had a great maths guru called Mike Day who was doing 3D stuff on PCs at the time so the idea switched to doing it with vectors and rotating those instead. So given the Konix's power for vectors it would have been awesome.

Nick's feelings about the Multi-system:

"We got sent a dev system to write some games, we had a play around with it but the company I was working for was on the verge of going bust so we had bigger fish to fry. I remember it being a good technology demo, but it didn't really look like it'd ever transpire into a real system… which it didn't. I can also remember EVERYONE being hyped up about the chair, which was it's USP[Unique Selling Point]… but that's all really."

Digging deeper into Nick's feelings regarding the machine I asked "Is it just hindsight that tells you that the machine didn't look like it would become an actual product - or was they something about the way it was handled that struck you as amateurish?"

To which he replied:

I was only 20 at the time, and had only been a project manager at Binary for 18 months so I wasn't some seasoned businessman but it wasn't like dealing with the Japanese or Americans, Konix didn't seem any bigger or more professional than us."

And finally my instinct to try to preserve and archive anything Konix related prompted this line of questioning:
"I appreciate you had bigger fish to fry, with the closure of the business, but in amongst the chaos of it all, do you know what happened to the dev-kit hardware?"

Nick said:

"I walked in one Monday morning and half the computers had gone the weekend before the receivers came in and we got made redundant. Anyway I guess any Konix hardware was either sent back or bought in the fire-sale."

Oh well, you've got to ask...



Rotox - Image 1 Rotox - Image 2 Rotox - Image 3 Rotox - Image 4 Rotox - Image 5 Rotox - Image 6

The single Konix screenshot shown here is a screen grab from the video. It's a very early stage of development, but shows that the game that went on to be on the ST and Amiga took a more futuristic turn instead of the more agricultural one seen in the Konix version. Once again, the screenshots show that the Konix was more than a match for the two 16 bit machines.