Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story Reviews

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is ranked in the 86th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.
4 / 5
Mar 13, 2024

In the latest from the team behind The Making of Karateka, a true genius gets an interactive museum for the ages

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Polygon
Top Critic
Unscored
Mar 16, 2024

To an extent it’s understandable: Many of Minter’s best games from the last 30 years, including the likes of Space Giraffe and Polybius, remain commercially available on Steam and elsewhere, and presumably neither Minter nor Digital Eclipse wants to cannibalize Llamasoft’s meager sales. But it means this otherwise illuminating, funny, and exhaustively detailed portrait of a unique video game artist cuts him off in his prime.

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7 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2024

The Making of Karateka feels like it was told by someone who really loves video games, whereas Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story feels more like it was told by someone who loves Jeff Minter. It’s more interested in showing the man and less about telling his story. Instead, Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story just feels like an organized box of stuff. It’s a pretty great box of stuff, but it should have been more than that.

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4 / 10
Mar 12, 2024

As a hub for video game preservation, Digital Eclipse's latest is fine. It does the absolute minimum and not a bit more. As a piece of history, though, it’s baffling, incomplete, and rushed. I can’t help but think that perhaps the Jeff Minter story that Digital Eclipse wanted to tell proved too unwieldy and maybe too expensive to fit into this release, and what we end up with is this pared down version. Even that doesn't explain the lack of effort to actually tell a story and put any of Minter's life and work in worthwhile context.

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8 / 10.0
Mar 21, 2024

Though I am so far impressed with these Gold Master Series, this one is ranked 3rd out of 3, if I include the amazing Atari 50. I respect the hell out of Jeff Minter for being THE indie game creator. There are some games missing that may come at a later date, and some that I'll never play again. But I think that's what Jeff wants. Stay weird, Mr. Minter. Stay weird.

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Ken McKown
Top Critic
9 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2024

The Gold Master Series remains the gold standard for telling these stories. Living in the era when almost any game can be playable on modern consoles is truly great. I always get excited when Digital Eclipse announces a new one of these. I cannot wait to see what they cover next and hopefully this series never ends. Big game publishers would be wise to get in on this trend, no one does it better than Digital Eclipse.

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9 / 10
Mar 13, 2024

Much like last year's The Making of Karateka, Digital Eclipse’s format sets a high standard for retro collections going forward. It's made the story of these games accessible to all audiences. As a portrait of Jeff, it’s a heartwarming and educational depiction of a personality every gamer should know about.

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8.5 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2024

An industry iconoclast, beloved eccentric and arguably the father of modern high score chasing, the sort of spotlight that the Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story puts on its titular subject feels hugely overdue to say the least. Beautifully put together with a wealth of painstakingly researched historical material, candid looks at Jeff's storied life from Jeff himself and just about all of the games that heralded his rise to prominence in the games industry packed in for kicks, Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is a masterclass how you find out about one of the charismatic and genuinely talented legends of the games industry - and you'll have a great time doing it.

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8 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2024

Although few titles in the collection can honestly still entertain today - in the meantime we have become accustomed to much more - rediscovering Jeff Minter's "woolly" games was a fun and very, very intriguing journey. Added to the nostalgia is the possibility of knowing completely unpublished details of the development, and this collection, very well done in terms of quantity and quality of the material proposed, has an indisputable historical value. A journey that is willingly retraced by reading, listening and playing. Especially playing.

Review in Italian | Read full review

9 / 10
Mar 13, 2024

Like Atari 50 and The Making of Karateka before it, Digital Eclipse's latest interactive documentary is a wonderful glimpse into the mind of one of gaming's most fascinating figures. Even if you've got no prior knowledge of Minter or his games, the selection of videos, image galleries, quotes, and playable games included here will provide you with a newfound respect for this niche yet immensely important segment of gaming history. Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is another triumph for Digital Eclipse, and we can't wait to see what the studio tackles next with its Gold Master Series.

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9.5 / 10.0
Mar 12, 2024

Classic game anthologies followed a pretty basic pattern ever since companies first realized they could make some money by bundling their old games together and tossing them back out to the public with minimal care or effort. They’d have some old games, maybe a single text screen of historical information, perhaps a small gallery of behind the scenes photos, and that’s it. Digital Eclipse showed how utterly insufficient that kind of collection is with Atari 50 and The Making of Karateka, and they continue their peerless work with Llamatron: The Jeff Minter Story. It’s a godsend for Minter fans, a crucial piece of history for an often disrespected medium, and mind-expanding, technicolor, llama-loving proof that, yes, games can be art.

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4 / 5.0
Mar 20, 2024

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is a fascinating exploration of a unique voice in video game history. It's an exhaustive, albeit sometimes overwhelming, homage to Minter's prolific early career. For those willing to dive into this psychedelic rabbit hole, the collection offers a rare opportunity to witness the evolution of a video game auteur in real-time. The narrative's abrupt conclusion and the repetitive nature of early games, however, may leave some players yearning for a more comprehensive portrayal of Minter's extensive catalog. In the end, Llamasoft is more than a game; it's a vibrant, chaotic museum dedicated to the wild, weird world of Jeff Minter, offering both a historical document and a testament to the enduring power of individual creativity in the ever-evolving landscape of video games.

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9 / 10.0
Mar 15, 2024

The games included in Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story may not be for everyone, but the experience most certainly is. Digital Eclipse is quickly establishing the Gold Master Series as the video game equivalent of the Criterion Collection film releases. If you have even a passing interest in video game history, you won't be disappointed.

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90 / 100
Mar 13, 2024

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is the definitive celebration of Jeff Minter's legacy, delivering unique story and concepts about game development. It's a beautiful look at the behind-the-scenes, creativity, and context of old games, which move between time, returning to the present under a new and immersive eye.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

7.5 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2024

Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is for game historians and enthusiasts, not casual gamers. And even fans may be a little annoyed by the fact that it only covers a small part of Jeff Minter's vast and prolific career, not even the whole first 20 years. So while you can check out many of Jeff Minter's important games, you won't be able to play the best ones, which came in later years. And that's a shame.

Review in Slovak | Read full review

9 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2024

One final note: At the time of writing I also experienced a de-sync of audio and video in the interviews. I was informed by a representative of Digital Eclipse that this is a bug in the Switch version and will be fixed in a patch soon after launch.

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Mar 14, 2024

With a vast collection of included games and a great deal of historic documents, Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story is a treasure trove.

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Evan Norris
Top Critic
Unscored
Mar 19, 2024

Jeff Minter is a one-of-a-kind force in the gaming space, a fiercely independent programmer, and one of the industry's most recognizable voices. Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story, which provides new insights into his early coding work and boasts over 40 games across multiple platforms, is worthy of his brilliance.

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8 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2024

Still, as a showcase of early UK computing and as a story of one of the earliest independent developers, The Jeff Minter Story excels in telling a fun, if slightly abridged tale while throwing in a ton of fun scorechasers in the process. If you’re a fan of retro UK computers, this is an absolute must-own.

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10 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2024

The Gold Master Series by Digital Eclipse is one of the best things to ever happen to video games, and when all is said and done, Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story may just be its magnum opus.

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