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Written by ST Graveyard

November 1, 2001


One of the first ever released vertical shoot 'em up scrollers for the Atari ST, Goldrunner is known for its ultra fast action and slick presentation. And strangely, after this release, no other game ever managed to do the scrolling as well as in Goldrunner. The game was programmed by Pete Lyon and Steve Bak, who called themselves "The Dream Team", and it shows. Responsible for other classics such as "Leatherneck" and "Return to Genesis", the latter being a horizontal shooter of the same caliber.


This game features some awesome graphics and animation. First of, the landscapes are nicely detailed. Everything runs very fast and smoothly. And take a closer look at the goldrunner itself, the way the ship loops when you change direction is just freakin' cool!


A great soundtrack from Rob Hubbard. You just gotta love his stuff. He made the soundtracks for loads of games on the Commodor 64 before entering the 16 bit era. Other ST soundtracks he's responsible for are the ones for "Warhawk", "Thrust" and "Thundercats". The game also features some sampled speech. It all sounds terrific!


Goldrunner isn't just your regular shooter. What distinguishes this game is the fact that you have total freedom in a level. You can finish a level the normal way (flying upwards), but at any time, you can turn back to the beginning and beyond. You can even finish a level in the opposite direction.

So what exactly is your mission? Well, the world of "Goldrunner" is divided into rings (levels). You have to destroy as much of the landscape as possible, buildings being your primary objective. Once you have demolished everything, and depleted the ring of its energy, a gate will open in one of the buildings and you can continue to the next level. But beware, there is a lot of enemy activity. Try and avoid it at any cost, cause if you get hit more then 5 times, you'll lose a spacecraft and have to start all over!

Your ship is equipped with 2 laser cannons. The more energy you have, the better they work. So make sure you don't get hit to much and keep your energy level up. You can also activate your booster to make your ship go even faster. The landscape flies by at the speed of light. It looks really cool, but be careful for higher buildings!


Goldrunner is a great game. It's fast and furious. You should definitely give it a try. To put it in Lorenzo's words...An oldie, but a goldie (no pun intended).

  • Graphics: 8
  • Sound: 9
  • Gameplay: 9
  • Overall: 8

Review Comments

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Zone Warrior

February 12, 2023 by AtariCrypt

Once again, pesky aliens are giving us Earthlings lots of grief. We previously fought them off but they managed to pinch a time machine so are using that to alter history and wreak havoc by taking crucial hostages from each period in an attempt to halt their influence. From the invention of the wheel in prehistoric times to England's King Arthur uniting Britain! And where would any of us be today without Japan and its technical wizardry? Yep, we cannot allow this - the fight is on!

Son Shu Shi

March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard

What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

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