<Switchblade is a computer platform game developed by Core Design and released by Gremlin Graphics in 1989.
The game was released for the Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC formats. An enhanced port of the latter for the Amstrad GX4000 console was released in 1991.
The player guides the protagonist, Hiro, through a flip-screen platform environment with a subterranean setting. Unexplored areas of the screen are obscured from view until the player character enters them.
A sequel, Switchblade II was released in 1991.
[..]It was a significant coding achievement at the time as Core Design working for Gremlin only used mode 1 which normally would mean only 4 colours on the screen at one time but with the Amstrad plus and console’s hardware extra features the coders used split screen techniques and hardware sprites to produce upto 16 colours on a screen in the 4 colour, high resolution mode 1.
Switchblade, at time of release in 1990, really was a stunning display of graphics and gameplay on an 8-bit machine that rivaled the bigger 16-bit machines. It was well illustrated in Rod Lawton’s review in AA64, pg 52, in an interview with Gremlin’s technical guru James North-Hearn in comparing the Amstrad+ version and the Atari St version saying “ If I could play either one of them I would probably be more likely to play the Amstrad console version”.[…]