Grotnik Software was founded by Ross Williams. It was a one man team. Williams had previously been making software for the Exigy Sorcerer. Grotnik is known to have developed three games for the Microbee – “Grotnik Wars” (1984), “Bunyip Adventure” (1985) and “Flip” (1986). Grotnik appeared to stop trading and was removed from the Microbee Market in 1988. A news item in MBug’s “Catcher” magazine explained that Williams was making the three Microbee game available as shareware, inviting users to send to his postbox the sum they though they were worth.
References: MBUG’s “Catcher” June 1988, MBUG’s The Catcher Dec 1985, “Creative Computing” v07 n09 1981 September
From MBUG’s “Catcher” June 1988
This is a high-speed three-dimensional video-game, set in the
surreal wastes of deep space. What you see on your screen is what you
would see if you looked out of a window of a space ship. Although it
may look infinite the Universe is a closed one. Objects that disappear
into the distance will sneak up behind you; objects that you lose out one
side of the screen may reappear on the other side a few seconds later.
Although it is possible to tinker away at the keys and still enjoy the
game, a high level of manual dexterity is essential to success. So to
all the two-fingered typists like myself, don’t expect to become a GRAND
GROTMASTER. To summarize, you and a bunch of nasties are roaming around deep space trying to exterminate each. other. You cannot escape but nor can they.
BUNYIP ADVENTURE (requires 32K)
This is a conventional text adventure set in outback Australia. The top
half of the screen displays your current static position. The bottom half
logs dynamic events. The aim is to catch the BUNYIP and on the way you
will encounter no end of Australian flora, fauna and folklore. Can you
catch the jumbuck by the billabong? What is the significance of the
black stump? And what was the swagman doing by the coolibah tree? As night
approaches and you boil the billy, you hear the howl of the dingoes as the
What distinguishes this adventure from others is the lack of trick
sivations. You don’t have to burn the paper to read the combinations to
the safe, all you have to do is to examine everything in sight and work
out its significance and make liberal use of the HELP command. Two
features supported by BUNYIP are MARK and BACKTRACK. If you are about to
try something risky then give the MARK command first, and if you do
get killed you can type BACKTRACK and be reinstated at that point where
you typed MARK. These commands only work within a run of the game.
Both programs come with a comprehensive 10 page instruction booklet.
A review of the Grotnik Games was in MBUG’s The Catcher Dec 1985
GROTNIK software is now available from the bazaar. If you wish to
order any of their products, below is a price list. These can only be mail
orders as we do not keep stock of any of the products and we must order in
anything you. require.
An Australian adventure game. When playing this game try singing, dancing,
talking to people, examining flies etc. This program is available on Tape,
or either disk format at $16.00 plus postage. Retail Price $20.00. 32k ONLY
A 3 dimensional space game that can be played with or without joystick.
There are nine (9) playing speeds, plenty of enemies and nine (9) different
kinds of objects to shoot at and a variety of galaxies to play in. Terrific
graphics. Available on tape, both disk formats and 2764 EPROM’s. Retail
price $20.00. Our price $16.00 plus postage. Requires 16k Microbee.
Flip is a puzzle game where you have to flip the colours of the 16 squares
in a 4×4 grid so they are all the same colour. It is not as easy as it
sounds as you cannot backtrack on your last move. It can be played with or
without a joystick. Tape price $8.00 (Retail $10.00). Disk price (either
format) $10.40 (Retail $13.00) or 2764 EPROM $10.40. Requires 16k Microbee.
If you have previously purchased a Grotnik Software game on any format it
may be returned and upgraded. e.g. Bunyip now has save present position to
both disk and tape. The price of upgrades is $5.00 each. The original disk,
tape, eprom MUST be returned to obtain your upgrade.
All games come with extensive manuals (each over 16 pages) with tips on
playing the games, how they work and how to get the most out of them.
Place your orders through the Bazaar. All orders will require postage at
the normal rate as the bazaar will not operate at the December meeting. If
you want to wait until January meeting, please state so on your order.
An article in the MBUG’s Catcher June 1988
Although the committee of this club has had knowledge of the withdrawal of
Grotnik Software from the [Microbee] market, we have not made an announcement
because we were unable to confirm the facts. During May we received a
letter from Grotnik Software confirming what we had previously heard.
That’s the bad news. Now for the good. Ross Williams, The author/owner/
managing director of Grotnik Software is allowing the three games written
for the Microbee to be distributed under the “Shareware” concept. What this
means is that the copyright is still retained by Grotnik Software, but the
software, instructions etc., may be freely distributed with the only
provision being that profit not be made by the distributor. In other words
it is “Free” but for the following condition. To quote from Ross’s letter:
“Those who copy and enjoy a program are encouraged to send what they think
the program is worth to P.O. Box ???, Glenside 5065, South Australia.”
A decision is yet to be made on the best way to distribute these games but
they will probably appear on Mbug disks (if we can get someone to type up
the instructions). The three games are; “Grotnik Wars”, “Bunyip Adventure” and