Jeff Minter's Polybius is coming to PC

Jeff Minter—maker of Space Giraffe, Tempest 2000, and other psychedelic arcade shoot-'em-ups—has a new game out, named Polybius. Wait, wasn't that the name of the urban legend arcade game that probably never existed back in the 1980s? Yep! But Minter has cheekily borrowed it for the title of his recently released PlayStation VR shmup—which as it turns out will be getting a PC version.

Minter, AKA developer Llamasoft, (sort of) announced the news on Twitter, via a picture of him testing the PC version from what, to me, seems like an alarmingly cluttered desk. You'll be able to play the PC version with or without VR, he clarified in a further tweet, which of course is excellent news.

But what is Polybius? "Legends tell of an arcade game that was deployed in the early 1980s, but then vanished without trace, apparently after entrancing its victims and permanently altering their mental states," Minter explains on the Polybius site. "In the legend Polybius was malign, twisting the minds of its addicted users. We have no desire to bend people's brains in any kind of a bad way, but given my history with lightsynths and trance-style shooters I thought it'd be fun to do an interpretation of the mythical Polybius, make it entrancing, but certainly not harmful. We hope that the only mindstate changes our game will elicit in its users will be an exhilarating speed rush, an uplifting euphoria, and a happy smile across your mind once you take off the headset and return to real life."

There's no release date or anything yet, but you can watch a video of Minter playing the first seven levels of Polybius below. (Thanks, RPS.)

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.