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One of the best games of 2001 was one you’ve never heard of.

Startopia was a space-station management game in the vein of Theme Park & Theme Hospital, from some of the people behind both those classics.

It was wonderful. It had character, it had grace and style. It was fun to play, and looks good even now in this world full of spinny-rotaty-3d worlds. It didn’t sell because it was released in 2001, and Eidos – who published it – had blown all their budget on Tomb Raider.

It sank. It gathered a series of superlative reviews in the industry press, and then sank without trace. You can – and should – pick it up for a fiver in the local bargain bin.

I mention this because, as of a couple of days ago MuckyFoot, the company who produced that, Urban Chaos, Blade 2, and were halfway through a game for Bulletproof Monk when they finally went under.

As of Friday, 31st October 2003, Muckyfoot are no more.

Best of luck to all of them.

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