A Gremlin in the Works

With the British computer game scene about to explode, a small shop appeared on Sheffield’s Carver Street called Just Micro. It was founded by the partnership of Ian Stewart and Kevin Norburn, both with retail backgrounds but a desire to get into the business of games publishing. Fortunately the shop attracted local talent such as Pete Harrap, Shaun Hollingworth and Tony Crowther, and so, in 1984, Gremlin Graphics was formed.

Published in 2016 after a culmination of two years research, A Gremlin in the Works is the exhaustive history of Gremlin Graphics, from its roots in Just Micro through to its acquisition in 1999 by Infogrames and beyond.

Officially endorsed by founder Ian Stewart, the book features interviews and anecdotes from all of its key members, including Chris Kerry, Ben Daglish and Greg Holmes, along with stalwarts of the UK gaming scene: Rod Cousens, Tim Chaney, Jeremy Heath-Smith, Geoff Brown and Infogrames founder Bruno Bonnell among many others.

Buy A Gremlin in the Works


Professional artwork started to legitimise games as an entertainment medium, and even turned some products into objects of desire – something to buy for the packaging as well as the contents. On platforms such as the ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64 the crude pixel graphics of the games could never deliver what the fantasy land on the cover promised, but it did propel kid’s and their imaginations into the valley of quarrelling kings, the manager’s seat in the dugout, or behind the controls of a space-bound star fighter.

INLAY is a full-colour coffee table book celebrating box art from the glory days of computer games. From Football Manager to Zool, each piece has been lovingly and painstakingly recreated, completely by hand using the original box artwork as source material.

The result is a set of vivid, high definition images that restore lost detail, and in many cases present the work as it came from the studio and before any game title or ugly platform sticker.

Over 50 pieces of artwork including:

  • Android Two, Vortex Software
  • Citadel, Superior Software
  • Wanted: Monty Mole, Gremlin Graphics
  • Who Dares Wins, Alligata Software
  • Starfleet Encounter, Micro Power
  • Sweevo’s World, Gargoyle Game
Inlay (Tradebook)
Inlay (Tradebook)
A celebration of th…
By Mark James Hardisty
Photo book

The Gremlin Archive

The Gremlin Archive is a permanent online library offering access for the general public to historical Gremlin Graphics cultural and digital artefacts.

Founded in 2016 the library has received hundreds of donations from former Gremlin staff, and currently stands at over 760 items that include text, audio, multimedia, images and source code.

Visit the Gremlin Archive

Sheffield Videogame History

Dating back to 1983, Sheffield has a long and prestigious history in pioneering the development of computer games and the computer game industry in Britain.

From  Gremlin Graphics to Sumo Digital, Sheffield has produced world class videogame talent that continues to shape the global games market well into the 21st century.

This on-going project has the sole aim of celebrating the videogame culture in Sheffield, and documenting and preserving its heritage for historians, researchers, developers, gamers and the public.

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Mark James Hardisty is from Sheffield. His weekly pilgrimage to Just Micro as a child left him with an indelible love for Gremlin Graphics.

You can find Mark at @hardistymark where he tweets about games, getting kids coding, The Cannonball Run, and his favourite game – Elite on the Acorn Electron (sorry Monty).

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