Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Released in 1991 by New World Computing, the folks behind the Might & Magic franchise, Planet's Edge: The Point of No Return was certainly a unique game for its time. With its non-linear gameplay, free space exploration and an epic RPG storyline, one could even consider it to be the Mass Effect of its day. And with the huge number of planets to explore accross the universe, it certainly rivals it in scale.
Sunday, 23 April 2017
For us adventure gamers, the huge popularity of Myst is something of a catch-22. On the one hand we had some amazing games that used the formula to great effect. On the other hand, it also spawned a huge number of quickly produced copycats that flooded the market that did nothing but sully the genre's name. Rocket Science's expensive 1996 effort, Obsidian, failed in the marketplace perhaps suffering from the expectation that it could be the latter. It is in fact the former and has since gained a following for being a shining example of what storytelling in video games can achieve.
Sunday, 16 April 2017
Let's celebrate Easter this year by talking about the world's second most famous egg: Dizzy. Not only was he the unofficial mascot of the Commodore 64, he's also the poster child for bedroom coders everywhere. So that begs the question: after a plethora of sequels and spinoffs why did Dizzy disappear?
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Bombuzal, also known as Kablooey or Charlie Blast's Territory was a great little puzzler. The bomb-busting blue blob seems to have been forgotten since it's 1988 debut, but if there's one puzzler that tugs the nostalgic heart-strings for me, this is it.
Monday, 10 April 2017
Friday, 31 March 2017
When a pen and paper RPG gets adapted for a video game, you'd expect it to follow certain conventions such as a complex fighting mechanic, character stats and the like. Based on the short-lived French series, Dark Earth by Kalisto Entertainment doesn't do that. It was released in 1997, the same year as the first Fallout, but by contrast it ignors its stat-heavy origins and follows the formula of another one of its contemporaries: Resident Evil.
Saturday, 25 March 2017
The crude grifter Jack T. Ladd returns for another space adventure. This time he's Guilty! Released in 1995, this sequel to Divide By Zero's Innocent Until Caught adds an unwitting companion by the name of Ysanne Andropath: Space Cop. Does this extra playable character add to the experience, or just Jack's innate sexism?
Tuesday, 7 March 2017
In the age before polygons were able to give us fully realised environments, I wasn't too keen on the racing genre. Back then, I felt the limitations of 2D weren't able to adequately recreate the sensation of driving a car, at least not in games that positioned the camera behind the vehicle instead of a top-down viewpoint. The one exception (at least in my collection) was Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge.
Saturday, 4 March 2017
Disney were incredibly prolific in the 90s with their computer edutainment titles. Most followed a pre-set theme such as the Animated Storybooks, Activity Centres or Print Sudios but there were a few titles that stood on their own. Be Our Guest, Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games and Topsy Turvy Games compiled a collection of 5 mini-games each and tied them to a Disney animated classic (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame respectively).
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Cyberdreams continuing ethos of publishing games with the clear voice of a named artist behind them was an admirable, if short lived one. In their fifth and final game released in 1996 a director by the name of Jeff Blyth joined the development crew of TSi to create Noir: A Shadowy Thriller. While his work isn't as well-known as H.R.Giger's alien landscapes or Harlan Ellison's sci-fi stories, he has had an interesting and rather unorthodox film career.
Sunday, 26 February 2017
Today is Oscar day. I'll be staying up 'til 6 AM to see if La La Land or Moonlight gets the golden statuette (edit: turns out it was a bit of both!) but 44 years ago arguably the 'Best Film of All Time' won; The Godfather. But we're not here to talk about that. We're here to shoot some gangsters in the 1991 video game adaptation by US Gold.
Sunday, 19 February 2017
In 1993 FMV was the future of gaming. Back then any attempt at a cut scene was jaw-dropping but to include actual actors was something else. The problem was that a video stream didn't allow for much in the way of interaction so way before the decade was up the fad died with a reputation as bad as Pauly Shore movie. Critical Path, according to PC Gamer, was not just one of the worst of its genre but the 9th worst PC Game of all time! Is that dubious honour really justified?
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
As someone who proudly calls himself a movie-nerd along with retro-gamer, I find the FMV craze of the mid-90s to be extremely fascinating. The data storage of CD-ROMs allowed for compressed video files to be part of the narrative. Many failed, falling into the trappings B-movies had learned to stay well away from but others had Hollywood in their sights. In 1996, Cryo Interactive took on an ambitious project called Hardline, a bombastic on-rails shooter with minor adventure elements that boasted over 2 hours of footage and 200 special effects.
Saturday, 28 January 2017
The first Whale's Voyage was something of a surprise. I was not aware of it before a recent search for something interesting for this site and it turned out to be a good time despite some major flaws. Whale's Voyage 2 released in 1995 can be summed up in one sentence: it's the exact same game.
Thursday, 26 January 2017
Dynamix, the classic Sierra owned developer, have an obvious love of Hollywood movies. This is especially true of their adventure games of which Rise of the Dragon is their first. I've already covered their 1991 release Heart of China which is their take on the globe-trotting adventuring of Indiana Jones, but one year earlier it was another Harrison Ford movie that gave them inspiration: Blade Runner.
Monday, 23 January 2017
The Last Dynasty, released in 1995 by Sierra, looks like it could be a cool action packed sci-fi adventure. And with that Star Wars meets Star Trek cover and strategic use of the word 'sizzling' on the back of the box why wouldn't you? In actuality the 'action packed' and 'adventure' elements are mutually exclusive leaving us with a game that, while enjoyable in parts, has something of an identity crisis.
Saturday, 21 January 2017
Exploring the depths of space has long been a favourite theme in science-fiction storytelling, and games have taken up this trope pretty much since its inception. In 1993, a trade-heavy RPG from the little known German developer 'neo Software Produktions' continues this tradition. Despite its age, can Whale's Voyage bring some new and interesting ideas to the table? Read on to find out...
Saturday, 7 January 2017
I've not played many current games this year. That's party down to time and expense, but also due to the fact that very few have interested me. Thank goodness the Collection Chamber primarily deals with old games. Follow the jump to get my view on the past year of gaming...