Thursday 30 April 2015
The Addams Family's immense popularity has always been short lived. The iconic TV series only lasted two years and the 70s animated show has mostly been forgotten. The early 90s saw two great films be released and was again hugely popular. In light of the revelation that a new stop-motion film is being produced, let's take a look at the many games based on the mysterious and spooky family.
Wednesday 29 April 2015
Endorfun, the 1995 puzzle game created by Onesong Partners and published by Time Warner Interactive, is perhaps one of the most controversial games ever to be released. There is no violence, no sex, no horror so how did this happen?
The Phantom of the Opera tale has seen many different adaptations, whether it be movies, musicals or rock operas. The plot for MicroProse's 1993 adventure game Return of the Phantom is a sequel to the events of the source novel, taking place 100 years later.
Monday 27 April 2015
A year after Big Red Adventure, The Big Red Software Company were to release their last game - Big Red Racing. Given it's name, one would think that this anarchic and divisive gem shares a lot with the adventure game that preceded it but it doesn't. This is an arcade racing game all the way with the humour ramped up to obscene levels.
Sunday 26 April 2015
The Lady in White (1988), with it's themes of nostalgic youth and coming of age, plays a lost Spielberg film. It conjures up memories of the Halloween set E.T. or the Spielberg produced Goonies and Poltergeist. This spooky ghost story certainly conjures up thoughts of those 80s Amblin movies, but Lady in White holds it's own as something far more adult than it would first appear.
Friday 24 April 2015
The Sims became such a cultural phenomenon is the first decade of the new millennium that EA began to milk the brand for all it's worth. Very few of the cash cows were whole new games, let alone developed outside of Maxis, the company that birthed it. Sid Meier's SimGolf is such a game, and offers a whole different style of strategy to play with.
Thursday 23 April 2015
Blade Runner is perhaps the pinnacle of science-fiction movies and it's only right that a lovingly crafted game be made from a team that respects the source material. Thankfully Westwood Studio's 1997 attempt is a fantastically crafted adventure that's yearning for an modern update.
Wednesday 22 April 2015
Fury 3 is an action simulation designed by Terminal Reality and became a poster child for Microsoft's new Windows '95 operating system. It's a fun, uncomplicated entry into the genre with graphics that wowed gamers at the time. It may seem dated now, but it still gives me a sense of nostalgic wonder every time I play it.
Tuesday 21 April 2015
Wizball was an early game from Sensible Software, originally released on the Commodore 64, but later ported to DOS, the Amiga and the Atari ST which is where I first fell in love with it. I had not known that a sequel existed until quite recently. Both action games are very different games in gameplay as well as tone and make you wonder if Wizkid was ever meant to be a sequel at all.
Monday 20 April 2015
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon is another forgotten classic from the geniuses at Legend Entertainment. It was released in 1997 solely to US gamers and is based on the long-running series of novels by Spider Robinson. It's one of the few games where I felt a genuine connection with the characters and unique in that all of the NPCs in the bar are your closest and warmest friends.
Sunday 19 April 2015
There are some highly interesting games that are playable in your browser. For the most part, they may be casual fare but that doesn't mean that they're not good. In fact, the only downside to them is that they must be played while online. I have found five of the most interesting free flash games that were inspired by music and put them in a handy browser free package. Let's take a look.
Saturday 18 April 2015
Disenfranchised youth movies became ubiquitous with the rise of punk culture and alternative music in the 70s and 80s culminating in in the slick Hollywood classics of John Hughes. Times Square, an early directorial effort from Pump Up the Volume and Empire Records' Allan Moyle, is a rougher take of the subject. Like those later films, music plays an an important role in the plot.
Friday 17 April 2015
Are you disappointed by the lack of a new Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution game? Well, look no further than Osu!, a free rhythm game for both Windows and Android that take the features and game-play styles or other staples in the genre and combines them into one fun package.
Thursday 16 April 2015
A lot of you may know of the SEGA Mega Drive (or Genesis) Michael Jackson game that was based off of the 1988 movie Moonwalker, but did you know two other completely different games were also developed? Continuing what is turning out to be a music themed week, let's look at all of them as well as a brief look a the movie.
Wednesday 15 April 2015
The Japanese create some great games that unfortunately don't make it outside of their own country. Most of them require a certain knowledge of Japanese culture that can be considered too risque for American and European audiences. The Violinist of Hameln is one such a game but is also one of the Super Nintendo's best.
Tuesday 14 April 2015
The Residents are one of the most fascinating bands ever to appear. Formed in 1969 with eye-ball masks, their anonymity allowed them to cultivate a unique brand of experimental music freaky art aesthetic in their videos. With the boom in multimedia technology in the early nineties, they even turned their hand at interactive entertainment with two adventure games; Freak Show and Bad Day on the Midway...
Monday 13 April 2015
In 1986, the UK's Sun tabloid who has a habit of running news stories with outrageous headlines ran an article declaring 'Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster'. Such was the inspiration for lone developer Colin Jones to create A Rockstar Ate My Hamster in 1988. It was so good that Codemasters took it upon themselves to release it on several home systems popular in the UK including the Amiga
Sunday 12 April 2015
If you were a child in the 90s, you'd probably remember a fun little cartoon called Blazing Dragons. It was created by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame and was released for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1996. Bizarrely for a traditional point-and-click adventure, it remained exclusive to consoles never to appear on home computers that perhaps best suited to the genre.
Saturday 11 April 2015
Directed by George Pal (The Time Machine) and starring Tony Randall (The Odd Couple, Pillow Talk), The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao invited children of the mid 60s into the circus tent of our multi-faceted doctor. What unfolds is a series of morality tales instigated by the mischievous Lao and his many alter egos from mythology.
Friday 10 April 2015
The Gene Machine is a point-and-click adventure from 1996 that deserves a lot more attention than it unfortunately received. It somehow slipped off the radar despite its excellent story and a graphical style that can easily stand alongside the likes of such classics as Discworld and Simon the Sorcerer.
Thursday 9 April 2015
Released in 1989 by the London based company Logotron, Eye of Horus was way ahead of its time. It mixes genres very few were doing back then, using both platform and shoot-em-up elements. The Ancient Egyptian themes game even adopts a similar exploration mechanic found in classics like Metroid that was perhaps underappreciated at the time.
Wednesday 8 April 2015
Released in 1991 by Mindscape, D/Generation offers a fun mix of action, adventure and puzzle-solving set in a futuristic skyscraper filled with rogue technology. Who will rescue all of the employees trapped in their deadly workplace? None other than the postman...
Tuesday 7 April 2015
Zoocube is a fun and simple puzzle game for the GameCube that unfairly got mixed reviews upon its release in 2002. You are tasked with re-building all of the deformed animals of the world by matching their globular shapes together using the titular magnetised cube...
Yoot Tower, a 1998 sequel to SimTower, confused a lot of people on release as i a lot of respects it is the same as its predecessor in all but name. Maxis owned the 'Sim' brand at the time but it was Sega who put up the money to publish this game and therefore named it after the game designer, Yutaka 'Yoot' Saitō.
Sunday 5 April 2015
The X-Files was a phenomenon back in the 90s and you couldn't step into any shop without some item of merchandise being sold. There was even an average FMV adventure game in 1998 which has some trouble running on most modern machines. In 2004, two years after the show ended, and after a lot of the hype had past, a survival horror interpretation of the series was rushed to market on the PlayStation 2...
Saturday 4 April 2015
Art cinema can be difficult to define, especially to a casual movie viewer more accustomed to Hollywood narratives. Most tend to lump in everything that isn't made on America's West coast into this category, but I feel all movies can and should be considered art. Absurdist cinema on the other hand take this art to a whole new level, and Quentin Dupieux's 2012 movie Wrong takes the absurd to the Nth degree.
Friday 3 April 2015
Released in 1993 by SSI and developed by Event Horizon Software, Veil of Darkness is a bit of an oddity. It looks like an RPG. It controls like a typical isometric RPG. It's even published by a company known for great RPGs using the Dungeons & Dragons license. Those expecting roles to be played in their game, however, will be very disappointed. Veil of Darkness is very much an adventure game at its core...
Thursday 2 April 2015
Dateline: 1970s - the height of the Disco craze. The place: the Ozarks, middle America. The event: an alien named Gnap runs out of gas, crash lands on a hick farm and befriends a duck-billed platypus. The game: U.F.O.s...
Wednesday 1 April 2015
It's a great shame that many great games can disappear into obscurity where those who may go on to love them will have probably never heard of them. It's an absolute travesty that most games from Looking Glass Studios fall into this category. Their output was inventive, universally praised yet played by so few. The subject for today's post - Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri - is no different.