Wednesday 30 September 2015
The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble of Azimuth sure lives up to its title. Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Vlurxtrznbnaxl, this 1994 gem from Coktel Vision who created the Gobliiins series, amps up the craziness, unleashing a memorable adventure with a penchant for odd sounding syllables.
Monday 28 September 2015
2024 A.D. The world (or at least America) has become a wasteland of radioactive dust. Men fight for the most precious resources: food, water and women. And dogs have developed telepathic abilities. Welcome to the bizarre post-apocalyptic world of A Boy and His Dog.
Saturday 26 September 2015
Infogrames' Alone in the Dark was an important milestone in the history of gaming, but three years later, in 1995 the technology was looking stale. This was when their follow up, Time Gate: Knight's Chase, came to the market. It used the same engine which was showing signs of ageing leaving consumers apathetic. In fact, sales were so bad that the planned sequels were cancelled. Did it deserve better? Let's find out...
Friday 25 September 2015
Blinky's Scary School, a budget platformer from UK developer Zeppelin Games, holds the dubious distinction of being the first game I ever completed. That bodes well for how it could play with my grown-up eyes, but I won't let that hold me back. I must replay it! Along with a sequel I only just found out about.
Thursday 24 September 2015
Powerslave (or Exhumed as it's know in Europe) looks and plays like a Doom clone with an Egyptian theme. At least it does at first glance. Dig deeper into the 1996 game by Lobotomy Software and you'll find a lot more than you might expect. Even the PlayStation version is not really a port, taking these unique elements and running (and strafing) with them.
Tuesday 22 September 2015
Trigger Warning: This game depicts scenes of domestic violence and child abuse.
I've covered several games of late that that could easily be cited when making the case that our beloved medium is an art form. This is a debate that is still going on. With the rise of independent games designers, there's a whole breadth of subject matters being tackled and The Kite, a freeware game by Anate Studios, takes on a topic very few would choose to cover: abuse.
The ill-fated DreamCast saw the birth of some great franchises from a company at arguably their creative peak. Unique franchises such as Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Space Channel 5 and Shenmue all got their start here. Skies of Arcadia, created by SEGA's Overworks division contained some of the best RPG goodness the system had to offer but suffered in sales (it was released in the West in 2000 around the time SEGA announced the discontinuation of its hardware division). In 2003 after the DreamCast was put to sleep, an enhanced port quietly sprang up on store shelves for their onetime competitor: Nintendo's GameCube.
Sunday 20 September 2015
Last week, I talked about how the craziness present in the first Ecstatica was enough to overcome some very real design flaws. Does a sequel that irons out the creases make for a better game? Let's find out...
Saturday 19 September 2015
Holy Motors, directed by Leos Carax assaulted our screens in 2012 leaving more than a few cinemagoers scratching their heads. It is a post-modern art film that initially seems so strange as to be impenetrable, but the deeper you dig, the more surprising revelations reveal themselves. This is not a review, but a deconstruction of what I think all the craziness means. Warning: barely understood spoilers ahead.
Are you tired of easy Adventure games? Do you guys crave a truly difficult challenge? Then try Blue Ice - a game so hard no-one has ever solved every single riddle in the twenty years since it's release. A game where even the designers themselves have no clue how to succeed.
Friday 18 September 2015
I recently experienced a superbly executed visual novel by the name of Gone Home. I call it a visual novel because there's not much else to it, earning the ire of some gamers expecting something completely different. I was so engrossed with the story unfolding before me that I began to search for other similar games, and then I remembered a game I've had on my shelf for some time: Ceremony of Innocence...
Thursday 17 September 2015
For 15 years, Silent Hill has proudly remained on the creepier end of the survival horror spectrum. It is also one of the most successful, despite what Konami's woeful cancellation of the highly promising Silent Hills may tell you (did you get the Playable Teaser on PS4 before they took it down?). In 2007, they brought the series to the arcades with this light gun shooter.
Wednesday 16 September 2015
Who remembers Duckman? Anyone? Well, if you haven't seen this adult animated show from the same people behind Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys then your truly missing out. Even if you're a fan of the show (and if you've seen it, you definitely are), you may not have realised that in 1997 there was an adventure game based on the lewd private dick/family man...
Monday 14 September 2015
I love 2D animated movies. With the rise of computers, there are very few around nowadays which is a great shame. I can admire and respect the work put in to even the very worst of them to some degree (even the god awful Titanic cartoon get some kudos for actually existing). What is rarer still is that one during the time of pixels, a hand-drawn feature is released that is so well done that it can topple all others and become one of my favorites in the medium. In 2010 Cartoon Saloon's The Secret of Kells did just that.
Sunday 13 September 2015
Alone in the Dark may have been the first, and Resident Evil cemented and refined the genre but two years before that PlayStation classic Ecstatica pushed many boundaries of survival horror. This unique game is now largely forgotten but does it deserve to be?
To me, Azrael's Tear is somewhat of an enigma. For 1996 it sports the kind of 3D graphics that would be impressive more than 5 after its release. It is dripping with the kind of atmosphere most games would kill for with a skillfully designed soundscape that truly draws you in. Even though there are action elements, it is primarily an adventure game with some puzzles that are so well thought out they fit perfectly in the world before you. The story itself is truly absorbing and thought-provoking. With all these impressive elements on show, why does the game overall leave me cold?
Saturday 12 September 2015
For those who had played The Riddle of Master Lu (also on this site), having the name Sanctuary Woods displayed on the box should be a reason for excitement. This vastly under-appreciated developer would only make two non-educational adventure games and Orion Burger, their 1996 entry, marked the sad end of what was once a promising proponent of point-and-click goodness.