Saturday 29 December 2018
It's been quite an eventful year for everyone's friendly neighbourhood arachnid. First was a tearful (temporary) farewell to Tom Holland's Peter Parker in the excellent Avenger's: Infinity War. Then came the highly addictive Spider-Man game on the PlayStation 4 - one of the best games of the year. But before the biggest cinematic surprise of Spidey's cinematic outing (Into the Spider-verse) the world grieved at the deaths of his co-creators - the ever-personable Stan Lee and Steve Ditko earlier in the year. In honour of all that has come to pass, let's have an almost complete look at Spider-Man's amazing gaming past.
Friday 28 December 2018
Saturday 27 October 2018
In the realm of FMV computer games, has there ever been a more star-studded cast that of Ripper? Released in 1996 by Take-Two Interactive, it stars Christopher Walken, Karen Allen, Burgess Meredeth and several other recognisable faces among the rabble of Hollywood working stiffs. But can this retelling of Jack the Ripper transposed to the cyberpunk future of 2040 match the movie-quality output of its US setting?
Monday 1 October 2018
Haunted houses are ripe settings for computer games. Within its four walls can hold countless tales of vengeful spirits and bloody murder. It's also a perfect location for some Myst style exploration and puzzling and Hue Forest Entertainment's oft-requested AMBER: Journeys Beyond from 1996 does just this.
Thursday 27 September 2018
Access Software may be best known in the adventure-gaming community for their excellent Tex Murphy series of games, but right around the time of that franchise's birth, another adventure popped up. Released in 1990, Countdown didn't get the same cult status that Mean Streets or Martian Memorandum, but this conspiracy spy thriller perhaps deserves to be far more fondly remembered.
Thursday 20 September 2018
You may remember a very 90s action movie named Blown Away starring Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones. It's fallen by the wayside a little now, but it was nevertheless a fun if formulaic movie for the time. Even more obscure is the tie-in from Imagination Pilots. Released in 1994, this FMV puzzle adventure barely follows the plot of the movie, but it has way more bombs to make up for it.
Tuesday 18 September 2018
The folks at Parroty Interactive are at it again with another pop-culture parody. This time it's the classic 90's supernatural procedural that falls victim to their particular brand of 'comedy'. Having a timely release in 1997 when X-Files fever was at a high, there's a lot for The X-Fools to mock, but how does it fare for fans and non-fans alike?
Sunday 16 September 2018
A pivotal movie in my early teenage years was the Will Smith starring blockbuster Men In Black. Much like any other major movie at the time, a video game tie-in was released. Developed by Gigawatt Studios with the underrated SouthPeak Interactive (of Temüjin fame) handling publishing duties, this Resident Evil-like action adventure went somewhat under the radar back in 1997.
Wednesday 12 September 2018
by Austin Brewer
When it comes to the 90s, what game genres come to mind? Well, if you said the point-and-click adventure, you might be familiar with a little company by the name of Sierra. They were one of the big daddies when it came to point-and-click titles with the likes of King’s Quest, Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry all being fondly remembered. With such a huge archive of classics, the odd game can get easily overlooked. And one of those games was the Funnybone Interactive developed StayTooned!
Tuesday 11 September 2018
Alien mythology and conspiracy theories reached mainstream popularity in the 90s thanks to a certain sci-fi TV show. One of the most obscure and overlooked games from this era is this PostLinear developed simulation from 1998 that sees you piloting a Flying Saucer. And it sure does owe a lot to the phenomenon that was The X-Files.
Sunday 9 September 2018
No one does edutainment like Disney, so here are three more under their Activity Centre banner. Disney's Dinosaur, 102 Dalmatians and Winnie the Pooh & the Blustery Day are featured within so head on over and check them out.
Thursday 6 September 2018
I've covered a fair number of Die Hard games so far, but if there's one game that doesn't seem to get the love that it deserves, it's Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza. Published in 2002 by Sierra Entertainment, it was the first and only game to actually attempt to re-create the plot of the original film in video game form.
Saturday 4 August 2018
by Austin Brewer
Being an obscure diamond in the rough, the point and click adventure Creature Crunch truly deserves some attention. Debuting at E3 in 1996, this game was developed by Class6 Interactive, an offshoot of Class6 Entertainment responsible for the likes of Ren & Stimpy and many animated commercials. Creature Crunch was an unfortunate commercial failure with talented people involved. Even though it won the “Best Director of Animation for CD-ROM” award in 97, the game was swept under the rug from too little exposure.
Monday 30 July 2018
Hollywood iconography is a big thing in Japan, so much so that SEGA's AM1 R&D Division were heavily inspired by Die Hard to create Dynamite Deka (translation: Dynamite Detective). This early 3D beat-em-up was so indebted to John McTiernan's classic actioner that they gained the IP rights for the west. Thus we got Die Hard Arcade, the first entry in an incredibly underrated yet bat-shit crazy series.
Wednesday 11 July 2018
If there's one Die Hard game that everybody remembers, it's Die Hard Trilogy. Released in 1996 by Fox Interactive for the PlayStation (and later Windows and Saturn), it's actually three games in one; an action game, an arcade lightgun game and a racing game. That could be a warning sign as to the game's quality right there, but Die Hard Trilogy is actually regarded as one of the better movie tie-ins out there, and the huge number of sales reflect that.
Saturday 7 July 2018
It's been thirty years since Die Hard - in my opinion the best action movie of all time - hit theatres. Since then there has been a number of game adaptations too with a good number of them bucking the movie licence curse by actually being good. Here are a number of the earliest attempts, some of which are criminally underrated.
Friday 29 June 2018
Long-term readers of this site know I reviewed the Broadcast Satellite Zelda games a few years ago as part of a collection. Since then, these Nintendo oddities have recently been given the full BS treatment by fans. You can now play the games as intended, with voice acting, CD quality music and time limit all translated into English. It is the most authentic experience of these lost classics since they were originally broadcast for the Japanese market.
Friday 22 June 2018
With the number of games set in an abandoned space station, it could very well be a sub-genre all on its own. I know I've featured enough on them on this site to notice a pattern. So let's look at another one. Here's a 1995 adventure game by Trecision called Alien Virus.
Wednesday 13 June 2018
Way back in 1997, when Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World what the biggest thing in cinemas, a lot of games were naturally developed from the license. Many know the console games, the arcade shooter or even the delayed travesty that was Trespasser, but did you know a real-time strategy called Chaos Island was also developed by DreamWorks Interactive?
Monday 11 June 2018
Can there ever be a more impressive failure of a video game than Trespasser: The Lost World - Jurassic Park? Released in 1998, a year behind schedule, DreamWorks Interactive's ambitious open-world FPS survival game was nevertheless way ahead of its time.
Saturday 9 June 2018
A first-person-shooter is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Kiss, but that's exactly what Third Law Interactive created way back in 2000 with Kiss: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child. When you realise it's based more on the graphic novel by Todd McFarlane's production company than any one Kiss song, it begins to make a little bit of sense. And only a little.
Thursday 7 June 2018
Out of all the intellectual properties to turn into a side-scrolling beat-em-up, a British hard rock band is not the first thing to come to mind. Motörhead (1992, Virgin Interactive) was that very band to get their fists punching on the Amiga, and Lemmy's hellraising antics in the lead role proves to be a surprisingly good choice.
Tuesday 5 June 2018
Festival season is gearing up in the UK, so I'd thought I'd play a few music games because there's no way I can afford to go to any of them. Peter Gabriel's Eve, created by Real World Multimedia based on the musician's own concepts, was released in 1996 in the middle of a 10-year hiatus between studio albums. Along with a couple of soundtracks, it's proof that the visionary wasn't idle during that time.
Wednesday 30 May 2018
Istvan Pely has become something of a minor celebrity in the gaming world. He is currently the lead artist for Bethesda's biggest titles most notably Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. Before he came to that envious position, he designed a trilogy of loosely related adventure games. The first was Majestic: Part 1 - Alien Encounter, a first-person space adventure released in 1995.
Tuesday 22 May 2018
Microsoft is not exactly my favourite fortune 500 company at the moment (see the May 2018 Update post for more info). To vent my considerable frustration, I'd thought I'll play a game whose sole reason for existing is to mock Bill Gates and his company. It's time to play Parroty Interactive's 1998 parody CD-ROM appropriately titled Microshaft Winblows '98.
Sunday 20 May 2018
I've had a heck of a time this past week or so and all because MicroSoft's April update for Windows 10 screwed up my system (I'll rant about it later). Thankfully it came at a time where I'm in between work contracts so I still had the time to do some Chamber stuff before and after that cataclysmic event. Read on to find out what games have been updated and also some exciting developments for future games...
Friday 18 May 2018
With all that's going on in the world, you may want to pack up go live in a cave somewhere but before you do get a taste of what it will be like with Broken Arrow Entertainment's CaveWars. This 1996 strategy game proves that becoming an underground dweller has its own downsides that make anything the world can throw up look like sunshine and roses.
Wednesday 9 May 2018
Sunday 29 April 2018
The Simpsons were everywhere back in the 90s and for a show that wouldn't air on UK terrestrial TV until its seventh year, that was something. Those kids whose parents were rich enough to have SkyTV were the kings of the playground. When BBC started broadcasting it in 1996, I was hooked and happily a year later Fox Interactive gave us a virtual tour of all that I missed out on. That game was The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield.
Sunday 22 April 2018
Legend Entertainment's admiral mission statement to create excellent games based on literary works continued with their last dedicated adventure game; Blackstone Chronicles. Published by Mindscape and released in the latter half of 1998 at the tail end of the genre's golden age, the revered developers managed to weave a ghostly tale worthy of the series of novels by John Saul.
Friday 13 April 2018
Ever want to visit Ancient Rome? With S.P.Q.R. The Empire's Darkest Hour by CyberSites you can, at least virtually. Originally conceived as an interactive website the year before, this 1996 game published by GT Interactive upgrades the visuals and adds some nice touches, but how does it handle as a game?
Tuesday 10 April 2018
Kronos Digital Entertainment are best known for their controversy-baiting Fear Effect series on the PlayStation but their 1997 game, Meat Puppet, could be seen as it's progenitor. It's here that saw the inception of an of hyper-sexualised female protagonist clashing with corrupt corporations in a cyberpunk sci-fi setting. And enough profanity to more than warrant that mature audience rating.
Friday 6 April 2018
The quality of Disney's edutainment titles vary quite a bit, but even the least successful of them offer something for your average Disney-phile. Here's three more games from the late 90s: Tarzan Activity Centre, A Bug's Life: Active Play and Winnie the Pooh & Tigger Too: Animated Storybook.
Thursday 5 April 2018
For a series known for its kid-friendly horror, there was always one Goosebumps tale that always stood out. Attack of the Mutants, the 25th books of the long-running series doesn't feature ghouls or ghosts but superheroes and villains so it's probably no surprise that DreamWorks Interactive based their second Goosebumps game on this tale.
Monday 2 April 2018
Having now consumed so many Easter eggs this past weekend I'm pretty sure I'm contributing to the world-wide chocolate shortage, I thought I'd take a break from eating them to go play as one. So I popped in Eggs of Steel: Charlie's Eggcellent Adventure, an obscure PlayStation platformer released in 1998 by those folks at Atlus. It may be the chocolate-addled brain talking, but what followed is one trippy nightmare filled with yolk-coloured gore and a threatening industrial landscape that's as foreboding as anything conceived by Fritz Lang.
Tuesday 6 February 2018
After the massive success of Myst, the California based publishing house Brøderbund seemed to release nothing but a slew of educational titles. In 1997, a year before it would become a wholly owned subsidiary of The Learning Company, they brought Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge to market. Judging by the box art alone, it seemed to be another one of those animated edutainment titles, but hidden on the cardboard spine lies the only real clue that this point-and-click adventure is more than that. This game has an ELSPA age rating of 13+.
Saturday 27 January 2018
Enemy Infestation is a little known tactical strategy game developed by the underappreciated Australian company Micro Forté. On the back of this game's quality, if not its success, these talented folks were given the reign to develop Fallout Tactics. That's quite a pedigree, so why isn't this 1998 gem held in a higher regard?
Thursday 18 January 2018
The movie adaptation of Dune bombed hard on its 1984 release, a fact that makes this 1992 tie-in a rather strange proposition. How many other big money losers can hold public interest almost a decade later? Created by the French developers at Cryo Interactive, this interesting concoction of adventure and strategy did just that. It even sold well enough for a sequel to usher in an entirely new genre.
Friday 5 January 2018
With a website almost solely about retro video games, you'd think there'd be little room to play any modern titles. In actuality, I played a fair few (though not as many as I'd like). Some of them to completion (though not as many as I'd like). Read on to hear my thoughts on my favourite games of 2017...
Tuesday 2 January 2018
After the event filled year that was 2016, I was hoping that a travel through 2017 would be a calmer one. If you put aside everything that happened in the real world and focus on movies, I'd say that wish came true. Let's not talk about Trump, Teresa or that time I narrowly missed a terrorist attack by an hour. It's time to talk movies, specifically my top 10 of the year!