Tuesday, 31 December 2019
So, I finally got round to seeing Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Despite the naysayers, it remains a cinematic tour de force so what better way to celebrate than a trove of classic Star Wars games. The short-lived sub-division of Lucas Learning gave us some obscure titles. Learn about physics and momentum in the Star Wars: Anakin's Speedway (1999). Then learn the same thing but with robots in the far superior action-puzzler Star Wars: DroidWorks (1998). Test your biology skills in the Sim-Life a-like strategy game Star Wars: Episode I - The Gungan Frontier (1999). Want a little less learning? Why not try the official tie-in to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)? Lastly, travel back to a time before the special editions and get your very first look at them in Star Wars: Making Magic (1996)!
Enjoy! And I'll see you in the new year!
Thursday, 19 December 2019
"It's time to put the disc in. It's time to turn stuff on. It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet CD-ROM!" Jim Henson's Muppets are back in Muppets Inside: The Muppet CD-ROM, developed by Starwave Corporation and published by Jim Henson Interactive in 1996. It's a well-put-together collection of mini-games and classic clips that's impossible to do anything but cheer you up.
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
If you're anything like me, Christmas isn't Christmas without the Muppets. They've disappeared from public life of late, thanks to an ill-conceived Office-inspired television show that killed any goodwill the modern cinematic outings may have earned. In the mid-90s, however, Jim Henson's loveable creations could do no wrong, and that included the 1996 re-telling of the Robert Lewis Stevenson's quintessential pirate tale. And 'cos we're the Collection Chamber, Muppet Treasure Island (1996, Activision) inevitably saw a computer game tie-in!
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Stave off those winter blues this November, 'cos the monthly 5 is here! Control four robots to bust out of prison in the sci-fi RPG Captive (1990-1992 Mindscape) then travel to places unknown by way of a fire breathing dragon in the fantasy platformer in Unreal (1990-1991 Ubi Soft). Want your fantasy a little more bloody, then tackle the FPS sequel Witchaven II: Blood Vengeance (1996 Intracorp). Challenge multiple opponents in the first-person arena shooter XS: Shield Up, Fight Back (1996 SCi) and when you're done with that, build a business from scratch in the management sim Zapitalism! Deluxe (1995-1997 LavaMind).
Thursday, 21 November 2019
Saturday, 16 November 2019
Back in 1997, Claw from Monolith Productions (Blood, F.E.A.R., Shadow of Mordor) was something of a rarity; a PC exclusive platformer. And a good one at that. This tough-as-nails 2D side scroller proved that home computers could play host to such a game without playing second fiddle to the genre's prolific nature on consoles.
Thursday, 7 November 2019
After helming one of the best interstellar Mary Celeste adventures in Majestic: Part 1 - Alien Encounter, the one-man design team of Istvan Pely got to work on some thematic sequels. Released 1998, the same year as Zero Critical (a future Chamber escapee I'm sure), Symbiocom shares a lot with his previous game in that you are searching a deserted space vessel seemingly abandoned in the deep recesses of space.
Wednesday, 30 October 2019
On this eve of All Hallow's Eve, take a trip down memories once forgotten with October's spooktacular quintet of games. Adventure meets FPS in the movie tie-in to the classic horror franchise Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge. Then make sure you Don't Go Alone in an under-appreciated computer RPG from the late 80s. If you make it out alive, investigate some real-life hauntings with Christopher Lee in Ghosts. Need some lighter scares? Try Scooby-Doo! Showdown in Ghost Town, a point-and-click adventure for younger players. If bloody gore's more your thing, enter the horrifying fantasy world of Witchaven, an often overlooked FPS using the Build engine. Enjoy.... if you dare!!!
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
There's something incredibly fun and full of life about Voodoo, or at least the pop-culture depiction of it. For an approximation of a religion that features zombies, death magic and the afterlife the festival atmosphere is palpable. Voodoo Kid (1997, Infogrames) puts that fictionalised framework into a traditional point-and-click adventure with a 'scary tale' of a pre-teen having a particularly spooky sea-bound nightmare.
Thursday, 17 October 2019
You can go one of two routes for a movie tie-in. You could spend time developing a decent game, perhaps sacrificing the release date to make it so (GoldenEye, Alien Resurrection) or you can make any old guffins just to cash in on the brand name (Batman & Robin, Frank Herbert's Dune). Developed by Konami, The Mummy (2000, Universal Interactive Studios) falls somewhere between the two.
Sunday, 13 October 2019
Not too long ago, the Scooby Gang turned 50 years old and it's still as much a part of the pop culture as ever. To kick off this October, let's take a look at the majority of their video game adaptations. Spread over 11 systems, there are 19 games to get through in this Scooby-Doo collection so let's get started!
Saturday, 28 September 2019
There are actually 12 games in September's monthly 5 if you include ports and compilations so it'll keep you busy as Autumn officially rolls in. First up is the 4th 3D Ultra Pinball game; the stock car themed 3D Ultra NASCAR Pinball. Next is the cyberpunk stylings of B.A.T. II: The Koshan Conspiracy, the bigger-budgeted sequel to last months adventure/RPG hybrid. The legendary developers at ORIGIN added some fantasy to their cyberpunk in the ahead-of-its-time FPS CyberMage: Darklight Awakening. Then travel back in time to a compilation of early Sierra graphical text adventures under the Hi-Res Adventures banner, including the official tie-in to The Dark Crystal film (damn, that Netflix prequel show was good!). Then, tend to a farm in another entry into Maxis' Sim series in the aptly titled SimFarm.
Sunday, 22 September 2019
I have a soft spot for traditional cell animated movies. You can see the effort of every ink and painter up there on the big screen. Even when, like The Pagemaster from 1994, the movie itself is a little mediocre there's no doubt I'll put aside its misgivings and thoroughly enjoy it. That same year, a number of videogame adaptations came out, including this little known adventure game published by Turner Interactive.
Monday, 16 September 2019
Heaven's Dawn by the Taiwanese developers at Art 9 Entertainment is perhaps one of the rarest games I've ever played. This traditional point-and-click adventure was only ever translated into English for the Australian and New Zealand markets and judging by the dearth of information out there sold very little. Despite its Eastern roots, this tale of high-fantasy feels far more western than its origins would have you believe.
Friday, 6 September 2019
Back in the mid-90s, the Screamer series was seen by many as the King of all racers. I remember many a worshipper of the PC master race sneering at anything a console could produce in favour Virgin Interactive's 3Dfx enhanced series. Screamer Rally is the franchise's third game but can the gameplay match the visuals?
Tuesday, 27 August 2019
So, it's been a while since I've posted something and that's down to a particularly busy August. But that hasn't stopped me rushing to fulfil my promise of at least 5 games per month. At the tail end of this very sunny Summer hols, why not go exploring a forgotten jungle using some shiny metal balls in 3D Ultra Pinball: The Lost Continent. Perhaps the cyberpunk stylings of the sci-fi adventure B.A.T. will satiate you. If not, try protecting a city of perpetual night from some warmongering invaders in the action-filled space sim Darker. If real life's getting you down, why not try a simulated one in SimLife - there's dragons in it! Lastly, chill with some friends and play some pool, Virtual Pool that is. Enjoy!
Monday, 22 July 2019
The temperature is about to hit record levels, so why not stay indoors where there's air conditioning and play one or more of these 5 games for July. Discover the secrets of a spooky castle by way of a metal ball and flippers in 3D Ultra Pinball: Creep Night. Fly the city skies looking for criminals in the action game BHunter. Pretend like you're outside in the sun by playing Links: The Challenge of Golf. See if you can predict what global warming has in store for us in SimEarth: The Living Planet. Finally, revisit the ancient Greek myths of antiquity in the educational point-and-click adventure Wrath of the Gods. It's an eclectic bunch of games that will sure to keep you cool.
Monday, 15 July 2019
Platforming in the first-person is usually a very bad idea. Anyone who has played Half-Life knows that the platforming sections are the most frustrating thing about an otherwise genius game. Released in 1998, the same year as Half-Life, Montezuma's Return by Utopia Technologies based the entire game around this mechanic. And is actually the best example of it I've ever seen.
Wednesday, 10 July 2019
It's time to feel super with a trio of Activity Centres based on some of the most iconic heroes in pop culture. There's the requested likes of The Adventures of Batman & Robin and its Kryptonian counterpart in Superman along with the bonus game of Spider-Man 2 'cos I just saw Far From Home. Check them out after the jump...
Thursday, 4 July 2019
There was a time when Dune could've been a behemoth of a franchise. Alejandro Jodorowsky's early treatment from the 70s became a legend in its own right and even inspired the likes of Star Wars and Alien. After David Lynch's underwhelming adaptation, the SyFy channel brought it to the small screen in the early 2000s with a small budget to match. So far, it's the best there is (that is until Denis Villeneuve gives us his inevitably awesome take) but I cannot forgive it for siring Frank Herbert's Dune, Cryo's broken attempt at a video game on PC and PlayStation 2.
Thursday, 27 June 2019
June's selection of games takes you on a trip around the world and beyond. First up is the space-themed pinball game 3D Ultra Pinball: Space Colony followed by a global racing tour in Magnetic Field's Network Q threequel International Rally Championship. Then, get into all sorts of hijinks while in Japan in Big Red Adventure's comedic predecessor Nippon Safes, Inc before travelling to a moon colony in order to protect its independence in the FPS sequel Rebel Moon Rising. Lastly, explore the trap-filled dungeons in the Tower of Souls, a rather unique dungeon crawling RPG.