Saturday 25 December 2021
In the sage words of a singing Wizzard; IT'S CHRISTMAAAS!!! And with that comes the last entry of my Christmas Catch-up; Lemmings - or a compilation of the original Lemmings Trilogy (1991-2000 Psygnosis). Included in the massive bumper package along with the first game is Oh No! More Lemmings, Lemmings 2: The Tribes and The All New World of Lemmings (aka Lemmings Chronicles). Not to mention the oh-so-festive themed demos the future-GTA-developers put out back in the day. With all the console, handheld and computer ports in tow, that's 32 games in total! Whew!
Now to find time to (not) make a video about it all...
Friday 24 December 2021
On this eve of Christmas, it's finally time to tune up a game that's long been gestating in the depths of the Collection Chamber. Wheel of Time (1999 Legend Entertainment & GT Interactive) is an excellent action game with a sprinkling of strategy that topped my Top 10 FPS Hidden Gems of the 90s video a while back. I wasn't happy enough with its performance back then to release it from the Chamber, but that all changes now! If you've enjoyed the slightly clunkly, but no less compelling Amazon Prime show based on Robert Jordan's original novels, you're in for something special.
Thursday 23 December 2021
Outrage (1998 NMS Software) is a ghost of a game. It barely exists on the internet and what information there is, is contradictory, vague and sometimes complete speculation. Was it released or wasn't it? Did GT Interactive have a hand in it somewhere? How about Microsoft and a curious reference to that Windows '95 pack-in game called Hover?
All I know for sure is that this WipEout influenced futuristic racer is not half bad and more online words about its existence need to be written.
Wednesday 22 December 2021
Christmas and Disney are interwined in my eyes. When I was younger, one present under the tree was guaranteed to be a Disney VHS. The two are so synonymous, I tend to go revisit movies from the Disney Rennaissance around this time each year. So, on Day 10 of my Collection Chamber Christmas Catch-up, I thought I'd do something I haven't done in a while; a Disney Triple.
Collated here are three edutainment titles; Disney's The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea - Activity Centre (2001 Disney Interactive), Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's Pride - Game Break (1998 Disney Interactive) and Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Activity Centre - also known as Magical Ballroom (2000 Disney Interactive). Each have that Disney standard of digital animation, but vary drastically in how long it'll keep the little Disneyphiles away from the Christmas pudding.
Tuesday 21 December 2021
If yesterday's Christmas Catch-up floated your boat, then today's entry will be right up your alley. Worlds of Legend: Son of the Empire (1993 Anthony Taglione & Peter James) takes off right where the last game ended, seeing you travel the Far East and the homelands of your party's Assassin. It's part 2.5 in the Trazere trilogy so it's as much a stand-alone add-on as it is a sequel. There's not much different, but with more of an emphasis on puzzles, this one is still well worth a play.
Monday 20 December 2021
We're over halfway in our Christmas Catchup and today's game is Legend (1992 Anthony Taglione & Peter James). The two creatives behind the game were responsible for a series of computer role-playing games in the lates 80's and early 90's that have garnered a small cult following. The first of what has since become known as the Trazere Trilogy is Bloodwych, which you can buy on GOG or Steam.
This is the second, monikered The Four Crystals of Trazer in some markets and published by Mindscape. It's a fun isometric RPG with one of the most compelling spell systems in any game I've ever played. That alone makes it a must-play in my opinion.
Sunday 19 December 2021
Get prepared for Christmas with P.Y.S.T. (1996 Palladium Interactive), Parroty Interactive's parody of... I forget.
Practice your 'groan' face with the sub-cracker worthy puns. Apply mindful serenity in the face of argumentative family members as you encounter a topless John Goodman in a jacuzi. Strengthen your endurance by just playing the damn thing. Time to get pissed... I mean PYST... Or do I?
Saturday 18 December 2021
I've more frights for you this festive season with Terror T.R.A.X. Track of the Vampire (1995 Ground Zero Productions) a choose-your-own FMV adventure where a couple of paranormal techno-cops investigate some bad guys who like to bite people. And blast electro-beams and rip eyes out from their sockets. I swear, this is the last Horror game to celebrate this yuletide... maybe.
Merry Christmas y'all!
Friday 17 December 2021
Aliens have landed, and they brought their bloody huge mechs with them! Play as a psychotically stereotyped Russian soldier with his own massive mech to take them down. It's none other than Krazy Ivan (1996 Psygnosis)! Go get some!
Thursday 16 December 2021
Another horrific turn for Christmas, this time with Mary Shelly's most disturbing of creations. Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster (1995 Amazing Media, Inc) is a pulpy first-person adventure starring Tim Curry as the titular mad scientist - emphasis on mad. Head on past the jump to find out more.
Wednesday 15 December 2021
It's no longer Halloween, but sometimes you want to play something a little spooky. Even at Christmas. The Elvira adventure RPGs were recently given a resurgence thanks to GOG so lets take a look at one even the Mistress of the Dark tends to overlook: Elvira: The Arcade Game (1990 Queen 'B' Productions and Flair Software).
Tuesday 14 December 2021
Keen eyes among you may have got an early peak at the second day of this festive catchup. It's more Dune! Positioned somewhere between a remake and a sequel, Dune 2000 (1998 Westwood Studios) doesn't innovate the RTS genre like the original but still proves to be an enjoyable jaunt on the desert planet. Check it out after the jump!
Monday 13 December 2021
Christmas is coming! So it's about time I gave the Collection Chamber some love with games I should've added months ago. I've got a fair few prepared so I'll be adding one a day up until Christmas, hopefully culminating in a video before the year is out.
We begin with Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (aka The Battle of Arakkis), the original real-time strategy from Westwood Studios. But it's not just that classic 1992 DOS game - it's also several ports and fan remakes too! If you loved Denis Villeneuve's recent feature film adaptation (and I'd question your taste in movies if you didn't), then you owe yourself to play it.
Before I leave, I should probably apologogise for the lack of posts in recent months. My real job, real-life and a real bout of man flu kept me away from anything more strenuous than watching Netflix on autoplay for a couple of weeks (don't worry, the PCR test said it wasn't Covid). At some point I'll even get around to those Star Trek games I left in limbo back in September...
Until then, enjoy the festive season!
Thursday 30 September 2021
On September 8th, Star Trek commemorated its 55th anniversary! Also on that date, Good Old Games scuppered my plans to put out some good old games based on the licence. I had Elite Force, Armada 2 and Away Team ready to go and as many of you may know, I'd spent copious amounts of time tinkering with Hidden Evil. That doesn't even mention the first Armada and Bridge Commander already being on the site. At laeast you play them all officially now, from a company with a team of testers and programmers and not from one random guy on the internet.
I still want to celebrate trekking through the stars, so here are five other games good enough for the likes of Kirk, Picard, Sisco and co. First up is Captain's Chair (1997 Paramount Pictures & Simon & Schuster Interactive), an educational CD-ROM that tells you everything about the bridges of five fictional starships. Then there's Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars (2000 Paramount Pictures & Simon & Schuster Interactive), a real-time strategy set in the vase expanse of outer space. If you want a more grounded RTS, then New Worlds (2000 Paramount Pictures & Interplay Entertainment Corp) lands the strategic management on the planet's surface WarCraft style. The Next Generation try their hands at a complex 4X managerial strategy game in Birth of the Federation (1999 Paramount Pictures & Hasbro Interactive Inc), but not before those pesky Klingons train for a bit in the FMV-filled simulation game Klingon Academy (2000 Paramount Pictures & Interplay Entertainment Corp). Follow the jump to find out more!
On a side note, my real-world job does have me swamped at the moment, so both the video and the written reviews will have to be delayed a little (or a lot - who knows?). At least I got the games out on time, so let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Tuesday 31 August 2021
It's the August Bank Holiday Weekend and that means music! Whether you're slumming it at Reading Festival or tripping around one of the many smaller events, the sounds of Summer is here. So, I've dedicated this month's quintet of quality games to top tunes. Accompany MTV's resident music video commentators on their trip to university in Beavis & Butt-Head Do U (1998 MTV Networks & GT Interactive), their second point-and-click adventure. Defy the devil with a magic guitar in the tough as leather 2D platformer Johnny Bazookatone (1995 Arc Developments & U.S. Gold). Destroy the overlords with a little help from Aerosmith in Revolution X (1994-1996 Midway), their classic light-gun shooter and some no-so-classic ports. Play as the frontman of a metal band as he plays another game within a game in the third-person-shooter Virtuoso (1994 Motivetime Ltd). Finally, rock out with the Rolling Stones in their Voodoo Lounge CD-ROM (1995 Virgin Benelux) dedicated to the late Charlie Watts. Enjoy!
I also want to plug an app a good friend of mind is developing for players of Dungeons & Dragons. The Goblin's Notebook is a single-pane view of your tabletop RPG campaign notes for pre-session planning, in-session note taking and post-session recapping, all direct from a web browser! I've been using it as a DM in my recent campaign and it's become an incredibly invaluable tool. Check out The Goblin's Notebook for free by visiting this link now!
WATCH THE VIDEO
Saturday 31 July 2021
The end of July is here, and so there is another quintet of games I managed to get working on Windows 10. There were a few stops and starts this time, with several projects having to be put aside due to bugs and crashes later in the game. I thought I managed to get the long-gestating Dark Side of the Moon working, but it constantly crashed on me when ringing the bell at the casino (you'll know if you've played it). Another was Liath: WorldSpiral before I found out some of the speech was all buggered. It looked like it could've been true of the original release, but there's so little information out there that isn't in Russian so I can't be sure. Alas neither was meant to be. Nor my punctualty it seems, as I've again merged two months of of games into one for the video round-up. You can check it out below if you want to see these games in action. Then, once you've done so, click on the links after the jump to read their full review and play them for yourselves. There's some doozies too, including the action-fest that is Esoteria: Techno-Assassin of the Future (1998 Mobeus Design & Kirin Entertainment), the puzzle-fest that is Jewels of the Oracle (1995 Discis Entertainment), the sports-fest that is Alien Olympics (1994 Dark Technologies Ltd & Mindscapre Inc), the loogie-fest that is Beavis & Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity (1995 Viacom New Media) and the IP theft of Zona 0 (1990 Topo Soft). Enjoy!
WATCH THE VIDEO
Wednesday 30 June 2021
I'm getting June's post up just in time, though the video will take a little longer I'm afraid. Still, there are some doozies in this quintet of interactive gems. First up is an educational title set in the Medieval times; Crusader: A Conspiracy in the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1997 Index+). Anyone who ever had a Windows PC in the 90s played Full Tilt Pinball (1995, Maxis) or at least the Space Cadet demo the operating systems came with. Next up is Galapagos: Mendel's Escape (1997 Anark Game Studios), a unique puzzle game that uses artificial intelligence in a disopian 3D world. We also continue our adventures with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002 Electronic Arts) - more of the same, but better; just how I like it! The last game is an adventure set in the ruins of an ancient necropilis in Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom (1995 Learn Technologies Interactive). Enjoy, and I'll see you soon for the predictably late video rundown...
Monday 31 May 2021
With all the jobs, jabs and other japes happening now that lockdown is easing up, I've unfortunately let the Collection Chamber slip behind these last few months. I will try my best to keep to a schedule, but like a herd of horny re-animated dinosaurs, life tends to find ways to ruin plans. Still, I've prepared five gems for May's montly five. First up is a forgotten cinematic platformer called Bermuda Syndrome (1995 BMG Interactive Entertainment) that deserves more love. It has dinosaurs in it for Hammond's sake! Defcon 5 (1995 Millennium Interactive) will give you some sci-fi shooting in an underappreciated first-person shooter. Then there's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001 Electronic Arts), not either of those slightly naff movie adaptations on consoles, but the far superior Windows action adventure. You can test your noggin by destroying aliens in the rather fun puzzle game S.C.OUT (1992 Atreid Concept - Kalisto). To save the best for last, Star Trek: Bridge Commander (2002 Activision & Paramount Pictures) puts you in the decison-making shoes of a rookie Starfleet Captain. It's almost a precursor to the recent VR game Star Trek: Bridge Crew.
Anyway, I hope that makes up for tha lack of content this past month. Watch the video below to see all of them in action, including those that were supposed to be in last month's video. Enjoy!
WATCH THE VIDEO
Sunday 2 May 2021
I may have bitten off more than I can chew with April's quintet of games edging into May. At least there's loads here to sink your teeth into, including three adventure games; The Beverly Hillbillies (1993 IntraCorp), Return to Ringworld (1994 Tsunami Media) and Hollywood Monsters (1997 Pendulo Studios). The last one has been translated into English from its original Spanish, with the Manual translation created by yours truly. On top of all that, there's the cinematic platformer on the Super Nintendo called Nosferatu (1994 SETA Corporation) and a collection of games based on Total Recall (1990-1991 Ocean Software & Acclaim Entertainment). Dig in!
There's only one update this month which coincided with my Top 10 Unexpected Movie Licences. Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge (1995, Motion Picture Corporation of America Interactive) got a manual and some DOSBox love, so check that out too if you haven't already.
Read on after the jump for more info!
Wednesday 14 April 2021
No one can deny that this past year has been... unexpected. Particularly in the movie industry. It's now awards season and even that's seen some unexpected goings on. Who would've thought a Borat sequel could've garnered two Oscar noms, let alone a couple of Golden Globes already in the bag?
WATCH THE VIDEO
Monday 29 March 2021
March marked the 6th anniversary of the Collection Chamber, and over 470 (not including compilations) games have been reviewed and made playable again! There's more to come, including this month's random quintet. Dylan Dog: The Murderers (1991-1992 Simulmondo) is a cinematic platformer based on the classic Italian comic series. Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 (1992 Infocom) is a love letter to 50's sci-fi B-movies and big-breasted women with an insane amount of humour. The 1st one is also included. To get your racing fix on, try Maximum Roadkill (1996 Take-Two Interactive) for some sci-fi infused speed. Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch (1992 Tsunami Media) is a good-looking point-and-click adventure bsed on the works of Larry Niven. Lastly, Xargon (1994 Epic MegaGames) is a classic PC platformer - and one of the few that could possibly rival those on consoles.
There's one update this month, and if you've seen my Animaniacs ranking video you probably know about it. The Animaniacs Collection now has an additional game - River Adventure. It was too small a game to justify its own review so the new version has conveniently added it. Head on ove to that game's page for more info.