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Tuesday 31 October 2023


https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/blair-witch-trilogy.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/blair-witch-trilogy.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/blair-witch-trilogy.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/gremlins-collection.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/weird-truth-is-stranger-than-fiction.html

Tales of the spooky kind are in store should you choose to unleash the five releases from the Collection Chamber! October's games feature some horrifying gems perfect for the Halloween season, including the Blair Witch Trilogy (2000 Artisan Pictures & Gathering of Developers), three games that are not only based on the legend spoken about in the classic 1999 found footage feature film, but are also sequels to the highly underrated Nocturne. The first volume, Rustin Parr, is the best of the three rising to my pick of the month.

As well as these three classic survival horrors, I've also compiled a compilation called the Gremlins Collection (1984-2011 Various). While it might be a littly Christmassy in places, the PG-13 frights of Joe Dante's classic movie are very much in keeping of the season. Not all of them are classics, but with 25 games (including ports) and a plethora of extras there's some interesting stuff in there. Lastly, learn about spooky legends and myth from around the world in Weird: Truth is Stranger than Fiction (1996 TwoPointZero Ltd). You're bound to find the basis for many an X-Files episode in there.

Alas, no updates this month. Real life has won out more than usual the past few months, but I hope to catch up with missing reviews in the next few weeks. I still can't access Facebook so keep up to date with new posts on Instagram or Twitter (X). I add new games here at 8pm GMT on the last day of every month regardless.

Now, roll on November.

Saturday 30 September 2023


https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/dark-angael.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/laffaire-morlov.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/the-art-of-magic-magic-mayhem-2.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/mourir-en-mer.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/simisle-missions-in-rainforest.html

So, it appears my Facebook (Meta?) has been hacked so if you are used to visiting my humble corner of the internet from there, that's why I haven't posted an update. So far, it looks like they've changed nothing beyond my admin status, username and password but it's probably wise not to trust links from there for a while until I claw back control from some arsehole in Dehli, India. I should probably take this as a sign to keep on top of my other social media accounts like Twitter (X?) and Instagram (Instagram?) which I've very much neglected over the years.

By technical troubles coming from Dehli, India haven't stopped me from putting forth five newly added games to the chamber (although, as is unfortunately becomming the norm, some of the reviews aren't up yet). Pick of the month is the sequel to Magic & Mayhem called The Art of Magic (2001 Virgin Interactive Entertainment). It continues the same strategy/RPG gameplay as the first but instead of the charming claymation graphics were introduced to some new-fangled 3D polygons. Dark Angael (1997 Vicarious Visions) is a cool Metroidvania-style platformer which has the same under-used mouse and keyboard controls as Abuse. L'Affaire Morlov (1995-1996 CPIO Multimedia & Titus) is a French-produced, English-language FMV detective adventure. SimIsle: Missions in the Rainforest (1996 Maxis Inc) is yet another SimNoun title, this time asking you to balance commerse and conservation on a series of island rainforests. Lastly, guest reviewer Austin tackles a surprisingly emotional freeware adventure called Mourir en Mer (2002 Digital Mind Studios).

As for updates, the big one is that of a compilation featuring Sierra's Hi-Res Adventures. ScummVM has been updated so it would accept a larger variety of Apple II disk images allowing all 7 games in the series to run via that program. Cranston Manor is now playable this way instead of using the more cumbersome AppleWin emulator. I've also tweaked the DxWnd configuration in Space Hulk 2: Vengeance of the Blood Angels which would hopefully help with random crashes.

That's it!

Thursday 31 August 2023


https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/celtica.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/the-fifth-element.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/lifeforce-tenka.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/quarky-quaysoos-turbo-science.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/simgolf-compete-on-courses-you-create.html

Summer's over, but more forgotten games are abound! I've been quite busy over the past month, so I doubt all of the reviews will be complete by the time I first post this, but the packages and art are up so that's something! Expect them in the coming weeks.

First on the docket to see us into Autumn is Celtica (1998 I Hoffmann + associates Inc & Artech Studios), a blatant Myst clone loosely based on Celtic mythology with a touch of mysticism and astrology thrown in. Then there's the video game adaptation of Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1998 Gaumont Multimedia) in slightly wonky action-adventure form. Despite bad first impressions, it somehow grew on me to become my pick on the month. Psygnosis returns with a solid first-person-shooter called Lifeforce Tenka (1997 Psygnosis) known as Codename Tenka in some regions. Quarky and Quaysoo's Turbo Science (1992-3 Sierra On-Line) is a super fun edutainment entry to Sierra's Discovery series (like EcoQuest and Dr Brain before it). Lastly, it's time to simulate some golf in SimGolf: Compete on Courses You Create (1996 Maxis, Inc). Unlike the game with Sid Meier's name as a prefix, this one is more of a straight-up Golf sim (boo) with a robust course create option (yay).

Only one doozy of an update for this month, as well as a small patch. The Terminator Collection, which collates all of the classic first-person-shooters from Bethesda and hasn't been updated since I first uploaded it in 2015, has been given a complete overhaul. Basic DOSBox has been replaced with a newer version of DOSBox-X, every game now has a manual, input has been tweaked and modernised (particularly for Future Shock and SkyNET) and the custom menus have been re-built from scratch! And that's just the beginning of it! Took a while to do too, which is perhaps another reason why some of these current reviews are late. Anyway, check out the game page or the Updates page for more info on what's changed and read the ChamberNotes.txt within the install folder for a full technical rundown.
I've also added a small patch for Nocturne which includes a DDrawCompat .ini file that will limit the framerate so the flappiness of the wind physics isn't so flappy. Saw RagnaRox's excellent video on the subject and after being totally surprised by the shout-out, I thought I'd better include it. Just unzip to the install folder and you're done!

Click on!

Monday 31 July 2023


https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/ark-of-time.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/cyberbykes-shadow-racer-vr.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/indiana-jones-action-games.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/magic-mayhem.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/simtown-town-you-build-yourself.html

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny may have come out at the end of last month, but I didn't see it until the beginning of this one. I like it fine enough. It was generally level in quality making me prefer it to the mess that was Kingdom of the Crystal Skull but I must say that Spielberg's misfire is the more memorable movie. The highs are much higher there but its the depths of its lows that make me like this new one a little more. I'll hand over my full thoughts at the end-of-year movie rundown, but until then I've collated a bunch of Indiana Jones games no-one seems to remember anymore. It took me a hell of a long while to do, so I'll have to give Indiana Jones: The Action Games (1982-1994 Various) my pick of the month, even if most of its content is more fascinating than fantastic. It include the original Atari 2600 game based on the original movie, the Temple of Doom arcade game and its many ports, almost all platform iterations of The Last Crusade and the action side of The Fate of Atlantis. Including ports, variations and a number of other oddities, that's nearly 40 games!

My real pick would probably be Magic & Mayhem (1998 Virgin Interactive Ent & Mythos Games Ltd), a fantasy-set strategy game from the folks behind the original X-COM trilogy. Ark of Time (1997 International Computer Entertainment Ltd) is a decent point-and-click adventure that sees a journalist stumbles upon an Atlantean conspiracy. CyberBykes: Shadow Racer VR (1995 Artificial Software, LLC) is an early attempt at consumer VR, but more interesting than that is Charlie Brooker's (of Black Mirror fame) bizarre PC Zone review. To cap off the month, I've returned to the world of the Sims with SimTown: The Town You Build Yourself (1995 Maxis Inc). It's a more kid friendly version of SimCity that must've been installed on school PCs the world over.

I only have two updates this month, and both are revisions of games from last month. A lot of people have been having issues with Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion. I suspect their systems are missing one of the Microsoft Visual C++ packages (link in the FAQ) which I recommend every retro PC gamer install. Version 2 of the game's installer now launches using the offical .exe instead of one modified with the NoCD patch. It will also use Image Drive Portable to automatically manage virtual CD mounting. I've also put a limit on the framerate for The Reap which makes the game much more playable.

That's it for this month! Until next time...

Friday 30 June 2023

MONTHLY 5 - June 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/bug-too.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/clue-murder-at-boddy-mansion-aka-cluedo.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/hi-octane.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/the-reap.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/synnergist.html

Summer is here, and after a scorching hot June, it's time get out of the sun, stay indoors and play some ancient PC Games! Pick of the month is Synnergist (1996 Vicarious Visions), an adventure game with a history as fascinating as its neo-noir plotline. If you haven't had enough of last month's Bug!, how about it's sequel Bug Too! (1996-1997 SEGA). Both now also include the Saturn originals ready to play for you SEGA-loving entomologists out there. Next up, play the classic board game with some nifty graphics and computer-animated FMV sequences in Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion (1998 Hasbro Interactive) or Cluedo: Murder at Blackwell Grange as its known for us Brits. For something a little more high octane, play Hi-Octane (1995 Bullfrog Productions), a futuristic racing game for PC-DOS, PlayStation and Saturn. Is it a WipEout beater? Lastly, The Reap (1997 Housemarque Games) is a great-looking early shoot-em-up from the folks who gave us Super Stardust and Returnal.

There's also a few updates to talk about. Ripley's Believe it Not: The Riddle of Master Lu has not only had its DOSBox updated and tweaked to fix a bug, but now also includes a manual and mini player's guide. Dust: A Tale of the Wired West also adds a maual while utilising the upgraded features of DOSBox-X. Finally, in addition to last month's Bug! for PC, Bug! for Saturn is now available. See their game pages or the Game Updates section for full information.

Head on past the jump and click on those links to read my full thoughts and make up your own mind by giving them a play them yourselves.

Wednesday 31 May 2023

MONTHLY 5 - May 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/alida-enigmatic-giant.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/bug.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/kings-bounty-classic-collection.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/nightstone.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/woodspell-enchanted-forest-of-learning.html

A lot has happened in blighty this past month. Not only have we regained our rightful place as almost last in Eurovision, but we've only gone and crowned ourselves a new King! To commemorate this fact, I've been playing a game where one such monarch pillages his kingdom and sends his subjects to their deaths by fighting each other. That game is King's Bounty, and I've collated most of its ports and revisions in a compilation I call the King's Bounty Classic Collection (1990-1994 New World Computing).

That being siad, my personal pick of the month is a blatant yet highly enjoyable Myst clone called Alida: The Enigmatic Giant (2004 Dejavu Worlds). Also available is one of the earliest stabs at a 3D platformer in the unfairly forgotten Bug! for PC (1996 SEGA). For the more adventurous among you, the hack-n-slash RPG NightStone (2001 New Horizons Studios) is worth a play and top cap out the month, we enter an educational fantasy land with beautiful art with Woodspell: The Enchanted Forest of Learning and Fun (1996 Mediola SRL).

As for the updates, we have three. Disney's Hercules: Hades Challenge and Chewy: ESC from F5 have been given the ScummVM treatment while Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace has had some tweaks for those with AMD cards. Head on over to their game pages for full details.

For this month's games, head on over past the jump. Enjoy!

Sunday 30 April 2023

MONTHLY 5 - April 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/birthright-gorgon-alliance.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/g-nome.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/iron-blood-warriors-of-ravenloft.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/pool-of-radiance-ruins-of-myth-drannor.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/sixth-sense-investigations.html

If you saw one film in cinemas this past month, chances are it was Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. I saw it with most of my D&D group and had an awesome time - perhaps the most fun I've had in a theatre post-pandemic. So, I thought I'd dig out some old D&D games of yesterear and give them a whirl. Of the three chosen for this month's monthly five, classic computer RPG Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (2001 UbiSoft Entertainment) is my fantasy pick of the month, but with its mix of wargame strategy and first-person role-playing, Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance (1996 Sierra On-Line) is also pretty good. Less so is Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft (1996-1997 TSR & Acclaim Entertainment). This one-on-one fighter featuring well-known D&D characters, classes and races is pretty pants and I tried both the DOS and PlayStation versions in a vain attempt to find something good. For kusoge gamers only.

Beyond the giant lizards and underground chambers, I've kept the variety up with a much-requested mech action game called G-NOME (1997 7th Level Inc). For adventure-gamers there's the obscure Amiga point-and-clicker called Sixth Sense Investigations (1998 CineTECH); a respectable indie game that's heavily inspired by LucasArts' Day of the Tentacle. It's pretty good too if you can forgive its terrible Leicester-accented voice acting.

For this month's updates, we begin with Obsidian which now takes advantage of its induction to ScummVM's list of supported games. The Amazing Spider-Man Collection has also been updated and tweeked which fixes errors, adds manuals and updates emulators. See the Game Updates section or head on over to their review pages for full update info.

That's it for this month! I'll see you at the end of May for more classic gaming goodness. Until then, head on after the jump to read my thoughts on April's ragtag group of aging code.

Friday 31 March 2023

MONTHLY 5 - March 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/antz-panic-in-anthill.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/chicken-run.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/gold-glory-road-to-el-dorado.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/shrek-game-land-activity-center.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/sinbad-legend-of-seven-seas.html

Awards season is over (and this is the first time ever where my personal favourite coincided with the Oscars), but movies will always be on my mind. As DreamWorks have been having a bit of a resurgence of late, with both Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and The Bad Guys washing out the stink that was Boss Baby, I thought I'd treat myself to some of their earlier game tie-ins. Pick of the bunch is Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado (2000 DreamWorks & Revolution Software), a 3D adventure game by the folks behind Broken Sword. Antz: Panic in the Anthill! (2001 Light and Shadow Production & DreamWorks LLC) takes the movie's characters and places them in a Bomberman clone. Chicken Run (2000 DreamWorks LLC, Aardman Chicken Run Ltd & Pathé Image) is a decent Baby's First Metal Gear Solid while Shrek: Game Land Activity Center (2001 TDK Mediactive, Activision & DreamWorks LLC) mimics Disney's edutainment offerings of the past. Lastly, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003 Atari Interactive & DreamWorks LLC) is an underrated movie tie-in of an underrated movie.

There are a few updates too. James Cameron's Titanic Explorer removes the need for mounted discs completely removing one of my biggest qualms about it (I should read the readmes more thoroughly). Galapagos: Mendel's Escape has now been updated to official patch 1.2 which gives the option to save anywhere. I've also changed DxWnd to a lesser version which solves the intro video distortion, but considering that was just a company logo it's a minor fix. I had thought I solved some issues in Sanity:Aiken's Artifact by forcing a reduced framerate through dgVoodoo, but it appears not. I'm beginning to think the issue stems from the NoCD patch itself so I'll have to figure out an alternative before I update again.

Until then, check out this month's games after the jump.

Tuesday 28 February 2023

MONTHLY 5- February 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/abduction.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/dark-secrets-of-africa.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/fade-to-black.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/james-camerons-titanic-explorer.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/tilt-aka-hyper-3-d-pinball.html

The shortest month of the year is to an end, but I did manage to squeeze in some time for the Collection Chamber. First up is an obscure Amiga adventure that arrived late in the computer's lifecycle. Abduction (1998 Psyche) is a fascinating hidden gem in the pantheon of point-and-clicks that uses a top-down perspective that oozes in sci-fi atmosphere. Then, Dark Secrets of Africa (1999 New Generation Software) is a Windows RPG aiming to take an isometric bite of that Baldur's Gate pie. The sequel to Flashback is up next as the early 3D action adventure puzzles around traps and shoots at robots in a game called Fade to Black (1995 Delphine Software International). To celebrate the recent 25th aniversary of the best romantic movie boyfriends can also enjoy and its brief return to theatres, I've added the educational CD-ROM James Cameron's Titanic Explorer (1997 Fox Interactive) to the roster. To cap it all off, why not end with the pinball thrills of Tilt! (1995 NMS Software & Virgin Interactive) known as Hyper 3-D Pinball in the US.

On the update front, we have three revisions of some of last month's games, and the one I promised I'd fix then too. I wasn't entirely happy with Asghan: The Dragon Slayer's package, so I did a repack to take advantage of DDrawCompat as opposed to dgVoodoo. Dr. Slump got some tweaking of the controls so that the Turbo function no longer messes up button holds (a small patch is included if you don't fancy re-downloading the whole thing). Then there's Overboard! or Shipwreckers! if you're that way inclined. As with Dr. Slump there is a small patch for those who've downloaded Version 1, but Version 2 replaces the dgVoodoo config file with one that limits the framerate. This prevents some bugs that may occur when your boat needs to bounce. And finally, as promised, I've fixed the Gravis Ultrasound crash from last month's update for Shannara. The original DOS4GW.EXE has been replaced with a newer DOS/32 Advanced DOS Extender which solves the issue. Not only that, but I've also tweaked the DOSBox-X mapper file and config a little to standardise hotkeys and restore the original aspect ratio when running in fullscreen.

That's a lot to keep you busy, so until the month of March comes to its end, check out this lot by clicking on the links after the jump.

Tuesday 31 January 2023

MONTHLY 5 - January 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/asghan-dragon-slayer.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/dr-slump.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/monster-truck-madness-2.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/overboard-aka-shipwreckers.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/space-dude.html

It's 2023 and a full month has gone by. Other than collecting my musings of the movies and modern games I've encountered over the last year, it's time to get back to the old stuff. We have five interesting obscurities to kick off the year, starting with the fantasy Tomb Raider clone Asghan: The Dragon Slayer (1998 Silmarils). Next up is a recently translated PlayStation platformer featuring the first creation of Dragon Ball's Akira Toriyama called Dr. Slump (1998 Bandai). Then we have the racing sequel Monster Truck Madness 2 (1998 Microsoft Corporation & Terminal Reality) complete with dozens of fanmade tracks and trucks. Travel the high seas and shoot your way to treasure in Overboard! (1997 Psygnosis) otherwise known as Shipwreckers! in the US. Lastly, guest reviewer Austin takes on a crazy ride with the action-arcade-strategy hybrid that is Space Dude (1996 Evryware).

That's not all. A minor improvement to the site sees the list of all of the Labels in full view at the very bottom. It was something I didn't even think about until a random comment popped up, so hopefully it'll prove useful when browsing the hundreds of game reviews (we're edging towards 600!).

Talking about the games, we have a few updates. Shannara now uses DOSBox-X (but may have an issue so the last version remains - expect the fantasy adventure to appear here again next month), Nocturne now has some tweaks for better compatibility while also adding an editor and soundtrack too! Lastly, MetalTech EarthSiege fixes the crash at the end of Campaign 4, Mission 8 while also getting upgraded to DOSBox Daum as its emulator of choice. You can see their full details of their game pages or on the Game Updates page found to your right.

For the others, go check them out by clicking after the jump...