Longtime contributor and verbose commentator. Loves Roleplaying Games, Adventures and Puzzle Games. Gets strangely nostalgic when he enters a DOS prompt, hears a Gameboy *ding* or sees horrible colour palettes. Always good for a second opinion on everything.
Played together with his little brother cute Nintendo games and gambled undercover Wolfenstein and Larry on the PC. But real nostalgic feelings only come up with the C64 and 8-bit consorts. Passion for everything that is cyberspaced, fun and fast.
My brother introduced me to my love of computers. I played Test Drive, Jet Fighter, F-19 stealth and Falcon 3.0 on my brother's 286, and wanted a computer for myself. That Christmas I got my first computer, a 386DX-25Mhz, 4MB of RAM and an 80MB hard drive. I graduated to a 40Mhz upgrade ($400 upgrade..shesh) a year later, then a 486DX2-66 when Strike Commander came out, then a Pentium 90Mhz overclocked to 100Mhz... my first overclock.
Thick 250-page manual. CHECK. Flight stick, throttle and rudder controls. CHECK. Ray Ban aviator classic sunglasses mixed with a hot-shot pilot attitude. CHECK.
Joystick jocks. You know who you are. If you played Falcon 3.0 in the early 1990s you might be just now looking in the mirror and noticing the fine-white hairs sneaking out of the side of your head. Yes, you are that old and so is Falcon 3.0. But perhaps some of those silver hairs are well-earned from the hundreds of hours of flight time you have logged in your virtual cockpit.
The IFComp is still under way and it is closing in on the half time. Seems like they expanded the schedule a bit this year: You can play and judge until the 29th of November this year. Maybe this is due to the fact that there are just so many titles. Which might make you wonder which ones to chose from? Parser or Choice-based? Horror or comedy? Short or long?
Well, so how about a recommendation? Today’s review is about a game that was kind of a pleasant surprise to me. It is from a genre that feels to me like it has been done to death by now: Zombies. And in a way it is extremely topical, something that I do not overly care about. Yet it manged to grab my attention right from the start and was a lot more fascinating then I would have expected. Some thoughts on the reason why can be found in our newest review for Alone.
By now I have tried around a dozen of the IFComp’s games and I am quite happy with most of the candidates. As usual quantity and quality varies from title to title, luckily none of them were utterly unplayable (so far).
On the contrary, you can find a couple of really interesting stuff in there. Like Tavern Crawler, a nice little role playing gem, which proves yet again that you do not need a multi-million dollar budget to get your players stuck to the screen. Coming up with an unusual idea and implementing it in a solid way might do the trick just fine.
Picking up the ball of the IF Comp, I couldn't leave Herr M. completely alone with those more than 100 games, of course. The Impossible Bottle, the first pick I made, turned out to be a lucky one. Humorous, nicely plotted, demanding… what more could you ask for?
The 26th Interactive Fiction Competition has started and as usual it is offering a plethora of text based games. With its wide variety of formats and genres it caters to a whole lot of tastes. Whether you prefer your interactions typing, clicking or tapping, or your texts thoughtful, fancy or plain: You will find some pearls in there. Though admittedly there will be a bit of trash too. Which ones which? Well, it is time to find out!
That is why I have already started this year’s article and look and behold: There is even a first review! So far the games look very promising and I have to admit that I am a bit hyped.
If you want to get involved yourselves (again): All it takes is picking up five of the games, playing them and voting for them on the competition’s website (just follow the link in the article above). And do not forget to drop us a line or two afterwards.
Do you remember the beginning of Nightmare on Elm Street 5, where this guy is sort of merging with his motorbike into a bio-mechanical horror? Of course not, who remembers Nightmare on Elm Street 5? Though for reasons which should be apparent, playing No Second Prize reminded me strongly of this scene in the otherwise forgettable movie. Does this make the game forgettable as well? Oh well, never judge a book by its cover.
Beneath a Steel Sky actually received a late sequel not too long ago. Not the worst of reasons to re-visit the original. It's been many years and what I didn't remember at all anymore is that it's a rather short game by the standards of its time. A definite plus considering the changed player expectations of today which certainly I can't claim to have passed by me without effect.
Has it really already been 10 years since Dennis Hopper passed away? Then again, he did have a long, distinguished career. Well, part of it was distinguished. By the 1990s, he basically took any work which offered a solid paycheck and openly admitted it. This lead to a detour into the world of computer and video games. The downpoint of which must have been his appearance in Super Mario Bros.. He was also features in the "interactive movie" genre with almost alarming frequency, though in most cases, it was just a little cameo to later be able to print his name on the box. In case of Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller, it's mostly his distinctive voice; his facial features can really only be recognized by those with previous knowledge that he is in the game.
Photocopied manuals and manually reproduced floppy disks sent by post are not necessarily covered by the law of product piracy, but were a widespread form of software distribution from the 1980s to the early 1990s. Besides the colourful sales shelves in the shops the constantly growing supply of bedroom programmers found this unusual way to the customer. I will have a deeper look at what they sometimes found in their letterboxes by the example of a late work called Taam.
In my scouting for games deserving a fresh look, I stumbled upon Dark Seed once more. Since all those old screenshots were actually bad (downscaled so that all text was unreadable), I played through it again to replace those as well. The result of putting this fresh impression into words is now online.
Time for some meta news. We've been doing some internal restructuring deemed necessary due to the growth of the website. It is no longer this small thing it started out as. The amount of games we cover these days could be perceived as daunting by newcomers. So we have taken action and added some simple tools to help you manage.
First, you will undoubtedly have noticed the changes on our front page. Above all, this website is about human-created contents. So you may be interested to learn more about the heads behind it all. Those people who, apart from creating contents, also keep things running behind the scenes – our staff.
From now on, anywhere on the site, staff-created contents are marked like this. This is to distinguish them from user-generated contents.
Though, of course, we also thrive from user-generated contents. Hence, right on the front page, users who have provided specifically noteworthy contributions to the community will also find their profiles regularly highlighted. This is not just our "thank you", but from your visitor perspective, this is also to enable you to find contents which you may be interested in. Have a favourite reviewer? There he or she is, through the profile, you can easily jump to a list of his or her reviews.
Talking about discoverability, browsing the complete list of games is probably not the default mode of choice anymore. Takes much too long. So we're testing an additional approach which we call staff picks. Those are random games taken from a pool which our staff considers particularly noteworthy. This is not a quality seal for the games presented there, but those are games where we feel our coverage is pretty good and you could go out with it a little richer.
Last, but not least, those of you who are logged in to their accounts now have the ability to bookmark specific game pages (icon right next to the game's title). You can use this in various ways: remember some items for later reading, mark all your favourites for repeated consultation etc. You can access your personal bookmark list through the user icon on the top right.
As always, although we see the raw access numbers, additional feedback what helps, what you're maybe still missing, is always welcome in our forums.
...that everything you see here has been coded from the ground up? We're not using any generic Content Managament System - those things never fit any specific purpose anyway. The same goes for our forum which has even been released under a Free Software licence in its current incarnation.
So what is this site? To put it in the most simple way imaginable: It's a site about digital games. Not about the latest gaming news, but about the games themselves, and - as you've already surmised from the site's name - specializing in what's usually considered 'classic' these days. Of course, definitions of 'classic' differ widely. However, if you browse around a little, you'll find us covering pretty much everything (with varying intensity) from the earliest home systems (late 1970s) to the end of the last millenium.