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The Forest of Doom

Puffin Books 1983
Genre: RPG
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Gamebook, C64

On planet Allansia, our hero travels across the Northern Borderlands without meeting a single soul. Until one night, he is wakened from his sleep only to witness the final words of a dying dwarf called Bigleg. His mission to take a legendary weapon of war to Gillibran, the king of dwarves, at the edge of Darkwood, failed. It has been stolen in an ambush. Without this weapon, the dwarf kingdom of Stonebridge is in danger from warmongering trolls. Bigleg promises our nameless hero great riches if he can find the war hammer again and bring it to its rightful owner. Then he dies right under our eyes.

The Fourth Protocol

Hutchinson Computer Publishing 1985
Genre: Strategy, Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

The Cold War... since you're reading this review of a mid-80s computer game, this probably isn't just something you learned from history books. It also filled another kind of book, though: for spy novels, it provided the perfect background. A very successful release in the genre was Frederick Forsyth's The Fourth Protocol. The basic plot: Evil communists have devised a plan to finally tip the balance in their favour. 'Plan Aurora', as it is called, involves smuggling a nuclear bomb into the UK and detonating it, making sure the blame goes to the USA, thus destabilizing the western alliance.

The Gene Machine – The Great British Adventure

Divide By Zero / Vic Tokai 1996
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC
19th century literature procuded many of the iconic figures which are still dominating public mindset even today. Who hasn't heard of Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jekyll, Sherlock Holmes or Captain Nemo? All these original stories being in public domain these days, they provide ample material for more or less free adaptions. Or at least as source of inspiration. Or as the butt of jokes.

The Great Giana Sisters

Time Warp 1987
Genre: Action
Rating: 6/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

Every C64 owner knew it, everyone played it and enjoyed it. The Great Giana Sisters. The ultimate Jump & Run Game for this good old computer. Great graphics, many hours of fun, lots of nobody is asking for Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo´s contrahent. in fact, we rather like to play with women, don´t we ?

The Great War 1914-1918

Blue Byte / SSI 1993
Genre: Strategy
Rating: -
Licence: Commercial
System: PC
History Line 1914-1918 was released by SSI under this title in the USA. Gameplay is identical.

The Guild of Thieves

Magnetic Scrolls 1987
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Magnetic Scrolls send you back to Kerovnia, the location of The Pawn. But instead of a confused stranger, you are an aspired wannabe-member of the famous Guild of Thieves! To be accepted to this illustrious round, you have to prove your abilities. The guild sends you to an island and you have to ransack as many valuables as possible. The castle-like mansion looks like a likely target, but you're already stopped at the entranceby the guards. The nearby bank on the other hand looks like an even harder job...

The Hobbit

Melbourne House 1982
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: ZX Spectrum

If you think text adventures, you probably think Infocom and PC. However, even with all the freeware text adventures as a result of a huge fan base, the Spectrum is still the primary platform for text adventures. With over 1,400 commercial (or semi-commercial) text adventures for Spectrum alone and countless more that ware made thanks to the simple programming language, the Spectrum was a heaven for all adventure fans. In hindsight, it's not surprising. In the early 80s, PCs were still very expensive, Apple II had too good graphics to bother with text games and the rest of the crowd were consoles, only few of which had a keyboard. Spectrum was perfect: with a 3.5MHz processor it was pretty weak for high-res graphic games, yet because it was also a programming platform, it had a highly functional keyboard, perfect for text adventures.

The Hollywood Murders

Michael Zerbo 1996
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

A game for Chandler fans: a private detective hired by a seductive 'dame' to find her husband who disappeared a few years ago. Of course, it's not as simple as this, and as you dig deeper into the shiny world of Hollywood, its studios and the people behind them, it all culminates in a number of grisly murders.

The Horde

Crystal Dynamics 1993
Genre: Strategy, Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

After saving the king from chocking to death his highness gives you a reward that greatly improves your life, a title of knight. Now you have the king's favour and with it the privilege of paying taxes and a fearsome enemy, the all-devouring horde.

The Hound of Shadow

Eldritch Games 1989
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Alone in the Dark, Shadow of the Comet, Prisoner of Ice - games based on or inspired by works by H.P. Lovecraft. None of these can claim to be the best or first game of this theme though, because there is another one which is both older and still beats them all easily: The Hound of Shadow!

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