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Atari Games 1988
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Arcade

Gauntlet: Two heroes against the world. The game which took the D&D-like fantasy settings of the pen & paper role-playing games into the arcades. Vindicators doesn't just put a science fiction spin to this gameplay by substituting tank sprites, revolving gun turrets and ufos for warriors and orcs, but (at least in the original arcade version) applies this different theme to the gameplay as well. In particular, it incorporates a control scheme reminiscient of Battlezone. Meaning that each player has two sticks, each of which controls one track of the tank. Left and right forward leads to driving straight forward. Moving one track forward and the other one backward, on the other hand, enables the tank to turn right there on the spot.


Graftgold 1995
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Virocop was one of the games which really got a lot of attention before it was released - at least from the readers of one specific German Amiga magazine: Amiga Games. This magazine published a "developer's diary" over several months, then it suddenly stopped - but the finished game didn't appear. No explanation, no comment. A lot later, they mentioned they had dropped this article because they couldn't squeeze these pages in anymore. Never sounded too believable to me. More likely that there just wasn't enough happening anymore. Still, it was quite interesting to read every month how the idea developed, how changes to the concept were made (it changed from "Tanky" to "D.A.V.E" over time), how the graphics changed from hand-drawn sketches to actual screenshots.


Firebird 1988
Genre: Action, Simulation
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari ST

Why can't humanity meet a non-aggressive alien race just once for a change? This particular one even employs tactics of biological warfare, infecting the countryside with a virus which leaves only a dead and barren landscape. So the player jumps into his spaceship to destroy all the death-inducing invaders.

Voyeur …don't get caught

Philips P.O.V. Entertainment / Philips Interactive Media 1993
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: CD-i

In the early 1990s, owning one of these CD-based systems was like the holy grail of gaming. At least from an outside perspective, without having played the games available on them. The CD-i in particular, being much more graphically advanced than its contemporaries (Commodore CDTV or Sega Mega CD) looked like a dream! A dream which never came true for me – I never touched this system until this day, for the sake of this review (and even then, only via emulation). A couple of years later, one of my first real jobs was actually at Philips Semiconductors, but although I would have loved to enquire about it, by then, the CD-i's life had already run its course and, having been written off as one of the company's biggest failures in its history, and I assumed it was better not to mention it.


Lankhor 1994
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

That's the way it happens sometimes: you're told by another gamer how great (or in this case at least good) a game is and how you should really try it. You do and get bored after a few minutes. You wonder if you just haven't found the good part so far, so you continue playing. But nothing happens! It just stays boring. Because that is what the game really is: boring.

Walls of Rome

Mindcraft 1993
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Oh, boy… Walls of Rome is one of those games which just make you want to write 'This is a game for the fans of the predecessor' and be done with it. To take the easy way out. Maybe it would be what the game deserves. You see, the game leaves the strong impression of being minimum effort shovel-ware. It is very tempting to dismiss it as such. Released very shortly after Ambush at Sorinor, it is obvious that it was basically developed in parallel to that game after the relative success of Siege. Though where the former game did try to be a logical, spiritual followup which does have its own individual charme, Walls only has the stale smell of a cash-in more-of-the-same sequel. Given its history, treating it as a good faith effort is hard, but let's at least try.


Infogrames 1988
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Do you also sometimes have these incredibly positive memories about a game? Always thinking back how great it was and how you would love to play it again? Doesn't happen at all to me for the simple reason I still have all my games and keep playing them constantly - no misleading emotions.

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans

Blizzard 1994
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Warcraft is the first real time strategy game by Blizzard, a company which has become very famous by now.
At the beginning of the game, you have to choose between two factions. These are Orcs and Humans, each of which have their own campaign spanning 12 missions. After selecting your side, the battle begins.

Warlock: The Avenger

Millenium 1991
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Druid in its third round. War rages again in Belorn - how original. Lone magician (this time not called 'druid', but 'warlock') battles his way through and ends the threat.

After the relatively fresh and original Enlightenment, Warlock is a complete turn towards the original again. No more complicated spell management and also no non-linear levels anymore. In fact, the best description is this: New levels for the original Druid.


SSG 1990
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga, PC (DOS)

Warlords is a very basic game. Some parts of Empire mixed with a little bit of Risk and finished with a fantasy touch. Up to eight different fractions are struggling over supremacy in Illuria. Illuria is a relatively small country with 80 cities which is completely flat and apparantely has some kind of impenetrable borders - this is where the map just ends.

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