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Dracula

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CLR 1986
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

This review is part of The Review Roundup - Round 2: Games Related to the Undead

Dracula - a universally known horror icon. Ironically, only few have actually read the novel these days. Instead, the count's image is dominated by his numerous appearances in other media. Most notably movies which have taken on a life on their own, straying from the original more and more over time. Instead, these movies seem to be based on other movies. Or how would you explain that almost every vampire movie out there claims these undead creatures dissolve in daylight? A hint: this wasn't the case in either Dracula or the even older vampire story Carmilla. That 'tradition' was established by Nosferatu, an unofficial movie version of Dracula from the 1920s.


Dracula Unleashed

dracula01.png
Icom Simulations / Viacom New Media 1993
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Ten years have passed since Dracula was killed. Alexander Morris, brother of Quincey Morris (a victim of the chase after the vampire), has come to London. His brother's connections make it easy for him to get into the society: he's invited into the illustrious Hades Club.


Dragon Lore: The Legend Begins

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Cryo 1994
Genre: Adventure, RPG
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Get into a quest to recover your family's legacy, gain the dragon knights trust and become one of them and travel through a strange world, which had a marked French comic style, solving the challenges in your path through wits or might in what is one of the most iconic games from the CD-Rom age.


Dragon Wars

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Interplay 1990
Genre: RPG
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

In every sense but the name, Dragon Wars is a sequel to Interplay's The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate. The game was programmed by "Burger" Becky Heineman, just like the previous game, and the working title all through its development was The Bard's Tale IV. Unfortunately for Heineman and designer Paul O'Connor, Electronic Arts owned the rights to The Bard's Tale and Interplay was severing ties with the publishing giant and going its own way.


Dragon's Lair

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Advanced Microcomputer Systems / Cinematronics 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 2.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Arcade

Although arcade games were often technically much more advanced than their home counterparts in past times, most lost their ability to impress. Reliance on flashy audiovisuals rarely works when even better things become possible – nothing ages as badly as yesterday's technical sensation. But then, there are those games which are so far ahead of their contemporaries that the rest of the world literally took decades to catch up. Now, in 2013, Dragon's Lair still looks as impressive as it did thirty years ago: Fluidly animated, sharp cartoon scenes never get old. Just look at something like an old Tom & Jerry cartoon – just from the visuals, you will not be able to tell when it was made; it's a timeless technique.


Dragonsphere

dsphere01.png
Microprose 1994
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Great, we are at it again. An evil wizard that just appeared is trapped with magic, just that one day he will break free and cause havoc. And being as we are the good guy we forgot about him until the last moment. So, quickly, let's rush and save the world!


Dragonstone

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Core Design 1995
Genre: RPG, Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Chances are, you've never heard of Dragonstone. Released only on a dying computer platform whose parent company had just folded, it never became available anywhere else. So is this the undiscovered gem we've all been hoping to unearth in all these years? To be honest, I wouldn't have been able to tell you until now. It's been sitting on my shelf forever, but my memories of it could only have been described as vague at best. Maybe not the best sign, indicating it may not have been all that memorable, but then, let's give it a fair chance.


DragonStrike

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SSI 1990
Genre: Simulation, Action
Rating: 4.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

On board of a dragon you will engage in aerial fights with your lance and your dragon's breath as weapons over three-dimensional, polygonal landscapes.

This, albeit its problems, is one of the few original D&D games, to this helps that there aren't statistics and tedious development levels that are the label's trademark. But, as usual, the main lack is the simplistic story. The game is based in the Dragonlance books, so you will be fighting along the good guys, called in a stroke of originality the good dragons army, against the bad guys, named, surprisingly, the evil dragons.


Dreadnoughts

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Turcan Research Systems 1992
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

One of the major reasons cited as being the cause of the First World War was Imperial Germany's challenge to the British naval supremacy. Prestigiously large battleships had been built on both sides, and what would you build them for, if not to finally put them to their intended use? Which, ironically, didn't really happen all through the war, then, when both sides realised that losing such super expensive ships would constitute not just a military, but also a propaganda disaster. Still, there were a couple of encounters which, in the hands of Peter Turcan, got turned into this game.


Dream Zone

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Naughty Dog / Baudville 1987
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

I have played many weird games, but Dream Zone remains among the weirdest. What would you say if I told you that all bureaucrats are pigs? I mean real pigs. Or how about the fact that all you need to marry a woman is to wash your face? Or that your little brother's toy gun can kill nearly everything? You'd say that I should keep dreaming. Well, that's exactly what I did in this game.



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