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Soul Crystal

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Starbyte 1992
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Dave, 17 years old, is spending is first vacation without his parents up in northern Scotland. While taking a swim in a lake, he passes through a small waterfall… and finds himself in a foreign world populated by magical creatures! Here, he is immediately drafted to overthrow the evil elf king…


Space Cavern

spacecavern01.png
Apollo 1981
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Space Cavern is the most complex Atari 2600 game I've ever seen, with a manual three times as thick as any other Atari 2600 game. There are countless different difficulty levels you can choose from when starting a game, selecting from options such as whether to have two or four enemies above you, whether or not to have any enemies from the sides, whether the enemies above are large (easy targets) or small, and whether the enemies above shoot straight or diagonally. All of these options are independent of one another, so you can mix and match.


Space Commanders II

spaccom201.png
ajf 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

When and where this game was made, I have no idea. The age is based on the file, as in "not modified since 16-1-1984". So, what's it all about? It's a...Space Invaders clone!!! Not terribly original, but then again, it's from 1984, so maybe, just maybe, it was then.


Space Crusade

space_crusade01.png
Gremlin 1992
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Riding on the success wave of HeroQuest, Games Workshop released Space Crusade, a Warhammer "40k" variant for the McDonald's audience. So, it's basically a simplified and toned down version of Space Hulk. Unlike the computer game Space Hulk, Space Crusade's conversion into electronic form turned out to be a very faithful one.


Space Hulk

shulk01.png
Electronic Arts 1993
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga, PC (DOS)

Warhammer and its spinoffs seems to be a very popular franchise. I even met a professor at university who professed his love for '40K' on his institute website right next to the list of scientific papers and books he had written and and who used pictures of 'hulks' as the screensaver of his laptop. My first contact with this 'universe' was actually the computer game Space Hulk, and that's the very game this review is about. What an amazing coincidence!


Space Job

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Karstadt AG 1993
Genre: Action, Puzzle, Strategy
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Life simulation games have a special charm: On the one hand you go through your motions from day to day, on the other hand you want to escape it by having a go at the motions of someone else. So, you kind of ask yourself what it would be like to replace your daily routine with a more exciting one from somebody else. And that is the crucial point of the genre: Is the virtual life different enough to entertain you? Has it got enough distractions to offer, at least for a short while? For Space Jobs the answer is clearly no. Because although shows signs of some promising attempts, they get lost in a maze of advertisements, half-done ideas and programming bugs.


Space Marines: Der stählerne Kaiser

smarines_000.png
Software 2000 1995
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

In defiance of all real time battles of the 1990s, hex-based tactical wargames were still a big deal – thanks to Panzer General. Software 2000 had not made a big name for itself in this genre yet, but still wanted a piece of the pie. And so they followed the paradigm if you're going to do something, then do it… big. Consequently, the game starts out with a sleak rendered introductory sequence, actors have been projected cleanly in front, voice acting sounds professional… wow, now there should better be a good game in there, too! There is, even more so than expected.


Space Quest 1: The Sarien Encounter

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Sierra On-Line 1991
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

[Wandrell] We are talking about a nice remake. Maybe if you have played the Quest series you'll remember that, back at the beginning, they were not like the mouse-driven games we know. Until someone decided to make a remake of the original game of each saga. And one of them is the game we are going to talk about.


Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge

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Sierra On-Line 1987
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Released only a few months after Space Quest I, the sequel, named Vohaul's Revenge has brought little new. In fact, if I felt nasty and unthankful, I'd say that the game was one of the first cash cows in the history of PC gaming. By today's standards I'd be right - inept puzzles, the same graphics, lack of the same humor I remembered from the first part and a very short gameplay would automatically qualify a game as a rip-off. At least in my eyes; in fact such games seem to be very successful and highly regarded by certain gaming magazines. Back in the days, however, we were happy for the little we got and paid for it accordingly.


Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

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Sierra On-Line 1989
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

In retrospective, some years seem to make complete sense. For example, 1989 was a year in which the moons were properly aligned and the world seemed a better place (at least for me). It was the year we were treated with great movies like "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Back to the Future Part II". Our hips moved with the rhythm of the music from Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" and "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" from Tears For Fears. Yes, 1989 definitely was a good year to be alive. It was also the year Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon came out.



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