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Space Marines: Der stählerne Kaiser

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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.


Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

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Sierra On-Line 1991
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Space quest 4, the next game in the brilliant Space Quest series is a great adventure game. The first of the space quests to feature the point and click adventure mechanics, rather than text typing. I prefer the typing interface as I learnt how to spell English words by playing these games. The point and click games are fun, but do not help you learn as much as the typing games.


Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter

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

Back in the mid-1980s, computer games were created by their fans. It so happened that two guys, Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy decided that they would like to play King's Quest in a science fiction setting. After being initially rejected by Ken Williams who ran Sierra at the time, they created a small demo to show him they could pull it off. They got the job...


Space Rogue

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Gryphon Software / Origin 1989
Genre: Simulation, RPG
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Space Rogue is an odd mix of a space shooter, adventure and role-playing. While many people tend to call this an RPG game, the fact is that it's got very little to do with the basics of role-playing - character development. More important than this ongoing debate, however, is the fact that Space Rogue is one of the first games that used vector graphics, took advantage of the superiority of IBM computers and offered countless hours of fun. The game is timeless; even today it will suck you right in.


Space Taxi

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Muse 1984
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

It’s 1984. USA and the USSR race each other to space. Arcades are plagued with games about starships, aliens, and space exploration. So the moment you booted Space Taxi on a Commodore 64, the brand new computer released just two years earlier, and saw the loading screen with an ordinary yellow cab with landing pads, you knew you were up to have some real fun with this tongue-in-cheek action/puzzle game by Muse.


Space Taxi 2

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Twilight Games 2004
Genre: Action, Puzzle
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC
In the old, golden days, video games where thematically almost exclusively catering for a single target audience: male adolescents. Logically, some fantasy themes were recurrent: saving the earth and all of humanity or even the whole universe. Those were the goals and challenges of tomorrow's family men. Gaming having grown up, yesterday's youths are now confronted with reality. Those old dreams have been tainted as childish and the games industry now also delivers realism into the formerly well kept play rooms of today. One way of doing this apparently involves simulating every single job, no matter how absurd, and also every single every day activity, no matter how trivial, in a game. Resulting in increasingly obscure products in which the original ideas can hardly be recognized anymomre. Though even in the good old days, us heroes had to take a couple of collateral damage hits and, for example, resign ourselves to the role of a simple taxi driver. The implication being boring drives from A to B, where the highlight of the day is exchanging some gossip with the passengers. Unless, of course, it was Space Taxi.

Space-Pilot

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Kingsoft 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

[Mr Creosote] Following Elwood's suggestion, we'll be discussing Space-Pilot today. He has got a special relation to the game - maybe you want to explain this yourself?

[Elwood] Ok... it was Christmas, let's say around 1987. My present back then was a C64 with a datasette and 2 or 3 games. One of these was Space-Pilot (another one, by the way, was P.C. Fuzz)... Back then, I played the game constantly - ironically, my mother did, too. I should add that my mother had never played a computer game before and after this one, maybe a round of Mah Jongg at best.



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