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Cryo 1997
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

To those who tend to be bored by reality, video games come as the ultimate "emergency eject". Most just take games as they are: for this people it would be the same to be passing time by with a crossword puzzle at hand. There are other persons who really like to forget for an hour or two (extreme cases, for a month or two) everyday life and its "problems": bills to pay, work to be done, garbage to be disposed of… All the compelling adventures of the so-called Modern Life.


Josephine Wynter 2011
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 0/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Interpreter

You awake in a grave, with no memory of who you are or what happened to you...

You know what that reminds me of? Roger Corman and his Poe filmes from the 1960s. Escaping from your own grave after premature burial might make for a cool game – Corman's Premature Burial even unknowingly suggests some puzzles in the scene where the protagonist explains the safeguards of his crypt and the dream sequence when all of these safeguards fail would be a good blueprint to design a game around.


Spectrum HoloByte 1989
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Vette is a racing game that speaks for itself, you can drive a Corvette against other people. You get to drive in San Francisco and it only has 4 courses to race. The key is to get to the finish line anyway you can. You begin by selecting a Corvette Model like the stock, ZR1, and has the modified ones like the Callaway Twin turbo and the Corvette Sledge Hammer. You can also press space to do a dyno test to see how fast the car can go. While racing, you can get pulled over by a cop and you could come up with excuses why you were driving fast (like "my accelerator got stuck" or "rushing to the hospital to see my wife" or even "i gotta go to the bathroom so bad" then you get the ticket anyway.

Victor Loomes

Promotion Software / LBS 1993
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Amiga

"Victor Loomes" is a private eye in the Chicago of the 1920s. And his sponsor is..... the LBS (a German "Bausparkasse" - if you don't know what that is, visit their homepage for a good laugh)! If you're asking where the temporal (at that time, the LBS didn't exist) and local (the LBS doesn't exist anywhere outside Germany) link is, you've already understood the whole problem of the game.


MDF 1996
Genre: Action, Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Victory is a real time strategy game which takes place in the area of today's Poland, roughly in the year 1000 A.D. Hence the original title Polanie. The game's first release came on six 3.5" floppies and a CD version followed shortly after. The reviewed version comes from the Gold Games 1 compilation released in 1996. On CD #9, this gem of computer entertainment could be found. The game was developed by a Polish company called "MDF", about which I could not find out anything. In Germany, the game was distributed by TopWare Interactive under the name of Victory.

Vier Gewinnt

??? 1983
Genre: Strategy, Puzzle
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Vier Gewinnt – you probably know this one as "Connect Four" or "Four in a Row". It's a simple game in which you and your opponent drop discs into a 7x6 grid. The first one to connect four tiles vertically, horizontally or diagonally wins. It's an easy concept, but allows for much variation.


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.

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