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Der Stein der Weisen

Kingsoft 1984
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

A German text adventure, written by Ralph Stock who later became quite famous for games like Mad TV. Unfortunately, the bibliographic information within the game are not ambigous and even the oh-so-omniscient Internet does not offer a lot. Nevertheless, somebody has to start documenting such rarities, so let's just start with what we've got – amendments welcome!


Parallax Software 1994
Genre: Simulation, Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Shareware
System: PC

"3D shooters" are embarassing in general, this typical German designation alone gets on ones nerves fast. In combination with that pimply teenager who murders at home while mummy is gone shopping, these accumulations of appropriate cliches become almost unplayable.

Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

Electronic Arts / Gremlin 1992
Genre: Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

In Desert Strike you are the pilot of a chopper in the Middle East, your main objective being to take out a madman trying to take over the world. You accomplish this by achieving your mission goals, which are laid out prior to each mission and vary from destroying buildings and vehicles to capturing enemies to escorting other vehicles. Not only do you have to worry about being shot down, you can also lose ammo or run out of fuel, both of which can be corrected by collecting ammo crates and gas drums, respectively.


Florian Born 2000
Genre: Adventure, Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

As Kiarthan, a medieval lad with an almost finished schooling in magic, you creep into a wizard's castle in order to find a mysterious crystal which is supposed to heal your lady's disease.

Destruction Derby

Psygnosis 1995
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

I thought long about which category to add this game to - either action or sport because it's a blending of these two: action-packed but also with reasonable competitive elements. So what is it all about?


DKTronics 1983
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

Since we were still talking about Saddam_Hussein_the_bad_dictator & George_Bush_the_good_pacifist & The_war_in_the_name_of_peace and all that, why don't we put up here a dictator sim. Yup, and a pretty darn addictive one.

Die Akte Paul Bennet

Michael Baltes 2015
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

Not many people are still writing classic Text Adventures. Now imagine how few people are still writing classic Text Adventures in German. Those few who do form a small community which even meets in person occasionally, which is always very nice. People support each other during development, with advice, testing etc. What's not so nice is that the group of authors is virtually identical with the group of players. So the risk is always that your whole target audience already played your game during the beta phase! Michael Baltes is probably the most prolific author of German Text Adventures in recent years. His output is by far the most frequent. Due to the aforementioned circumstances, I will never be able to give most of his games a proper review, however. Die Akte Paul Bennet is one of the few games I have not tested in advance and which I therefore only know from pure player perspective. So let's use the rare opportunity!

Die Enviro-Kids greifen ein

Art Department / Umweltministerium NRW 1996
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

Do you remember Dennis the Menace? This completely annoying, artificial character who always made his neighbour see red and got on the nerves of the audience? If not, congratulations – keep it that way. All those unfortunates who have been scarred already will, however, feel a deep pain looking at Enviro Kids for the first time: the same slingshot in the pack pocket, the same haircut, the same hat… this does not bode well! Or does it?

Die Fugger

The Electric Ballhaus / Bomico 1988
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

Although they originally grew tremendously rich through trade, the Fugger family would not be remembered today if it weren't for the way it used its wealth: As creditors of the German royalty, their political influence went as high as the emperor himself. Just a couple of hundred years later, the then thriving home computer market encouraged many young people to learn programming and make games themselves – the age of the bedroom developer unshackled by corporate interests. The parallels should be obvious…

Die Fugger 2

Sunflowers 1996
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Money and political power are often closely related. The family referenced in the title is one of the best known historical examples of this phenomenon. The members of that family don't actually appear in the game, though. It takes place a few levels below that instead. On a regional level, i.e. a member state of the former 'Holy Roman Empire', the player tries to gain political influence - just like the big idols.

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