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International Championship Athletics

Golden Sector / Hawk 1991
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

If there is one genre which really screams '8 Bit', it's probably the joystick waggling games. You know, those sports games which actually required you to train your muscles - and which killed your wrists and destroyed your joysticks. International Championship Athletics is a total anachronism: It's an Amiga / Atari ST exclusive, yet it still follows that (by then) ancient gameplay principle.

International Karate

System 3 1986
Genre: Sport
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

Fighting games are all the same. As soon as you've found out how to activate the killer-special-mega-move of the character you've chosen, you're practically unbeatable. To still make the 'playability' last a bit, these special moves are usually either completely impossible to figure out (because they are undocumented on purpose) or impossible to activate (because they usually require the player to hit the 8 fire buttons in a certain combination and order along with movements of the joystick/joypad into certain directions - never less than 10 complicated steps). Usually both.

International Soccer

Commodore 1983
Genre: Action, Sport
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

Sports games were among the very first ones ever – Tennis for Two occupied oscilloscopes in the labs even back in the 1950s. International Soccer constituted a major development on the emerging home computer platforms: Instead of highly abstract blips, there were suddenly large, reconisable sprites right there on the screen!

Invasion of the Mutant Space Bats of Doom

Pop Software 1994
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Shareware
System: PC

I first discovered this game back in the early 2000s when I was a kid when I gotten the Game Empire CD from the Dollar Store. Now its 2014 and it's time to take a look back at Invasion Of The Mutant Space Bats of Doom.


Channel 7 1994
Genre: Strategy, RPG, Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Thousands of humand minds fled from Mars. Transformed in raw data by the theological dictatorship they stole a ship and did the forbidden, travelled to the stars. But they ended stranded, and nobody knows how long they have been like this, sleeping until the computer remembers to wake them up, only to find just seven of them are alive, with no place to call home.

Irvine Quik & the Search for the Fish of Traglea

Duncan Bowsman 2012
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

Irvine Quik (the person) is a freshly recruited space cadet, the classic bumbling anti-hero who saves the world in spite of himself. Consequently, Irvine Quik, the game, is humourous Adventure game with a science fiction theme and some lightweight, but in places imaginative puzzles. The game starts out with an introductory sequence introducing the general gameplay and the game's special mechanics (both for the sake of replayability thankfully optional). The latter being Irvines robotic companion HiRBy whose extendible arms will become a helpful in the course of the game.

Ishar 3: The Seven Gates of Infinity

Silmarils 1994
Genre: RPG
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Silmarils could not find a worse time to release Ishar III. 1994 was a year when highly anticipated sequels were battling surprise hits, and Ishar III was neither. On one side you've had games like Ultima VII, which was so massive that Origin split it in several parts, Dungeon Master II, one of the most anticipated RPGs of all times, Might and Magic: World of Xeen, arguably the best M&M game, and Wizardry VI, with a new graphics engine. On the other side, you've had several surprise hits, which became cult games by now: Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos and System Shock. Somewhere in the middle, there were the underdogs: Ishar III and Realms of Arkania II. Both games were the sequels of rather obscure series, published by rather obscure companies. Silmarils is a French company, which had a moderate success in Europe, but is unknown in the US. Sir-Tech, while well known, based its Realms of Arkania series on the Das Schwarze Auge German role-playing series (editor's note: that series was made by Attic and only published by Sir-Tech in the USA -Mr Creosote). It comes like a surprise that among such an exquisite company, Ishar III is still alive. In fact, it is shining.

It Came From The Desert

Cinemaware 1990
Genre: Strategy, Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Lizard Breath, a small desert town in 1951. A meteor has just crashed down here. This is your chance to do some research! So you head over there and start working.

Suddenly, unusual things happen in and around the village. Animals are behaving strangely. On a nearby farm, a cow's head is bitten off and all the guts have disappeared. You examine some rock samples found near the crash site and discover one glowing piece of rock you've never seen before! Are there any links?

Italy 1990

U.S. Gold 1990
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Just like movie tie-ins, 'official' games of major sport events are crap in most cases. After paying for the expensive licence, little money seems to be left to make a decent game. Or, maybe the companies think it won't be important anyway, because fans will buy the game just because of the name.


Ocean 1990
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

You walk from left to right and kill a few enemies. Sounds like Super Mario World? Maybe, but it's not! And it's not even something similar! It's Ivanhoe!

The 'story' is quite simple: King Richard has been captured by the French and you have to rescue him. Alone. You start your quest in England. There you have to get to the port. Unfortunately, a forest full of villains lies in the way. So you have no other choice but to fight your way through. You draw your sword and show them what you're made of! These weak peasants are no match for you! Some hits with your blade and they fall to the ground dead. Also those cowards hiding in the trees won't escape you!

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