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Seas of Blood

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Puffin Books 1985
Genre: RPG
Rating: 3.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Gamebook, ZX Spectrum
[Mr Creosote] Seas of Blood… this is going to be a tough discussion for me, because I have to admit this was the gamebook which I read/played more often than any other when I was a kid. Whether this was due to thematic preference, due to gameplay-related strengths or other aspects, we will probably find out. However, I cannot guarantee that I can stay objective at all times. Please excuse the occasional drift into nostalgia.

Secret of Mana

mana01.png
Square 1994
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: SNES

When I started playing this game, I got hooked immediately. It just has...something that makes it addictive. What that is, I can't say.

For its time, it has very good graphics, almost as good as its successor, but it doesn't have great music to go along with it (except for a few major exceptions). The sound effects, however, are good, the combat system is great (Real-Time, with special attacks, throws with the glove weapon, numbers that indicate damage which are bigger if the hit is more severe, critical hits (i.e. Rabite gets whacked) while the enemies can also make criticals, you can move and swing/thrust/hit in all directions, and opponents actually fly back and fall to the ground because of the force of your hits. Plus, it just looks good ;)


Secret of Mana 2

som2-01.png
Square 1995
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 6/6
Licence: Commercial
System: SNES

This is, in my opinion, THE best game ever made for the SNES. It has almost everything:
-A good storyline, with 6 different beginnings (one for each of the 6 characters) and 3 different final areas. It will keep you in front of your screen for many hours, with the occasional unexpected event, and then, just when you think you've almost finished the game, you find out that you're only at about one third of the game! (Yep, it's WAAAAY longer than Secret of Mana 1) and that's just with one party, with 119 other possible parties still waiting to be tried, or, if you have too little time for that, 2 other game endings...


Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe

swotl_01.png
Lucasfilm Games 1991
Genre: Simulation
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

This game is one of the first real flight sims I played on the PC and despite its age it's a game I still play nowadays because it just has everything you can expect from a serious flight simulation game. But on to the details...


Sensible Golf

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Sensible Software / Virgin Interactive 1994
Genre: Action, Sport
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga
Golf computer games… it's another big, big case of why. Real golf is sort of a relaxing stroll around extensive grass areas. You get to be outside in the fresh air, walk or drive one of these cool carts and from time to time, you hit a ball. You get to consider which iron to use in which situation and depending on your skills. In a computer game, the machine will do most of these things for you. Where's the fun in that?

Sensible Soccer

sensible_soccer01.png
Sensible Software / Renegade 1992
Genre: Action, Sport
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

For some reason, high speed was considered the ultimate goal for sports games for some time in the late 80s and early 90s. The one distinguishing feature of such football games is ball control: Different from most football games, Sensible Soccer will not 'trap' the ball on the active player's foot. This makes dribbling more or less impossible – the ball bounces away too easily when changing directions. On the other hand, Sensible Soccer makes passing easier than normal. You can't only shoot the ball in one of the usual eight directions. If one of your own players is available in the general direction you aimed the ball at, the game will semi-automatically adjust the direction accordingly.


Sentinel Worlds 1: Future Magic

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Electronic Arts 1988
Genre: RPG
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

"In the Caldorre System. Cargoliners, shuttling supplies to the outlying frontier, are being mysteriously destroyed by raiders. Commissioned by the Federation, a squadron of Interceptors – including your crew of 5 cadets – is sent to end the senseless destruction. It's a mission fraught with intrigue, suspense and danger."


Set the Hostages Free

hostages01.png
TexaSoft 1985
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Set the Hostages Free is an extremely rare and comparatively ancient action game that casts the player as the liberator of up to ninety of the ASCII, title characters. The program uses the PC speaker and color graphics, featuring also the monochrome mode.


Shade

shade01.png
Andrew Plotkin 2000
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

It's the night before you're leaving for your vacation. You can't sleep, so you think you might as well get the things on your todo list done before your taxi arrives. Not that your single room apartment allows for much varied action. A futon, a desk with a computer, a kitchen-like corner, a shower, a sink, a toilet - that's it. However, things are starting to shift, change and everything generally gets weird soon enough.


Shadow Caster

shadow_caster01.png
Raven Software / Origin 1993
Genre: RPG, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

On a stormy night, your grandfather reveals to you you're actually from a race of shapeshifters from another dimension and that you've got a higher purpose in the fate of the world. Before he can explain the details, a stone Gargoyle located at the outside of the building comes alive and kidnaps him. You're on your own.



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