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Tex Bonaventure and the Temple of the Water of Life

Jim Warrenfeltz 2013
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4.5/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

[Herr M] It is time again: Equipped with the classic fedora and the good old whip in your hand, you are standing in front of an ancient temple to figure out one of mankind's best kept secrets. If you are now thinking about a well-known leather jacket salesman, I am afraid that you are mistaken: We are not talking about the escapades of Indiana Jones, but about Tex Bonaventure on the search for the water of life.

The 7th Guest

Trilobyte 1993
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

[Wandrell] In 1992, the European Computer Trade Show let people take a look into the future of the game industry. While most of these games would seem to be a clear evolution of what already existed, a few decided to take advantage of the new technologies creating what, for some years, would be seen as the future: CD-ROM games. And among the very first was the mind challenging The 7th Guest.

The Activision Decathlon

Activision 1983
Genre: Action, Sport
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Virtual sports should be physical exercise, too! No, this is not a review of a modern-day Wii title – the idea goes back to much earlier time. The first game to famously follow this premise was Activision's Decathlon.

The Addams Family

Ocean 1991
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Game Boy

Talking about games that deal with films or series, sooner or later the phrase "licence crap" will come up. Many more or less common titles, for example almost every Simpsons game, do give reasons for this: The brand name itself is selling most of the copies, so why spend money on a complex production? Quickly design some sprites, that remind of the original characters and warm up some old games idea and the way into the shelves is paved.

The Barber of Sadville

Tim Browse 2007
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

There's this TV series called The IT Crowd. It's quite funny. Probably the best current series. It's about these two IT support people (Moss and Roy), their 'relationship manager' (Jen Barber) and (occasionally) other people from the company. The series sets are full of all this so-called geek stuff (posters, comicbooks, old computers,...) - and on the series 2 DVD, there was a hidden contest to find some hidden easter eggs. Some of these were hidden quite well (one, for example, involved recording and decoding a flickering bar code). One of these easter eggs turned out to be a little text adventure... which this review is about.

The Bard's Tale II: Destiny Knight

Interplay 1986
Genre: RPG
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

If you enjoyed the first game, Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale, you'll enjoy this one as well. The play style is almost completely identical. The artwork, though limited to 16 colors, was well done in my opinion. The music was much better on the alternate systems (Amiga, Commodore 64, Apple IIgs, etc...) but they did the best they could with the PC's speaker.

The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate

Interplay Productions 1988
Genre: RPG
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Bard's Tale III – Thief of Fate is the third and final chapter in the original Bard's Tale saga. Again, the play style remains the same but the world has been expanded. The music choices have been expanded to include AdLib or Roland MT-32 (the best IMHO.) If you are using DOSBox to play, you will need mount the necessary MT-32 ROM files to utilize the latter, or a real MT-32 with a compatible interface. Reading the Reference Card will tell you how to set for the non-default values (PC Speaker & EGA Graphics.)

The Black Lily

Hannes Schueller 2014
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

[Herr M.] For this year's 20th Interactive Fiction Competition, Mr Creosote decided not just to limit himself to reviewing, but deliver material for discussion in the form of his own game. Black Lily is the title of a dark chrome nightmare whose protagonist is plagued by some suppressed details from the past. I sat down with the author to talk about the game a bit and look behind the scenes.

The Blackwell Legacy

Wadjet Eye Games 2006
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Episodic formats are very convenient for marketing purposes, because you can milk your customers which are already hooked repeatedly. After all, who will just quit after playing through half of a story? Right, people will pay for the next part, the one after that and so on for the rest of time. In theory. As tempting as it may seem to take advantage of this, you're also taking two big risks designing your game in an episodic fashion. First, you actually need to get your audience hooked. Second, you need to design your narrative to work on two levels: the small story of each episode which needs its own beginning, arc and resolution as well as the global plot spanning over all episodes.

The Bugs Bunny Hare-Brained Adventure

Hi Tech Expressions 1990
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Bugs Bunny, hero of countless episodes and movies - one of the most popular cartoon characters - is the protagonist of this game. Now you might have played one or the other game based on a cartoon before and usually those games are just not... good. But in this case - trust me on this one - you get quite a nice game.

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