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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.


Lankhor 1994
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

That's the way it happens sometimes: you're told by another gamer how great (or in this case at least good) a game is and how you should really try it. You do and get bored after a few minutes. You wonder if you just haven't found the good part so far, so you continue playing. But nothing happens! It just stays boring. Because that is what the game really is: boring.

Walls of Rome

Mindcraft 1993
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Oh, boy… Walls of Rome is one of those games which just make you want to write 'This is a game for the fans of the predecessor' and be done with it. To take the easy way out. Maybe it would be what the game deserves. You see, the game leaves the strong impression of being minimum effort shovel-ware. It is very tempting to dismiss it as such. Released very shortly after Ambush at Sorinor, it is obvious that it was basically developed in parallel to that game after the relative success of Siege. Though where the former game did try to be a logical, spiritual followup which does have its own individual charme, Walls only has the stale smell of a cash-in more-of-the-same sequel. Given its history, treating it as a good faith effort is hard, but let's at least try.


Infogrames 1988
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Do you also sometimes have these incredibly positive memories about a game? Always thinking back how great it was and how you would love to play it again? Doesn't happen at all to me for the simple reason I still have all my games and keep playing them constantly - no misleading emotions.

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans

Blizzard 1994
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Warcraft is the first real time strategy game by Blizzard, a company which has become very famous by now.
At the beginning of the game, you have to choose between two factions. These are Orcs and Humans, each of which have their own campaign spanning 12 missions. After selecting your side, the battle begins.

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