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Space Job

Karstadt AG 1993
Genre: Action, Puzzle, Strategy
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Life simulation games have a special charm: On the one hand you go through your motions from day to day, on the other hand you want to escape it by having a go at the motions of someone else. So, you kind of ask yourself what it would be like to replace your daily routine with a more exciting one from somebody else. And that is the crucial point of the genre: Is the virtual life different enough to entertain you? Has it got enough distractions to offer, at least for a short while? For Space Jobs the answer is clearly no. Because although shows signs of some promising attempts, they get lost in a maze of advertisements, half-done ideas and programming bugs.

Space Rogue

Gryphon Software / Origin 1989
Genre: Simulation, RPG
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Space Rogue is an odd mix of a space shooter, adventure and role-playing. While many people tend to call this an RPG game, the fact is that it's got very little to do with the basics of role-playing - character development. More important than this ongoing debate, however, is the fact that Space Rogue is one of the first games that used vector graphics, took advantage of the superiority of IBM computers and offered countless hours of fun. The game is timeless; even today it will suck you right in.

Speedball 2

Bitmap Brothers 1990
Genre: Sport
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari ST

The successor to the best sports game of the 80s (see the Amiga section for the first part) - published on the Atari first! A few years after Speedball 1. Corruption and violence have driven the sport underground. At least that is what the intro says. There's not really much more violence, but at least the corruption has obviously been eliminated (no bribing the officials anymore ;). Anyway, you're the manager of a team called 'Brutal Deluxe' (what a sound name!) which is a member of the second league. And now guess what you have to do...


Binary Systems / Electronic Arts 1987
Genre: RPG
Rating: 6/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Only a few centuries ago, the humans have discovered space travel. They build a space station orbiting their home planet, Arth, and send out ships to scour the known universe for habitable planets. No, it wasn't a typo; the humans are convinced that their home planet is called Arth. What they don't know is that due to the rogue Crystal Planet, which has the capability to destroy a whole solar system, all races in the galaxy are in a permanent state of exodus, and during one such exodus the Earth and most of its colonies were destroyed, plunging the backward world of Arth into a dark age. Times change, and Arth is now as advanced as the Earth ever was, if not even more so. However, recently the star your planet is orbiting has destabilized, and ships that were sent out to find another habitable planet disappeared. You are a freshly commissioned captain of a small ship, with only one goal in mind: making money. Since your world needs you, though, you agree to do some exploration on the side as well. You'll soon run into questions you don't have answers for. Who are the Ancients? What is the Crystal Planet and how to stop it? Why did other races flee and why are some of them trying to wipe the humans out? All those and more questions are just the beginning of a story that offers up to 100 hours of gameplay that spans over 800 planets.

Steigenberger Hotelmanager

First Step / Bomico 1991
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Your great aunt Hillie died and she left you 400000 DM. Just right to fulfil your lifelong dream to get into the hotel business! Or rather almost, but the bank will help you out for the rest. So now, at least, you buy your first house.

Taipan for Windows

Thomas J. Carroll 2002
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

I just happened to run into an old review of mine:

[quote]Taipan - the legend is brought to the Windows operating system. This is a fanmade remake of the original game for the Apple II - and it features great gameplay in the environment of a true classic. The story is quickly told - you start off in the Hong Kong of the 1860s. You are the captain of a small ship and of course strive hard to become rich - a respected Taipan. You either begin with a little money you have lent from the local money lender who will charge you 10% a month, but would not normally lend someone without money anything (he will always lend you up to two times the amount you already have) or you start with 5 cannons on your ship but without any money (which also means no chance to lend anything). The last option might be the better one as in case you encounter some pirates you are not only able to defend yourself, but if you defeat them you will also get some thousand bucks.


Bally Midway 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

A very simple game for quick fun. Its attractiveness is caused by its original theme: As a waiter you have to serve the rushing-in customers.

But they are very impatient. Aparantely they are alcoholics. Their appearance points to that: unkempt beards and hair hidden under (probably) greasy hats. But also their behaviour lets you become suspicious about their addiction. They can't even wait for their beer (the game does not know other drinks) for some seconds. No, they need it immediately! And if you do not serve them at once, they will pull you over the bar.


Re-Logic 2011
Genre: Action, RPG
Rating: 6/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Imagine the beginning of a great adventure: You are standing in a forest. The sky is blue, the sun is shining and the wildlife is wandering about. There is a guy named Jack, Steve or Brat next to you, who will turn out to be an invaluable source of information, for he is The Guide. With great foresight you brought a set of tools along, so you can start right away. What will it be? Do you want to start digging, to search for valuable ores and treasure caves? Or do you want to attack that slime creature that is coming closer, in the hope that it will drop some valuables? Or how about building a base, maybe a log cabin, first? All of this is possible in Terraria, an open-world 2D platformer, that combines the fun of exploration, fighting and building in one game.

The Manager

Software 2000 1992
Genre: Sport, Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

The Manager is an excellent soccer simulation game that is unfortunately much less popular than Championship Manager, current champion of the genre. While Bundesliga Manager, the game's German league equivalent, sells very well in Europe and is being continually updated, this England league counterpart was discontinued years ago.

The Patrician

Ascon 1993
Genre: Strategy
Rating: -
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

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