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.
When it comes to oil, who thinks of deep holes and long drilling shafts? Oil is also called the black gold and you often have to dig as deep for it as for real gold. With a little luck, a real drilling professional will eventually come across a well and become fabulously rich.
Our oil refinery is already waiting at the top of the screen. With the drill head, the drilling shafts are combed for small spots of so-called oil pellets. Only after collecting all points, the screen spanning level is finished. There are also all kinds of vermin and monsters in the underground which grapple with the long pipeline. They take one of the 3 lives from the player when they touch the drill pipe. The only way to counteract them is to get ahead of the monsters and touch them with the drill head. This will make them disappear for a while.
The story of one of the unsung heroes of computer game design begins here: David Lester. His company, Impressions, made a name for itself in the mid-90s with some popular strategy games (mainly the Lords of the Realm and Caesar series). Though when that happened, most people who had followed their history up until that point were actually surprised, as in previous years, reception of their releases had been almost universally negative, so that it was actually surprising that they survived financially. Yes, better keep your expectations down for Merchant Colony.