It has become a small tradition in the last couple of years to end the year with some statistics. One major milestone achieved this year was breaching the magical number of 1000 IBM disk images having been archived. This certainly deserves the top spot since it is mentioned much too rarely in this place – the work takes place mostly silently 'behind the scenes', mostly by Wandrell and ibmpc5150.
As for the contents announced more visibly, 2012 saw 80 new game entries to the site. That's roughly 1.5 new games per week – an excellent average! What actually surprised me when compiling these statistics was that in spite of this past year having been one of the first in which entering stub games (i.e. ones without review) have been allowed, the number of new game reviews actually exceeds this by a small margin: 87 new reviews! If that doesn't show that all worrying about opening the site up to smaller entries while trying to keep the focus on reviews was in vain – if anything, this seems to have stimulated the overall activity!
43 of these games were entered in relation to our 1992 retrospective, looking back specifically at games reviewed in magazines exactly 20 years ago. When we started it, we were thinking about doing one game a month. It was a lot of fun and there were just so many interesting games in those old magazines, so it turned into a weekly thing. For Wandrell and me at least, who have been working on this site for… well, many years, it was an breeze of fresh air. It gave some structure to our activities, which was good, because, believe it or not, sometimes too much choice (i.e. all games ever released) can actually hurt the selection process. Picking about four games from the tight selection of one particular month in history worked quite a bit better.
It has to be noted that 13 of these 1992 related games have even been reviewed collaboratively, i.e. with more effort involved than your regular review. I still believe that this format should become even more important in the future. It's more interesting to write and (hopefully) also more informative and generally dynamic to read.
All that's left for me to do is to once again extend our thanks to everyone who contributed to TGOD this year; no matter what it was in each case, it all helped to make the site a better resource for everyone. A big round of applause to (in alphabetical order) .-083, culichi, dogchainx, dosjunkie, DoutorHouse, envisaged0ne, faceman-bjk, Gismo, GrendelTheSnowman, Herr M., ibmpc5150, Josh, Korondor, moo2, Otaku, Predator, proc, Rabanik, ror.schach, Seth, Staticblast, Teset and of course Wandrell! More than anything, this long list of names should tell you that the site is becoming more multi-faceted which everybody involved can only welcome.
Hope to see you all (actively or passively participating) again next year… so maybe tomorrow?
Trying to improve stuff we did wrong in years past still, new screenshots have been added of Cool Spot, Deluxe Ski Jumping and Warlords 2. Thanks go out to Otaku and Herr M. for these!
With our discussion of Air Support, Wandrell and I conclude our 1992 retrospective which has kept us well occupied for most of this year. It was quite a bit of fun, even though the usual problem of lacking feedback made it quite hard to gauge its success with you, the visitors.
I'm taking this opportunity to also close the poll about what you would like to see next year. With not even 0.01% of the visitors voting, the results are hardly conclusive, unfortunately, but we are nevertheless in the process of planning something nice… first a small interlude in the first months of the new year and then something which will make what we did this year appear small (hopefully…). Stay tuned!
There is a problem with the name resolution of the file server right now. Rest assured, we're working on it!
Edit: A fix has been committed. As usual with DNS changes, it can take some hours to propagate, so if there are still no screenshots showing up for you, please simply be patient; it will fix itself.
dogchainx adds his view about Comanche, a game considered quite groundbreaking at its time. Looking back, we can now say that it did not turn into the seminal game it was assumed to be. Which does not detract from the fun it provides, of course.
In the same vein as yesterday, we're continuing with freshening up various SNES games, namely WWF Raw, NBA Jam and Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
Back in our regular programme, we've got new screenshots for NHL Hockey and True Lies.
Here we go again: It's that least religious religious holiday of the year! So whether you celebrate Christmas or, like me, not, Herr M. gets us in the winter spirit with the addition of Xmas Lemmings (for reasons of political correctness also known as Holiday Lemmings). A game to enjoy regardless of your conviction.
dogchainx is also still very much active, reviewing the first part of Ultima VII. Also a game from 1992, by the way.
The year 1992 is nearing its end… Fascination is a game which pushed many nostalgic buttons for me, but maybe not exactly the ones which I really wanted to remember. Hard to believe, but maybe not everything was better back in the 'good old days'…
Even more screenshots for Desert Strike, Covert Action, Pirates!, Alone in the Dark and Stronghold. These come from the caring souls of Otaku and Herr M.
Taking another cue from another recent newspost, Herr M. edited the old Home of the Underdogs review of Ambush at Sorinor to import it into our database. Thanks!
Ski or Die is now on the site in two different version and with two different reviews. This latest one comes from Herr M.
Winzer turns up again in the news… this time, in a list of games which have been equipped with manuals; its comrades: Comanche and Conquests of the Longbow. Thanks to Rabanik and Herr M. for this update!
Screenshots… this time around, we're replacing old ones of Winzer, Bureaucracy, Border Zone, Master of Magic, Black Thorne, Bio Menace and Fury of the Furries.
Siege, Ambush at Sorinor and Walls of Rome receive new screenshots. In case you have noticed that these three games also share the same review: Yes, that is also a problem which will have to be resolved sooner or later.
Kingdoms of England II, Vikings: Fields of Conquest is a long title, no doubt. But also takes part in a long tradition of strategy games, and, of course, it's also part of out "Twenty Years Ago" thematic reviews.
Another set of fresh title screens coming from Herr M. These replace mainly old ones which date back to the very first year of this site, added by former crewmember Adhoc back then. I would be curious which of our visitors still remembers those days…
Rabanik still has got a couple of documents up his sleeve. Today, it's roleplaying time with Anvil of Dawn and Champions of Krynn.
It's time for another new game. This time around, credits go out to Korondor again who reviews Christoph Kolumbus.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams received an update: Both the game itself and its entry on this site. Since we last reported about it, customers have received two new levels, out of which one is is winter-themed (the other one has already been released for the pseudo-holiday 'Halloween' already and it's actually just a re-skinned version of an existing level). In addition, I have been testing the final version on and off over the last weeks in order to confirm (or not) some promises made during pre-release. The review has been updated accordingly.
StarControl II is widely regarded as one of the best games ever made. dogchainx, publishing his second review, seems to agree.
Today, I replaced a shitload of old, blurry title screens. These new images all came from Otaku and Herr M., so thanks to you both! It lies in the nature of things that many of the more popular game entries are plagued with problems like this, because they've been added in the early stages of the site. Ironically, many relatively obscure titles have, on the other hand, received what is comparatively a deluxe treatment – just by the virtue of having been entered into the database later.
Castelian shows that the word-wide releases we are accustomed nowadays are a relatively new thing. The game was released on 1991, but in some places it didn't arrive until 1992, making it an entry in our "Twenty Years Ago" thematic reviews.
On the subject of replacing old, technically inferior screenshots, the second batch contains Balance of Power: The 1990 Edition, Empire Deluxe, Global Conquest and Hidden Agenda.
Quick update due to certain other engagements: New manuals for Albion and Abuse.
Continuing in a spirit similar to the one found in yesterday's update, Herr M. extends the exhibition section with his appreciation of the Turbo Pascal programming language – using some very personal examples. Long-time readers of this site may remember we used to have three similar articles on the site ten years ago. They somehow got lost in one restructuring or another. Maybe it would be a good idea to reintroduce them? We'll see…
As recently discussed in the forum, many games added in the first few years of the site's existence have a clear lack of decent screenshots. Without trying to delve too far into the reasons for this, let's just say that this could definitely be improved. Herr M. sent in a first batch of replacement images for Adventure, Flug 714 nach Sydney, Geh aufs Ganze, Ein ganz normaler Schultag and Spielautomat. Certainly not the best games in existence (we all know whom to blaim for that…), but now you can at least recognise what's going on in the games from the screenshots!
Today, dogchainx adds his very own observations about Populous – thanks!
Back with Rabanik's manuals, we've got Alien Legacy and Alien Carnage.
One of the first games reviewed in our 1992 retrospective was Soul Crystal. Now that the year is nearing its end, we've got another game is very much the same vein: Hexuma. That's already been on the site for some time? Sure, true, but now it's finally been completed with a review, new screenshots and comparisons, automatically making all the downloads and documents publicly available, too!
Completion update from Herr M. adding screenshots and a comparison to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – I sure wish more people would fill those gaps in the old game entries!
New manuals: Ambush at Sorinor and Dark Legions.
King's Quest 2: Romancing the Throne comes with a review written by envisagedOne dating back to June of this year. However, screenshots were missing, so the entry couldn't go online. Only a couple of days ago, Herr M. jumped in and provided the missing files. So thanks to both of you!
Atomix and Another World receive manuals.
Korondor's turn again, this time with a truly rare game called Colony Wars 2492. Enjoy!
Remember how I said many older games could really need new/more screenshots? Herr M. has picked this suggestion up and uploaded some pictures of Sokoban, showing the game in Tandy mode.
SpellCraft: Aspects of Valor is one of those games that tried to innovate. Now, after twenty years, can we say it managed to get himself a seat among those games which pushed forward this hobby? Take a look and see what I think.
Next, we've got manuals for the three Alone in the Dark games. This pushes Rabanik over the 50 credit points threshold – thanks for your valuable contributions!
That was a long day… only just got home. Manuals for Battle Bugs and Battle Isle 2, both coming from Rabanik.
Back in manual land, here are some for Black Thorne, Blake Stone and Bermuda Syndrome. Also, Gismo entered a video of the intro of Laura Bow 2.
Keeping with yesterday's (semi) topic, we've got a new game coming from Herr M.: Screamer.
Going back to our regular programme, we've got a couple of more manuals from Rabanik. Namely: Realms of Arkania, Destruction Derby, Carmageddon and Caesar II.
The 18th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition is over. As promised, I added some general observations about specifities, game quality etc. to the article. As everybody should know, I'm not someone to hold back when I see something which I consider a problem, so apart from the positive appreciation, expect discussion about possible general issues as well.
Keeping with the thematic updates, now we have Dr Franken, one of the GB games which tried to take on the popularity of Metroid II.
Done! Escape from Summerland and In a Manor of Speaking were the last two games of the IF Comp. I actually managed to play all I planned to, even if not each of them received the full attention they probably would have deserved. As I will be out of the country for a couple of days, I will add my general conclusion and observations to the related article on Sunday. Until then – it's been a fun run again!
A review of Irvine Quik & the Search for the Fish of Traglea, plus a short comment about A Killer Headache. Two more games to go…
Since the last IF Comp update, I have added a review of Castle Adventure as well as short comments about The Sealed Room, Changes and A Killer Headache.
This time we took a game from the 1992 European Computer Trade Show: The 7th Guest (PC). The game would be released next year, still it was a showcase, twenty years ago, of the future of videogames. Just for that it's worth taking a look.
Alright, I'll just make a list of the various things which happened since the last update. Gismo entered two new gameplay videos (KGB and Veil of Darkness) – thanks for that! I amended some other older game entries, namely adding a new box scan for B.C. Kid and replacing the screenshots of James Pond 2 and Soccer Kid. All this is important, because older game entries tend to be much more sparse than more recent ones in general. In the specific case of old screenshots, they are often incorrectly cropped or suffer to colour bleeding. Today's tools to make them are much more advanced, making the process very easy, but still, someone needs to do it, i.e. someone has to sit down and play the games again. Feel free to provide additional or better alternatives if you find such problematic entries, too!
Last, but certainly not least, I tightened the integration betwee forum and site even more. The forum pages will now also show the main site controls, making the switch between the two much more direct. Remember that the forum is where you can register an account which you can also use on the whole site and that to post a comment about some game, you don't even need to register at all. I'm sure I'm speaking for each and every person who has ever written a game review on this site that we love to read your thoughts, replies or additions. Go ahead, it's not like it will cost you a significant amount of your lifetime.
…and more manuals: Desert Strike, Dragonsphere and Dungeon Master.
Korondor (perhaps unkowingly) joins Wandrell and me in our retrospective today. He reviewed Campaign, a tank simulation and strategy game which was first released… in November 1992 – perfect timing!
Next in the update queue is Rabanik's manuals again: Flashback, Fantasy General and Hammer of the Gods.
The IF Comp deadline is approaching fast, so I have to shift into another gear. Here are my thoughts on Spiral and Lunar Base 1.
Sorry, in a bit of a hurry. Wandrell and I have just been preparing our next review and (due to me arriving late in the first place), it went longer than planned. So, quickly, here are two new documents coming from Rabanik: Heimdall 2 and History Line.
Today we have, or better said, twenty years ago we had Super Castlevania IV (SNES). This game was advertised as one of the big hits of the console, did it live to it? Just check it out.
Rabanik provides manual scans for the three Kyrandia games.
From Rabanik, we have manuals for I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream and Centurion: Defender of Rome.
In addition to today's new game, I want to say we have hit the one thousand entry on the floppies collection.
For those who still don't know about it, we are handling and sorting all the images of diskette games we can get our hands into. Just go into "Browse Archives", then "Disk Images" and you will find it.
Not all the games are free to download, just as it happens in general with old games. But the main point here is not as much spreading as preserving. If you have old games you make images of your diskettes before they rot away and send them our way, that way you will help to increase what is already the biggest floppy preservation project at the moment.
How to make images from diskettes? Well, just use guide for image making, and if you have any question you can always ask them in the forum.
Korondor's second game addition is Magic of Endoria. Very appropriate, I'm sure you all see the link to another relatively recent addition. Don't you?
No, I haven't forgotten about the IF Comp yet. As announced, it's just second priority. Now that I did have at least some breathing space, here is my review of Andromeda Apocalypse; a game which really should not have been entered into this competition, because it is way too large for what the rules allow.
Getting back to Rabanik's documents, there are new ones for Fantasy Empires, Jagged Alliance, UFO: Enemy Unknown and Z.
Many of you older people visiting this site might think that 1992 was not all that long ago. That you remember all the games released back then. You might be in for a treat today, because how many of you remember RoboSport?
Korondor reviews Conquest of the New World, a game in the same vein as the probably better known Colonization. Thanks!
The next manual: Little Big Adventure.
Continuing exactly where we left off yesterday, here are manuals for Master of Magic, Master of Orion and its sequel Master of Orion II.
In an attempt to catch up with Rabanik's activities, there's three new documents at once: Moonstone, Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II.
Having talked about it in the spot previously, it's now out: Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams. How does it compare to the original Giana Sisters and to the rest of the genre? Does it capture the spirit of the classics? Is it a game which older gamers should be interested in? Have we found a yellow, red or blue gem here? Who is more adorable: Giana, Maria or the owls? Read all about it in our review.
It's Rabanik's turn again. He gives us a manual and a map for Pirates! Gold.
Next in our 1992 retrospective, we have Ashes of Empire, a game I've been meaning to review for ages. Although I do own a boxed original, I did not manage to scan the 200 page manual in time for this update and I don't own a VHS player to digitize the instructional tape which came with the game anymore. Searching the Internet, it seems that nobody else did it, either. That's a shame, because without these instructions, it will be hard to get into this game. Which is probably the cause for all the numerous reviews in the Internet which boil down to 'I did not understand the game'. Anyone equipped and willing to provide these to the community?
Talking about manuals, Josh uploaded some for last Saturday's addition: Hook.
Today's additions include my review of Body Bargain and Rabanik's manual of Panzer General.
Continuing with Rabanik's contributions, we've got maps for System Shock, a manual of Raptor and CD version download of Pizza Tycoon.
After my nasty treatment of J'Dal yesterday, proc comes to the rescue and offers a counterpoint with another review of the same game. Although he, too, does not recommend the game on the whole, he does point out a couple of positives aspects found in its design.
From Rabanik, we've got a manual for StarControl and a starmap for StarControl II.
I've had a short description of J'Dal from the IF Comp online in the overview article for two days now and I didn't plan to review it. However, I reconsidered, because it really left the impression of a very honest attempt with me. Hopefully, my review did not turn into too much of a bashing, but rather into constructive criticism.
In other news, the next document from Rabanik's collection is an English manual of Syndicate Wars.
There is quite a bit going on right now. Rabanik has uploaded a lot of manuals which will be added over the coming days. To start things off, here is the manual of The Lost Vikings. Other things are in the queue as well, so stay tuned.
proc adds his observations about the recently added Fish Bowl and Sunday Afternoon – thanks!
Switching back from current games to classic ones once again, Wandrell and I discussed Hook. Is it the typical movie licence disaster? Read on.
The bane or boon of a random playing order in the IF Competition: Fish Bowl turned out to be quite similar to the game I had played right before. Whether this worked in its favour or against it, I don't know.
The Island is a one of the games currently running in the IF Comp. Also, in the games list of that competition, you can find my short comments on Murphy's Law and Kicker. These not receiving full reviews is due to the priority discussion as found in earlier newsposts.
As promised, our streak of games not recently released continues as well. The first one from October 1992 is B.A.T. II which, due to its depth and length, makes an interesting contrast to the modern-day IF Competition fare.
Here is the second game I played in the IF Competition: The Test is Now READY.
So, since feedback was, as expected, minimal (thanks to Alastair who was the only person to voice any sort of opinion), here is my attempt at a decision: Twenty Years Ago… will continue at its usual pace, but I will try to sneak in a couple of IF Comp games here and there, though with a lower priority.
To start the latter off, I made an overview page of my playlist like last year and had a look into the first game: Sunday Afternoon.
Here is a last minute September update in order to finally squeeze in a game of that month of the year 1992 in again which is actually good (although not everyone will like it): Conquestador.
The Annual Interactive Fiction Competition is beginning again tomorrow, by the way. I covered last year's incarnation quite extensively and I would be motivated to do so again. This is where I'm running into a dilemma, though, because we also have the twenty years ago coverage running. Unfortunately, nobody has joined Wandrell and me to keep this going (yes, well, sue me for dreaming of a less apathetic humankind). So I have to cut down on one, but to make this decision, there is no guidance due to feedback, either. So I can only stumble around between the two blindly. Please don't complain if I'm picking 'wrong' – if anyone talked to us so that we knew what people thought, this sort of thing could be easily avoided.
Sigh... yet another game which is not really all that good, selected due to having been released in September 1992 originally: Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2: Gas Pump Girls Meet the Pulsating Inconvenience from Planet X! Is this a problem? Or maybe you actually like reading about games which are not so common? Again, there is no way for us to know, because you're not telling us.
In the case of Crime City, I'm not reviewing the original version, but the IBM port released in September 1992. Not much of a difference between the versions anyway, unless… but read for yourself!
There is a general remark I'd like to get off my chest, though. Wandrell and I, as well as various other contributors, are working on this site with quite a dedication. However, we seem to be playing to a completely silent audience. It's not that nobody's watching – although it's not drawing quite the masses it used to, the site is still visited by a nice four-figure number of people every day. Yet, apart from webserver logs, we seem to have little or no evidence of that.
Why is that a problem? No activity not only discourages everyone and kills motivation, but it also gives us no way of gauging people's interest. For example, what about the 1992 retrospective we've been running for a few months now? Is that a good, structured and interesting way to select games? Or does it narrow us down too much? What is going on in people's minds? No webserver log can tell us that. Pity, for all involved.
P.S. In case you didn't notice, you don't even need to register in order to provide game comments, for example.
Again we come with a co-review of a game published twenty years ago. Which game have we brought from the past? Well, none other than SimAnt, the game where you are an ant in all it's glory. May sound a bit weird, but that's because the Sim games used to be quite original on the old days.
.-083 uploaded box scans and a couple of documents for Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe - thanks!
As per usual, games where published late on Spain. This time it was Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES). Actually this appears to be based on the film, not on the comic, but I won't spoil anything about the game, instead take a look at it.
This time it's Laura Bow in the Dagger of Amon Ra the game which was published twenty years ago. Even if it's a Sierra game, this is one to check.
Caesar II is the next game reviewed by Staticblast - including the full CD game again.
Back in our regular programme, Crisis in the Kremlin is another of those games released in August 1992. 20 years ago, this was probably the most topical game ever made! Nowadays, it still has its merits as an interesting peek into recent history.
News from Project Giana: The promised demo version has been released to the public. It contains two playable levels which show one central aspect of the game: While in the original, Giana changed to 'punky' Giana by collecting bonus items, this new game will allow switching between the two incarnations of the character at will. However, this will also change the complete world as well. This is supposed to bring a puzzle element into the game – crossing certain obstacles might only be possible in one of the worlds. 'Good Giana' will be trapped in a nightmare world and 'bad Giana' will fight her way through a sort of candyland. Very strange.
There is only one week left to secure the funding of the project. So if you're considering it, try the demo (Mind the technical notes! If everything already worked perfectly, there would be no need for any additional funding, would there?) and make up your mind!
Staticblast provides another CD-based game: Star Trek: Judgment Rites. This is the non-improved sequel of 25th Anniversary. Not necessarily a bad thing.
We're talking about games released 20 years ago quite a lot right now. Going back just five more years, The Great Giana Sisters came out and it was warmly welcomed by gamers (as well as lawyers). It still retains a cult following today, and rightly so.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary, a new development team plans to "reimagine" the concept in an unofficial sequel under the working title Project Giana. To finish the development, they still need some money. Which is where you guys come in, because they are going the hyped "crowdfunding" way which has previously worked very well for some well-known developers.
Project Giana is currently planned to run on Microsoft systems only. Unfortunately, the statements about other systems are rather vague. This, too, might be in your hands - this is not "take it or leave it". In my opinion, if you're "investing", you should try to be heard!
If the involvement of original musician Chris Huelsbeck does not convince you, try the demo version which is announced to be released on Friday. If you do, let us know how what you think of it.
Staticblast reviews Mortal Kombat II. A controversial game if there ever was one. In Germany, this game had even been banned (not just for anyone underage, but for everyone) until 2005.
The Carls Lewis Challenge comes a bit late, considering that the London Olympic Games ended a week ago? True, but I've got an excuse: The game was also late when it appeared 20 years ago… after the Barcelona games of that year.
Still working on the work backlog piled up during the tricky server move… now, I can finally present the German language version of the discussion Wandrell and I had about Loom. Since you're reading these news in English, you probably don't care, but nevertheless, I don't feel bad about plugging that review again, because I am quite proud of the way we covered so many aspects of this remarkable game.
In other news, over the last days, I've also added videos of playthroughs of The Case of the Cautious Condor and Murder Makes Strange Deadfellows. This is a premiere, because these are the first videos posted recorded by myself. Oh, and for the latter game, the rare CDTV version is now also available right here on this site.
…and here is another manual: Blasteroids. Thanks, Josh!
Two more manuals from Josh, once again for an overrated, but this time also actually horrible game: Curse of Enchantia.
Things are picking up again slowly after the downtime. Josh's latest contribution is three manuals for the overrated Cannon Fooder.
culichi reviews Leisure Suit Larry 1: in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, i.e. the 1991 VGA remake of the 1987 remake of Softporn Adventure. A remake of a remake… phew, that's a good way to make money!
The next game we have from August 1992 is Lure of the Temptress.
There is still a small backlog of tasks in the queue right now. Unfortunately, this server move took up much more time than planned and things are still not quite done in the backend. Rest assured, we're working on it.
Today we have Prophecy of the Shadow, also published 20 years ago. Not much to say about this game.
So instead I'll tell you all that we have moved to another server, so if you notice any issues please tell us. Not that it should go wrong, but still, you know how these changes can be.
Keeping with the "20 years ago games", this time we have reviewed the CD version of Loom. It's quite a thing, as unlike with other talkie versions, they improved graphics and added voices. But these voices did take too much space. Is this noticeable on the final version? Can this version it actually improve a game such as Loom? Take a look and see yourself.
By the way, we would offer the German translation, but Mr Creosote is not among us. No. I mean, he is still alive, but right now is relaxing and as soon as possible he will get to it. We will tell you when it's on the site.
Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? was originally published in 1990, but you know how is the thing with translated versions, and the Spanish one was made the next year, but apparently published in 1992 according to magazines.
At least it was translated, unlike what happened in other languages. As far as I know it was only published in English and Spanish. Also, I've been a good guy and added the original English version instead of the translated one.
Again, I got this from the MicroManía magazine, which criticized it's randomness. Sometimes things are going too smooth, other times the criminal slips away because you missed one clue about him, they say.
Indy Heat is, according to MicroMania, nothing special, but good for a short fun. Take a look at our review, and see what you think of it.
Nearly twenty years ago were the Barcelona Olympic Games, which gave me an obvious selection of games which add this week: Olympic Games, if possible Spanish games made for it.
But soon I found a big flaw on my plan: they all look the same to me. Ok, there weren't many games created for this event, three or so. But they get incredibly boring once you have played one of them, no matter how different may be the sports each one offers.
So in the end, I did choose the best of them: Olympic Games 92'. A year later published in English with the title International Athletics as part of sport games cheap bundles.
For some reason most of the English version copies were not published using the VGA palette the original had. Luckily I found an English version that does use it, and now you can download it.
Another manual from Josh – The Clue, this time a scanned one for those of you who don't like plain text.
For those who never could believe there is a point to Blade Warrior (apart from slaughtering enemies) – check out the manual (courtesy of Josh) which explains it all in detail.
Josh provides a manual for Aaargh!. Not exactly the kind of game you need a manual for, but well… it also won't hurt.
Sensible Soccer was not just the most notable game in the magazines 20 years ago (July 1992) – it's also appropriate, because also 20 years ago, Denmark won the European football cup. To commemorate this, the final against Germany will be recreated with most of the old teams today: Peter Schmeichel, Flemming Povlsen and all your other favourite players will be there!
Wandrell and I decided to squeeze one more game of June 1992 in: Vengeance of Excalibur. Power Play magazine hated it, saying there are much better games.
Josh uploads a manual for the latest addition, Project X.
Project X is exactly the opposite case of Storm Master concerning its evaluation: Generally well-received by the contemporary press, but I hate it. One major reason being that I stink at shooters. One more game of June 1992 to go.
This one has been sitting in the queue for a long time already… Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, reviewed by moo2. To give you a little overview what's usually involved in such an update not made by Wandrell and me so that you guys understand why I get crancy about it at times:
- User submits game info, review and screenshots
- I make a translation of the review to the site's second language
- I add magazine reviews
- Wandrell might come in later to add some additional documents and other files
The problem is that it hardly ever goes this smoothly. Something is basically always missing in the first step. So I write to the user in question and usually receive no reply at all. If I do, it's usually a promise to amend the problem and deliver the missing part later. Which, of course, then never happens. Further attempts at making contact again are ignored.
Mind you I'm only talking about people here who took the first step themselves, i.e. showed themselves willing to contribute something to the site voluntarily. If I went around bugging people to do something out of the blue, I wouldn't be surprised being ignored.
I'm not even bitching and moaning that hardly anyone ever enters game comparisons, links or external reviews. I'm not bitching and moaning that not everybody speaks all languages and therefore only submits their review in one. All that is fine – Wandrell and me are covering all that silently, without mentioning it usually. When it comes to the bare essentials, however, I draw the line. I think it's great when people donate some of their free time to make this site better for everyone. My only request is that they then at least are willing to complete these essentials by themselves.
Why am I rambling about this? In this case, it was Wandrell who finally broke down and provided the last missing screenshot to reach the minimum stuff for a game entry to be approved. One screenshot. That was all that had been missing. So, folks, thank Wandrell for this one – and please think about it when you register with some spam e-mail account which you never check or ignore mails concerning your own submission for whatever other reason.
Eco Quest: The Search for Cetus – one of the rare Sierra games which is actually good or not? Wandrell and I couldn't really agree.
You may or may not have noticed, but my 1992 game picks are following Power Play magazine for a reason: I think their reviews are usually very accurate and to the point when it comes to evaluating the quality of a game. Today is a case I disagree with them, though. Storm Master received only a tiny review with a rating in the 50s (out of 100). To a degree, I can see where they're coming from, but the lukewarm conclusion is still strange.
envisaged0ne shares his personal experience with King's Quest and he also enriches this game entry with comparisons and video links.
In our coverage of games released twenty years ago, we have now reached June 1992. The cover story in that month's Power Play magazine was Epic, a long-awaited action shooter in space. It should have become the new Wing Commander. Did it?
Loom is the next game taken care of by Seth. This review is of another version than the one previously covered – the IBM floppy disk version.
Seth provides another review. This time, it is, as he himself puts it, about "the music of The Secret of Monkey Island". This is not a game review, you say? Well, why not? It discusses an integral aspect of the overall game experience. No review can ever exhaustively cover everything. And it is often those less standard reviews which are more interesting reads anyway. So, thanks again to Seth!
Seth is also responsible for this update – he reviews the little known game/historical simulation Versailles.
In a welcome change of our usual schedule, newcomer Seth wrote a very interesting review of The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes – check it out!
Twenty years ago Lord of the Rings Vol. I was reviewed on the Spanish magazine MicroManía, in the number 48. And we didn't say "first published twenty years ago", just "published twenty years ago", just like this one was in Spain.
Global Effect fits into our 20-year-retrospective perfectly: The majority of magazines back in the day reviewed it in their respective issues for May 1992. Usually, games were spread among very different months, due to 'exclusives' (the euphemism for 'review based only on screenshots or an incomplete demo version'), different publication schedules of the magazines and last, but not least, differences in international release schedules of the games themselves. All this seems to have been mostly coordinated for this particular game.
We're deep in May 1992 now. Another game released that month is Space Crusade. As usual, the overenthusiastic British press loved it (What game didn't they love?) while it received mixed and somewhat lukewarm reviews in Germany. As usual, you will have to make up your own mind.
Soul Crystal is a German graphic/text hybrid adventure originally reviewed in Powerplay magazine, issue 05/92. They recommended it with caution. How does it hold up today?
Black Crypt, discussed between Wandrell and me, concludes the run of games from April 1992. Stay tuned for… surprise, surprise: May 1992!
Another game originally reviewed 20 years ago is Floor 13. Interestingly two popular German magazines both gave this one low ratings; Power Play mainly had moral objections – not that far fetched considering you have to torture and assassinate people in this game – while Amiga Joker pointed out the limitations in the gameplay. Various English-speaking magazines liked it very much, on the other hand.
We (meaning Wandrell and me) decided to try something different again. We call it 20 Years Ago… Meaning it is a retrospect to games released exactly 20 years ago. Or, to be more exact: Reviewed in a contemporary magazine 20 years ago. Most computer games magazines appeared monthly back then, so this is the term we are using to match games and reviews to our own activities, too.
So how do these games hold up compared to the way they were reviewed when they were new? The first candidate for this comparison is Star Trek: 25th Anniversary which was the title story of the April '92 issue of the magazin Power Play. Expect further games soon.
Everyone is invited to join in on our coverage of 1992 – however, this does not mean that the rest of the site has to grind to a halt. If you've got something else, outside of the scope of 20 Years Ago, that's still fine, too, of course.
faceman-bjk reviews Pizza Connection, eliminating the game from the list of stub entries. Thanks!
Now it's the time of another game. And again it's a NES one: Flipull (NES).
And now, not surprise on this, docs for Ultima Underworld 2: Labyrinth of Worlds.
New docs, which you can see at Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss.
Well, who says we can't be surprised? In a jump of about 15 years (but not so much across genres), Teset now presents us Little Big Adventure 2.
Teset, who last year already brought us Microsoft Adventure, added Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz this time. The pattern should be pretty clear. Thanks!
Updated Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar with new manuals. Enjoy them.
How time flies… it's already time for the site's anniversary again. To celebrate the completion of our twelfth consecutive year online, we've got a special collaborative review of the gaming themed film documentary Get Lamp as well as a somewhat thematically related new game called Jonathan.
Savage Empire received docs, including the cluebook. Should be all in existence for the game.
ror.schach wrote a second review of Veil of Darkness. In fact, he did so last year. Since then, I've been trying to get in touch with the guy. Oh, there was nothing wrong with the review itself, but have a look yourself – there is a certain (obvious) discrepancy with the rating he submitted along with the review. No reaction. So I can only approve the review (including its rating) as it is.
While this is a nice review, it is, unfortunately, a reminder how hard it is for me to handle the submissions to the site. In 90% of the cases, I have to write back to the user who submitted something, because some small thing is still missing, something is not quite clear or whatever else. 60% of these users I write to never react. 90% of those who do react promise to complete their submission in some way, but then never do (and don't react to further mails anymore). Please – make this easier for all of us – if you decide to contribute something to the site, great, this is more than welcome! But please be responsive, because chances are someone will get back to you.
New documents for Quest for Glory: So you Want to be a Hero. Also added a pair of stubs for the other two versions of this game.
A curious game is Ice Climber (NES). You just have to climb a mountain, but is not as easy as it sounds. A classic game from the NES.
Sadly, I lack quality docs for Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World. But what I had now is on the page.
Keeping with the M&M docs, now Might and Magic: The Secret of Inner Sanctum got manual, map and cluebook.
I decided to review Blood & Magic not because it was good, but because it's little known. A RTS based on D&D which could have been better.
Now Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen got downloads. If somebody has the game in any other language, please share it. I'm sure there a Spanish and a German version of the game somewhere. And also, probably a German version for the previous one also exists.