‘Pozor!’ the sharklike fish tries to warn me. But it’s already too late, the skull crashes on his goldfish friend and kills her. Time to restart the level and plan my steps more carefully. But before that I will take a break and tell you about this very unique puzzle game I am playing right now. Basically it’s an intriguing cross between Tetris, Soko-Ban and Boulder Dash. Oh and if you couldn’t already tell by the opening quote: It’s also from a smaller Czech indie developer. Therefore the fish only speak in Czech… fortunately with multilingual subtitles. Well, this does have a certain charm, doesn’t it?
Conquestador is really one of those games which show how much the game industry has changed. Even in 1992, which was still pretty much a transitional period, it might have been considered old-fashioned. Twenty years later, it's almost become a relic which nobody who has not played games since at least the 80s will be willing to touch. I'll try to explain why you get over your bias and still should.
Let's talk about what makes it so 'outdated' first. The strategy genre of computer games initially emerged from board games. That traditional genre is usually played in a turn-based fashion and activity is governed by strict rules which define what can and cannot be done. Over the decades, computer game developers took more and more advantage of the freedom technology gave them. Although in fact, most games retained their strict rule corsets, they got pushed into the background; hidden beneath the surface. At some point, hardly any game would still dare tell a player that he cannot do this or that due to 'the rules' – there had to be some sort of 'in-game reason' for something to be impossible (even if many of these stated explanations were actually just a cover made up after the fact to cover for some arbitrary rule).
Seas of Blood… this is going to be a tough discussion for me, because I have to admit this was the gamebook which I read/played more often than any other when I was a kid. Whether this was due to thematic preference, due to gameplay-related strengths or other aspects, we will probably find out. However, I cannot guarantee that I can stay objective at all times. Please excuse the occasional drift into nostalgia.