1987 -- how rad was it? I had my Vision skate clothes and my Nash board. The NES was well on its way to making history before anyone knew it. Then there I sat at my local rental shop looking at this awesome cover of a dude doing a hand plant, with the words SKATE OR DIE emblazoned in graffiti above him
I MUST PLAY THIS GAME.
Ultra Games produced this title for our enjoyment. It featured many different play styles from downhill racing, pool jousting, and half pipe shredding, plus a couple more. We saw a few characters in the game -- like Rodney Recloose, who was the crazy dude you saw when you started the game in the skate shop. He sported a purple mohawk and tattoos. He had a crazy kid named Bionic Lester with green hair and a nasty attitude in events like the joust and downhill. He would cut you off and knock you on your face faster than you could say "shredded."
Let's take another trip down my memory lane to about 1983/84. I was at an arcade with my favorite aunt when I heard in an electronic voice, "tatatatatata."
The game was taunting me! Oh, how it mocked me with its electronic voice -- unheard of when it was released in 1981. I remember the G.O.R.F. (Galactic Orbiting Robot Force) cabinet looked similar to a Tron cabinet using the same controller method -- except for the neon glowing handle, anyway. It had everything a person wanted in a shooter! EVERYTHING!
Editor's Note: Aftera brief hiatus, the RGotW community feature returns. I'm too young to have played this game -- or to have even seen it at an arcade -- but it seems that Sinistar lives up to its name. I believe it is also historically significant, as an influence on many later space shooters, so take note if you're into video-game history. -mossy_11
RUN RUN RUN! Greetings classic gamers! It's time for yet another instalment of Pixelcade's "games you may have not heard about" segment. This time, we are going to take a look at Sinistar by Williams.
Let me get the technical details out of the way first. Year: 1982; cabinet type: Space Shooter Vertical Cabinet or Environmental; players: 2, but only one at a time; input: two buttons, one joystick; MONO Sound (yes kids, I said MONO -- as in one channel of audio). So with those technical details gone done lets see what's going on here.
1982: I was crying my eyes out as that little lovable alien E.T. couldn't get a calling card to phone home. Ozzy found love and married his manager Sharon. And I was busy playing my Colecovision and still picking my nose. On trips to the local arcade one could hear dozens of games in attract mode, begging you to approach and put in that lovely silver quarter.
John Calhoun's Glider games hold a special place in the history of Mac gaming, acting almost as an icon of the platform through much of the 1990s. They spawned a hugely dedicated fan base, which produced a ridiculous amount of original content both for and about Glider -- especially Glider 4 and Glider PRO, the later versions.
I caught up with Calhoun over email recently, and quizzed him on the origins and development of the series. This is the second (and final) part of that interview. Read on to discover how Glider grew from a shareware to commercial product, what inspired the new features of Glider 4 and Glider PRO, how the game's community shaped its development, what Calhoun thinks of the Mac indie scene, and more.
Editor's note: I was playing the game while I edited the article. It strikes me as being just as interesting and fun as Pixelcade says, and I can't help but wonder why Spore was not more like this. Check out the article, then get the game -- evolving your creature is immediately addictive and satisfying. -mossy_11
At some point in my misery called high school, on a good ol' fashioned "I don't feel well" sick day (which was conveniently a Friday), I drove up to the local video store and looked for a few games. Browsing the covers it seemed to me that every game was the same -- I had either played it or had no desire to. Out of nowhere appeared this cool looking box with the letters E.V.O.: Search for Eden (although with all the cool graphics I only noticed the E.V.O. part).
The back of the box had my favorite style of pixel graphics, featuring lots of color and creative designs. I thought, "What the hey, I'll give this one a shot for the weekend." Upon getting home and powering it up I was welcomed by an impressive musical score, which played as the game's title came into view over a space shot of half our planet. I have always enjoyed science and the history of how things came to be, but I had no idea I was about to embark on a creative study of evolution and the geological time scale, as they were understood by scientists at the time.
For much of my existence on this earth, I have been an unashamed Civilization addict, Sid Meier's historically-themed strategy masterpiece. The series has done more to cultivate my interests today than anything else, helping to determine my majors in school (history and computer science), my fascination with interactive systems, and my goal of a career in game design.
I was only four years old when the original Civilization came out in 1991, and I knew nothing of the game until a few years later, when my brother entered private school. He came home after school one day with Civilization installed on his laptop and showed it to me. I was hooked instantly -- before I’d even played it. The developers had abstracted an entire alternate history of Western civilization into this simple game that offered so much emergent complexity.
Editor's Note: I remember seeing advertisements for this game on TV and thinking it looked absolutely hilarious in its reversal of "cute" cartoon characterizations. HDL gives you the low-down on just how deep and "mature" the humor ran in this uncharacteristically adult Nintendo 64 action-adventure/platform game. -mossy_11
Ever wonder what an obscene version of Looney Tunes would be like? If youʼve ever imagined vulgarities coming from characters like Bugs Bunny, you may have some idea of what this game has in store.
Unlike most games with a cartoony approach, Conker's Bad Fur Day makes no effort to hide its brusque nature, even before you start playing. Not long after the game is turned on, protagonist Conker the Squirrel cuts the iconic Nintendo 64 logo straight down the middle with a chainsaw. Even the gameʼs menu select screen is actually a tavern, containing many of the crazy characters Conker will interact with in his story. This approach was partially responsible for the gameʼs less-than-stellar commercial success, on top of being released only months before the GameCube in 2001.
Editor's note: I'll admit I knew nothing of the Phantasie games before reading this, but jetboy does a great job of explaining the appeal of his favourite entry in the series. I'd appreciate it if someone could explain to me what exactly I'm supposed to do in the game, though, because I went wandering and now I'm completely lost. -mossy_11
My favourite game of all time, Phantasie III, was released for the Amiga back in 1987, and I emulate it using E-UAE (in combination with a handy, legal, ROM/OS package called Amiga Forever). Since most Amiga games were distributed on floppies, I also use a utility called WHDLoad, which allows you to install the floppy versions on your hard disk and remove the nostalgic switching between 100 floppies process. This is my suggested setup if you want to play Phantasie III using MacOS as your host OS, because while there are other versions (notably DOS and Apple II), the graphics and sound for the Amiga version are unequivocally better. While I love Apple, the Apple II version is clearly the worst, and it just makes no sense trying to play it. If you really canʼt get the Amiga version going, I suggest you go with the DOS version because itʼs somewhere in the middle. [What about the Atari ST and Commodore 64 versions? -ed.]