Computer Games

From the Commodore 64, to Amiga, the Atari ST and PC, we cover all your classic PC games here.

Pitstop II

You also have to be careful how you drive as not only can you run out of fuel but you can also wear out your tyres too. Driving too fast around corners too often, for example, will soon see your car squeal off to the side like a burst balloon and stop dead. This, as well as the fuel situation, can be overcome by making one of the titular pit-stops. These can take some time but are unfortunately necessary if you want to make it to the end of a race in anything resembling a decent position. [...]

Happy Monster

Actually, now that I think about it, this must be how Mr. Neelsen was able to fund his F-Zero exploits. Oh well, he’s no worse than Zoda I suppose. Whether the F-Zero tournaments are tainted or not, our hero is gifted with only the basic platforming actions here. He can drop down through platforms, and he can fall an unlimited distance without harm, but contact from any monsters causes instant death. By means of offensive abilities, he can shoot fireballs from his torso to take out the monsters, of which there are several colours which determines their speed and how many hits they take to defeat, but he can only jump a short height. [...]

Worms

This PC version of the game also gained a few extras by way of an updated edition of the game called Worms Reinforcements. This allowed you to add custom landscapes and ‘soundpacks’ (i.e. vocal themes for the worms), and also included a number of humorous FMV intros and cut-scenes and a one-player ‘Challenge Mode’ which consisted of various missions that acted like a (rather harsh) tutorial. Some nice extras for sure, but let’s face it – people play Worms for one reason and one reason only – to try and outwit their friends, and to that end it’s peerless. Everyone knows that already though, of course. The only question I was asking before this review was: how much has this original aged? [...]

The Adventures of Willy Beamish

I remember its fantastic Dragon’s Lair-esque graphics; they were the first of their sort in a point-and-click adventure. I remember the stunning animations and (low-res, I’m afraid) cartoon quality cut-scenes. I remember the way it showcased the capabilities of my very first PC soundcard. I remember how the story of a nine year old boy trying to competitively play video games while avoiding parental troubles and getting the girl, somehow turned into a ghost infested attempt at foiling an evil corporation. I remember getting sent off to military school and dying a dozen lushly animated deaths. I remember cajoling my in-game parents and entering my frog into competitions. I remember exploring the sanitised darkness of 90s American suburbia and being both shocked and delighted. I remember enjoying the subtle humour. I remember getting hopelessly stuck, but, above all, I warmly remember loving it. [...]

Paradroid

I’ve always assumed that this is a rather complicated and puzzley game but the first few minutes I played it were spent moving my amusing-looking droid around shooting all the others I encountered. I suspect it gets more involved than this, however, and that indeed proves to be the case, but not by as much as I thought. As mentioned, the object of the game is to take out all the other droids on each deck of the ship. The humorous droid I spoke of is the very weak one you start off with and a device known as the ‘Influence Device’ allows you to exert control over it. You can move it around the spaceship in the eight basic joystick directions and it can fire an energy weapon in its direction of travel. The decks of the ship vary in size and all but the smallest are divided into numerous rooms. Droids occupy these rooms but you won’t know how many there are until you enter. [...]

South Park

During the single player campaign you are treated to cut screens featuring original dialog from many South Park notables including Chef who gives you your “mission briefings”. Sadly, the first person aspect of the game is lacking. One reason is because even back then the AI was pretty weak. It was almost impossible to get taken out unless you got swarmed by a ton of enemies. The weapons were also way underpowered which makes sense considering they are kids, but so many of the enemies and especially the bosses took so many hits to kill it got boring real fast. [...]

Deathkeep

As for the gameplay itself, the control mechanism was efficient enough: you could opt to use your keyboard or your mouse for a full range of motions. Combat was handled by facing the creature you wanted to disappear and clicking on your mouse until it was gone. No real problem, aside from the incredibly chunky graphics, that is. Maps and inventory screens displayed in 640×480, but the game ran in 320×200, resulting in walls with very poor textures, and creatures that looked like they would be right at home in today’s Minecraft but with lower resolution. The whole game was just hard on the eyes, and considering the some of the amazing games that were released that same year, SSI really had no excuse. [...]

Onslaught

These are basically boss fights but feature a floating, four-armed head! You control a hand that can move around the edge of the screen and fire magic stars, and this you must do until the strange creature is no more. Victory means you’ve won the territory and then it’s on to the next. The temple stages are the same as mind duels and there are also plagues, crusades, and rebellions to contend with. These occur at random intervals and make the going even tougher, particularly the latter which costs you a previously won territory. During the battle sections, it’s also important not to let too many enemies past you unscathed as if enough of them make it, they can grab your banner too! [...]

Hard Driving

Don’t be fooled by the “C+VG HIT” on the cover of this game. This game was more of a miss than a hit. Originally released in the arcades in 1988 by Atari Games, Hard Drivin’ was a revolutionary coin-op. It was touted as the world’s first authentic driving simulation. The game featured state-of-the-art polygon graphics and realistic force feedback controls, all designed to offer gamers a sense of what it might be like to sit behind the wheel of a high-performance car. So how do you convert this sense of driving, to an 8-bit system and still make it playable ? [...]

Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty

The list of features that Dune II debuted in real-time strategy gaming is impressive. It was the first RTS to use the mouse to move individual units. It was the first to use building bases and then units. It was the first to use a development technology tree, permitting the construction of advanced units only after certain buildings were constructed. It was the first to use units that you could move and then deploy as a base. It was the first to use different factions with different goals (and strategies). It was even the first to use a world map that you chose your next mission from. This is an impressive list, and these features are now commonplace in RTS games, but were fresh and new back when Dune II was released. [...]

3-D Bomberman

Usually when writing about a game I try to remain impartial and detail the various facts and figures of a game before praising or criticising it accordingly, but this game is different. It is, you see, quite literally the original Bomberman but from a first-person viewpoint. This would be a concerning prospect on a modern consoles but on an MSX? It is, quite frankly, terrifying. The first problem is that all the walls are red with nothing to differentiate ‘soft blocks’, or destroyable parts of the wall. This means there’s lots of identical-looking corridors that you’ll most likely end up walking around aimlessly. If you walk into a dead-end, it’s a good bet that it’s a soft block in your way, so you can try laying a bomb. The viewpoint also makes it difficult to judge distance accurately though, so you’ll have to run far away to be sure of avoiding the blast (which looks like a untuned TV). [...]

Links 386 Pro

But this game had more than just great graphics. The sound quality was outstanding: the whoosh of the club, the smack of the ball, the glorious sound of the ball entering the cup, all this and more enhanced the experience of and the illusion of actually “being there” on the links. Players could mulligan their shots (but it would show up on their scorecard). You could preview the course and analyze the grade of the shot. You could even split the screen to watch the ball coming and going from different angles! So many features added to the enjoyment of the game. [...]

Jetpac

Developed by Tim and Chris Stamper, the founders of Ultimate, Jetpac is a simple game as you might expect, and it stars Jetman. It’s your job to guide him around the single-screen stages to reassemble his rocket and then refuel it by collecting the fuel pods that fall onto the screen one by one. On most stages after this he’ll just need to refuel it but every now and then there will be a new rocket to reassemble and he’ll have to repeat the whole process from scratch. Jetman can fly using the titular device for indefinite periods and is also armed with a laser to take out the endless swarms of aliens that drift across the screen attempting to stop him from half-inching their resources (such as precious metals and gems), which also drop onto the screen periodically and can be collected for bonus points. [...]

Hero’s Quest

You could play Hero Quest either as a Fighter, Magic-User, or Thief. The game’s puzzles were designed so that they could be solved in different ways by the different character classes, and you could improve your character’s skills and inventory as you played the game. It played as an adventure game, where your character completed quests and solved puzzles, moving the storyline to its epic finish. By today’s PC game standards, the graphics and sound are rudimentary at best, with your hero looking a bit like a stick figure jerkily moving about the screen. But a good retro gamer never judges an old game by today’s standards! The storyline is strong, and can still be fun to play today. [...]

Oil’s Well

I thought I’d let you know just what a visually stunning, additively fun and mostly forgotten little gem this 1990 Sierra production is. Well, it is, and its VGA version for our ageing DOS boxes is most probably the best arcade/puzzler this developer ever came up with, though admittedly they did have to remake its earlier 1983 version. Oh, and it would be fair to call this one abandonware. Have a play/look. [...]

Loom

Bobbin Threadbare, the aforementioned only surviving member of the Guild of Weavers, must learn the ways of his craft. This is not a simple adventure game; players don’t simply point and click their way to the grand finale. In LOOM, magic is music and music is magic. Bobbin can cast spells, but only as musical sequences on the C Major scale, and only if he possesses his “distaff,” a combination walking stick and wizard’s staff. Much of the game revolves around Bobbin seeking new “drafts” – the magical musical sequences – for him to use in his quest to save the universe from a “grey strand” that has unbalanced creation. [...]

Star Raiders

Ships will appear as you reach their grid quadrant, but seem to just randomly appear. Sometimes, the only way you know they are there is when they shoot you. When this happens, there is the typical 2600 sound-effects, but cool red flickering to let you know you have taken damage. You can repair and replenish your constantly-draining energy. Keep your close eye on the energy numbers dwindling at the bottom of the screen, because if it gets to zero…game over. [...]

Companions of Xanth

The game plays as a standard mouse controlled adventure game. You select what action you want to do from a list of verbs, then select the object with which you want to perform the action. Unlike some Legend adventure games, there is no text input. Inventory management is controlled by the mouse in a similar fashion, by selecting the object and then the action. Graphics are crisp at 256 color VGA, with the player touring various scenic vistas of Xanthian beauty. [...]

Twilight 2000

The Twilight 2000 PC game was based on the pen-and-paper RPG of the same name, first published in 1984 by the Game Designer’s Workshop (GDW). It was a game of its time, with the Cold War raging and fears of nuclear Armageddon permeating the international consciousness. Players assumed the role of soldiers trapped in Europe after the final offensive and counter-offensive between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The game had a cult following, but with the close of the Cold War, the appeal of the game began to wane. A modified history was presented in the 1993 version of the game that attempted use the attempted coup against Boris Yeltsin, then President of the Russian Federation, as the focal point of an alternate history, but never quite caught on. [...]

Panzer General

Panzer General offered players both single scenario play, in which they could assume the role of an Allied or an Axis general, as well as a Campaign Mode, in which the player attempts to win World War II for Germany. The campaign runs from 1939 to 1945, and as units gain battle experience, they become stronger, and the player (as general) gains access to upgrades and reinforcements – assuming they are victorious, that is. If the player achieves their scenario objectives with five or more game turns to spare, it is considered a “Major Victory,” which unlocks further game elements. [...]

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

You play a helpful adventurer in Elvira, brought in to rescue the lovely Mistress of the Dark from the dangers of her own castle. It seems Elvira’s quite-dead grandmother wants to return to the Realm of the Living, and plans to unleash a horrific assault on her surroundings – and upon her errant granddaughter, too. Poor Elvira wants nothing to do with her grandmother’s schemes, but she’s lacking her usual magical arsenal as all her potion ingredients and equipment is scattered throughout her castle, and she needs you to collect it all and return it to her, while dispatching the nasty creatures that her dear grandmother has prowling the corridors and rooms along the way. [...]

Empire Deluxe

Game play of Empire Deluxe is very familiar, as it should be considering it is the great-grandaddy of the entire RTS genre. Each player starts with one city, and needs to develop his military strength to conquer the surrounding territory. Military units are varied, and include infantry, armor, transports, destroyers, cruisers, submarines, battleships, aircraft carriers, fighters, and bombers. Targets have differing defensive and offensive values, and not every city is easily conquered. (In fact, conquering cities lowers their production capacity, and if a city changes hands often, it becomes almost useless as a source of production.) [...]

Ascendancy

As could be expected in any multi-civilization strategy game, Ascendancy included a robust diplomacy element. As new species discovered your existence, their attitudes and responses were influenced by how you reacted to them. Peace treaties, hostilities, technology exchanges, invitations to join in current conflicts were examples of some of the outcomes resulting from an exchange of diplomatic pleasantries. As in real life, species who considered you weak would make broader demands and reject overtures; species who considered you strong worked on making you their best friend. [...]

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Of course, even before Fate of Atlantis was released, Indiana Jones was already a cultural phenomenon. There had been three movies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), and at the time of Fate of Atlantis’ release, a television series was in its first year of production (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles). Games based on the movies had been released on several platforms, including Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom in 1984 (C64), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1987 (Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, C64, DOS), Indiana Jones in Revenge of the Ancients in 1987 (Apple II, DOS), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game in 1989 (C64, DOS, Atari ST, Amiga), andIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure in 1989 (Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, Macintosh). In other words, this was a franchise with both a solid history and strong fan base. [...]

James Bond: The Stealth Affair

The story revolved around a missing F-19 stealth fighter, stolen from an American base and tracked (how did they do that?) to somewhere in Latin America. Who did it? Could it be the Russians pulling a Red October or could it be some Latin American tinpot dictator or crime lord? The danger of having a Latin American drug lord having stealth technology was sufficient to bring in the best troubleshooter in the business: James Bond. The action began as fast as our man James stepped off his flight into the Santa Paragua airport, holding only a briefcase and his airline ticket, with the need to somehow get past a maddeningly efficient airport security guard. “I don’t care who you are. In this country you are all outsiders.“ The game moved on from there, with a variety of puzzles to solve, as well as a few arcade action sequences to complete. [...]

Blackwell Unbound

The game is thus slightly longer that Legacy and feels even more so, as the inclusion of a couple new mechanics, make for a far more taxing experience. Not that the game is difficult, mind but the ability to switch between Joey and Lauren, a few newly integrated simple inventory puzzles and looking up names and places in a directory do help mix things up. After all, making sure that a deceased jazz musician, a half-crazed ghost and an incredibly sad villain find their respective ways, shouldn’t be that easy. [...]

Wolf

The game mechanics really sold the “be-a-wolf” concept. Sound effects of birds and other noises of nature provided ambience, while the graphics were crisp and the scenic vistas marvellous to look at. As your wolf travelled it became either hungry or thirsty, and needed to be satiated. The game simulated a wolf’s incredible sense of smell by showing various scents that your wolf discovered, some close, some far, and all trackable. Humans were a severe danger and were to be avoided at all costs, and could be detected by both sound and scent. You could even howl! [...]

Pirates

Sid Meier’s Pirates! was not only popular amongst gamers, it also performed well in the eyes of the gaming press. It was awarded “Action Game of the Year” by Computer Gaming World, and also the Origin Award for “Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Computer Game of 1987”. The game also ranked at #18 in the Computer Gaming World’s 150 Best Games of All Time. Clearly, this game has remained in the gaming public’s eye for a reason, making Sid Meier’s Pirates! a worthy addition to anyone’s game collection. [...]

Thunder Force

During the course of my long struggle to finally see and play the original Thunder Force game for the PC-88, I saw some screenshots of the PC-98 version, which appeared to have fancier graphics, so I decided it might be a good idea to include that version in this feature too. I soon regretted it, of course. This turned out to be even harder to get to play than the the PC-88 version! However, after a long and arduous struggle, fraught with many problems, and once again with the help of some splendid fellows from the Retro Gamer forum, I managed to get it running. [...]

American McGee’s Alice

Of course, American McGee’s Alice is not a perfect game. The level design is brilliant, but the gameplay has its pedestrian moments. For instance, if you are a fan of games that require platform-style jumping to avoid enemies, locate items and switches, and to find level exits, this is the game for you. For those that find all this leaping about a tad annoying…not so much. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the controls for jumping quickly in this game, as you will be doing a lot of it. However, if you can get past that, the rest of the gameplay has enough variation to keep the player wanting more. [...]

Zork: Grand Inquisitor

Zork: Grand Inquisitor received good reviews (PC Gamer Magazine gave it an Editor’s Choice award and scored it at 88% in its May, 1988 issue, while GameSpot scored it as a 8.0 “Great”). The biggest fault that reviewers agreed upon was that it seemed too short, and a longer visit in this archetypical gamer universe was wished for. Now that’s a complaint any developer would like to hear! It was released for both Windowsand Macintosh platforms, and played the same on either one. Also, a DVD version was released in 1998, which also included the full version of Zork: Nemesis as an added bonus. [...]

The 7th Guest

The game’s creators, Rob Landeros (a graphic artist) and Graeme Devine (a programmer for Virgin MasterTronics) followed the success of The 7th Guest with a sequel, The 11th Hour. Although their company, Trilobyte, was initially flush with cash from the success of The 7th Guest, increasing tensions from divergent visions of the company’s future and spiraling production costs exhausted their funds, and eventually their partnership sundered. However, in 2004, another gaming company, Lunny Interactive, announced the reunion of both Devine and Landeros and the imminent development of the long-awaited third game in the series, The Collector. Six years later, the game is merely another vaporware legend, which is really unfortunate, as the gaming world could always use a little more Stauf to play with! [...]

Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy

On the other hand, not everything is perfect. Land bombardment for example is quite frustrating, as aiming at particular buildings is nigh on impossible, while sometimes the battle area is a bit too small for proper maneuvering. Then again, when you got those fantastic graphics, the tons of available -and surprisingly varied- missions, some excellent and highly amusing multiplayer options, a fine selection of Steam achievements, an amazing sounding ocean (!) and a convincing atmosphere, you just can’t complain. Buccaneer is quite fantastic. [...]

Gemstone Dragon

Actually, Gemstone Dragon is the most Baldur-eque gaming experience I’ve had for quite sometime, what with its sword and sorcery plot, the traveling around fantasy worlds, the looting of corpses, the quests and side-quests, the real time combat and a plot about some sort of ancient evil rising in the way ancient evils always rise in games like this: covered in conspiracy. Now, even though its game-mechanics are not based on D&D, the game remains as traditional as one can imagine, starting off with the player selecting a portrait and his/her gender and going on to gain xp, fame and shiny bits of armour. [...]

SimCity: The City Simulator

In SimCity, players had to construct an entire metropolis starting from nothing but a bulldozer and random terrain. Along the way to full city status sims begin to populate your city and make demands. They may need more housing or shopping centers; perhaps crime is rampant and a police station is needed; maybe frequent brown outs are creating a demand for a new power station; perhaps your sims are bored and want a stadium…and so on. Meanwhile, the city needed just the right level of taxes to encourage growth, yet still pay for all those fire and police stations. [...]

Tie Fighter

While John Williams’ original soundtrack plays in the background, the player gets to fly a variety of space craft, which include: TIE fighters, TIE bombers, TIE Interceptors, TIE Advanced, TIE Defender (awesome!), and assault gunboats. Personages you interact with include Emperor Palpatine, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Grand Admiral Zaarin, and, of course, Darth Vader. If you complete the game and save the Emperor you can expect a closing ceremony reminiscent of the one at the end of the original Star Wars movie, except this time it’s all in the Imperial motif. [...]

Star Wars: Dark Forces

The action is in the first-person perspective, and unlike DOOM, you can look up and down for your enemies, all the better to locate and eliminate them. Although later in the game series Kyle hears the call of the Jedi, there’s no lightsaber action in this game. However, there are plenty of other weapons to keep you interested, including the Bryar pistol, the standard stormtrooper E-11 blaster rifle, thermal detonators, the absolutely awesome Stouker concussion rifle, and the Dark Trooper assault cannon (the best way to take those bad boys out). [...]

Lode Runner

Lode Runner has been considered a classic for some time. It made #80 on Computer Gaming World’s 150 Best Games of All Time list, and was mentioned in 2003 as one of the best games of all time by Gamespot in their The Greatest Games of All Time series. The creator of Tetris, the classic puzzle game that all puzzle games are compared to, was quoted in a 2008 interview with Edge Magazine that he considered Lode Runner to his favorite puzzle game for many years. There was even a 1986 Lode Runner board game created by Donal Carlston (the creator of the still-popular board game, Personal Preference)! [...]

The Secret of Monkey Island

The guiding force behind The Secret of Monkey Island was Ron Gilbert, who based the game’s ambience and feel upon his experience at the Disneyland attraction Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as on the novel On Stranger Tides, by Tim Powers, which was the inspiration for many of the game’s characters. He went to the point of writing a series of short stories based on his ideas for Monkey Island, which he used to help convey the spirit of game to his creative partners, Tim Schaffer and Ron Grossman. [...]

Zork

Who could forget Zork’s opening: “You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.” The text-based parser would respond to your directions, such as “Open mailbox” or even just “open”. Actually, the parser was quite advanced for the genre, as it was able to handle conjunctions and prepositions, such as “open the mailbox and read the leaflet,” and had a wide array of verbs and nouns that it recognized. Of course, if you tried a command that it didn’t know, the parser would just respond with, “I don’t understand that” or a pre-programmed witty response if you tried something the programmers anticipated you would, like typing in “jump” and getting “Wheeee!!!” as a response. For fun, type in any of the following: zork, win, repent, yell, and see what the parser says back. [...]

Wing Commander

The creator of Wing Commander, Chris Roberts, characterized his game as “World War II in space.” The player took the role of a fighter pilot for the Confederation, battling the war machine of the Kilrathi, a race of feline aliens. Attack runs and defensive missions were launched from a space-going aircraft carrier, the TCS Tiger Claw. If the player was successful in meeting mission objectives, the storyline continued with Confederation forces pushing back the Kilrathi armada. [...]

Civilization

Players started with a single settler (a covered wagon) at the dawn of civilization, chose a location to found their first city, and from that built an empire as the game timeline progressed to the Space Age. Sometimes you’d find another computer player right next door, and either had to keep the peace with non-stop diplomacy, or – more times than not – send in the troops to crush them like the insects they truly were. Up to six other civilizations were out there to discover, and they all had to be dealt with, one way or another (either the Americans, Aztecs, Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians, English, French, Germans, Greeks, Indians, Mongolians, Romans, Russians, or Zulus.) [...]

Planescape: Torment

Since your memory is gone, you choose what class you want to level up in as you gain experience, and you are not limited to that class each time you reach the next experience plateau. More importantly, experience is rewarded for more than just combat. How you speak to NPCs can result in a bonanza of experience points, as can completing tasks. The choices you face in every encounter can adjust your alignment depending on what approach you take. In short, everything about Planescape: Torment is open-ended, the hallmark of an excellent RPG. [...]

Duke Nukem 3D

Duke Nukem sold over 300,000 copies in its first week of release. It went on to spawn several re-releases, like the Atomic Edition, East Meets West, and 3rd party level compilations and other mods, like Duke!Zone and Nuclear Winter. In the end the sales of Duke Nukem 3D were in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and made Duke Nukem easily one of the most recognizable franchises and characters in the gaming world. [...]

The Last Express

Importantly I also found out that I’d better get the passenger list, some papers and a certain suitcase from the off-limits luggage compartment. Following characters and trying to either chat them up or spy on them proved quite a bit revealing too, whereas climbing in and out of my cabin’s window has not been particularly enlightening though incredibly fun, but, I’ll admit, hardly as elating as breathing the atmosphere of the turbulent and politically tense times before the First World War. [...]

Exolon

The marine is outfitted with the snazzy Exolon suit, a powerful exoskeleton equipped with a hand blaster and backpack grenade launcher, and it is these that will facilitate your progress. The screens, or ‘zones’, are occupied by a mixture of targets. Some feature aliens themselves who swarm from right to left across the screen indefinitely. These can be taken out easily with your hand blaster but there are also ground-based guns and missile-launchers which can only be taken out by grenades, and it’s the same for the non-hostile but still inconvenient obstacles which appear to consist of hardware such as satellite dishes as well as strange alien structures. [...]

Commander Keen 4

The music of the game is enjoyable as well, if you are lucky enough to play it in true DOS then you will also be able to choose from the PC speaker sound which isn’t bad at all just very retro. If not, you can always use the wonderful and probably best emulator ever released DOS BOX and find yourself a copy of the game, you’ll do fine like that as well. I wish I had my classic PC out so I could be playing it in pure DOS but I will have to settle for Dos box which is not bad but I think most of you know how much I love classic original stuff(Except Famicom, I wuv Famicom pirates). [...]

Urban Legend

The game offers over 30 levels of sheer strategic fun that will definitely appeal to the Fallout, Jagged Alliance and X-Com (a.k.a UFO) crowds, providing a very elegant action points based combat mechanic and an intuitive interface, that’s as simple as left-clicking to move and right-clicking to fire. Then again, moving and firing, admittedly with the added hassle of picking the right weapons and selecting/equipping a modestly sized squad, can be tactically challenging enough to test years of accumulated turn-based combat experience and even lead to frustration and/or insomnia. Thankfully genre beginners and tired middle-agers can always go for the easy setting. [...]

Kid Gloves

It’s a pretty simple game which sees you, as Kid, attempting to rescue your kidnapped girlfriend or some such nonsense. In order to do this he must make his way through the danger-filled, flick-screen world between him and his goal. Each of the screens are populated by various creatures and obstacles, such as pigs, goblin things, whirly blades, etc, which move in short, simple patterns, and some which remain still, such as fire. [...]

Empires and Dungeons

Empires and Dungeons is basically a quasi turn-based dungeon hack with a simple, albeit purely turn-based, strategy game bolted on top of it. It plays surprisingly well, for it manages to be as simple and intuitive as Diablo, almost as rightly paced as rogue and as one-more-turn-syndrome evoking as HOMM or even Civ. More than that, the graphics are way better than ascii @s and Xs, and the Deutsch-English language used throughout the game, is not as badly translated as one would expect. [...]