Oil’s Well

oil's well - sierra - gameplay screenshot
I thought I’d let you know just what a visually stunning, additively fun and mostly forgotten little gem this 1990 Sierra production is.
oil's well - sierra - gameplay screenshot
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.
oil's well - sierra - gameplay screenshot
Oh, and it would be fair to call this one abandonware. Have a play/look.

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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

Hi, my name is Gnome, a.k.a Konstantinos and I own the blog Gnome's Lair which is all about gaming in all of its many and varied guises. It is thus about computer & video games, old games, new games, indie games, adventure games, free games, board games, ludology, game creation, RPGs, books on games, games on books, and well the theory of and in games.

13 thoughts on “Oil’s Well

  • February 22, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    It is rare that I get surprised by a retro title that I haven't ever heard about, but you managed to do that, Gnome. Looks pretty!

  • February 22, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    Aha! So you can be surprised, can't you dear Barts. That's lovely. Oh, and I've wanted a copy of the thing since I was 12… A beautiful little arcade thing.

  • February 22, 2011 at 1:14 PM


  • February 22, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    And there are more than a few Petrosaur animations too!

  • February 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Sierra made some of the best games for the PC in its day!

  • February 22, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    And -shockingly- they weren't all adventures either. Still, you are absolutely right!

  • February 22, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    VERY nice – I didn't even realize there WAS a remake of Oil's Well, nor that it was a Sierra product. I used to play the C64 version back in the day. Definitely a fun little game. And based on/inspired by one of my favorite lesser-known old Stern arcade games called Anteater so if you haven't ever played that one check it out in MAME if you get a chance. But fair warning – the music is HORRIBLE.

  • February 22, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Ah, glad you like it dear MadPlanet. I actually found out it was a remake only a few year ago, despite fantasizing about owning this Sierra release ever since I saw it. Will have to check AntEater. Cheers!

  • February 22, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Interesting. However, as a DOS game collector, I find abandonware slightly offensive, but I have discussed that before so I'll not now. And I'm glad to hear you got a nice boxed version! The only kind worth getting, in my opinion.

  • February 22, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    I just played it a bit – thanks for the link Gnome! – a little prettier than my old C64 version. Nice little game to be sure. Is it my imagination or does the music sound distinctly SQIVish? And the sound effects during the dino animation sequence. Gotta love that sweet Sierra sound.

  • February 23, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    @ Ithmeer: You do have a point there my friend, but, truth be said, I'd rather people have access to old games via abandonware than not at all. Obviously boxed versions are by far the best.

    @ MadPlanet: Well, you actually are right! The music does indeed sound like SQIV. Seems like composer Ken Allen did work on both games too!

  • February 23, 2011 at 7:03 AM

    Very addictive and fun game indeed! Nice find 😉

  • February 23, 2011 at 7:43 AM

    Thanks Rudy! You played an essential part in this as you know 🙂

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