Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Sales were very soft that first week, with only 4,000 copies sold; no advertising and no fanfare had its expected result. However, word-of-mouth was as powerful in 1987 as it is today, and sales jumped to an impressive 250,000 copies sold. The game even managed to garner the Software Publishers Association’s Best Fantasy, Role Playing or Adventure Game of 1987. It was eventually released on several platforms, including IBM PC (MS-DOS), Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Apple Macintosh, and the TRS-80.

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The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery

The answer is multifaceted, but the first step was retaining Jane Jensen as the author of the entire storyline. The first Gabriel Knight game was lauded for not only being fun to play, but having a deeper story than most adventure games. Ms. Jensen had majored in computer science, but also had a deep fascination with creative writing, evidenced by her work on the Gabriel Knight series. Interestingly, she did not become a published novelist until well after The Beast Within, with her novelization of the first Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers book in 1997, and then Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within’s novelization in 1998. Her first non-computer game related novel, Millennium Rising, was published in 1999, the same year her last Gabriel Knight game was released.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How Gaming Changed This Girl’s Life

It’s funny how, in the beginning, he thought it was cool dating a girl who liked gaming. He now cautions guys against dating gamer girls! He was just mad that I took over his Playstation for about a whole solid month. Yeah, I know it shouldn’t have been that long, but I’m one of those “gotta get everything” kinda gamers… so I went for every character… played out every possible subplot… even used the strategy guide to make sure I didn’t miss anything. And boy did I get everything! It changed my life.

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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)!

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Silpheed

This is probably the best shmup for the short lived peripheral for many reasons which most of you must know already. Lets just say there wasn’t much support or great titles for the Sega CD but there were some unique and groundbreaking ones like Lunar, and Sonic CD. Silpheed is a shmup that starts you right in the action and never lets go. The gameplay is as solid as a shmup game can offer. There are some sorts of power ups which will make you think twice what to pick for your missions again in terms of powering up. The game has twelve stages according to the information I gathered but I’m not sure if there are any secret stages or bonus stages of some sort.

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The Space Quest Retrospective: A janitor’s epic tale

Meet Roger Wilco, janitor extraordinaire and star of the (mostly) hilarious Space Quest series by Sierra, back from the era when adventure games were actually considered killer-apps and went on to spawn sequel after sequel. Say hi, through almost seven Space Quest games (well, six actually), out of which only five (almost six) used roman numerals in their titles. Meet him here and have a drink in adventure-o-vision, while reading through this particularly short retrospective.

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Jon Hamblin: Big Ideas Digital

Seriously, this a game in which you can die simply by crossing the road without waiting for the little green man. After a while, I began to think – maybe Jim Walls isn’t a pedant – maybe he’s just incredibly accident-prone.

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Greg Wohlwend: Mikengreg

My brother and I were obsessed with this game. It came on a dozen or so 3.5″ hard disks (high tech back then) and included a semi-complete faux vellum map. Most of the game took place in either a huge city or a huge desert with tons of little secrets hiding everywhere. That, coupled with the fact that you had to type out most of your actions, made for a world that really felt alive.

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Chris Campbell and Adrian Woods: Big Fish Games

It has magic, pirates and an abominable snowman! The feeling of tension when trying to collect the ingredients and cast the spell before Manannan came back to the house was palpable. The reward of finally giving him the “special” porridge and gaining your freedom still stands out in my mind as one of my favorite moments ever in a game!

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