Latest Game Reviews

James Clavell's Shogun

Author: Manu - Published: 17 September 2021, 8:47 pm

James Clavell's Shogun is the computer game adaptation of the famous novel Shogun by James Clavell. The game was created by Infocom and released in 1989 for Amiga. Apple II, MS-DOS, and Macintosh.

The title is known as the first Infocom text adventure that includes graphics. Infocom was, in fact, well known for the classic adventures purely based on text, also known as interactive fictions, like [Deadline], [Starcross], and, of course, [Zork: The Great Underground Empire].

Technically speaking, the game is flawless: the images are stunning, perfectly in line with the Japanese art of the 16th century, and contribute to creating a great atmosphere; the parser, being an Infocom adventure, is highly flexible and very advanced.

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Federation Quest 1: B.S.S. Jane Seymour

Author: Manu - Published: 13 September 2021, 3:31 pm

Federation Quest 1: B.S.S. Jane Seymour, known in the USA as Spacewrecked: 14 Billion Light Years From Earth, is a computer RPG published by Gremlin Graphics in 1990 for Amiga, Atari ST, and MS-DOS.

Created by Graeme Ing e Robert Crack, the designers of [Utopia: The Creation of a Nation], B.S.S. Jane Seymour is a classic sci-fi dungeon crawler set in space. You are on board a science starship directed to Orion's arm to collect alien life samples. Unfortunately, a radiation wave hits the vessel, killing part of the crew, destroying half of the ship, and setting the aliens free. Of course, as you can expect, the aliens are evil (or maybe just hungry), so they will try to kill all the remaining crew.

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Ashes of Empire

Author: Manu - Published: 10 September 2021, 7:40 am

Ashes of Empire (also known as Fallen Empire) is an action-adventure published by Mirage originally for the Amiga in 1992.

The game was designed by Mike Singleton, the author of [Midwinter] and [Midwinter II: Flames Of Freedom]. Despite not being an official sequel, Ashes of Empire is often considered the third chapter.

There are many elements in common with the series: you can move freely in a world entirely in 3D, exploring places, visiting cities, meeting people, solving puzzles, and occasionally engaging in combat, always in real-time. But in this case, the game has much bigger ambitions. So big that it was defined as a "political simulation." In fact, the game gives the player a very ambitious task: to pacify five countries, whose names are clearly similar to post-Soviet states: Ossia, Ruzakhstan, Belokraine, Moldenia, and Servonia. To do that, you will have to visit the countries, get enough resources, talk to people and convert them to your cause. To really pacify a state, you have to meet 4 requirements: assure that each state has enough peace-supporting buildings, demolish all the buildings that menace peace, eliminate the enemy forces, and get the support of all the ethnic groups. Depending on the allies you have found during the game, you might need different strategies; for example, if your friends love gold, you will have to gather enough of the precious metal. Other allies will need different tactics.

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Hard Drivin'

Author: Manu - Published: 1 September 2021, 9:33 am

Hard Drivin' is a famous 3D racing coin-up created by Atari and released in 1989. The conversions for home computers, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum, and Mega Drive, were managed by Domark.

The arcade was really revolutionary, not just because it was one of the first racing games to use full 3D polygonal graphics, but because Atari built the cabinet like a real car. The experience for the players was fantastic. Of course, this could not be preserved in the home versions, as racing wheel controllers were not available at that time. But technically speaking, Domark did a great job porting the 3D engine to all computers and consoles, including the less powerful ones (like the ZX Spectrum). On Amiga, DOS, and Mega Drive/Genesis, the 3D engine works well, even if it's not faster like the arcade. Unfortunately, more playtesting would have been necessary because the controls are not perfectly tuned, and it isn't easy to drive the cars properly. Some users hated it because of this, while some others were impressed by the amazing 3D graphics.

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NY Warriors

Author: Manu - Published: 29 August 2021, 9:18 am

NY Warriors (aka New York Warriors) is a top-down shooter for 2 players developed by Synergistic and published by Virgin Games in 1990 for Amiga, Amstrad CPC, DOS, and ZX Spectrum.

If you take two arcades, such as [Ikari Warriors] and [Commando], and mix them with the famous movie Escape from New York, you have a clear idea about what the developers wanted to accomplish. You have terrorists from the future, a dystopic world, distorted guitar music, bullets flying everywhere. And of course, 2-players simultaneous mode in co-op, for maximum fun. The graphics are not exactly top-notch, probably a bit amateurish, but this does not affect the gameplay. We are not at the levels of the arcades mentioned above, but considering that the Amiga port of Ikari Warriors was not exactly a masterpiece, NY Warriors is a good alternative. Bullets, explosions, and guitar, what else do you need?

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Wayne Gretzky Hockey

Author: Manu - Published: 27 August 2021, 8:05 am

Wayne Gretzky Hockey is an ice hockey simulation created by Bethesda Softworks for Amiga, Atari ST, and MS-DOS and released in 1988. There were also Macintosh and NES versions, while the C-64/128 version was never completed.

This hockey sim was officially licensed and sponsored by the Canadian professional player Wayne Gretzky, also credited for the game design with Ed Fletcher, Julian Lefay, and others.

The title is a complete ice hockey sim; you can play the matches and manage your team, as in [Sensible Soccer]. Each player has several skills: aggression, quickness, power, fatigue, penalty, injury, skating, passing, puck control, checking, and shooting. You can select the players with the right skills to set your team playing style, but you can also change a player's characteristics to customize your team fully.

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