Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Missed Classic 116: Castle Adventure - Introduction (1984)

Written by Michael

Many radio call-in shows had an oft-repeated, somewhat cliched line: "Hi! I'm a long-time listener, first-time caller." I suppose that describes me. I've been reading and commenting on the blog for a handful of years, and finally got around to writing my story and threatening planning to write a missed classic review about a memorable childhood game. The game I'll be talking about is somewhat special to me, because it was my first game of any form I played on a computer that I know of. I hadn't even played Lemonade Stand at school yet, it would be another year before they installed a row of Apple IIe systems in the elementary school library.

Around 1985, when I was about 7, my grandfather showed me this new toy he had. In the family room of his house, he had set up his new IBM Model 5160 computer (known as the PC/XT), complete with an amber monochrome screen and a daisy-wheel printer. It had the latest in cyber-security: that round key that would lock the keyboard. And along with some software programmed "borrowed" from the engineering firm he worked at, he also had some shareware and freeware programs, obtained from mail-order shareware vendors like PC-SIG.
The keyboard and printer were in a constant battle, over which one could make enough noise to drive my grandmother crazy.

Friday, 25 November 2022

BloodNet – Netscape: Torment


I have to say that BloodNet shares some features with my favourite game of them all. Granted, it’s not on the same level of greatness – not at all, in fact – but maybe the similarities are part of the reason I’m enjoying this game so much. Or perhaps it will become a lot worse towards the end. I’ll save my judgment for later lest I'll have to swallow my words. 

Last time a woman named Lenora Major had invited me to her well in the cyberspace to upload my essence into the web. This seemed necessary to enter the headquarters of TransTech so it felt like a good move. I got caught by a Security ICE routine a couple more times and didn’t find out anything new about the web for now so I followed up on some other leads. 

First I decided to pay a visit to that bigmouth called Zeus who had challenged me to a duel in real life. After our cyber-standoff a new location was accessible, namely a NYU dormitory close to Washington Square. What happened next was a bit of a surprise.

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Blue Force – Not All There

by Alex

Here are some synonyms for “crazy” I looked up and found on Thesaurus.com:

  • balmy
  • bananas
  • batty
  • bonkers
  • brainsick
  • cracked
  • cuckoo
  • daffy
  • daft
  • demented
  • deranged
  • dippy
  • disturbed
  • flaky
  • foolish
  • freaky
  • gaga
  • goofy
  • harebrained
  • idiotic
  • illogical
  • inane
  • irrational
  • kooky
  • laughable
  • loco
  • loony
  • ludicrous
  • mad
  • maniacal
  • mental
  • mentally ill
  • mentally incompetent
  • moonstruck
  • moronic
  • nonsensical
  • not all there
  • nuts
  • nutty
  • nutty as a fruitcake
  • odd
  • off one’s rocker
  • off the wall
  • out of one’s mind
  • out to lunch
  • potty
  • preposterous
  • psycho
  • screwy
  • sick
  • silly
  • stark raving mad
  • stupid
  • touched
  • unbalanced
  • unhinged
  • unreasonable
  • unsound
  • wacky
I’m listing these for your reference so you know what to call me when you learn that I, after another play session of Blue Force, still not only do not hate this game, but actively enjoy it.

Friday, 18 November 2022

BloodNet – Raindrops on Roses and Dragon Soul Boxes

It probably takes a cyborg with a neural implant to process all the data this game throws at you. While after about seven hours BloodNet is consistently entertaining, engaging and challenging my notes do get a bit out of hand. Bear with me as I’m trying to break it all down for the blog – it is a tough ride.

One thing that really dominated my third session was the realisation that some of the locations consisted of two or more screens linked by a small green triangle I had previously neglected to click on. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Missed Classic: Nord and Bert - The One Where I Flipped My Lid

Written by Joe Pranevich

Welcome back to Nord and Bert! This is a strange game: last time out, we defeated Jack Frost to rescue a mermaid and conquered agricultural idioms to save a family farm. That’s three episodes completed with five more to go before Punster is saved and I can move on to Plundered Hearts and Beyond Zork. I respect Infocom and Jeff O’Neill for choosing to do something different and the individual episodes help by letting us play in small chunks, but they are not quite the types of puzzles that I enjoy solving.

Before I get into it, let me admit upfront that this post was a rough six hours of idioms and idiocy. The two episodes, “Eat Your Words” and “Act the Part”, were more difficult for me than the previous ones and I needed to take hints to put them to bed. Fortunately, Nord and Bert features a first-of-its-kind hint system! If you want to know what kind of devilish idioms tripped me up, you’ll just have to read on for more.