Friday 30 December 2016

Missed Classic: Geisha - Won! (With Final Rating)

By Ilmari

Eye candy for lovers of female anatomy - scantily clad people
Eye candy for lovers of male anatomy - a metallic phallus

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Missed Classic: Geisha - The Broad Way of Pleasure

By Ilmari

Where I stopped last time

Story so far was that Eva, the fiancee of the hero, was kidnapped by men that were supposedly members of Yakusa. A new plot twist turns everything around. Mr. O who might help me, is actually the leader of Yakusa. The real villain of the story is Napadami, famous scientist, who has created gynoids, which are in principle female sexbots. Napadami had once kidnapped geisha loved by Mr. O and used her exceptional beauty to power up his machines. The geisha died of repeated orgasms, and the same fate awaits Eva, if I don’t get to Napadami’s gynoid brothel Shato, which is located on a nearby island.

I am starting to feel a bit of a headache...

 “Youthful looks”, said the manual. If he is youthful, I need not worry about my age

Monday 26 December 2016

Saturday 24 December 2016

Missed Classic 32: Crisis At Christmas (1986)

Written by Joe Pranevich

Merry Christmas! Time flies when we’re playing great games and it’s already time for another Christmas special. In previous years, we looked at two holiday “classics” from 1984: Merry Christmas from Melbourne House and A Spell of Christmas Ice. This year, we have a new holiday treat to share with you: 1986’s Crisis at Christmas, a text adventure for the ZX Spectrum. Our Christmas games so far have been a mixed bag: Melbourne House’s offering was not much more than an early form of adware while Christmas Ice didn’t even get its title on its packaging. Will we finally break the mold with a good game? Before we can find out, I need to introduce some players first: Tom Frost, Tartan Software, and “type-in” code magazines.

The first surprise as I researched this game was that “Tom Frost” was not a holiday-themed pseudonym but rather a real-life gamer and game designer from Montrose, Scotland who tried his hand at nearly every aspect of our industry. By 1984, he was reviewing games for Micro Adventure magazine, had won a £400 prize (and the title “Britain’s Best Adventurer”) by being the first person to verifiably complete Incentive Software’s “Ket Trilogy”, was starting up his own mail-order software business, and won second place in the “Cambridge Awards”, a contest sponsored by CASES Computer Simulations (CCS). The latter also netted him a distribution deal for his submission, a World War II adventure titled 1942 Mission. To make this all more impressive, Mr. Frost did all of this in his spare time. In his “real life”, he was a 49-year old “quality control chemist” for a nearby lab. He was a man of many talents!

Thursday 22 December 2016

Gateway - Early Missions

Written by Reiko

Broadhead Journal #3: "I got lucky so far. I stepped on a planet that no human has ever visited before, and I didn't die. Dare I hope I will be as lucky next time? I haven't earned nearly enough to get out of here yet. The Orion Program is my only hope, so I'd better go on at least one more mission. Otherwise, will I be stuck here forever like Thom and Nubar?"

I can't sleep until 12:30 in the morning (it's all so exciting, right?), but after sleeping, I gather up my things and go straight to the hangar. I show my blue badge to the agent, who finds a ship that's ready and programs in my codes. I close the hatch, look around the ship a little, then sit down and take a look at the control panel.

Is there any food on this ship? What if I get stuck?

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Bargon Attack - The Kessel Run

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Bob journal #3 : “It’s beginning to make less and less sense! After what I can only assume was a trip to Bargon itself, I’m back in Paris. Under Paris, actually, in a world of smugglers, stolen pieces of art and talking statues… I’m getting closer and closer of this dreadful cult and its alien pals, though. Bargonians, here I come!”

After a week of weeping silently in the sewers after spending three hours trying to pass this stupid wall, I’m ready to resume my adventure! We left Bob under the streets of Paris last time, in what can only be the cult headquarters… As we’ll soon see, the sewers are no less a deadly place than the surface of Bargon. Let’s get sleuthing!

Skulls, grates, torches, bars, chains… we’re one pool-dancer away from a bar I know.

Sunday 18 December 2016

History of Adventure 2: Interactive Fiction with Graphics (1980)

By the TAG Team

Notable Titles: Mystery House, Transylvania, Hobbit, Wizard and Princess, Pawn, Fish!, Spellcasting, Gateway, The Portopia Serial Murder Case, Muv-Luv, The PK Girl

Notable Creators and Companies: Sierra (Roberta Williams etc.), Penguin Software (Antonio Antiochia), Melbourne House (Veronika Megler, Philip Mitchell), Magnetic Scrolls (Rob Steggles, Hugh Steers, John Molloy, Phil South, etc.), Legend Entertainment (Bob Bates, Steve Meretzky, Glen Dahlgren, Mike Verdu etc.), Enix (Yuji Horii)

It's been a while since our last installment on History of Adventure, but we didn't want to just forget this idea, so let's get started! While adventure games in 1970s were all text-based, excluding some quaint ASCII-drawings, since 1980 it became a trend to include simple graphics to help get a gamer in the mood (Mystery House, Transylvania and The Hobbit are early examples of this trend). In some cases graphics served no other purpose but to enhance the gaming experience - a notable example includes graphical revampings of Scott Adams’s older text adventures.

We could do without the picture of this Dracula wannabe, but it sure is evocative

Friday 16 December 2016

Gateway - New Fish

Written by Reiko

Broadhead Journal #2: "Why is everyone calling me 'new fish'? Do I look like a Pisces? It wasn’t just Thom, practically everyone I met said that. Anyway, tomorrow I'll ship out and try to make my fortune. The odds aren't good, but what have I got to lose? Even if I have to stay here a while, I guess it's not all bad. There's a cute receptionist at the office, even if she acts uninterested."

We're exploring Gateway because I don't need to meet Thom at the bar until later. I go north from the central intersection to find the dropshaft, which confirms that I started on Level Dog. Up leads to Level Babe, which nothing has mentioned yet, so I'll leave that for later, and go back down past Level Dog to Level Tanya. I can't help thinking there must be a whole lot of unimportant levels in between Dog and Tanya, because otherwise, those names are awfully random if they aren't more memorable names for sequentially letter-coded levels.

That's got to be a Chekhov's gun...

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Missed Classic: Legend of Djel - Won! (With Final Rating)

By Ilmari

Happened so far: Djel the Magician has to prove himself to people of the Kingdom of Ashes by solving three plights caused by three magicians from the neighboring countries. He has already dealt with an infertility problem by finding his beloved who happens to be also a daughter of Azeulisse, a ruler of a nearby kingdom. Now his has to just cure the magician Theros, thus ending a plague that has destroyed almost everyone in the Kingdom of Ashes, and to find gold for pauper Kal, who is using the hunger-induced raids of his subjects as a way to blackmail Djel.

Last time I had just received a statue from magician Theros (and Kal had taken back the one he gave me), so I begun by visiting Theros.

I really wonder where all these wizards sleep.

Monday 12 December 2016

Bargon Attack - Gargoyle’s Quest

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Bob journal #2 : “Ok, so maybe we’re in the suburbs? I don’t really go there a lot, so maybe it’s what it really looks like. I’m a bit surprised to find head-eating monsters though. Or quicksand. Or a killer sun… well I’m pretty sure that’s because of that global warming everyone is talking about… now where did this guy go? And what is this sound in the distance? It looks suspiciously like a giant crab to me…”

So last week we have made a lot of progress in an hour of playtime. Everything was coming pretty easily. This game was going to be a breeze… Even the giant crab I remembered from my youth was dead before it knew it. That when it dawned on me : the wall I hit when I first played this game was not the crab, but a few screens after that. A wall actually. A stubborn, solid, stupid wall. But first things first, we were on an alien planet last time. Let’s explore!

“Miles from nowhere”? That’s one heck of an understatement.

Saturday 10 December 2016

Gateway - Data Overload

Written by Reiko

Broadhead Journal #1: "I've made it to the station, finally. What a crappy place this is. Beats anything I could be doing on Earth, though. Here I can get away from it all and go somewhere totally new. Sure, it's dangerous, but what isn't, these days? Man, that Thom guy has a weird sense of humor. Does he actually expect me to read all this stuff in the data device?"

Home sweet home!

After the background intro, we're dropped into our quarters, very much as if we've just stepped off a transport. It's noon, and each action advances the clock by a minute. Time to get our bearings and learn where to go. But first, the commset is blinking. Who's messaged me?

I pick up the debit card from the desk [2 points] and take a look at it. "Account status information can be accessed through your PV Commset. All amounts are in U.S. Dollars." I examine the commset and find that it has a screen and a card slot, so I put the card in the slot. This shifts the display to a graphical representation of the commset, with a numerical menu. This could have been done in text, but it's a much nicer interface this way.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Star Trek - Won! (Sort Of) and Final Rating

Written by Joe Pranevich

Last time, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary went out not with a bang but with a whimper as I was unable to defeat the “final boss” of the game in epic ship to ship combat. TBD took a crack at it too, documenting the expanded version of the “Vengeance” storyline, but also failed to win. This would be a sour note to go out on, but we have one final trick up our sleeve: Fry has managed to beat the game and tell us how it was done. It’s teamwork!

After his brief look at the ending, I’ll jump into the final review.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Bargon Attack - Paris Is Burning

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Bob journal #1 : “This is official, aliens are invading Earth! They’re going through our computers and our video games to get in our minds! And who are those weird cultists all around Paris? It’s time to investigate! Maybe the guys at the micro club will be of some help to me…”

Here we go in our first discovery of gaming in Paris. As soon as the weird intro is played out, you’re put in the very noisy shoes of Bob who is apparently going out of the “Théatre des égorgeurs” which could be translated as “Cutthroat Theatre”.


Sunday 4 December 2016

Missed Classic 31: Legend of Djel (1989) - Introduction

By Ilmari

While Joe is busy completing Zork 1, let's get a step further in our history of early Coktel Vision games - what did they do before games like Bargon Attack? Doing a quick summary of games that have been covered so far, Mewilo was an unknown classic, Freedom was barely an adventure game, Operation Getafix was too small and simple, and Emmanuelle… well, I guess we all remember what Emmanuelle was like. With a track record like this, it is hard to know what to expect from the next game designed by Muriel Tramis.

There’s magic! And dragons! And obligatory eye candy with ridiculous clothing!

Friday 2 December 2016

Star Trek - Extended Vengeance

Written by TBD

No, not THAT extended Vengeance

When I decided to play the CD-ROM version of the final mission of Star Trek 25th Anniversary, I knew it was extended due to complaints about the original version's short length, but I had no idea just how extended it was.

When Joe played the floppy version the only 'puzzle' he needed to solve was brilliantly deducing that using Doctor McCoy's medical equipment on the dying woman might be useful. The extended version gives us multiple puzzles, so let's see what happens between watching a Starfleet officer die and meeting the man who wants to kill us in a ship battle...

In the extended version, we don't immediately beam back to the ship after the woman dies. We can't even if we want to. Calling the Enterprise just has Uhura telling us that they're still tracking the distress call.

But we have other locations to explore. We don't even need to go to sickbay first. When we leave the bridge we are presented with a map of the ship.