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The Lost Vikings

Interplay 1993
Genre: Strategy, Action
Rating: 4.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

As I write this review/manual I assume you know nothing at all about the game. That's because anyone who has ever played The Lost Vikings will never forget it and won't need a manual or a review to get started again.

The Lost Vikings 2: Norse By Norsewest

Blizzard Entertainment 1995
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 6/6
Licence: Commercial
System: SNES

Initially, Lost Vikings 2 was released for the Super Nintendo in 1995. Sprite characters models were taken directly from the first part and only slightly improved. The idea of the game has not changed – we still need to combine the unique abilities of the characters to pass each level.

The Lurking Horror

Infocom 1987
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

It all started out as a completely normal day at G.U.E. Tech: Only one evening left to finish your assignment, and there's a snowstorm blazing outside. For the lack of an alternative, you defy the forces of nature and fight your way to the computer lab where you plan to finish the document you've already started writing. As usual, there's a lone hacker tapping away in a dark corner of the room. You open your document, but it's not quite what you expected - certainly not the draft of your paper. Even worse, no matter how hard you try, you can't even figure out what it is. Strange visions engulf you, and that's only the beginning of the horrifying adventure which will lead you into previously unknown caverns deep below the campus...

The Manager

Software 2000 1992
Genre: Sport, Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

The Manager is an excellent soccer simulation game that is unfortunately much less popular than Championship Manager, current champion of the genre. While Bundesliga Manager, the game's German league equivalent, sells very well in Europe and is being continually updated, this England league counterpart was discontinued years ago.

The Masterplan

Shark Punch 2015
Genre: Strategy, Puzzle, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

The early 1970s, the setting of the great heist films – a theme transformed into games only rarely so far. The Masterplan picks up the crumbs left behind by the few classics in this tiny, tiny genre and mixes it with some thematic cues from more recent industry developments.

The New Zealand Story

Taito 1988
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari ST

Every system of the 80s and early 90s had 'its' platformer. This immensely popular genre was especially liked by the companies because it was so easy to make those games! You didn't need any ground-breaking new ideas. The basics are always the same anyway: run from left to right (and sometimes up and down) and avoid your sprite is killed by the nasty monsters. To kill those, there were two general ways: shooting them (in whatever way) or jumping on their heads. Whoever came up with the latter must have smoked a bit too much of the wrong stuff! But for some reason, this concept stuck.

The Oregon Trail

The Learning Company 1988
Genre: Strategy, Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

You are bound to Oregon, a city of the west where you hope to start a new life. In the most boring way possible, just as this game is just about travelling, of the most boring and accident prone kind possible.

The Patrician

Ascon 1993
Genre: Strategy
Rating: -
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga
English version of Der Patrizier.

The Pawn

Magnetic Scrolls 1986
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Europe's answer to Infocom wasn't in fact all that similar to its american counterpart. Apart from the obvious facts of being founded a lot later and surviving longer, Magnetic Scrolls developed their games for a completely different market. While Infocom was still stuck with the inferior 'typewriters' ruling the US market (to this day), Magnetic Scrolls wrote their games for 'home computers' - with the European market in mind, where these machines were immensely popular. The Pawn, their first game, was developed for the Sinclair QL, a then brand new computer which turned out to be a very bad flop. The game was ported to the other new 16 bit machines: the Atari ST and the Amiga. These versions first showed how fresh Magnetic Scrolls' approach to the genre was: they featured a set of graphics showing the settings in stunning quality! The later ports to the ever-popular 8 bit platforms (C64, Sinclair Spectrum) had to live without these graphics again.

The Perfect General

White Wolf Productions 1991
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

The early 90s made the previously hardcore genre of hex-based wargames accessable to a much broader audience. The rules got simpler, the controls easier and the graphics less cryptic. The prime example of this trend is of course Battle Isle by Blue Byte. To a lesser extent, The Perfect General contributed there, too.

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