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Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express

Orient01.jpg
AWE Productions / The Adventure Company 2006
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC
Poor Hercule Poirot. Not only is he always mistaken for a Frenchman, but in the collective mind of popculture, he will always remain second choice after Sherlock Holmes. It may actually be deserved, seeing that he was indeed created as a Holmes-imitation (or homage?). Then again, after appearing in so many popular stories, you could think he should have emancipated himself by now. Talking about popular stories, Murder on the Orient Express arguably is his signature investigation. The confined setting of the stranded train on which a murder occurs and the following interview marathon can be seen as seminal motifs of the classic mystery genre as a whole. It is also incredibly hard to transform this into an entertaining game.

Air Support

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Psygnosis 1992
Genre: Action, Strategy
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

[Mr Creosote] In 1992, the game genres as we still know them today had been pretty much settled already. While in the previous decade, experiments had still been welcomed fairly warmly, professional reviewers, many of whom were employed as 'specialists' for a certain genre, were not as sympathetic anymore when Air Support was released.


Airline

airline_000.png
Falken Software 1991
Genre: Strategy, Simulation
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Airline is a nice German business simulation where you try to build up and expand your airline worldwide. At the start you can either decide if you want to start a new company, expand an existing one or wish to bring an unprofitable airline back on the winning track.


Akalabeth

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Richard Garriot 1980
Genre: RPG
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Even after the evil has been vanquished, there are still many foul creatures plaguing the land. It is your task to get rid of them. This rather unusual premise is the basis for the first roleplaying game ever. Selling only eight copies, it wasn't a commercial success either, but is spawned one of the most successful computer RPG franchises ever.


Albion

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Blue Byte 1996
Genre: RPG
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Today is the great day, today the Toronto arrives at its goal, a mineral rich planet where to start a colossal mining operation finishing a multimillionaire travel. Everything looks great, until an accident during leaves the exploration crew stranded on the deserted lifeless planet, to discover that it isn't a desert, and much less lifeless.


Alien Bash II

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Glen Cumming / Myles Jeffery 1995
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Amiga

The home computer era had a shitload of free games which, as spyware had basically not been invented yet, came with no strings attached. Most of it was rather unspectacular and not particularly worth playing. Case in point: the first Alien Bash, an ok, but unremarkable shooter set on the decks of an alien spaceship. Instead of Alien Breed, Alien Bash II now takes its cues from Chaos Engine.


Alien Breed

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Team 17 1991
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga
Two pilots encounter a space station where something's fishy. It has been overrun by aliens. Heroic as they are, they decide to clean the place out. No questions asked. It is the first encounter with a sentient otherworldly lifeform, after all. So what other option is there but to shoot? Right, thought so.

Alien Breed

alien_000.png
AVM / Team 17 1993
Genre: Action
Rating: -
Licence: Commercial
System: PC
Ported by a third-party, in spite of the title, this is actually not the original Alien Breed (which doesn't exist on the IBM PC), but rather the '92 Special Edition. The extra year it took certainly must be due to the inclusion of the new sprite graphic coming from Alien Breed 2.

Alien Breed 3D

breed3d01.png
Team 17 1995
Genre: Action
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga
After four parts, Alien Breed enters the fabled third dimension. In the mid 1990s, it was about time. Though Alien Breed 3D can't claim the (questionable per se) title of being the first Doom clone for itself. A genre which I just can't get the hang of in general. So why am I judging this game anyway? Well, first of all, I have just fought my way through all the previous Alien Breed games, and second, nobody else did it so far…

Alien Breed 3D II: The Killing Grounds

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Team 17 / Ocean 1996
Genre: Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga
This one's a tough game to review. If you've already seen screenshots somewhere on the Internet, you'll probably be amazed by the huge quality jump from the first part up to this one. And graphics (and, of course, their effect on gameplay) were my main complaint there, weren't they? So everything should be fine this time around, shouldn't it? If only things were so easy.


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