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Epic: The Adventure Begins

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Digital Image Design / Ocean 1992
Genre: Simulation, Action
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Epic – announced and hailed as a Wing Commander killer… and at release, it was actually well-received by most of the mainstream press. Apart from a couple of minor voices spoiling the party. In spite of a well-known development team which had already been responsible for the well received F29 Retaliator and would go on to universally lauded simulations such as TFX. What went wrong with this one?


Erben der Erde – Die große Suche

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Dreamer's Guild / New World Computing / Softgold 1995
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga
The fable genre somehow always feels old-fashioned and preachy. Not the best foundation to build a modern-day game on, one may think. Though according to someone at Wikipedia, Inherit the Earth at least appealed to a specifically weird audience with this approach. Let's try to put attraction or revulsion towards anthropomorphic animals aside for the sake of this review.

Eric and the Floaters

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Hudson Soft 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: MSX

Having problems with floaters? Not to worry! Eric is in the house and that means floaters will have to go! We provide our customers with best service and free insurance against partial damage or complete loss of property if incurred. Don't wait any longer, call now: 1-800-GET-BOMBED! Wondering what the original Bomberman game was? You are now beholding it! Though, only the japanese release happens to bear the familiar title and I personally played the european version which accounts for the currently chosen name.


Eric the Unready

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Legend Entertainment 1991
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

The story is not very original: As a idiotic knight on the king's court, you have to rescue the kidnapped princess. We had that several times before, as well as comedy.
Eric the Unready is more based on allusions to classics of film and gaming than on an intriguing plot. Serious things (Star Trek) are used as well as other satires are quoted (Monkey Island) or carried on (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) without envy. Of course, that is sometimes done better and sometimes worse. The recognition is high is any case. You will notice the most (and in my opinion best) humor only if you step aside from the normal solution. You can try every silly action you want, the game will recognize almost everything and comment it.


Escape From Santaland

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Jason Ermer 2011
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

Publishing a Christmas-themed game in early October? Strange choice for sure, but then, the supermarkets are already full of chocolate Santa Clauses, gingerbread and stollen. I'm always wondering who is buying this stuff at this time of the year. On the one hand, sure, why not? But the inevitable effect is that you will be fed up with all this ultra-sweet stuff by the time Christmas actually comes along. But I disgress.


Escape from Summerland

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Joey Jones / Melvin Randasamy 2012
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

One major problem with the Annual IF Competition is frustration or at least a general disinterest setting in after playing through dozens of games. So it happened that I did not like Escape from Summerland at all initially: Why is this game on rails, forcing me to go into specific directions when others are mentioned as well? If I can't go anywhere else, just teleport me there! What the fuck are these stupid smileys doing there after every parser message? This is going to be bad! That's what I thought… until I understood what the game was actually doing: It was giving me an extremely helpful introduction to what the game would be about! The railroaded movement showed me the steps which I would have to retrace (in reverse order) later on in order to escape. The seemingly stupid parser responses after the first perspective switch characterised the second playable protagonist in a way that her relevant abilities would become clear immediately. In retrospect, I have only praise for this introduction to the game. Here it is: The example of non-interactive interactivity used for a good purpose!


Esheep

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God's Pet Lama Corp. 1998
Genre: Simulation
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

The sheep... fluffy, white fellow - usually found anywhere near tasty grass. Its distant relative the electronic sheep - or esheep as it's referred to most of the time - on the other hand is usually found in a slightly different environment: Windows operating systems. Also keeping one of these is a lot less expensive and timeconsuming than herding real sheep. So if you ever thought about getting yourself a sheep and didn't because of these downpoints here is your chance to make a big change in your life: Get yourself an electronic pet, get yourself an esheep!


Eternam

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Infogrames 1992
Genre: Adventure, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Planet Eternam, year 2815. You've been looking forward to this holiday for a very long time now. This huge fun park is famous for bringing past times alive as if it was real! And it's expensive enough. You've decided this should be the holiday of your lifetime. And it will be! Only in a slightly different way than you planned maybe...


European Soccer Challenge

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Software Sorcery / Smash 16 1990
Genre: Action, Sport
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga
This is one of those games which illustrate how much the world has changed in the last 30 years. How much people and their habits have changed. I got European Soccer Challenge as a gift. There were two ways it could go with gift-givers of an older generation when it came to computer games. First, clearly preferred by the potential recipients, they could be asked for a wish list. Second, something would just be bought. Based on… game theme and cover presumably. So me and my brothers found ourselves the lucky owners of a copy of this game.

EVO - The search for Eden

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Enix 1993
Genre: Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: SNES

ENIX-Always a company that was willing to make games that were...well, non-standard. Not that that's a bad thing. Certainly not in this case. EVO is one of those one-of-a-kind games that are fun to play, hard to categorize. And yes, I may be biased because biologists generally like tinkering with animals :)



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