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Jet Set Willy

Software Projects 1984
Genre: Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: ZX Spectrum

Jet Set Willy was the follow-up to the very successful platform game Manic Miner and, like its predecessor, it was written by Matthew Smith, a very young programmer with a wild imagination, of whom great things were expected. That's not exactly the way it turned out, but more on that later.

John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles

Legend Entertainment 1998
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Yet another book gets the Legend treatment: Founder Bob Bates himself attempts to bring the somewhat entertaining Blackstone Chronicles series of short stories to life. Instead of making the original stories into playable episodes, the game's story begins a few years afterwards: Although Oliver Metcalf has fought off the his dead father's influence over him, Malcolm's ghost / spirit is still there. In a devious scheme, he has kidnapped Oliver's wife and child in order to lure Oliver back into the abandoned asylum. Though, as in the written stories, the real question is, of course, whether it's Oliver, the protagonist himself, who is causing all this in his schizophrenic seizures.


Phoenics C.R. / Software 2000 1993
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Jonathan is a university student who still lives with his parents. The reason being that ever since an accident 11 years ago, he's been confined to a wheelchair. What he lacks in physical attributes, he makes up for with psychic powers: He's got minor telekinetic and clairvoyant abilities (which he doesn't really like to use) and he is the head of a clique of friends who, in their free time, like to solve mysteries. Their latest one: Jonathan has had nightmares hinting at an approaching evil and a magic book and a ring will play some role in preventing all of this.

JONES in the Fast Lane

Sierra On-Line 1990
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 6/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Just like many other Sierra games, JONES in the Fast Lane was developed with the Sierra Creative Interpreter. Nevertheless, it is not an Adventure game. In retrospect, you could say it is a kind of turn-based 'The Sims breaking out'.


Atari 1983
Genre: Action
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600, Arcade, Atari ST

Grab your lance, mount your flying ostrich and… joust! Detailed graphics, great animations and a decent simulation of inertia – that was Joust in the arcades. On the Atari 2600, it is… not quite that. More of a reminder how far that system still was from providing an actual arcade experience at home than a fun game on its own right. Gone are the detailed player and enemy sprites; they have been replaced by flat, single-coloured blobs all of which look exactly identical (in the original, the enemies would be riding buzzards) – and the 'unbeatable?' pterodactyl is virtually unrecognisable as such an animal at all. Appropriately, simple two-state animations are used. Might be bearable if at least the gameplay had remained intact.

Judge Dredd

Acclaim 1996
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

In the remote advanced morrow things are as usual out of hand. Mega City One is engulfed in corruption, violence and mayhem. The streets are potentially unsafe and menacing for innocent law-abiding citizens (are there any left really?). The police can no longer suppress the overwhelming crime wave, and so a new institution is created combining the remaining police officers and the forensic authorities into a solid law enforcement organization whose members are simply called The Judges. You are Judge Dredd, the roughest toughest kid on the block authorized to promptly arrest or execute perpetrators on sight. Your job is to serve the law, keep the city clean and abolish crime one way or the other.

Jungle Strike

Ocean 1995
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Again the free world needs you and your american technology. The Arabic madman's son joined forces with a South American druglord and you are sent to the jungle where his plans must be reduced to smoking ruins with your helpful Comanche, and a bunch of new vehicles.

Kampf um Trubelland

TriNeT Computer GmbH / Informationskreis Kernenergie 1996
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 0/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

The seemingly everlasting topic of atomic energy has just started being discussed again in Germany... a good reason to examine this slightly dated, but nevertheless deeply meaningful and highly objective educational game by the lobby itself. Of course, being completely impartial and only having the best for mankind in mind, only the pure facts are presented in this vision of a future without atomic energy.


Mastertronic 1986
Genre: Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Plus/4

The myth of the 'wild west' is full of hero figures, usually referred to as 'lone rangers'. All alone they fight all kind of evil (bankrobbers and of course Indians), always with a hand on their gun. That's the true American dream: riding through the prairies, spreading 'true justice'.

Karamalz Cup

Art Department 1993
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Amiga

Karamalz is a brand of Malzbier, so what we have here is a promotial game. Promotial games are mostly simple versions of classic arcade games or short Adventures. This one sticks out from the crowd by being a sports game. It's a surprisingly complex ice hockey simulation!

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