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Railroad Tycoon Deluxe

Microprose 1993
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

In 1993, Microprose decided to re-release some of their earlier hits as so-called Deluxe editions. Railroad Tycoon, not an old game by any standards at that point, was one to receive such a treatment. As expected, it is almost exclusively a graphical upgrade, and not even a particularly attractive one; although the screen resolution is increased, apart from a couple of digitized photos at special events, the main art is not actually qualitatively improved. The other main change is the inclusion of three new scenarios: North America (in its entirety), South Africa and South America. The latter two being particularly hard scenarios. They come at the expense of the England scenario which does not appear anymore.

Sim City

Maxis / Infogrames 1991
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

A game which needs no introduction, because every single person on this planet has already played it or at least one of the hundreds of sequels and offshoots it spawned. This is the original game which started the 'Sim' craze. Ironically, it actually isn't a simulation game, but virtually the epitome of the non-war strategy genre, but its influence can be seen even today when people call pure strategy games 'simulations'.

Sim City 2000

Maxis 1994
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Sim City - father of the whole sandbox genre, i.e. games in which the player just builds something without a final goal. In this case, you build up a city from the perspective of a mayor. That means, apart from a few central functional buildings (e.g. power plants) and roads, you don't actually build anything yourself. Industry, residential and commercial zones can only be declared and depending on several factors, they'll be used or not.

Sim Tower: The Vertical Empire

Maxis Software Inc. 1994
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Build and manage all the complex, interconnected operations of a modern skyscraper.

You are the owner and the general manager of your building, which you create from nothing, shaping and sculpting it by adding offices here, coffee shops there, until it's a teeming edifice of commerce and intrigue. The challenges of SimTower grow with each storey you add on: Each of your Simtenants, be they office workers, residents, or shoppers at your stores, has places to go, and their time is not something they waste calmly.

Software Manager

Kaiko 1994
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

As probably many others of his kind, an ardent computer gamer dreams of a career in the gaming industry – and attempts to make this dream come true. That player is the player of Software Manager. Confused yet?

Space Job

Karstadt AG 1993
Genre: Action, Puzzle, Strategy
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Life simulation games have a special charm: On the one hand you go through your motions from day to day, on the other hand you want to escape it by having a go at the motions of someone else. So, you kind of ask yourself what it would be like to replace your daily routine with a more exciting one from somebody else. And that is the crucial point of the genre: Is the virtual life different enough to entertain you? Has it got enough distractions to offer, at least for a short while? For Space Jobs the answer is clearly no. Because although shows signs of some promising attempts, they get lost in a maze of advertisements, half-done ideas and programming bugs.

Space Rogue

Gryphon Software / Origin 1989
Genre: Simulation, RPG
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Space Rogue is an odd mix of a space shooter, adventure and role-playing. While many people tend to call this an RPG game, the fact is that it's got very little to do with the basics of role-playing - character development. More important than this ongoing debate, however, is the fact that Space Rogue is one of the first games that used vector graphics, took advantage of the superiority of IBM computers and offered countless hours of fun. The game is timeless; even today it will suck you right in.

Space Taxi

Muse 1984
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

It’s 1984. USA and the USSR race each other to space. Arcades are plagued with games about starships, aliens, and space exploration. So the moment you booted Space Taxi on a Commodore 64, the brand new computer released just two years earlier, and saw the loading screen with an ordinary yellow cab with landing pads, you knew you were up to have some real fun with this tongue-in-cheek action/puzzle game by Muse.

Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe

Bitmap Brothers 1990
Genre: Sport
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari ST

The successor to the best sports game of the 80s (see the Amiga section for the first part) - published on the Atari first! A few years after Speedball 1. Corruption and violence have driven the sport underground. At least that is what the intro says. There's not really much more violence, but at least the corruption has obviously been eliminated (no bribing the officials anymore ;). Anyway, you're the manager of a team called 'Brutal Deluxe' (what a sound name!) which is a member of the second league. And now guess what you have to do...


Binary Systems / Electronic Arts 1987
Genre: RPG
Rating: 6/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Only a few centuries ago, the humans have discovered space travel. They build a space station orbiting their home planet, Arth, and send out ships to scour the known universe for habitable planets. No, it wasn't a typo; the humans are convinced that their home planet is called Arth. What they don't know is that due to the rogue Crystal Planet, which has the capability to destroy a whole solar system, all races in the galaxy are in a permanent state of exodus, and during one such exodus the Earth and most of its colonies were destroyed, plunging the backward world of Arth into a dark age. Times change, and Arth is now as advanced as the Earth ever was, if not even more so. However, recently the star your planet is orbiting has destabilized, and ships that were sent out to find another habitable planet disappeared. You are a freshly commissioned captain of a small ship, with only one goal in mind: making money. Since your world needs you, though, you agree to do some exploration on the side as well. You'll soon run into questions you don't have answers for. Who are the Ancients? What is the Crystal Planet and how to stop it? Why did other races flee and why are some of them trying to wipe the humans out? All those and more questions are just the beginning of a story that offers up to 100 hours of gameplay that spans over 800 planets.

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