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Murder on the Mississippi: The Adventures of Sir Charles Foxworth

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Activision 1986
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

Famous detective Sir Charles Foxworth is taking a holiday on the Mississippi with his servant Regis. He's just taking a stroll around the upper deck of the ship when he discovers an open cabin door. Behind it: a dead man. As it turns out, the body of Raleigh Cartwright III. Sir Charles has three days to find the murderer, because then, the ship will reach New Orleans, giving the culprit a safe chance to escape.


Murder on the Zinderneuf

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Free Fall Associates / Electronic Arts 1983
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 400/800

A murder mystery works very well in confined space, because it tickles the audience in a very special way – it appears 'solvable' as all the information seems to be at hand. Agatha Christie knew it when she wrote the quintessential Murder on the Orient Express and similar setups have appeared many times in the genre since then. One issue with the classic train setup is the 'confined space' aspect: A train can usually stop at any time, at the next station or outsiders can enter it. That is why Orient Express has it stuck in a snow storm in the middle of nowhere. No special events are necessary for aircrafts flying over one of the oceans in order for them to be inaccessible, making them probably even better suited for this setup. The Zinderneuf is a Zeppelin – extremely convenient due to its long travel time over the Atlantic! The airship is almost halfway on the way from London to New York when a murder occurs. The player, a detective, has got 15 suspects and 12 hours remaining until arrival.


Myst

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clickBOOM / PXL Computers 1997
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

The best selling game of all time… well, actually, I'm not sure this is true anymore, with the market having exploded since the mid-1990s. At least it used to be. One of the killer applications which didn't just sell itself, but also the CD-ROM drives necessary to run it. A game I held a huge grudge against for two decades. Because its huge commercial success killed the Adventure genre I loved. Now I replayed it again. Water under the bridge?


Mystic Towers

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Apogee 1994
Genre: Puzzle, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Shareware
System: PC

The Baron Baldric goes to the puzzle and trap filled lazarine towers of his wizard ancestors in a mission for clearing them of monsters in this isometric adventure.

Each time you go inside one of them the doors will close, and remain so until you have killed all the creatures and destroyed the monster generator, located always in the third and middle tower level, to avoid more of them from appearing. Only then you will get the main gate key and advance to the next tower.


Myth: History in the Making

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System 3 Software Ltd 1989
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: ZX Spectrum

A magical journey through time would be the theme of this yet another great game, and particularly its ZX-Spectrum version. You, a brave lad with adventurous spirit embark on a mission to fly back in time and change the course of history which was maliciously altered by an entity called Dameron, solve all the puzzles, defeat the dark gods, who prevailed with help of Dameron in the alternative past, and finally face the demon himself in a vicious battle, which must ultimately determine the fate of mankind and the entire Universe!


Nascar Racing

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Papyrus 1994
Genre: Sport, Simulation
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

With this game and Indycar Racing Papyrus covered the two most popular American racing series which see up to today frequently appearing new versions (NASCAR 4 being the latest).

Nascars are very simplistic yet powerful stock cars which run mostly on ovals. Although not as fast as Indycars they are quite sturdy and durable and this is absolutely necessary because NASCAR races are endurance races which can last up to 3 hours pure racing time and more.


NBA Jam

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Acclaim 1993
Genre: Sport, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: SNES

Many sports games are usually followed by at least yearly but unimproved sequels (like FIFA or NHL). NBA Jam is the first part of such a series, so I chose this one for the sake of originality.

NBA Jam simulates (you guessed it, did you?) ghetto sport #1: basketball. To make things clearer the teams are reduced to 2 players, so it's more like streetball than basketball. You can choose from the original NBA-teams, represented by their best (= best known) 2 men. Up to 4 human players can compete simultaneously. In solo games the computer takes control of your partner, but you can still request him passing or throwing. You can also select to always control the player who has the ball or to team up with a friend. Difficulty level and length of a game can be set as well.


Nebulus

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Hewson 1987
Genre: Puzzle, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Nebulus is one of the most addictive puzzle arcades I have ever played. First encountered on my Spectrum, the game has followed me ever since, and still graces my hard drive. Created by the same people who released the hellish Impossaball, Hewson, the game is a little simpler, but even more addictive.


Nemac IV

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ZenTek 1996
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga
It had to happen some day. Nemac IV did the impossible, after a lot of explicit disappointments and mediocre games, it finally is an Amiga 3D shooter which is good! Far from perfect, true. Limited in many respects, true. But what it does, it does right.

Nether Earth

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Argus 1987
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: ZX Spectrum

Real-time strategies are one of the most popular genres these days, thanks to the addictive combination of resource gathering, unit building and tactical combat. However, very few people know that the beginnings of RTS gaming lie with the Spectrum. You may have heard of Herzog Zwei, a Sega Genesis game, which all Dune 2 bashers use with great pleasure to point out that the "first" RTS was not Dune 2. Herzog Zwei hit the shelves in 1989, three years before Dune 2. However, what most people don't know is that the first true RTS game came two years earlier, in 1987, on Spectrum. Its name was Nether Earth (a quick note: The Ancient Art of War by the Murry brothers was released in 1984, but while it featured real-time tactical combat, it lacked all the other aspects of RTS gaming).



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