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Intelligent Systems / Nintendo 1989
Genre: Action
Rating: 3.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Game Boy

This is the summary of an analysis of Alleyway. The goal of the survey was to determine if this Game Boy launch title stands the test of time. The review process was the following: After an initial online research the game was tested thoroughly in its original environment and a simulation. Additionally a series of interviews and discussions was conducted with contemporary players. The collected data was examined which lead to a conclusion on the game’s merits and shortcomings.

Ball Raider

Diamond 1988
Genre: Action
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Not everybody is a game designer. Ball Raider is what happens when people who think they draw some 'mean' pictures, don't have that sort of insight. So you have some images ready, but there's still no game idea? The images don't even really form a coherent picture, because they're all over the cliché fields of Science Fiction and Fantasy? Well, just slap simple, but well-tested classic game concept on top. That always works, doesn't it?


William Rieder 1989
Genre: Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

William Rieder describes his creation Bananoid quite fittingly as a ‘wall-block-paddle-pill game’ with which he wanted to demonstrate that MCGA graphics work on DOS machines. And that is exactly what you get, nothing more and nothing less: A nice looking Breakout clone – or as the name already implies rather one of Arkanoid. To some this might be actual proof that back in the late 80ies the capabilities of PC graphics were underused and underestimated (most DOS games of that era where still stuck in EGA or even CGA mode), to others it plays like one of the hardest games of its kind.

Beyond Columns

Brad P. Taylor 1989
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

+++ Warning! Nostalgia Alert! The following review may contain – more than the usual – traces of idealisation and glorification. +++

Everything begins somewhere… This text started about three sentences ago, your current session in front of your computer right at the moment when you felt like diving into this brave new networked world. The idea to assemble some silicon, gold and other more or less common elements into circuitry, allowing them to busily move some 0s and 1s through virtual places, so the screen in front of you does not just gather some dust or mirror your friendly face, well this idea comes from somewhere around the middle of the last century. Of course the actual origins go back even further, but let us stay in the 20th century and with computers, or rather to be more precisely with first contacts thereof. From a strictly technical point of view, the game I am going to review today even qualifies as such: It is the first implementation of a Columns clone on an IBM Personal Computer.


P.Z.K. Co. Development Group 1989
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

On the one side of the ring you see the longtime fan of Tetris - on the other side you see the game claiming to be the next step in the evolution of Tetris. So... there you have me, the fan, and Blockout, the 3D-variant of Tetris. I won't go into the concept of Tetris now, just in case you have never heard of it, go to the review of Tetris and read up on it. While you're there you should also consider trying that one out first. If you like it, there's a chance you will like Blockout too, if you don't like it - well... it's pretty much guaranteed that you won't like Blockout either. This brings us back to the idea of the ring with the game on one side and me on the other. Playing this game means constant fighting - and that is with the controls of it. But I will get into that later on.


Philip Winterberg 2001
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

Blödtris - or Dumbtris as it's called if you install it in english version (the game can be installed in english or german) - is a game that can be sorted into the Tetris-category. Well... at least the name of it claims that sort of kinship. Now it's a bit difficult to write a proper review about it I have to admit. First of all - this game is not really... well... serious. The goal of it is the same as you have in Tetris - you have to build whole lines, they vanish, you get points and after a certain amount of points you go up one level, which means things go faster and so on and so forth.


Atari 1978
Genre: Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Atari 2600

Breakout… need I say more? Come on, folks, you all know this one! Designed as a single player version of Pong, it replaces the second paddle with a brick wall from which the ball simply bounces back to the player – destroying the brick which was hit in the process. Repeat until all bricks have been removed from the board. Following the success of the Arcade original, a port to Atari's own home console, which was still in its infancy at the time, was the logical next step. So how does this version fare?

Breakthru in 3D

Avalon Hill 1984
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64

Pong...the game that ate my nights :). Indeed, I had a hard time playing PONG, I even tried to make my own. Some years ago, after playing Elite, I was even more curious to see a Pong game in 3D. After playing Doom, I thought at a first-person Pong.

Bricks 2000

bricks200001.png 2000
Genre: Puzzle, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Freeware
System: PC

I had to notice that The Good Old Days do not feature a single Tetris-game. So I went and asked Mr Creosote if there was any reason for it, suspecting he might have some sort of hidden hatred for that game or something like that. But well no, no real reason - just doesn't seem to be his genre. It's mine though. Those very very few of you who remember my own old site The Keep might also remember I had a good number of Tetris-clones up there. So I thought which of those might be the best to be THE Tetris-game up here. I'm not saying there won't be any of the other ones around here anytime, but one has to be the first.


Anssi Räisänen 2001
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

It's every player's nightmare: An aspiring IF author (to make matters worse, one who is related to you) asks you to beta test his game. This can be fun, but if the game is really, really bad and if you can't really tell that to the person in question, things get ugly. Bugged is about you playing your cousin's first attempt at writing a game, and not only is it a completely linear set of boring rooms, located in a castle of a bog-standard fantasy kingdom, but pretty much everything imaginable went wrong technically - the game is bugged to the extreme. Most of the puzzle solutions don't work as expected and imagined by the author. So you have to find ways around those bugs. I.e. you exploit other bugs in order to progress.

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