Ancient Empires is game by a company named “The Learning Company”. It’s also an educational platformer game. This does not bode well. There is a redeeming quality however: the educational parts are fairly light, there’s definitely a game to be found inside it. A somewhat mediocre platform/logic game, that’s true, but it’s still a game. Ancient Empires was published in 1990. The game is mainly about ancient empires. Who would have guessed.
I need points for that Humble Indie Bundle, quickly. Also Steam holiday sale… Argh.
The female version of Alter Ego is very much like the male version. The two versions differ only in text, with about three-quarters of the events unchanged or only changed slightly. That leaves a bunch of new content though, ready to be discovered… But because I don’t want to spoil everything, this might be a somewhat short review.
Alternate Reality: The City is a 1985 RPG game by Philip Price and published by Datasoft. The game is the first in a planned series of games under the Alternate Reality name, however, only two were released: The City and The Dungeon.
Alter Ego is a 1986 life simulation game by Activison, designed by psychology Ph.D. Peter Favaro. The game gives you the opportunity to play your (or your alter ego’s) life from being born to dying, making decisions along the way that might or might not have impact on your subsequent life. It’s a bit comparable to the Sims, really, but stripped of the emergent behavior and boiled down to resolving interesting situations. It’s all text-based, too, so expect to read a lot.
Altered Destiny is an adventure game by Accolade. It was released in 1990, so we have to see this in context: this was between Space Quest 3 and 4 on the Sierra side, and Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island on the LucasArts side. I think we might say that this game was released at pretty much the absolute peak of the graphical adventure games. The control scheme incorporates a mouse in the “click here to walk here” function, but all other interaction is still text-based. Coupled with the fact that it’s often easier and more precise to use the keyboard to walk around, I wouldn’t want to call this game a point-and-click adventure game yet. Just a graphical adventure game.
A confession. I don’t particularly like beat ’em ups. The only way I can see myself playing one is if it would conform to somewhat modern standards: look and play fluid, be visceral, be challenging yet not frustrating. Well, I’m not sure I would like it that way, I never played a brawler that suits my tastes (but if you have suggestions the comments are all yours). Altered Beast doesn’t have any of these qualities, sadly, and thus isn’t really my favorite game. Sorry Sega, who published this game for DOS in 1990, porting it from their 1988 arcade game!
Ah, Alley Cat. A classic in the collective memory. Many people remember this game, and it was also one of my early favorites. What’s not to like about the life of an alley tomcat, jumping on garbage bins, sneaking into houses to eat birds, fish and dog food, and trying to find a mate? We play the heroes we want to be. Forget Duke Nukem, Commander Shepard or Lara Croft. I want to be an alley cat. Alley Cat is a game by Bill Williams and published for PC in 1984 by IBM.
Another one of those games with “Alien” at the start of the title. Yay. Let’s see… Alien Syndrome is the oldest of the bunch, being originally released in 1987 as an arcade game and ported to various platforms and eventually also to DOS. It was developed by Sega (we all know those, don’t we), and the best part of the game is probably its catchphrase: “lurking about are the hideous creatures from outer space”.
Slow on updates? Me? Naaaah…
Alien Breed is a 1993 top-down shooter game made by Team17. You know, the Worms people. Worms happens to be on a revival in my dorm, with the people around here using my PC to play it because apparently I’m the only one running XP and it doesn’t run on newer Windowses. Here I am, trying to write my master’s thesis with the sound of exploding worms in the background. And my dorm-mates are way too damn good at Worms. Did you know you can use weapons (in particular dynamite) while still hanging on the ninja rope, thus allowing you a quick getaway to safe ground? Yeah, neither did I. Anyway, Alien Breed…