Sonic The Hedgehog

I'm actually in a bit of a rush, as it happens...

Source // Wikipedia

I first saw Sonic The Hedgehog in my youth, on the Sega Mega Drive of a friend, and I didn't see too much of it. In fact, I didn't see too much of the Mega Drive in general, or indeed that friend - nothing nefarious going on, just the way life is. I did play it, though. Briefly.

Most of my experience with the Sonic The Hedgehog series does, therefore, come from playing the games many years later, and I've played a fair few of them. Never to completion and not really for any great length of time, but if you're going to test out Mega Drive emulation, you're going to test it with Sonic, am I right?

He's iconic, his music is iconic, and that first level makes me question whether the first level of Super Mario Bros. is actually the most recognisable or not.

It's a bit of a boring question when you've got a controller in your hands and a need for speed, though, so let's get going.


NHL Hockey

What is Icing and why is it a penalty?

I'm not a big hockey fan - it's not something that's played down my neck of the woods - but whenever a demo of the latest entry into an ice hockey video game series was on a disc or in the latest downloads section, I often checked it out because, as sports games go, they can be pretty cool. Or at least they make you feel pretty cool, zipping around on the ice, pinging a puck into that ridiculously small net.

As it turns out, the origins of these games, NHL Hockey for the Sega Mega Drive, isn't too shabby either, though it did take a little bit of time for me to reach that conclusion...

Let's fall flat on our faces to find out why.


Star Trek: 25th Anniversary

Redshirt's Log, Stardate 94588.73

My first look at Star Trek: 25th Anniversary was a YouTube Let's Play, a long time ago. I forget most of it - even why I watched it. I think I was just interested in seeing what it was about and stuck around when finding out that it was fully voiced by the characters and crew of the USS Enterprise.

Multiple dialogue options voiced by William Shatner in a point and click adventure through space, the final frontier? How could you not be interested in a game that takes its source material and runs with it?

Let's boldly go and find out what it's like to play.



We are not responsible for the loss of sanity, hair or sleep.

I have been waiting for this day to come. Not because I love Lemmings, no - because I can't stand Lemmings. But to be fair to the game, I don't actually know where this loathing for it comes from.

My memory tells me that I first played it way back when, at school, on a bunch of Acorn computers. I'm kinda gutted I don't know of the exact model because that'd be an interesting thing to look up for the nostalgia - far more interesting than looking up Lemmings. Ugh, no, c'mon, let's find some sort of impartiality here.

I first played Lemmings at school, probably as a reward for successfully guiding that turtle into all manner of different shapes. Goddamn, what was that turtle called? I gotta look that up.


Let's get Lemmings out of the way first.

Open the trapdoor.


Mega Lo Mania

Do Gods ever get along?

I've never heard of Mega Lo Mania before, as either Mega Lo Mania or Tyrants: Fight Through Time. A God game from the developers of Wizball and Sensible Soccer. Three really rather different games there and they've all made their way onto the 1001 list. What, then, do we have here?

I've absolutely no idea, and neither has Wikipedia (at the time of writing). I could branch out and do some further, far more in depth research... but I could just as easily fire it up and dive in head first without having a clue...



Tecmo Super Bowl


I've not had the greatest of times with video games of American Football on this list so far, but Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES is said to be the pinnacle of the sport's representation on home consoles, to the point where there is still a dedicated following 25 years later.

That must mean it's pretty good, right? Being continually hacked with current roster updates, played in worldwide tournaments, included in a list of 1001 must play video games... Just what am I waiting for?

Hut hut hut and all that.



Ready for action.

Source // Wikipedia

When I first read what Hunter was, I had a very similar reaction to that which I had when first seeing Far Cry 2 or even The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion back in the day: "You can do what? Gaming now has the technology to do all that?!"

Both games can owe a lot to Hunter as it happens, though you'll notice a lot more similarities between Hunter and the Far Cry series. You're a lone operative on a mission in a massive open world where the choices are all yours and are probably made on the fly.

Do you want to complete your mission quietly? You can. Do you want to go in all guns blazing? You can. Do you want to fly a helicopter or drive a tank straight to your target? You can. All on the Amiga or Atari ST.


Cruise for a Corpse

Corpse... Cruise...

I had to check I was holding the right book when I turned the page to find out what the next game on the 1001 list was. Cruise for a Corpse, it said. What? I said. Cruise for a Corpse, it said. Well, I never, I said.

Cruise for a Corpse has you fill the shoes of Detective Desuntier, invited aboard a cruise ship only to find the man who invited him dead. An investigation on the open seas the only way to solve the murder - if it really is a murder - in this point and click adventure.

Sorry, Mr Karaboudjan, but it appears your killer will very likely get away with their crime...



London has fallen.

The joy of going through a list like this is that I've essentially forced myself into playing games that I would usually avoid, and if not 'avoid like the plague' then 'avoid because I just don't have time'. Or, at least, that what I keep telling myself...

I don't have time to get into Civilization. Properly, certainly. I don't have time to master its tech tree or to learn the best strategy for a given situation or to advance my civilization to the stars via all kinds of routes through some 6 thousand years of history.

But I do have time to see how far I can fumble my way through it. I do have time to see what it's about. I may not finish it successfully, if at all, but I can see how it develops from turn one to turn one thousand and one.

And so, the story of my civilization begins...


Super Castlevania IV

On a dark and eerie night...

There are a fair few series' of games that I've hardly ever touched over the years, and the Castlevania series is one of them. If I have played one, it would have been an early and/or portable one, but I just can't remember.

I know I'm in for a platformer where my main weapon is a whip, where I'll be whipping monsters from classic horror films, as well as some bloke called Dracula, but apart from all that I'll have to consider Super Castlevania IV an unknown game to me.

Let's hope it whips up a storm in my favour, rather than make me whip the controller across the room.


The 201/1001 Milestone Awards

Coming to you live (were it not for a cable fault) from the sunny (were it not for the winter storms) shores of California (by way of the English Channel) - it's The Milestone Awards!

Once again we whip out our mobile phones and hack our way back through the 1001 list to see which games are eligible for awards, blissfully ignorant of the screaming pedestrians on the sidewalk frantically diving for cover from our blinged out Blista's.

This time out, eligible titles range from Carrier Command to Another World, and those 50 titles are jam-packed with great games. It's been absurd trying to sniff out some winners.

Still, that's what I've done, so let's see what we've got.

As ever, we start with The Indifferent 5, five games who, if you hacked their phones while waiting for a bus, wouldn't even have an interesting descriptive by-line. They are titles that aren't bad; that are alright; that are just there, filling in some space. In no particular order they are:

Forgotten Worlds, Capcom
Snake Rattle 'n' Roll, Rare
Herzog Zwei, Technosoft
The Revenge of Shinobi, Sega
Exile, Peter Irvin, Jeremy Smith

Thanks for turning up, guys.

For every 50 games you round up, there's bound to be one that sticks out in some odd little way. Shunned by the rest of the group but still having some redeemable features I'm sure, these games probably win the What Was That 1 Even Put On The List For? award. This time around we have to ask ourselves this:

What Was Minesweeper Even Put On The List For?

It's clearly a boring grey office program and not a game. Honest, boss.

That, unfortunately, means our list is a game short of meeting its target of 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, so we'll have to insert a forgotten title in its place. This title is so forgotten that I forget to include it in earlier Milestone Awards, and so - finally - we answer the question You Forgot What?!

Pitfall! We all forgot about Pitfall! It's such a shock that even Pitfall! is surprised.

We can only conclude that the votes to put Pitfall! into the original list were eaten by sewer alligators.

Finally, the meat of this post, The Top Ten. There were so many good titles on this list that I even considered a one-per-franchise clause or something, but, upon further thought, I simply went with the ten games I had a damn good time with. Or think I did. Or hoped I did. Let's begin.

10: Dr. Mario, Nintendo R&D1
Take two tablets every four hours.

9: Pang, Mitchell
Still not good at it, but it's easy to get into.

8: Raiden, Seibu Kaihatsu
A shooter, sure, but one I tried sticking with longer than most.

7: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, LucasArts
I found it easier to get into than the first of the series, and that's enough to rank it higher.

6: The NewZealand Story, Taito
Nostalgia gets the better of us sometimes - so much so that it's P2s nostalgia more than my own, but it's worth a high ranking whoever plays it.

5: Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, The Bitmap Brothers
I wish it were easier, but it's a joy all the same.

4: Rampart, Atari Games
A perfect blend of game mechanics.

3: North & South, Infogrames
A surprise hit, really. A fun little look into history. Not historically accurate history, but who cares?

2: Bomberman, Hudson Soft
So simple, so good, so annoying, so gonna win the rematch.

Despite there being three Mario games in this batch of 50, there can be only one game in the top spot. Oh, I think I just spoiled it by mentioning Mario. Too late now, the number 1 goes to Super Mario World, Nintendo EAD. I think this Mario series is going somewhere, you know...

But where is it going? And how far will it get? That's for the future to tell us. For now, we can only check up on The Topper Than That Top Ten list to see the best of the best. 201 games, from Another World all the way back up the list to The Oregon Trail, but which are my top picks?

10: Rampart, Atari Games
I really must track down some updated versions or homages to it, it's that good.

9: North & South, Infogrames
This, too, feels like a kind of hidden gem in this 1001 list.

8: International Karate +, System 3
It's going to take a bit to knock this out of the Topper Ten, but it's close. Until then, another satisfying thwack to the face, if you please.

7: Sid Meier's Pirates!, Microprose
Pirates are better than Railroads, Sid.

6: The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo R&D4
At some point, enough games will come along in a batch to just wipe this list out. Until then, the Zelda I'm frustrated with remains in it.

5: The Oregon Trail, MECC
It's slipping down the list, slowly but surely. 200 games later, it's still in the top 5 titles.

4: Bomberman, Hudson Soft
Oh, the joys of watching the inevitable unfold in front of your foes' eyes.

3: Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov
I do wonder if these games will survive until the 1001/1001 awards.

2: Super Mario Bros., Nintendo R&D4
Knocked off its perched, but by what, I wonder?

1: Super Mario World, Nintendo EAD
Oh, of course, by that. C'm'ere, Yoshi.

Thus endeth the awardsth. Were your favourites favoured by me too? Are you left scratching your head as to why I avoided the Super Mario Bros. sequels? Because they just weren't good enough for inclusion, that's why.

The 251/1001 Milestone Awards judging panel - me - will soon begin their lengthy processes, playing (or trying to play) another 50 titles before plopping them into somewhat arbitrary and definitely not objective lists.

Until then, enjoy your own top ten lists.


Another World

From one world to another...

I think a fair few gamers are familiar with the first handful of screens from Another World, a Dragon's Lair-like adventure where the fate of protagonist Lester is determined by our quick reactions and puzzle solving abilities.

Sorry, Lester. We hardly knew ye...


Super Mario World

Thank You Mario! But Yoshi is in another Egg!

If I remember rightly - and I'm not sure I do - I said that the first level of Super Mario Bros. is so recognisable to people that even people who have never played it know what it is and where it's from.

With the bright greens and the wee diddy Mario and an apple or two dangling out of nowhere, maybe this screenshot from Super Mario World does the same thing.

Most of my Mario experience has been with the Game Boy, or with various forms of Mario Kart, but this image is still so recognisable to me that it defines Mario on the SNES, and it barely contains anything. But maybe it's just me. Maybe I recognise it so much because that's mostly all of Super Mario World I've played.

Yeah, I've seen far more of Super Mario World than I've played. I don't think I ever played it on the SNES itself, either. No amount of Super Mario All-Stars comes close to absolving me of that sin...

Still, I must stop babbling and save the Princess. Again.


Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

Big Whoop

I know there are more than a couple of games in the Monkey Island series, but it wasn't until coming across The Secret of Monkey Island for this 1001 list that I had played any of them, and now we're already into the second title, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.

It's more point and click adventuring, more hand-drawn vistas and backdrops, more witty writing and puzzling... puzzles... and, thankfully, a novice friendly HD remaster that really shows it all off.

There's no point beating around the Guybush, though, let's get stuck in.



"They were going to turn you into a swan, as they tried to do to me."

Point and click adventures are fascinating things sometimes, for their own reasons - the writing in The Secret of Monkey Island, or the artwork in Broken Sword for example. The fascinating thing about Loom is that, while looking pretty good and having voice acting (depending on the version you play), the whole story is centred around and interacted with a musical stick.

Not like a flute or, as the 1001 list points out, Link's Ocarina in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but a literal wooden stick that magically plays musical notes, with the correct tune played in the correct place on the screen changing the environment and solving puzzles.

It sounds pretty neat, and it sounds like I'm about to find out if I'm tone deaf sooner than I think...


Super Tennis

Double Fault.

There are a few tennis games on this 1001 list. I don't really like tennis. I've played a few games down the years, more on consoles than in person (much more, really), and they always tend to go the same way - Fault, Double Fault, Fault, Double Fault, Fault, Double Fault...

Where is the fun in tennis games if that's your first experience with them? That or 00-15, 00-30, 00-40. There isn't any. Pong can't be the greatest tennis title in history, can it?

Let's see what Super Tennis can serve up for us.


Snake Rattle 'n' Roll

Watch out for Nibbley Pibbleys, Flying Carpets and Bigfoot!

I don't think I've ever heard of Snake Rattle 'N' Roll in my life. It hasn't been on greatest hits list I've come across, it's not been mentioned in passing, either by friends or in retrospectives - my radar simply hasn't got a clue what to do when these two snakes, Rattle and Roll, bounce their way into town.

Not for the first time then, let's find out what's going on.


Smash T.V.

(not a suggestion for dealing with higher difficulty games.)

I had heard of Smash T.V. for only one reason: that originally, it was thought to be so difficult to finish that a final bonus stage that was referenced and mentioned throughout the game, known as the 'Pleasure Dome', simply wasn't included for players to reach.

That's not all I know about Smash T.V. however. It's a twin stick shooter set in an alternate reality 1999 where gameshows about surviving massive hordes of enemies intent on killing you are the only thing on telly, and, naturally, the luckiest folks in this future scenario get to run through as much of this gauntlet as they can. That means you, the player.

But you'll have weaponry on your side. Lots of weaponry. And a few power-ups. And as many continues as you can afford. Whenever you're ready, just go through the door...


Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon

Toot, toot.

Not pictured: Railroads

Seeing Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon coming up on the list brought back memories of getting my hands on Transport Tycoon for the PlayStation: I was wowed by the idea, fired it up, didn't have a damn clue what was going on and quickly abandoned it.

Have I changed as a person since then? Can I competently run a railroad network spanning the country, delivering passengers, mail, livestock and much more besides?



Thunder(bolt) and Lightning, very very frightening, me! (Galileo) Galileo...

Source // Arcade Museum

The 1990s are upon us and still we're playing around inside alien technology against alien invaders in another futuristic shoot 'em up. The screenshot that accompanied Raiden's entry in the 1001 list was alright - nothing special - and the write up points out that, graphically, there isn't a whole lot to write about it.

You fly up the screen and shoot all the things. It's not overly colourful, it's like any other shooter. Oh. So why must I play this game then?



Ready! Aim! Fire!

The more I read about Rampart, the more I wanted to play it. Defend a castle from an attack from the sea, then repair it against the clock by jamming Tetris-like blocks into all the holes you now find yourself surrounded by, before plopping down some more cannons and doing it all over again.

How fun does that sound? How simple, too? That's an idea as easy to pick up as one of those rubber ducks at the carnival, and I want to play it.

Rampart, not Hook a Duck.


Super Mario Bros. 3

"The cover art depicts Mario, the main protagonist, flying with the ears and tail of a Japanese raccoon dog, obtained from the new "Super Leaf" item."

If you've been reading previous entries you'll know that I know of much of the Mario series from their re-release in the form of Super Mario All-Stars, and Super Mario Bros. 3 is no exception. The first time I tried it was on the SNES in All-Stars, as was the second, and all subsequent times I tried it. 

I've not played the original NES version until now, and, well, I think I might need to hand in any scrap of credibility I have as a video gamer because I'm frankly embarrassed with my performance in it.


John Madden Football


For a brief spell, probably around the time the Super Bowl came to the BBC, I was following American Football. It was fascinating in its own way, though far more fascinating to play in Madden NFL 11 than it ever was to watch.

It's a long series, Madden, and the line goes all the way back to John Madden Football, cramming as much of the sport into a cartridge as was possible. Did enough get crammed in there to make it a game worth playing, though?



Just one moirai go...

You wait ages for a Tetris clone and two come along at once - and neither are clones.

Columns will probably look familiar to you, if not because you've played it before then because you've probably played something very similar to it, likely on a mobile phone. It's one of those games that are so simple to get into that before you know it, you've missed the bus, and it's started to rain, and your bag's been stolen.

I don't use public transport, I have no idea what I'm talking about. The point I'm trying to make though is that Columns is so simple a game that it and versions of it can be found everywhere you look, so the gameplay must be pretty good to have survived in some form for all these years.


Dr. Mario


In the notes I've made for these games, I've written that Dr. Mario was great, especially when someone else was playing my Tetris cartridge. In the 1001 book, Tetris is mentioned in every paragraph of the Dr. Mario write up, such are the similarities between the two titles - and yet they're not that similar, really.

Both involve falling objects that disappear when you stack enough of them together in the right way, but they do so with different goals, themes and mechanics.

I suspect you know all of this, having already played both titles, but for those of you who haven't, the Doctor will see you now...




Source // YouTube

Hands up if you're surprised that Bomberman made the list. How dare you put your hand up, of course Bomberman would make the list. There have been more Bomberman titles than I ever imagined, and the first of two to make the 1001 list is the TurboGrafx-16 title that introduced multiplayer to the game - and that changed everything, didn't it?


Eye of the Beholder

"I would hide in the sewers. And that is where I think you should start."

Given my previous experience with first person dungeon crawlers of the 1980s, I didn't have high hopes for my time with Eye of the Beholder, which sees a game like Dungeon Master officially flying the flag of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons license.

Now I like D&D. I've played a fair bit of it, across a couple of versions and mediums, from tabletops to Baldur's Gate and the like, and it just so happens that after quite a lengthy period of time, I got back into tabletop RPGs (albeit with Pathfinder) just yesterday, so my head is there or thereabouts in terms of the mechanics at play here - but will Eye of the Beholder be there or thereabouts too?

A lot of games have claimed to transport the D&D rules from paper to 'puter, but sometimes those rules should stay on paper. Will that be the case here?



Pondering over the map, you prepare plans for battle...

When you turn the page to reveal Powermonger in the 1001 book, you're shown a screenshot that looks similar to the one shown above, and similar to a game like Populous.

If you had a bad experience with Populous, you are perhaps dreading your time with Powermonger, described as its spiritual and technical successor. Reading it makes it sound great. The land you play on is vast, almost staggeringly so, and its inhabitants all have names and jobs and histories within the world.

But what do you do with this playground? Probably fight a lot, given the title.


Out Zone

Destroy all of them. Goodluck !!

Source // RetroCollect

I couldn't tell you what kind of game Out Zone was even if you paid me. It rings no bells, its name gives off no impression, I simply don't have a clue what I'm in for.

Turns out that it's a kind of bullet hell twin stick (but not twin stick) arcade shooter. Cyborg soldiers must repel an alien invasion in the distant future of 2097. Who'd have guessed that? Sounds great - looks great. Let's jump in.




Two flight games in a row? And both of them are wildly different from each other? Alright then, how does Pilotwings handle?

In contrast to most, if not all games set in the skies until now, Pilotwings doesn't have you soaring over military bases shooting down other planes but has you floating over a flight training school, learning the basics of flying a biplane, parachuting, controlling jetpacks and more.

You're not trying to down a certain number of foes but to score enough points to get your pilots license and progress to more challenging challenges, putting your flight skills to the test.

It sounds like a nice and simple, relaxing little game.


G-Loc: Air Battle


There is a fair chance that I may have come across G-Loc: Air Battle somewhere before, but completely dismissed it because of its title. It's not exactly a snappy, memorable one, is it? True to its name, though, the game features air battles and G-Force induced loss of consciousness.

Sounds awesome. I think it's about time we take to the skies and see what's up there.



Get three in a row... DIAGONALLY!

Not once have I come across Klax in my gaming history. I hadn't heard of it, it didn't ring any bells upon seeing some screenshots, it was completely new to me. It looked like a simple little puzzle game, though, so I didn't think I'd be in for a difficult time.



Are you awake?

Something feels different when you start playing ActRaiser. There doesn't need to be an overworld for a side scroller, surely. What do I need assistance with? Just give me a sword and point me towards the enemy.

There's a reason for all this and I suspect it will be both interesting and irksome.


Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe

Ice cream!

A long time ago - I don't know when - I saw the original Rollerball on TV, the brutal future sport involving motorbikes, rollerskaters, studded leather gloves and heavy metal balls. It was entertaining, if not for the plot then for the idea of the sport ever taking off and becoming a thing in the first place.

Surely there had to have been a game or two that did a similar thing to that, and sure enough, there is. A few of them in fact, with Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe taking the crown - with force.

You manage a team in a 9 v 9 game of football meets handball meets pinball meets ice hockey. It's as hectic as it sounds and as much as the sport has supposedly been reformed into a non-violent game, it is a hard-hitting pastime.

But it sounds fun, right?


The Secret of Monkey Island

"So you want to be a pirate, eh? You look more like a flooring inspector."

When it comes to point and click adventure games, you can find yourself playing all manner of genres and levels of sensibility and seriousness. When it comes to Lucasfilm point and click adventure games, you tend to know what you're going to get: humour, and lots of it, with The Secret of Monkey Island standing tall above the rest as the go-to funny game, certainly for this period in time.

Despite sequels and remakes, it was only recently when I finally saw first hand what this game presented to players, in the form of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, which overhauled the graphics entirely and yet allowed you to play with more of an old school look if you wanted that bit of authenticity. It also added sound effects, voice acting and music to the mix, as well as the greatest tool in a point and click game - hints.

How many hints am I going to need in this adventure?


Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap

The long battle-filled journey has finally ended.

I'll be honest here - I continually mistake the Wonder Boy titles for Alex Kidd titles. It's probably because I grew up with the likes of Mario and these other games simply never got a look in, or, of course, it could be ignorance. I'm not going to say that's impossible.

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap isn't an Alex Kidd game, but a Wonder Boy game, which means we're playing as Tom-Tom out on his merry adventures to... cure himself of a curse (given to him by dragons) that turns him into different creatures. That's a video game plot if ever I've heard one.

But how does it play?


Stunt Car Racer

Drop Start.

Source // Lemon Amiga

I simply could not picture Stunt Car Racer until I saw a screenshot of it and said "ah, yes, that one, the early 3D one or something. Wasn't it awfully slow?"

I don't know the answer to that question because I've not seen much of the game, I certainly haven't played it, and don't have any hope at all of correctly telling you which port of the game I saw. Maybe I've seen a few, I just don't know.

Stunt Car Racer, to me, is that almost throw away game in documentaries about modern racing video games, but if it's on the 1001 list then it must be there for a reason, so it's about time I found out why.



He will never leave Eurasia alive.

Source // Wikipedia

I own but have never played the 2014 remake of Strider. I've seen it, as well as the 1989 arcade original, but haven't played either. I haven't schwinged Strider Hiryu's sword like a maniac, I haven't scaled the walls and flipped over platforms, I haven't slid under stage hazards.

What am I missing out on, I wonder? Perhaps a strange choice of words, considering I've seen them both in action, but I've forgotten much of what I've seen.

If Strider is good enough for a remake, then I better play Strider.


Prince of Persia

Or is that the Prince of Pressure?

Source // Wikipedia

When it comes to trial and error, I find myself having to be really invested in something in order to persist through all of those trials and every single error. If I'm not, frustration is generally not too far away. Prince of Persia is going to test me a fair bit...

Perhaps the king, rather than the prince, of trial and error gaming, Prince of Persia is unmistakably iconic to look at and play. I've seen it before, many a time, but playing it hasn't yet happened, probably because I think it'll be a nightmare - therefore why bother?

Well, we bother so that we can confirm or contradict our preconceptions, so it's about time I found out first hand whether Prince of Persia will keep me hooked or not.

Will we save the Sultan's daughter from the evil Jaffar, or will we fall face first into any and all spike pits we find?



For the Lord will execute judgment by fire and by His sword on all flesh, and those slain by the Lord will be many.

I remember that when I first got this PC for the purpose of going through the 1001 list, one of the first titles I tested out was Populous and that was the first time I had ever played it. It may even have been the first time I'd seen it, though I've definitely seen some type of game that looks like this. Set in Rome, I think. The name escapes me. So does the reason I bring it up. Where the hell was I talk-

Populous is about playing God, and that's the kind of power a great many of us would want to wield, only to inevitably see it be our downfall, which is exactly what can happen in this game. It's you against a CPU God (though multiplayer was available), each hoping that your followers will build their numbers and their strength and drive out their foes one way or another.

Sounds promising.



You've got a long way to go. Take it easy.

Disappointingly, Pang isn't a clone of Pong, but when it comes to simple little games that drain your pockets of spare change, they both have to be up there on the list.

Balloons are attacking landmarks and locations across the world, from Mount Fuji to the Taj Mahal, from Ayers Rock to Athens and beyond. It is up to the Buster brothers to mount a harpoon-based assault on this deadly threat, and the faster they do it, the more points they get - and recognition for saving the world, of course.

Will we pop along to all 17 landmarks, or will we simply just pop?


Herzog Zwei

Duke Two, Me Nil.

Source // Oldies Rising

It is safe to say that Herzog Zwei had never even blipped up on my radar before seeing it on the 1001 list, and beyond knowing that 'zwei' is german for 'two', I was completely stumped as to what this Sega Mega Drive title could be about.

Reading up about Herzog Zwei gives you the sense that it is a kind of Command & Conquer before Command & Conquer - a real-time strategy that doesn't have base building per se, but does have unit and resource management, but not in the same sense as any RTS with which you may be familiar.

It's alright seeing that on paper, but what about with a controller in my hands?


The Revenge of Shinobi

Three years later...

Source // Gamefabrique

I actually played The Revenge of Shinobi before the original Shinobi, and I was pleasantly surprised with Shinobi - to a point. The Revenge of Shinobi follows on from events in the first game, seeing the heroic Joe Musashi get some revenge on Neo Zeed, a criminal organisation formed from the ruins he left behind in the previous game.

What is he getting revenge for? As an accomplished ninja in a video game, his master has died after being kidnapped and Joe doesn't want to see his future bride share the same fate. You must head out through stages and boss fights to find her and take your revenge on Neo Zeed.

Given how successful I was at Shinobi, I'm going to apologise to Naoko now, because she likely won't be saved by my inept hand. Let's give it our best shot, though.


Final Fight

Oh! My car.

Source // Wikipedia

I must admit to going completely blank when it came to remembering what Final Fight was. I knew I'd heard of it before, I didn't think I'd ever played it, and I knew it was significant. Somehow. Just don't know how, or why, or what it was - until I started playing, that is, and remembering all that.

Jessica, the daughter Metro City mayor, Mike Haggar, has been kidnapped by the Mad Gear gang. The only way to get her back is to do what they say... unless you happen to be a former professional wrestler whose kidnapped daughter is dating a martial arts master skilled with knives, who also happens to be friends with a master ninja. I think your chances may be pretty good in this scenario...

So the question is simple: Will we save Jessica or will the streets be home to our Final Fight?

See what I did there? Damn right, you did.




Source // Wikipedia

I don't know where I first encountered Minesweeper. On a PC, certainly, and it probably wasn't the Windows XP version seen above, though that's where I spent most of my Minesweeping.

Like many classic titles, I just couldn't tell you when and where that fateful first was, but we're all glad that there was that first game. And the second. And third. Fourth. Fifth. Sixth. I'll have tea in a minute. Seventh. Eighth. Just coming. Ninth.

Let's see how well this ageless classic has aged.



"Gregory Flint bears a grudge against Llewellyn, who jailed him once for selling watered-down whisky as best malt."

Source // Wikipedia

The very first thing I read about Midwinter was its introductory paragraph on Wikipedia. "Midwinter is a post-apocalyptic first-person action role-playing game with strategy and survival elements for the Atari ST, Amiga and PC." This lead to two reactions. Firstly, words to the effect of 'Holy shit, am I reading this right?', and shortly thereafter 'I'm probably not going to be able to play it, am I?'.

Set in the not-too-distant future, you are tasked with navigating a massive island in search of support for guerilla warfare against the big bad guy. You can recruit civilians into your ranks, snipe the enemy from afar, blow up their means of travel and far, far more, all viewed with 3D shaded polygon-o-vision.

Let's see what all of this is about - but will we see it in first-person, or via the wonders of YouTube?