Holding out for a Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operation 'til the end of the night. Which, being underground, could be a while.

Once more, I find myself not only faced with a game I've not heard of before, but also stuck in a video game mine. Well, I'm not stuck - I'm the hero that saves everyone else trapped in the mine, and a very mine-like looking mine it is. It really sells the idea that Roderick Hero, with his helicopter backpack, head mounted laser and bag of dynamite, is on a serious mission in a completely realistic environment.

So let's see how soon we and all who depend on our H.E.R.O. perish...


Bank Panic

This is the reason why I bank online.

Source // Wikipedia

I seem to be having a bit of a run recently when it comes to not knowing anything about these games. We can add Bank Panic to that list, having snuck up on me like one of the bank robbers who are absolutely determined to give me a bad time in this Old Western... twitch shooter, I guess?

I ought to find out, really.



Imagine Rocket League on the Atari...

It is very safe to say I've not heard of Ballblazer. Nowhere have I seen it written down, nor caught sight of it in a retrospective. I am clueless as to what it is. For all of a few minutes, that is, because after you fire it up, Ballblazer is a little like Rocket League - space football with cars, kind of thing...


Track & Field

(This is the real Sport!)

Source // Wikipedia

With a title like Track & Field, you know what you're in for. Get ready to mash some buttons as fast as you can, all while trying (and probably failing) to time inputs either to a specific point in an animation or even just the starting gun.

We know this because there seems to be a game out for every Olympic Games, probably even every Winter Olympic Games, as well as more generic athletics-based games sprinkled in the gaps. We don't know where they come from, they just appear, and then just as quickly disappear back to the bargain bin where they belong.

If you think a yearly series like FIFA is churned out, I put it to you that games based on the Olympics are literally churned out. They've got four years to make each one worth purchasing and they still haven't succeeded. Personally speaking, of course.

Now all of that is basically a long winded way of saying that Track & Field kicked all of this video game athletics off, so let's see where it all began.



If Starbucks haven't got a mobile phone game in homage to this, then they just don't get it.

Source // Wikipedia

I am perhaps the wrong person to be reviewing Tapper, what with not drinking and all that. In my defence, I'm not really reviewing it and I didn't know it was about beer before playing. But it's not about beer really, despite the name, the theme and the Budweiser branding (which was removed when the game was installed in arcades with a lot of kids - wouldn't want to advertise alcohol to minors...).

No, it's not about beer at all, but is of course about customer relations and objective priorities...


Manic Miner

Stuck in the Central Cavern of the Mountain King

Do ignore the touch controls on the HTML5 version, they're not as authentic as the rest of the image...

Manic Miner, Miner 2049er... was mining as popular a game theme as space back in the 1980s? Although there isn't so much mining in these games. More gathering. Perhaps it's a potholing/treasure hunting simulator, kinda thing. The point is, these games are awfully familiar, and with good reason - Manic Miner was inspired by Miner 2049er, and like many games to have borrowed ideas and mechanics from earlier titles, it has gone along and improved upon them so much.


Lode Runner

Get a lode of this guy...

Source // Wikipedia

Lode Runner is one of those titles where I know I should know at least something about it, but sadly don't. I know I've come across articles, I know I've seen references to it, but have I bothered to look into those articles and references? Nope. Not until now.

After a few minutes, I think the phrase 'deceptively simple' might be a good starting point...


Juno First

No, I have no idea as to what the title refers.

To let you in on a little behind the scenes information, I have a big ol' list of these games, including what their primary format is, whether I've already played them, notes and memories of playing them and so on. I know so little of Juno First that I've actually written it down as Juno Fist, which goes some way to explaining why I couldn't find it anything on Wikipedia.

I did see my error though (I didn't flatten all the vowels but I threw the 'r' away), corrected it and was very pleased to find out that it was a space-themed space shooter. Huzzah. I love space shooters, so I hoped with all my might that Juno First had done something different, something truly out of this world in order to stand out amongst the many, many other space shooters.

It did not disappoint...



Are we sure this guy is being propelled by a jetpack?

Source // Wikipedia

I haven't ever played Jetpac, but I've seen it mentioned often enough to know about it. I don't remember where I first heard about it though, or in what context, or why, but none of that matters when we're approaching it with a clean slate, and finally playing it.

As you can tell, it features a jetpack, and as is often the case in life, the jetpack in Jetpac can be found on the back of an astronaut. It's a space game, yay! At least it doesn't involve shooting.


Crystal Castles

Jump over trees to stun them. Of course, why didn't I think of that?

Source // Wikipedia

Yeah, no, I'm sorry - this was most certainly not what I had in mind when trying to imagine what Crystal Castles was about. A bear called Bentley picking up gems, jumping over trees, dancing around skeletons... Have I been hit over the head and since woken up in bizarroland?

I'm going to need to play this one...


Spy Hunter

Are we a spy who is a hunter, or a hunter or hunts spies?

Source // Wikipedia

For the longest time, I've known Spy Hunter as 'an old game that I hear referenced here and there, but not too often, so it can't have been absolutely brilliant, but must have been pretty good'. If you can picture that...

If it's on the list of 1001 then it must be on for a reason, so it's time to find out.



Weel we bawldlee goh weer ainjeels feer tu tred?

Source // Abandonia

I haven't come across Planetfall on my journeys and that's a shame, because it doesn't take too long before this text adventure gets interesting. Unfortunately, I can't interact with the interactive entertainment that is Planetfall, so I'm going to have to resort to watching it instead. Hopefully it's just as fun (though with far fewer deaths, faffing about and getting lost).



Would you like to be better than you are, or would you rather be a M.U.L.E.?

If you're ever going to go into a game blind, without any research or hints as to what you're in for, then don't choose M.U.L.E. like I did. Not that I chose it, I'm just following a list, but I did go into it blind. At the very least I should have read the article in the 1001 book, but no, I just had my list, fired up the NES version, sat down and said 'whaaaaat?' a lot.

So let's head to the internet for a crash course first...