Mission Completed. 51% Destroyed.

I was once asked by a colleague whether I emulated any games, and as this was back in the times of hearing about something but never getting around to doing it, I had to say no, I hadn't. I bring this up because, if memory serves, the game he then went on to play for a bit instead of work was 1943 - presumably because it was first on the list. It was a vertical shooter whatever it was.

Sadly, I didn't get into emulating as soon as I got home that day - must have had some other interest back then - but nearly 8 whole years later, here I am, playing 1943. The skies of the Pacific are swarming with Japanese fighters, the seas swimming with their warships, and your goal is to wreak havoc upon those forces. I'm not even sure that sentence made sense.

War is hell, 1943 is a bullet hell shooter, I'm not going to get very far at all but I am nevertheless looking forward to it.


Gemini Wing

I have no words.

Source // Arcade Museum

On its name alone, you could probably guess what Gemini Wing would have you do. Fly some kind of thing while shooting some other kind of things. This much is arguably obvious.

What isn't obvious is how Gemini Wing decides to tackle to vertical shoot 'em up genre, and it's not what I expected at all.



Take that, you Bydo filth.

Source // Hardcore Gaming 101

We've all got genres that we've avoided, or else just left behind while we focus on our favourites. For me shooters were a prime example of that - they weren't bad, per se, but I never found myself attracted to them over racing games, for example. As such I am largely ignorant of the many titles there are when it comes to shoot 'em ups, though I know the odd name here and there.

R-Type is a shoot 'em up, that much I know. Beyond that, I don't have a clue what I'm in for. Perhaps strange to say when I've played so many shoot 'em ups from this 1001 list already, but it's true nonetheless.

I don't know why R-Type has got a place here. I don't know what it does differently, I don't know what it excels at. I do know that it has a legacy, so what better place to start exploring that legacy than at the very beginning.


Maniac Mansion

Don't be a tuna head.

Source // Wikipedia

Ah, Maniac Mansion. That classic graphic adventure title with the pointing and the clicking and the puzzle solving. Oh, the puzzle solving. How I wish I were better at you...

Dave Miller's girlfriend, Sandy Pantz, has been kidnapped by Dr. Fred, locked away in a mansion full of horror and humour. Naturally, Dave seeks to rescue his girlfriend, enlisting the aid of two of his mates to push, unlock, turn on, pick up, read, use and fix all kinds of interactive objects in all manner of puzzling scenarios.

It does not take a genius to work out that in my playthrough, dear Sandy was not rescued. Still, this is 1001 Video Games You Must Play, not Finish, so let's see what's what.


Galaga '88

That is Galactic Dancing.

Galaga agalagain? So soon? Well no, not really - six whole years have gone by since Galaga which means that there has been plenty of time to tinker and perfect the gameplay for Galaga '88.

We're back in space, shooting spaceships but Galaga was alright, so here's hoping the same holds true for Galaga '88. It's on the list, so it must be.

Is that considered a spoiler alert?



Free the OIDS!

Source // Moby Games

If there's a reason Oids seems rather familiar it's because it is rather familiar (have I used that line before? Even that line is familiar to me). You pilot a triangle through space, navigating the perilous landscape below you with deftly timed bursts of your thrust, firing your weapon with expert precision at the targets intent to stop you from rescuing enslaved droids.

Oooorrrr you enter a spin, slam into the side of a mountain and end up pulling off an accurate impression of an explosion. Good for you.

Will our 'skills' learned from the likes of Gravitar and Thrust come in handy, or will we be faced with yet another display of so close, yet so far away?



Towering above the competition.

Source // Wikipedia

Anyone who has read this blog for a while should know that I guess what a game is about by its title. They should be useful descriptors of a game and the themes found within, shouldn't they? It helps at least, and so I was getting ready for yet another something set in space when it came time to researching Nebulus.

Once again I'm proven wrong as - obviously - it's about a little frog-looking thing climbing and destroying towers. I guess we could say that the choice of title is... nebulous.

Don't worry, I'll be quick.


Head Over Heels

a.k.a. Foot and Mouth. But not the disease.

Source // Wikipedia

I had absolutely no idea what Head Over Heels was going to be but when I saw it described as having similarities to Knight Lore, I knew I was in for a puzzling time - both in terms of getting my head around controlling a character from an isometric viewpoint, and of having any idea whatsoever of what I needed to do.

You control Headus Mouthion and Footus Underium, better known as Head and Heels, two spies from the planet Freedom on a mission to liberate a number of enslaved planets. I've got to say that that was a plot I was not expecting...

Head and Heels have different abilities and will need to work together to complete their tasks. How many of those tasks will I manage to complete? Probably very few, but there's only one way to find out.


Double Dragon

Double. The Fuck. Dragon, pussy.

Source // Wikipedia

Like many a kid in the 90s I had a good few games for my Game Boy to keep me entertained. One of those games was Battletoads & Double Dragon, and I was useless at it. I bring this up because outside of pop culture references it's the closest I've even been to playing Double Dragon.

Don't be alarmed, I know what a beat 'em up is. I've played a few of them (that one mode in that one Tekken game counts, right?) but haven't gotten around to Double Dragon, to my knowledge at least. Now's the time, and bar everyone looking a little bit tall and/or top heavy, it is pretty much exactly how I picture it in my head.


International Karate +

Red and Blue could do better.

Source // Wikipedia

I would have said 'Another karate game? Already?', but I shouldn't because the likes of Karate Champ and Yie-Ar Kung Fu were released a good couple of years before International Karate +, meaning the developers at System 3 have had a good couple of years to see what works and make it perfect.

At least that's what I'm hoping they did. This can't be a filler game. You wouldn't fill a list of 1001 must play games with filler games, would you? No. I wouldn't. Anyway, that said, just what does International Karate + bring to the table?


California Games

"It's only, like, the most totally awesome game in the world."

Source // Moby Games

At this point in our journey through video gaming history I've mixed reactions to any title that ends in 'Games'. Often maddening to control - let alone get used to and perfect - these Games games make for entertainment borne of frustration, especially with multiple players competing for the high score.

There aren't any medals here. Or sports, really. Unlike Summer and World Games before it, California Games is all about having fun and looking cool while you do it. Except it's a Games game, so you'll be falling flat on your face far more often than you'll be looking cool.

Let's find out how many Californian pastimes we're a natural at.


Dungeon Master

I need a new DM.

Source // Moby Games

I've played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons. On a couple of occasions, I've been the Dungeon Master in Dungeons & Dragons. Never have I played Dungeon Master though, and you'd have thought that I would at least have come across it, but I don't even think I've done that either.

As you might imagine, Dungeon Master will see you navigate your party through dungeons full of traps and monsters, hopefully leading to success - if not in the form of treasure, then of getting out of the dungeon alive.

First person, real time adventuring that requires as much combat reflexes as it does eagle-eyed exploration.... How will we fare when chucked into the deep end and left to fend for ourselves?



Calling car 54...

Source // Wikipedia

"Oh hey, look, it's Grand Theft Auto except you play as the cops" might have been the first words to arise upon seeing APB, or All Points Bulletin for those who are acronym averse. It's not a terrible descriptor of the game, but nor is it terribly accurate.

You control rookie cop Officer Bob in a top down view of streets full of criminal scum. Meet your quota for the day and you'll succeed. Fail to pull over enough of them and you'll have your superiors to answer to, and will eventually be fired.

Is it a realistic representation of police life? I wouldn't know, I've never been a copper. Is it a must play arcade game? Let's find out.