Emerald Dragon is a Japan-only RPG that was developed by Alfa System and published by MediaWorks for the Super Nintendo in 1995. It was given an English fan translation (by Translation Corporation) in 2014, which is great because it is an excellent game!
Known in North America as “Rambo: First Blood Part II” (complete with movie licensed characters), and “Ashura” in Japan. Also known as: “Not-So-Secret Commando“, since this is an unsubtle clone of Capcom‘s classic 1985 arcade game, Commando (and SNK‘s 1986 game, Ikari Warriors – since it has a simultaneous two-player mode and level designs that echo that game). Joking aside: it’s a pretty good clone of Commando, although it does play rather slowly.
Outlaws was released by Ultimate Play the Game in 1985 for the Commodore 64. It is a side-scrolling action game with a Wild West theme, with a main character riding a horse, trying to shoot outlaws and protect a local town over a variety of different stages.
Written by Manuel Caballero, Imhotep is a 1985 Commodore 64 release from Ultimate Play the Game. It’s an ancient Egyptian-themed, auto-scrolling shoot ’em up where you ride on the back of a bird, over pyramids and palm trees, shooting stuff and avoiding enemy bullets.
If you manage to get further into the game you’ll also encounter underground platforming levels; walking levels where you either have to jump over pits or throw rolling barrels into other barrels that are rolling towards you. There’s also a river section on a coracle.
Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo in 1999 in Japan and 2000 everywhere else. They are ‘second generation’ Pokémon games and were released simultaneously as twin titles, as has become the norm with Pokémon games.
These were the first proper, full-colour Pokémon games, with graphics that have been created to take advantage of the Game Boy Color‘s extended palette (Pokémon Yellow, which preceded this game, didn’t really do that; the graphics were simply colourised from the black and white originals). And you can tell from the very beginning that the visuals in Gold/Silver are a step-up from what we saw previously.
Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap is a platform action game developed by Westone and published by Sega in 1992. It is considered to be one of the best games on both the Master System and the Game Gear.
A game not often mentioned in online ‘Christmas video game’ lists, The Official Father Christmas Game is one of the better Christmas-themed video games that I’ve found so far. It was developed by Enigma Variations and published by Alternative Software for the Amstrad, Spectrum and C64 in 1989. All proceeds from the game went to the famous children’s charity, Save The Children.
Although you may laugh at the title of this Christmas-themed game, it’s not called that because the publisher (Alternative Software) went to Lapland to buy an official license from Santa… It’s called that because it is an official tie-in with the famous children’s charity, Save The Children. The game was sold (for a reasonable £2.99, for the Spectrum, Amstrad and C64) in 1989 and all profits went to Save The Children.
Created in association with Save The Children, The Official Father Christmas Game was developed by Enigma Variations and published by Alternative Software for the C64, Spectrum and Amstrad in 1989. Profits from the game went to the aforementioned children’s charity.
Santron is a Christmas-themed vertically-scrolling shoot ’em up created by Sarah Jane Avory and first released for the Commodore 64 in 2019.
Sarah programmed the game and created all the graphics and sound herself, and it is very good. Santron is actually a variation of Sarah‘s previous game, Neutron.