An RPG with a funny name, based on the AD&D Forgotten Realms campaign setting, Menzoberranzan is a 1994, first-person, party-based adventure game developed by DreamForge Intertainment for Strategic Simulations Inc.
Released in 1994, Ravenloft: Strahd’s Possession was developed by DreamForge Intertainment for Strategic Simulations Inc. and was distributed by US Gold in the UK.
I remember it well because I reviewed it for PC Player magazine back in the day.
The third episode in the classic Eye of the Beholder series was not developed by Westwood Studios – as the other two games were – but by publisher Strategic Simulations, Inc. itself, and as a result it doesn’t quite hit the same mark as parts one and two.
Released the same year as the game that preceded it (1991), Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon is another excellent first-person, party-based, TSR AD&D-licensed Role-Playing Game with atmospheric, level-grinding gameplay.
SSI‘s Dungeon Hack is an RPG that generates random dungeons, or custom dungeons, and is one big realtime battle through a Forgotten Realms world, in the style of Dungeon Master or Eye of the Beholder. It’s a never-ending dungeon crawl that gets progressively harder, and even has its own high score table!
I remember playing and reviewing this PC MS-DOS game when it first came out in 1994.
Al-Qadim: The Genie’s Curse is a more ‘action-oriented’ TSR role-playing game, compared to many of the other ‘Gold Box’ TSR RPGs of the time (and there were lots – courtesy of SSI and US Gold). ‘RPG Lite’ you could call it.
For starters: character generation is kept to a minimum. You choose a name and: you’re off… No long-winded menus to negotiate, as is the norm in these games. Stats are predetermined and you can’t change them. The player cannot upgrade weapons or armour, but experience points are gained which unlock new powers as you progress.
Control of the main character (a Corsair) is via mouse or joystick, and the controls are kept simple. You can move, talk and shoot, in real time, and do other things depending on the context icon. Combat is real time as well, and the Corsair can wield two weapons simultaneously – and power them both up – which makes things different and interesting.
Getting a foothold in the game means passing an assault course at the beginning of the game, then holding onto an island swarming with monsters. It takes a while and some nimble swordplay to make way. Thankfully the game has easy saving, so you can pick up anywhere outside of a conversation.
Actually, the dialogue in Al-Qadim: The Genie’s Curse is pretty good too. Better than something out of a pantomime. Which makes this game all the more worth playing… still. If you fancy a classic TSR RPG with a setting that isn’t trolls and goblins.
Field of Fire is my favourite of the ancient SSI turn-based strategy games on the Commodore 64 because it is so easy to get up and running and playing, and commanding a platoon.
The scenarios are mostly Normandy campaign occupied France, with small towns and cities and bocage, but there is also an Omaha beach assault, an Ardennes mission, a Roehr crossing, and others.
Field of Fire is enjoyable old school strategy gaming at its best. I guess you could call me The King of Dull Grabs…