M.U.L.E. (meaning: Multiple-Use Labour Elements) is a classic business-based strategy game that mixes turn-based and real-time gameplay, and supply-and-demand economics, with multiplayer competition for up to four players. It was designed by the late Danielle Bunten Berry of Ozark Softscape and first published for Atari 8-bit computers by Electronic Arts in North America in 1983. Later, Ariolasoft published the game in Europe, and Bullet Proof Software published the game in Japan. M.U.L.E. was also converted to a number of other systems and has become something of a cult hit since its original release.
Realtime Software‘s classic Carrier Command is an early real-time strategy game that first came out for the Amiga and Atari ST in 1988 through Rainbird Software. In it you control a futuristic aircraft carrier battling for domination of a group of islands with an AI-controlled enemy carrier.
Silent Hill 4: The Room was once again developed by Team Silent (an internal dev team at Konami Tokyo), and was first published by Konami in 2004. The word on the street is that Silent Hill 4 initially began life as a concept outside of the Silent Hill series and was later made canon when the devs decided to incorporate it. It plays differently to the previous three Silent Hill games, but does have the same DNA, mixing first-person exploration with the familiar third-person survival horror gameplay.
The ZX Spectrum conversion of Realtime Software‘s classic Carrier Command is arguably even better than the 16-bit originals. Mostly because it’s been tweaked a little to accommodate it on the humble Speccy, and as a result it plays really well as a strategy game, with extra action elements. Carrier Command on the Spectrum is for 128K machines only and was first published by Rainbird Software in 1989.
ActRaiser is an interesting Japanese fantasy action game that was developed by Quintet and published by Enix on the Super Nintendo in 1990. It has side-scrolling, platform-based hack-and-slash sections, with an interesting overhead ‘God game’ component.
TRON 2.0 is a first-person action RPG developed by Monolith Productions and published by Buena Vista Interactive in 2003. It is a sequel to the 1982 film, TRON, but is based in an alternate ‘reality’ due to the de-canonisation of the first film by the 2010 re-boot, Tron: Legacy.
The 1991 sequel to the promising Wing Commander takes the space opera theme even further, with more cockpit-based space combat, dramatic cut scenes, and glorious 320×200 VGA graphics.
Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi, as the title hints, is the “Empire Strikes Back” of the Wing Commander series. The second game in the series had to be much better than the first to keep it going. And it was much better, although the mission structures are more linear in this sequel.
Wing Commander was developed by Chris Roberts and his team at Origin Systems and first released for PC MS-DOS in 1990. It’s a classic cockpit-based space combat game with cinematic cut scenes, and it developed into a long-running series. The Wing Commander series.