Created by Ian Gray and Lee Braine and published by Ocean Software in 1985, A Fistful of Bucks (aka A Fi$tful of Buck$) is a simple, scrolling cowboy shooter with you playing a bounty hunter on the hunt for cash.
Desert Falcon is an obscure isometric shooter with an Egyptian theme, released exclusively for the Atari 7800 in 1987.
You play as a falcon, flying diagonally over the landscape, shooting stuff as you go, in a way similar to that seen in Sega‘s classic coin-op, Zaxxon.
One of my favourite Cinemaware games, It Came From The Desert is a satirical detective story based on 1950s sci-fi B-movies about giant ants.
Far Cry 2 first came out in 2008 and is a first-person shoot ’em up set in a war-torn, ficticious African country. It was developed by Ubisoft Montreal.
The game mixes open world exploration with brutal violence, best-in-class combat, and also showcases many exciting action game concepts – such as great vehicle use and a large arsenal of weapons to choose from.
The action takes place across deserts, jungles and savanna regions – all of them crawling with enemies. In fact: as beautiful as the landscape is: you hardly get a moment to admire it because, more often than not, someone is buzzing around your ankles with a machine gun.
Just like in the original Far Cry, the AI of the opponents in the single-player game of Far Cry 2 is set to high. Far Cry 2 is not a game you play to waltz through on ‘easy’. No – you have to approach things carefully if you’re going to survive. You play it for the tactical challenge.
Although Far Cry 2 may be too brutal for some tastes, I have to say that I had a great time playing it when it first came out. As single-player shooters go it is absorbing, varied and very challenging. Some might even argue that Far Cry 2 is the best game in the series.
It’s been ten years since Far Cry 2 was first released, and it’s still available to buy via the usual outlets, and I would say that it is still well worth a play now. Even if it does require that horrible UPlay thing that Ubisoft forces on you…
Dynamix‘s 1989 combat flight sim, A-10 Tank Killer, is fast and fluid on the PC, making it one of the first serious combat flight sims to offer more than 20 frames a second to games-players. In the early days of combat flight sims: the games were battling against weaker machine specs and lower CPU cycles. When 386 and 486 type PCs entered the market (in 1989), and VGA graphics cards became affordable, only then did the genre finally have the power to be “fast” and “fluid”.
A-10 Tank Killer – as you’d expect – is mostly air to ground attack missions. You’re piloting an A-10 Thunderbolt II after all. Bombing and strafing. And mostly set in the desert.
The level of detail is pleasing, and playing the game is enjoyable and not too realistic, boring and dry. Flying the individual missions is exciting and suck you in to the game, and just flying around, taking off and landing are enjoyable.
The version shown here is the VGA MS-DOS version. An even more streamlined Windows version came out later in the 90s. A sequel, called Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer II, was released in 1996.