The ZX Spectrum version of John Van Ryzin‘s classic rescue game, H.E.R.O., looks pretty basic when compared to other versions, but plays just as well as all the others.
Worms: The Director’s Cut on the CD32 is a beautifully smooth and playable conversion of the Amiga original, with the same highly compelling and ultra-competitive ‘versus’ gameplay.
General Chaos is a memorable multiplayer strategy/action game, developed by Game Refuge Inc. and published for the Sega Megadrive by Electronic Arts in 1993.
The game is basically a real-time, single-screen tactical action game, with two teams of soldiers fighting it out for overall domination. You can either take on the computer AI, or another person, and must capture your opponent’s base to win the game.
This 1983 scrolling platform game was quite influential when it was first released. A lot of people tried to copy it, but very few got anywhere near as good. This Atari 8-bit version is the original.
Monolith‘s 1997 shooter – Blood – is a first-person satire of every horror movie you ever saw, and also a few that you probably didn’t.
Rob Bowkett‘s 8-bit platform game became an instant hit on the ZX Spectrum when it first came out in 1985.
Dynamite Dan had groundbreaking graphics (for the time) and was seen as a “Jet Set Willy-beater” by some. One thing is for sure: it had (still has) a lot of character. Especially in the main sprite (which stayed the same in the 1986 sequel).
In the game, the aim is to collect eight sticks of dynamite and escape the island in the same manner you arrive. Easier said than done because Dynamite Dan is somewhat challenging. Maybe too challenging for most.
Still: Dynamite Dan is a ZX Spectrum classic and is well worth a play today.
The Commodore 64 version of John Van Ryzin‘s 1984 classic H.E.R.O. plays just as good as the Atari 2600 original, although the graphics are a little messier.
I think what they tried to do was add some ‘texture’ to the backgrounds, but just ended up adding lots of distracting dots instead… It does make the game more difficult to play, because it’s more difficult to judge where things are in the mass of pixel ‘overgrowth’.
Conversion of the Commodore 64 version was handled by The Softworks, and – graphical embellishments aside – they did an excellent job of it.
H.E.R.O. on the C64 was once again published by Activision.
More: H.E.R.O. on Wikipedia
John Van Ryzin‘s popular H.E.R.O. (Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operation) first made its appearance on the Atari 2600 (aka Atari VCS), via Activision, way back in 1984.
The premise is simple: you are a guy with a helicopter rotor on his back and can fly through caverns of a deep mine, looking for trapped victims to rescue.
You have to be careful where you fly, though, because hitting certain things can kill you.
Every now and then you’ll come across an immovable wall, barring your way, and can drop sticks of dynamite to get rid of them. Avoiding the blast of your own explosives is crucial though. Oh, and you can shoot a short range beam out from your eyes too. Helpful for shooting spiders and suchlike. Don’t shoot a lamp though, otherwise the screen will go dark.
H.E.R.O. is classic 1980s video gaming. A simple, original idea, made fun by pushing the limited abilities of the Atari 2600 to their limits.
H.E.R.O. also appeared on many other 8-bit video gaming platforms too, including Apple II, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, MSX, and ZX Spectrum.
More: H.E.R.O. on Wikipedia
Developed by High Moon Studios, Darkwatch is a First-Person Shooter/survival horror game that crosses the American “Wild West” with ghosts, zombies and werewolves and that kind of material.
When it was first released, back in 2005, is was quite impressive for the time. In this day and age Darkwatch looks and plays very simply, but is not entirely without its redeeming features.
Atmospherically, Darkwatch is still excellent, with lots of ghostly visual effects creating some interesting scenes. The horseback chase sequences are particularly good.
Where the game falls down, though, are the terrible cut scenes and the bogstandard script and voice acting.
The weapons and special powers are interesting. The baddies and bosses are interesting. The environments are interesting. It’s just that the dialogue and rather uninteresting protagonists hold Darkwatch back from being a true classic.
These grabs were taken on a development XBox that outputs lossless screenshots over a network, with pixel perfect quality. A grabber’s dream. 🙂