Tag Archives: exploration

Snatcher, Sega CD

Snatcher is a cyberpunk graphic adventure game created by Hideo Koijima (and his team) and released by Konami for the Sega CD in 1988. It is held in high regard by those who’ve played it.

Graphically, Snatcher is beautifully presented, with lots of high tech readouts and animated displays shown at every opportunity. Characters have their own portrait pop up when they’re talking, and every scene has its own set of animated sequences telling the story. Interaction is via a multiple choice menu, with more options opening up as you investigate further.

The story is basically a Blade Runner-esque “hunt the robots” type scenario, with you playing a guy called Gillian Seed (the Japanese were always terrible at English names…). Gillian is a JUNKER – a member of a team whose sold job it is to track and kill humanoid robots called “Snatchers”. Snatchers have been discovered to be killing people and wearing their skin as a disguise, replacing them in society. And your job is to stop them. Thankfully you have plenty of help, including a robot assistant called ‘Metal Gear’ (haw haw), who can act as a telephone, can analyse blood and tissue samples for you, but unfortunately can’t blast things (boooo). At least not to begin with…

The first real case you take on is a gory one. You find a fellow JUNKER agent, except he’s dead because his head’s been twisted off… And from that grisly discovery you soon begin your first combat sequence…

Combat in Snatcher is fairly weak to be honest. It’s basically a reaction/shooting game where you target incoming robots on a three by three grid. It’s not easy, but it’s not very interesting either. The game does at least give you the opportunity to practise on a shooting range before putting your life at risk.

You could describe Snatcher as an ‘interactive, animated comic’, but ultimately – if you really want to pigeonhole it – it’s an adventure game. A very good adventure game at that – one with top quality presentation and challenging gameplay. It’s probably best played with a walkthrough to hand, because it’s a game you can easily get stuck in.

Interestingly, Snatcher was re-made for the MSX2 as SD Snatcher in 1990, which may seem a little weird as you’d maybe expect it to be the other way around… Both games are excellent, although personally SD Snatcher is my favourite because I prefer the combat in that game. Snatcher on the Sega CD does have a much more complex story and better audio/visuals though.

If you like cyberpunk action adventure games and haven’t seen Snatcher, you should hunt it down and play it as soon as possible. It’s fairly classic stuff.

More: Snatcher on Wikipedia

Normality, PC

A weird mix of 3D exploration and point-and-click adventure, Normality was developed and published by Gremlin Interactive in 1996.

In some respects Normality is the predecessor to Realms of the Haunting – a 1997 release from Gremlin. Both games use the same game engine, and gameplay-wise they also share a lot of similarities.

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Heimdall 2: Into the Hall of Worlds, Amiga CD32

The sequel to the quirky Amiga adventure Heimdall, Heimdall 2: Into the Hall of Worlds was developed by The 8th Day and published by Core Design in 1994. In my opinion: it is more enjoyable than the first game, although not without its faults.

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D/Generation, Amiga CD32

D/Generation was originally released for the PC, Amiga and Atari ST in 1991 and this CD32 conversion was released in 1993. It is a colourful isometric action/adventure game with titchy graphics, cool animation and absorbing gameplay.

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Liberation: Captive 2, Amiga CD32

Tony Crowther‘s 1993 sequel to the classic Captive, Liberation: Captive 2 is a first-person action/RPG where you control a team of robots trying to rescue prisoners by looking for clues to their whereabouts, and by following leads to their location.

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Heimdall, Amiga

Heimdall is an isometric adventure game developed by The 8th Day and published by Core Design in 1991.

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Captive, Amiga

Captive is a classic Tony Crowther game, published by Mindscape in 1990. It is a futuristic, first-person RPG/action game in the style of Dungeon Master.

At first I didn’t really much like the game – I thought the graphics were dated and garish and the controls finicky – BUT… after a bit more reading/research I managed to get a foothold in the game and I really started to enjoy it.

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Mercenary, Commodore 16/Plus4

Requiring 64K of RAM to run, and coded by Paul Woakes himself, Mercenary on the Plus4 is an almost perfect conversion of his classic 3D, C64 exploration game.

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Castle Master, Commodore 16/Plus4

A 1992 homebrew conversion of the fourth Freescape game, Castle Master, coded by Tanacs Attila (aka “TGMS”), with additional graphics by P. István (aka “abcug”).

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Total Eclipse, Commodore 16/Plus4

A 1990 homebrew conversion of the classic Freescape game, Total Eclipse, by the Hungarian coder Soós Ferenc (aka “SF”). It requires 64K of RAM to run.

And Total Eclipse an excellent conversion – pretty much identical to its Commodore 64 parent (from which it was converted).

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