Developed by Shadow Software and published by Rasputin Software in 1995, Base Jumpers is an interesting platform game where the aim is to climb to the top of a succession of tall buildings in order to launch yourself from the top of them and parachute down to safety.
Lazy Jones is a cult classic Commodore 64 game that tries to cram as many derivative minigames into 64K as is possible – stuff like Space Invaders, Frogger, and platform game clones (one minigame is called Eggie Chuck – a direct reference to the classic Chuckie Egg).
Herbert’s Dummy Run is the fourth game in the Wally Week series and was published by Mikro-Gen in 1985. It was written by Dave Perry and features Herbert Week – Wally’s baby son.
Sam & Max Hit the Road, released by LucasArts in 1993, marks the video game debut of the infamous dog/rabbit crime-fighting duo.
Created by artist Steve Purcell, Sam & Max are “freelance police” and basically engage in a series of surreal mysteries involving bigfoot, and a whole host of other weird characters and strange situations.
Of the three Super Mario Bros. games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, this 1988 release must surely rate as the best.
Back in 1985 gamers were astounded to see the release of an officially-licensed game, based on the pop band Frankie Goes To Hollywood. “Whatever will they think of next?” went the chattering classes. Well, just like the records that were burning up the charts, the Frankie Goes To Hollywood video game license turned out to be ‘gold dust’ to publisher Ocean Software, and the game itself is remembered as being a pretty good one (which is rare for licensed product).
Released for the Oric by IJK Software in 1984, Don’t Press The Letter Q is a very early ‘minigame’-based adventure, in a similar vein to more modern titles like Warioware.
Considering that Don’t Press The Letter Q is over 35 years old now, it has stood the test of time remarkably well. And – considering that it is an Oric exclusive – it is something of a stand-out title on the platform. Arguably even the best game on the Oric.
Konami‘s classic Super Nintendo platform game, Legend of the Mystical Ninja (1991), is about as much fun you can have on this particular system – it is just so chock full of variety and fun that it is undeniably one of the best games on the SNES.
There is so much to say about Legend of the Mystical Ninja, like the fact that the main character – Goemon – is loosely based on a real historical figure (a Robin Hood-like outlaw, who robbed from the rich to give to the poor, and was captured and executed (boiled alive in public, no less) in 1594), or the fact that the game features a smorgasbord of great mini games; a brilliant soundtrack; outstanding graphics; irreverent humour; stunning ‘Mode 7’ rotating platforming sections; memorable boss battles; RPG elements (like money, shops, and ability-boosting); a superb two-player mode… The list is endless.
One of the most talked-about aspects of Legend of the Mystical Ninja is the fact that it features a mini game that is the entire first level of the classic arcade shoot ’em up Nemesis (aka Gradius).
There’s a brilliant horse racing game; a maze; a lottery; a quiz (with questions that cover events in the game to that point); card games; mole-bashing – and more.
From a personal standpoint, I’d have to say that Legend of the Mystical Ninja is a special game for me. Having bought and played it back in the early 1990s when it was first released, and marvelled at its joys then – until now (I still play it from time to time), I would have to put Legend of the Mystical Ninja in my top five games of all time.
If you’ve never played it… Well, that is something you should consider rectifying. Whether that’s on a real SNES, or a SNES Mini, or an emulator: it matters not. Legend of the Mystical Ninja is just so laden with character and joy that it cannot be missed.