This 1983 release from Software Farm broke new ground on the Sinclair ZX81. You see: graphics on the ZX81, before Forty Niner, consisted of chunky basic graphics and ASCII symbols, because the machine wasn’t really capable of anything else. Or so the world thought…
Developed by Argonaut Software and published by Fox Interactive in 1997, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos is a colourful 3D platformer featuring a cute crocodile.
Croc actually started out as a prototype 3D platform game featuring Yoshi from Nintendo‘s Super Mario series, but when it was pitched to Nintendo they rejected the idea, so Argonaut re-worked it into an original property.
Rather than produce another platform game, Ocean Software chose to make a graphical adventure for their third Hunchback game. Which was an unusual choice.
Hunchback: The Adventure again features Quasimodo trying to rescue Esmeralda, this time from the evil Cardinal of Notre Dame. It’s a three-part game, requiring the same number of loads. In part one Quasimodo must escape from Notre Dame itself, and from the Cardinal’s many guards who are trying to stop him. In part two he must make his way under the city of Paris until he reaches the Cardinal’s mansion. And finally, in part three, he must challenge the Cardinal and escape with Esmeralda in tow.
Nibbler is a 1982 arcade game featuring a snake inside a maze, with the aim being: to eat all the items before the clock runs down, and to avoid running into this own trailing tail, which grows in length as you eat more items.
Rapscallion is a bizarre and humorous action adventure written by Albert Ball and published by Bug-Byte for the ZX Spectrum in 1984.
You play an un-named king who has had his crown and castle seized by his arch enemy, Rapscallion the Rogue. Rapscallion has thrown you into the dungeon to rot, but you are saved by your friend, The Fairy Princess, who transforms you into a bird and grants you six lives. This allows you to begin your quest for revenge…
Ocean Software‘s 1983 release, Pogo, is arguably the best Q*Bert clone on the ZX Spectrum. And there were a lot of Q*Bert clones around at the time.
It was one of the very first Spectrum games I ever bought and it kept teenage me occupied for a few days, before I eventually grew tired of it.
Gunple: Gunman’s Proof was developed by Lenar and published by ASCII Corporation in 1997. It was one of the last games to be released for the SNES and was only ever released in Japan. An English fan translation does exist, though, which means that non Japanese speakers can enjoy this wonderful game.
In essence, Gunple could be described as ‘Zelda with guns’ or a ‘Wild West Zelda‘, because – graphically – the game does have a lot of similarities to Nintendo‘s classic A Link To the Past. In fact: some of the background graphics, in my opinion, appear to have been lifted from the aforementioned Zelda game, which in reality is no bad thing.
The first game in the Sir Arthur Pendragon series, The Staff of Karnath was released on the Commodore 64 in 1984 to some acclaim. Mostly because it was an Ultimate game, and in the eyes of many people (myself included), Ultimate could do no wrong.
The 1994 sequel to StarTropics, Zoda’s Revenge again features the red-haired hero, Mike Jones, only this time he’s on a time-travelling adventure searching to find a series of puzzles shapes called “Tetrads”.
These Tetrads are actually a nod to Tetris, and in the Virtual Console re-release of StarTropics II their names have been changed to “Blocks”, probably to avoid any legal problems. But anyway, I digress…