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Monthly Archives: September 2016

#55: Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers

 

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December 1991 – Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers

Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers is another licensed game, and as such, it takes the form of a side-scrolling platform game. This decision was not made, one suspects, with any thought that the cartoon series on which it was based particularly lent itself to the idea of jumping around on platforms. Rather, as we have seen before in the likes of Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and Batman, licensed games tended to be hammered into a platformy shape because the platform game was simply the default image of what a video game was in those days. Such was the colossal success of Super Mario Bros. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2016 in 1991, NES

 

#54: Spellbound Dizzy

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November 1991 – Spellbound Dizzy

“It’s the biggest Dizzy game yet!” That’s how Spellbound Dizzy was advertised and sold. It’s not an inaccurate statement – the world of Spellbound Dizzy does indeed contain more screens to explore than any previous game in the series. What’s not addressed or acknowledged in that statement, though, is the question of whether there is anything of worth to be discovered in that exploration. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in 1991, Amiga, Dizzy

 

#53: Oh No! More Lemmings

Iain wrote this one.

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October 1991 – Oh No! More Lemmings

“Oh no!”, the high-pitched final words of one of the walking figures under your command, just before they blow themselves to smithereens. Not exactly a dignified end. Words of fear? Surprise? Resignation? Hard to tell through the digitised squeak, and maybe not so easy to think about in pixelised miniature, either. Cuteness can smuggle in horrors, serious ideas, and keep them hidden in plain sight until suddenly they aren’t. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in 1991, Amiga, Lemmings

 

#52: Sid Meier’s Civilization

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September 1991 – Sid Meier’s Civilization

When asked what he thought of western civilization, Gandhi replied that he though it would be a good idea, or so the story goes. Meanwhile, in the world of Sid Meier’s Civilization, Gandhi is well known as a psychotic megalomaniac, prone to launching nuclear strikes on anyone who so much as looks at him funny. It’s the result of an oversight in the game’s programming; each AI-controlled world leader has base rating of 1-10 in a variety of characteristics, including aggression, in which Gandhi’s is set at 1. But a government choice of Democracy which, as a pacifist, Gandhi tends towards, will lower that aggression rating by a further two points. This sets Gandhi to -1, which rolls around and instead becomes a score of 255, because computers, and so we get Gandhi the destroyer of worlds. This might seem like something of a major failing, but given the scope of this game, it’s a wonder that the most notable bug is a bit of amusingly absurd mischaracterisation, as opposed to some utterly game-destroying catastrophe. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in 1991, DOS