April 2, 2014

Acquisition Log: 2014-04-02

MobyGames saw some rough times last year when, after years of stagnation, its new corporate master launched a much-maligned design overhaul. Then, at the very end of the year, a new benefactor swept in, took control, returned the design to its former glory, and has been carefully evolving the design and working to grow the community.

Through it all, I have continued to collect games, mostly due to force of habit, I suppose. But now I feel a bit more eager to get back to collecting and entering data (even if it’s just for cover art at this point).

Here are my latest acquisitions that are not yet represented in the database. Here’s a random grab bag:

Robot Club, Otter's Adventure, Galactic Bowling, Secrets of the Dark
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  • The Robot Club by Southpeak Interactive
  • The Otter’s Adventure (Softkey release), developed by Digital Impact in 1995
  • Galactic Bowling: The Ultimate Extreme Sport; PerpetualFX/Cosmi
  • Secrets of the Dark 2 Game Pack: Temple of Night & Eclipse Mountain, published by Big Fish

Here’s a smattering of educational games:

Pong Pong, Brain Quest, Word Krispies, Grammar Rock, Spell Adventure
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  • Pong Pong’s Learning Adventure: Animals, published by Hong Kong Datasun Group– this seems to be half in Chinese; I’m not looking forward to figuring out the original release region for this title
  • How Do You Spell Adventure? by Sanctuary Woods, whom I recognize thanks to their Radio Active title
  • Brain Quest: 2nd Grade, published by IBM in 1999; several entries in the Brain Quest series are already in the database, but not 2nd grade
  • Mighty Math 2-pack: Number Heroes and Calculating Crew, published by Edmark
  • Word Krispies (looks like this is already in the database), published by Liquid Dragon Studios and published by Encore
  • School House Rock: Grammar Rock (Smart Saver release)– “Kids email program included free!”

Here’s a stash of biblical-themed games, most of which were published by Left Behind Games:

Jesus Wants All Of Me, Charlie Church Mouse, King Solomon's Trivia Challenge, Left Behind 3
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  • Jesus Wants All of Me
  • Charlie Church Mouse: Preschool
  • King Solomon’s Trivia Challenge: Volume I: Quizmaster Edition
  • Left Behind 3: Rise of the Antichrist

The next group is commercial licensees:

Apprentice, Scooby-Doo, Powerpuff Girls
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  • The Apprentice, based on the Donald Trump reality show; published by Legacy Interactive, whom I recognize thanks to their Law & Order adaptations, which makes me wonder if this is also Java-based
  • Scooby-Doo! Ancient Adventures– this is a VTech V.Flash console game. I have one of these V.Flash systems, still new in the box. One day, I’ll need to open it and play the 3 V.Flash games that I have acquired and perhaps lobby for the system’s inclusion into MobyGames, since they’re adding a lot more systems these days.
  • The Powerpuff Girls Learning Challenge #1: Mojo Jojo’s Clone Zone, from The Learning Company; I guess I should appreciate that some of these game titles are so ridiculously long as it makes it easier to determine that the game is not in the database.

Some software items that come in big, classic boxes:

Redshift 3, 20 Wargame Classics
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The first is Redshift 3. I’m not sure if this technically qualifies as a game. It might just be an educational space exploration software title. I wonder if it holds up to web-based space education tools.

The second box is Twenty Wargame Classics from Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI).

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July 2, 2013

Acquisition Log: RPG All-Stars

Today’s trip to my favorite thrift shop yielded a crop of well-known and beloved (I’m told) computer role playing games. Ordinarily, I don’t collect more common material unless it’s cheap enough and no one else seems to want it. But it seems like every time I collect something “common”, I discover something unique about my copy that reveals that it’s different than anything currently in the database, or at least that I still have plenty of scanning to do.

Neverwinter Nights Gold; Icewind Dale; 2 Might and Magic titles

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The curious thing in this batch is Icewind Dale: Notice that it has an “RP” ESRB badge, indicating that a final rating is still pending. It this is a release, then why does it have no final rating? If could be a review copy, but I suspect such a copy would have REVIEW COPY: NOT FOR RESALE plastered all over the media and manual. Also odd is the print in the manual. For example:

Icewind Dale Manual excerpt

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It’s extremely difficult to read and almost looks like a bad photocopy job. Perhaps someone with a proper T-rated copy of Icewind Dale can inform me whether this is what the final manual looked like.

Next batch:

Septerra Core; Settlers II; Civilization III

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  • Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator– companies mentioned include Interplay, TopWare Interactive, Valkyrie Studios, and Monolith
  • The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici by Blue Byte; if MobyGames’ scans are anything to go by, the series is big in Europe; this will be this title’s first scan on record for a U.S. release
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization III: Bonus CD by Infogrames– this is a bit puzzling as I can’t figure out which version of Civ3 this CD (or its jewel case backing) goes with

Ever try to photograph a holographic picture?

Space Colony; MayaQuest; Bob the Builder

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  • Space Colony by Firefly with a pretty/frustrating holographic box
  • MayaQuest: The Mystery Trail by MECC (the Trail people)– I learned I already have a copy of this; however, this copy is v1.0 while my other copy is v1.12; let’s hear it for completeness!
  • Bob the Builder: Can We Fix it? by THQ– I’m a little surprised that the credits in the manual don’t list any programmers; plenty of testers, producers, VPs and marketers; but no one slinging code

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May 6, 2013

Acquisition Log: Dreamcast Lives!

I got a package from China today. That can only mean one thing– I have a new toy related to the Sega Dreamcast video game console (it has only been three total Chinese shipments since 2001, but still, all DC-related). Did you hear that a new Sega Dreamcast game just got released? An independent developer released a full new game in the year 2013 called Sturmwind:

Sturmwind for Sega Dreamcast

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I totally intend to play it sometime, hopefully soon.

A recent trip to my favorite thrift store uncovered a still-wrapped copy of a game called Internet Puzzle Adventure Treasure Hunt:

Internet Puzzle Adventure Treasure Hunt

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I’m not sure if I arranged those 5 title words in the right order. It comes from the year 2003 and was published by a company named Lagoon Multimedia. I don’t believe they exist anymore. The URL on the box copy is www.puzzleadventure.com. Yeah, that doesn’t exist anymore, either. However, the Internet Archive has some records of it and it looks like the site did persist until early 2009.

The back of the box copy has 3 steps: 1) Open the box and solve the puzzle inside; 2) find the hidden password; and 3) begin the internet puzzle adventure. Here’s what’s inside:

Internet Puzzle Adventure inside

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No CD-ROM. Just puzzle tiles and a manual. I guess that lack of system requirements on the box should have been a tip-off. However, “internet” seems to be an implicit requirement.

Other items, one of which is not yet represented in the database:

Mia's Science Adventure; Bumper Wars

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March 1, 2013

Acquisition Log: 2013-03-01

It has been a slow few months for collecting old games that no one cares about. However, I have managed to accumulate a few choice items that still enjoy no representation in the MobyGames database:

Barbie: Swan Lake; Dear America; Infinity City; Rock Tour Tycoon

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  • Barbie: Swan Lake: The Enchanted Forest — Yep, I will never run out of Barbie games to enter
  • Dear America: Friend to Friend — Not sure if this is technically a game or not but my curiosity was piqued by the cover copy boasting “featuring FriendLink Technology: Non-Online Chat”. Not sure if “non-online” is a synonym for offline.
  • Infinity City: The Gigglebone Gang by Headbone Interactive; other titles chronicling the Gigglebone Gang include AlphaBonk Farm and Pantsylvania– nearly every name in this series seems strangely suspect.
  • Rock Tour Tycoon — Embellishing my collection of odd “Tycoon” titles. “Dream it! Manage it! Rock it!” Also, “MP3 included.” Not sure what that means.

I have acquired 2 titles in some “Elroy” series from different sources:

Elroy: Goes Bugzerk & Hits the Pavement

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There’s a dedicated wiki for this series. The wiki gives me the impression that Elroy Goes Bugzerk and Elroy Hits the Pavement are the only 2 games in the series.

Other items, including 2 titles that originally came from fast food restaurants:

Nutcracker; Martha Speaks; Pokemon: Gotta Make Em All; Etherium Rescue; Fun Bundle II

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  • Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker: The Music Game
  • Martha Speaks: Martha’s in the Middle — I don’t know which of those segments is the title and which is the subtitle. The disc is marked as 5 of 5 and was distributed by Chick-Fil-A restaurants.
  • Pokemon: Gotta MAKE ‘em All! (Red) This appears to be a creativity tool rather than a game. A little searching reveals that there is also a blue version of the disc.
  • Disney’s Treasure Planet: Etherium Rescue — distributed by McDonalds and appears to only be a demo
  • Fun Bundle II for Mac — 4 games:

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October 14, 2012

Acquisition Log: 2012-10-14

I’ve been going through my backlog of acquisitions (dozens!) that I have yet to mention. I thought I would compose a post to showcase the ones that aren’t in MobyGames as of yet. Sometimes, if I don’t mention a game, that vast ocean of knowledge known as the internet will have no record that it ever existed. It’s a solemn duty that I undertake.

2 more ‘Tycoon’ games in this bunch:

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  • Caterpillar Construction Tycoon: A simulation game sponsored by the construction giant (I never realized that they own the domain cat.com); published by Activision Value
  • Midnight Outlaw: 6 Hours to Sun Up
  • Prison Tycoon: Alcatraz– there are at least 5 games in the Prison Tycoon series and I have now collected 3 of them
  • Fate: The Traitor Soul– part of The Fate Series; not sure how large this series has grown but I now have 2 titles that aren’t on record

There’s some good licensed schlock in this bunch:

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  • Merrian-Webster Spell-Jam (Tik Games)– I find it grammatically odd that “Spell-Jam” is hyphenated, but far be it from me to argue with the dictionary people
  • Fashion Craze (Viva Media)
  • Sonny’s Race for Chocolatey Taste– a Cocoa Puffs game!
  • Common Cents– a game sponsored by State Farm Insurance; the jewel case copy mentions Flash Player as a requirement which leads me to believe it started life on the web and was also published on CD-ROM; comes from year 2004
  • Burger Island Combo (eGames)– a compilation of Burger Island and Burger Island 2
  • Whitetail Fever– hunting game by Valu-Soft

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October 6, 2012

Acquisition Log: 2012-10-06

I visited my favorite thrift store today. It has been a long time since my last visit and their CD bins were all absolutely overflowing. I had to make some choices because I didn’t want to take home too many games.

Here are the items from this score that have no representation in the database:

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  • Barbie: Team Gymnastics– yep, there are still Barbie games that neither I nor MobyGames know about yet
  • Big Action Construction by Fisher-Price
  • Get Ready for School, Charlie Brown!
  • Puzzlemania CD-ROM from Highlights (as in, the magazine from your dentist office)

All of these items fall into the category of either “probably not or definitely not a game”:

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  • ‘Tronic Phonics from McGraw-Hill School Interactive, listed as disc #11– might be a game
  • One Banana: A Jungle Counting Book– very unlikely to be a game
  • Location & Direction– lists ISO-9660 on the disc, even though it was published by 1999 (companies mentioned: Arc Media Inc. and Mars)– possibly a game
  • Microsoft Cinemania ’95– certainly not a game
  • Invention Studio from the Discovery Channel– build, design, and test your own inventions; there’s even a patent office section; might be a game as other titles in this series qualified (notably Team Xtreme: Operation Weather Disaster)
  • Attactix: Battle Figure Game, Star Wars Starter Set CD-ROM, Series 2– I have no idea what to make of this; the lengthy title sounds like it’s a digital supplement to a tabletop game

And the stuff that’s already in the database:

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