I took a brief vacation a little over a month ago. It was the kind of vacation where I, you know, actually traveled somewhere that was a significant distance from home. And what did I think to do? Play games, of course. Not all the time, fortunately, but during certain downtime. I took my little ASUS Eee PC 701 loaded up with DOSBox and the ripped ISO images of most every DOS game from my collection still unentered into MobyGames.
Executive Summary: None were good. Surprised?
In 3D Cyberpuck, set in 2212, people have channeled their lust for violence into an ultra-violent version of hockey. The point of the game is to hit the goal but there are also lots of weapons and powerups that come into play.
I scored a goal though I am at a loss to explain how. I used my digital gamepad that I thought to bring along for the trip. However, this game was obviously designed for an analog joystick. If you have ever experienced that kind of mismatch, you know how impossible a game can be.
Next up is Megamaze. This is a game that requires at least 2 players and at most 4, so it’s a little tricky for just one person to try. Actually, it would also be rather difficult for the maximum 4 players to play simultaneously since all 4 are expected to use the same keyboard. The players simply roam around the maze and shoot each other.
The game was made by 2 fairly young-looking programmers, neither of whom took credit for the sound. My notes indicate that the sound was rather lacking (and the sample from the game over screen was clearly taken from “Aliens”). Somehow, I feel I can’t be too hard on the game since I made a similar game around the same time.
I tried Xerix II: The Caverns of Mars which, despite being freely available, is not in MobyGames. Maybe others have tried it but, like me, couldn’t get it to run.
Klondike Moon is one of those games that just goes clear over my head. It has something to do with outer space mining. According to my notes, you win a level when you pay off your debt, exit through the wormhole, and block others from making good on their debts.
The more pages that an instruction manual contains, the quicker I lose interest, unfortunately. I’m not looking forward to combing over the manual again in order to create a satisfactory MobyGames description.
Then there’s Tower of Fear. How old school is this game? Check out the video configuration:
It’s hard to believe this came on a CD-ROM (obviously a re-release). This probably would have been a halfway fun action game except for speed issues; I couldn’t make the game run slow enough. Either that or there were input timing issues so that I couldn’t control the character effectively.
At least Tower of Fear came with some interesting demos. Now this sounds like it would be more up my alley: Barney Bear Goes To Space.
One last game I tried was Absolute Zero, which is already in the database but without any appreciable action screenshots. When I tried to play, I realized that the the contributor who submitted the original screenshots probably encountered the same problem I did: the FMV transition segments ran too slowly. When I say “ran too slowly,” I mean on the order of 1 frame per second rather than, say, 15. I got as far as this news segment setting up the story with the headline, “Security Charged With Brutality.” You’d be angry too if you had to deal with this computer system.