Mar 24, 2009

Pacian presents Dead Like Ants

Dead Like Ants Pacian i-fHaving already enjoyed a significant part of Dead Like Ants I can assure you dear readers that it is indeed an excellent game -or should I say read- that absolutely everyone has to experience. But, I'm apparently jumping ahead of myself. Let me first explain that Dead Like Ants, a little downloadable something just released for the EnvComp competition, is a freeware piece of interactive fiction (a.k.a. a text adventure) created by Pacian of Gun Mute and Poizoned Mind fame for your PC, Mac or Linux machine. Now you know and, well, you should really download it and find out more about it here. Immediately.

As I don't want to spoil anything major here, let me just tell you that -as is usually the case with Pacian's offerings- Dead Like Ants sports a truly unique and beautiful fairy tale-esque setting, a pretty innovative way of handling puzzles (and in-game death), a selection of well written characters, an amazing world to explore and an excellent story. As for the difficulty of the puzzles, well, guess I'll let you figure it out yourselves. Not that you'll encounter anything particularly frustrating, mind. Oh, and here's the author's description of things:

Dead Like Ants is a low-fi, fairy tale-ish game for an Interactive Fiction (i.e. text game) environment competition. Explore your surroundings, meet strange new people, try to stand-out from your thousands of identical sisters... And perhaps at the end of it all, you'll grow some wings.

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Mar 18, 2009

The Home of the Underdogs: It Returns!

The Home of the UnderdogsThe Home of the Underdogs was the first site I really cared for, deeply enjoyed and daily visited since the era when a 33.6k modem was considered high-tech. I happily witnessed countless upgrades, radical design changes and a ton of new, indie, obscure, classic and old games being constantly added. What's more each game came complete with excellent reviews, download (or even buying) options, links, covers and all the info a PC and/or retro minded gamer could ask for. Then, quite suddenly and after a couple years of inactivity, HotU just disappeared as Sarinee lost her web host. The internet cried and went to abandonia for a drink.

Enter A brand new attempt -with an artful gamer touch, mind- to revive that historic abandonware site, add some web 2.0 bits 'n' bolts and once again call it The Home of the Underdogs! Thousands of games have already been added, things look more than hopeful, vibrant and properly retro, and I would strongly suggest you pay the thing a visit.

Mar 14, 2009

DOS Nostalgia gets all nostalgic while playing Castle Wolfenstein

DOS Nostalgia... Can't believe I haven't mentioned this fantastic site for what must have been longer than a month, but, well, better late than ever I suppose. Anyway. As you might have guessed, DOS Nostalgia is a pretty young retro gaming site/blog/thingy focusing on the world of classic pc games of the DOS variety, which as you might have noticed I'm particularly fond of myself. Now, as I'm also fond of classic game video reviews, I must admit that DOS Nostalgia has evolved into one of my favourite places on the net. Its video reviews, you see, are absolutely brilliant.

What's more, Anatoly, the man behind said videos, has already covered an excellent selection of games (including such truly irresistible choices as Loom, Manhunter: New York and all time favourite Alley Cat) which have already proven his taste, talent and refreshing lack of horrible internet humour. Go see for yourselves luvs. Oh, and here's a sample covering an obscure little game you might have heard: Castle Wolfenstein.

Mar 9, 2009

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector II (pronounced "oon-taa-tsee-gars-doorf sek-tor too") released

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector IISoviet Unterzoegersdorf Sector 2Jumping from GameSetWatch to Laughing Squid I did find out that the hotly anticipated Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Sector II has finally been made available for download. So, well, I cyber-jumped to its very own, highly amusing, deeply proletarian, monochrom produced and masterfully revolutionary website, enjoyed the design, shed a tear for socialism and got myself a fantastic game. Mind you, Sector I has also been available for your gaming pleasure for quite some time now and can be shared via that very same liberated www place.

To wet your appetite even more, let me inform you that this is a brilliantly humorous point-and-click adventure of an almost FMV variety that can be downloaded for absolutely free. And it's playable on Windows XP/Vista/2000, Linux and OSX. As for the plot and atmosphere, have a read:

People of the world, you, who sit in your superficially secure third countries.

Soviet Unterzögersdorf (pronounced «oon-taa-tsee-gars-doorf») is the last existing appanage republic of the USSR. The enclave maintains no diplomatic relationship with the surrounding so-called «Republic of Austria» or with the Fortress «European Union». The downfall of her motherland -- the Soviet Union -- in the early 1990s had a particularly bad effect on the country’s economic situation.

It is a great challenge to secure survival for the small but proud confederation. External reactionary forces put the country in danger. It’s a lack of respect due to a morally corrupted and perhaps even non-existing unity of the peoples. The goal of a glorious future is almost unreachable.

But there are a handful of people who don’t give up on a vision for a better tomorrow. Let us tell you the stories of the brave citizens in the beautiful little country of Soviet Unterzögersdorf.

It’s a story that will go into history.
I'm pretty sure your donations wouldn't go amiss either. On the contrary comrades. They'll guarantee the equally lavish production of the -from now on- hotly anticipated Sector III and will most possibly help bring fortress Europe on its knees.

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Mar 6, 2009

RGCD is very much back!

RGCD Retro Games discmagHurray then, as this particularly brilliant retro gaming focused discmag had been left outside web life for over a year. But, happily, the waiting and sheer agony are over. RGCD is finally back with a rich and shiny fifth issue you can download from this most appropriate of places. Oh, and unfortunately I didn't quite manage to contribute anything this time around. Sorry for that.

Mar 5, 2009

If I had a PS3 and a copy of LBP...

that's what I'd be playing through over and over again:

I mean, it's simply stunning, isn't it? Of course it is. It is after all the aptly named ZX Spectrum Adventure created by Liveinabin for all PS3 gamers cunning enough to own a copy of Little Big Planet and old (and, well, European) enough to have fond memories of the Speccy. Now, why don't you see if you can spot all the pretty obvious references yourselves?

Bombarding Alan Sugar with Sinclair microdrives... Ahh, brilliant, just brilliant!

Mar 2, 2009

Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy: The Review

Buccaneer: The Pursuit of InfamySid Meier's Pirates! was a game that deeply impressed my little underage self, as it was one of those preciously few digital offerings that actually made me daydream and fantasize about being a pirate drinking milk and eating hamburgers somewhere in the Caribbean of yore. As for them serving wenches, well, I couldn't care less really. I was only 9. Besides, I even thought that fiddling with the map was far more exciting than courting a governor's daughter. Pah, kids.

Anyway, what I particularly and truly liked about Pirates! -even more so about its excellent 2004 remake- were them glorious ship to ship battles, and happily that's what indie developers Stickman Studios have evolved into a full, action-packed game. Joy!

BuccaneerSaid game is none other than Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy (official website, Steam page), a game impressively developed by a team of only two, apparently extremely talented and hardworking, individuals. Now, besides being a feat of sheer will and dedication itself, Buccaneer also happens to be the game that even momentarily allowed me to once again live the digital thrills of bloody sea battle and, well, imagine things of a heroic nature. What's more it is easily the best pirate game I've come across since 2004. Despite, as already mentioned, being a pure action game. A pure combat focused action game to be precise, that besides battling, only spices things up by letting the player select missions, buy new ships, upgrade older ones and rudimentary manage his/her crew's morale.

What truly matters though is the simple fact that the basic combat mechanic is absolutely brilliant, simple, fun and makes for a fluid and addictive gameplay experience. Oh, and if you have to know, the player gets to commandeer his/her ship using the WASD keys while moving the camera with the mouse and using the left and right mouse buttons to shoot the cannons on the respective side of the ship.

Buccaneer Pirate ShipOn the other hand, not everything is perfect. Land bombardment for example is quite frustrating, as aiming at particular buildings is nigh on impossible, while sometimes the battle area is a bit too small for proper maneuvering. Then again, when you got those fantastic graphics, the tons of available -and surprisingly varied- missions, some excellent and highly amusing multiplayer options, a fine selection of Steam achievements, an amazing sounding ocean (!) and a convincing atmosphere, you just can't complain. Buccaneer is quite fantastic.

Verdict: Three parrots, five cannonballs, one monkey and half a bottle of rum, meaning you should definitely give this excellent indie pirate game a try. I'd suggest you bought one or two copies of the thing too.

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