Adrian's Top ten computer games Compiled 31st December 2012

Click the titles for youtube/video clips

Substation

Released 1994.

Set in a "Substation", an underground complex, which has lost communication with the outside world, so it's got a great eerie concept.
Sound. Sound, it had some really creepy music (Not played in the video, a snippet recorded here; Substation ste ) Also the sound FX were thought about & when the alien/baddie suddenly appears the sound FX along with that makes you jump! with surprise.

Substation was known as the ST's "Doom beater".

The graphics were hardly amazing, but nevertheless, they sufficed.

The aim of the game was to clear any baddies & retake the Substation.

So you had storyline, Sound FX, 3d & excitement!


Rescue on Fractalus

Rescue on Fractalus was made in 1984!!!!! Check that out, 9 years before Doom on much less powerful computers.

Rescue on Fractalus involved flying a space craft, down to a planet, searching for people to rescue whilst avoiding/fighting aliens via their gun turrets, or... the best bit, when you rescue someone sometimes it turns out not to be a human, but an alien!

The sound was used to good effects re: the above.
The game had 3d graphics! Now, 3d vector graphics, basically meaning line drawings, but a bit of colour in the background, the game played nicely.

So you've got colour, 3d, Sound FX, storyline & excitement!

Duke Nukem 3d

Released in January 1996

Duke Nukem follows duke Nukem as aliens have attempted Earth invasion and takeover. There's an amount of tongue in cheek sleaze, and dry humour throughout.
The storyline & the humour carry the game. The 3d engine worked really well.

The game has Duke going through different worlds, & then they have him at the San Andreas fault, which breaks & the whole level seems to fall apart :) sooo funny, I nearly wet myself ;P

3d, Storyline, moments of... not excitement per se, but intrigue.

Turrican

Turrican followed "Turrican" (character), a humanoid in a cybersuit as they battle through alien mechanoid worlds.

The music on this game was astounding, programmed on a Commodore 64 released in 1990 so it's all chip music, but with harmonies and beat, not like any other 8 bit chip music I know of.
The game is a 2d side scroller, but larger than most and scope to explore, explore the sky, Jump across platforms, ground & underground, explore water, and finally explore the alien infested world at the end.... & what a master stroke in Turrican 2, after an hour or 2 of upbeat music, suddenly the music stops & you're left with an ominous heartbeat. The aliens in this game are so similar in graphic representation to the film "Alien", that we can assume influence, but the game was so much more effective that the film!, Don't get too close to the alien, else it'll grab you and eat you.

This is a 2d side scroller game, but that description doesn't really do it justice just for the sheer size of the game, for the quality of the music and graphics, for the imaginative selection of weapons at Turrican's disposal, for the range of different "Baddies" for Turrican to overcome, from big baddies, to duck robot baddies, birds, gun turrets, spiders! yes spiders that shoot at you! They're pesky & really fiddly to shoot ;) Then the little... mites... that are like insects perhaps & they nest build, and they jump out very suddenly scamper across the floor leap onto your face and suffocate you!

the game is colourful large enough to keep you happily exploring for a long while, entertaining music.

2d, storyline, background music and very colourful and detailed graphics.

Little Big Planet

Released in 2008

Little Big planet... is not a game! lol, of course it is, but we have been given the tools to create our own levels & that side of the game far outstrips the "Game" side of things. I prefer to think of Little Big Planet as a BASIC programming language, given a graphical user interface! about time!!!

Little Big Planet (LBP) is a 2d platformer with 3d aspects, ie:- there are 3 planes usable for game play, a further back plane for creating a decorative background. The game nods to Turrican, having upbeat music throughout. You play through and as you do you win prizes, which help you to build your own levels.

LBP & LBP2 have the widest ranging user base for age & gender, older people play, younger people play, both female & male's get something out of it.

The game is a child's game, when a child is playing, my 4 year old son loves it & he creates levels and plays the game.

At 2am when I'm not sleeping & I'm on-line with somebody from America & we join forces to design a sophisticated suspension for a car there is no was I can imagine a 4 year old being part of that, at that point it is definitely a game aimed at adults.

Because the game gives us the tools to make our own levels, tools to make our own music/sound fx, tools to make our own artwork, the game is what we make it & we are only limited by our imagination (That and the 3 planes we're allowed to move in, but check it out, people have made 3d levels! they couldn't stop them!!! Lol :D)

The game side of things is good enough to play through, but I will tell the truth, if it were the game alone, I would have discarded it a while ago, but the create mode has meant I've kept playing for 2 years now!

The game is playable & the game got better in LBP2 with added power ups, grappling hook, bounce pads etc, because of the create aspect, we often end up going back to the game, to see, how did they do this, how can I make this, & to win the extra power up, or the extra material.

(LBP2 has a selection of levels, which, whilst not exact copies, certainly play through as Turrican levels.)



Wolfenstein

(Video above via a 68k mac, os 8.1 The last good thing Apple did!)

The game has been released for DOS in 1992. I know the Apple mac version & Wikipedia seems sketchy on the release details for that.

You, first person view, wandering through an underground lair, shooting baddies... The game feels fairly claustrophobic, The lair is sealed and has many doors, which open sounding like heavy metal doors, which can certainly give you a "start", which helps with the atmosphere, baddies can be "in yer face" pretty quickly, so it get's the adrenaline going. The game has soldiers with German accents, and that along with iconic German imagery makes the feel of the game emotional.

Background story being that you William "B.J." Blazkowicz are attempting to escape from the Nazi German prison of Castle Wolfenstein.

3d graphics, effectively drawn (No especially pretty, not overly detailed, but they do the job, in a cartoony way), mood & atmosphere, good use of sound fx, background music is ok, though could get tedious after a long stint.


Tenchu

Released in 1998 for Playstation (PSX)

Tenchu lovingly recreates 16th century Japan. We have a stunning black & white, nay greyscale opening video. The graphics have been described as "pretty", & I would say they've definitely romanticised things.

The game is 3d & the 3d engine is pretty awful & clunky. I got the hang of it & it kinda added to the game :) for me ;P

The background mmusic is pleasant, and the sound fx are used wisely.

The game involves you sneaking around killing the baddies, avoiding innocents. You get to use a grappling hook & run along roof tops, I loved sitting on rooftops, secretly watching the goings on below. As well as the grappling hook there's a host of other tricks to collect to help you be a sneaky ninja ;)

I played the game over & over again, just because it's a lovely place to be, moody romanticised, things to listen for, things to look at.

A game where we get to play either the male or the female character! Very nice touch, more so for that era.

The Beatles Rock band

Released 2009

Rock band is a music game. It aims to be more involving than just pressing buttons. You use a music controller and play complex combinations (Pressing buttons). You sing as well, it's pretty good for practising songs.

The Beatles Rock band was made as a separate game, which whilst limits cross compatibility, they added vocal harmonies.

The game has lovely dreamscapes, it shows in animation, the Beatles on tour, the Beatles in the studio, the Beatles in imagined Dreamscapes, which really adds to the experience, added to this that you get perhaps 40 songs bundled with the game, it makes a really lovely experience.

The Lone Raider

Can't find a release date, so I'll say mid 80's.

A lively  arcade game with different parts. featuring a "Leaper" game, where you jump through horizontal lines, then a huge Dalek comes (Makes you jump!) & chases you!

Lovely imaginative lively throwaway fun :)

2d, sound FX, excitement.


Balance of Power


Released in 1986. I couldn't find a video, & truth be told a video may not be the best way to explain/demonstrate this game :)

It blew my mind, the very concept! What a game about "Making peace"?!?!?!? after I got the concept I really got the game & played it endlessly... my proudest moment being when I forced SA to abandon Apartheid by forcing a coup :0.

In the game you play either America or Russia & you respond to foreign diplomacy and enact your own. You can view detailed statistics about the country you're interacting with, their mortality rates, gdp, how many tv's they have.


Reference, page like graphics. Great concept. a mind game.


I really hated writing this up! I love the games, I don't need to do my homework on them! (Maybe I am just lazy ;) )
But I hope that it let's people see what can be done with video games, regardless of budget & technical ability of the platforms they're produced on/for.


Squirrel