Speedball Overview (Commodore 64/128)

Speedball is a fast-paced, violent sport of the future. Each game takes place inside of a steel-walled arena which contains a ball launcher, 2-4 bounce domes, two goals, and two warp tunnels. Players wear armor as they toss around a steel ball at rapid speeds. The objective is to score more goals than your opponent in three minute matches.

During matches players can grab power tokens and cross power tiles. Power tokens are essentially money which allow a player to “cheat” before or after a match. Available “cheats” include: bribe official, extra stamina, bribe timer, bribe trainer, extra skill, reduce stamina, extra power, reduce skill, bribe ref, and reduce power. Power tiles provide instant advantages from freezing the opponent’s complete team (except the goalie) for nine seconds to gaining possession of the ball.

Speedball can be played as a one-player knockout, two-player game, or a one-player league. Knockout is a playoff system consisting of a maximum of ten rounds that must be won in order to win the championship. League play allows you to select from a 10 to 100 week season. After the season the top teams advance to the playoffs as they attempt to win the Blood Bowl.

F-Zero Overview (1990 racing game)

F-Zero is a futuristic racing video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) . The game was released in Japan on November 21, 1990, in North America on August 23, 1991, and in Europe in 1992. F-Zero is the first game of the F-Zero series and was one of the two launch titles for the SNES in Japan, but was accompanied by additional initial titles in North America and Europe. It was re-released for the Virtual Console service on the Wii in late 2006, and Wii U in early 2013.

Donkey Kong Review (1982 Game)

It’s difficult to overestimate the impact Donkey Kong for the ColecoVision had on the videogaming community. For the first time in the history of console gaming, a graphically complex Arcade-based game looked and sounded a whole lot like it was supposed to. Good Arcade-to-home conversions had been done before (Super Breakout for the Atari 2600 comes to mind), but prior to Donkey Kong, cute characters were generally blocky and unrealistic.

Intellivision and Atari 2600 devotees, who were (and are) a fiercely loyal bunch, were almost embarrassed by their systems’ lack of graphic sophistication in the wake of this revolutionary game. Prior to getting my own ColecoVision, I remember seeing the commercials for Donkey Kong on television. A lot of my friends thought the screen shots were a hoax. I assumed (rightly so) that they were the real article and immediately requested a ColecoVision for Christmas. Luckily, Santa came through.

Although one of the four screens is missing, and the cute intermission scenes are regrettably absent, Donkey Kong is still a remarkably faithful adaptation of the hugely popular Arcade smash, especially by 1982 standards. Not only are the graphics awesome, the sound effects and music are strikingly rich. By including Donkey Kong as a pack-in with the system, Coleco was able to sell a million units of hardware in record time.

Having established the fact that Donkey Kong is historically important and graphically and musically superior, the question remains: Is it any fun? Yes, it is, but it is not perfect. It has some glitches that affect overall gameplay. For example: Mario’s body must come in contact with a barrel before he can smash it open with a hammer. Also, the controls could use some fine-tuning.

Some people find Donkey Kong, whether the Arcade or Coleco version, a bore. I’m not one of these people, but the action can get tired after extended play. The stages don’t take very long to complete, and the intensity level is not on par with a game likeDefender or even Ms. Pac-Man. All in all, though, Donkey Kong is a good-looking, whimsical game that will be remembered for a long time.

Graphics

Those of us who got their ColecoVisions in 1982 can’t help but remember the breathtaking graphics.

Sound

I miss the songs from the intermissions and opening sequences, but while playing the game, you’ll be quite amazed by the audio quality. From the sounds of Mario walking to the memorable theme music, Donkey Kong is first class material.

Enjoyment

It’s the classic story of beauty and the beast. Climbing game fans will have a good time with this faithfully reproduced game.

Replay Value

This is a very good game, but you may still be playing BurgerTime long after you’ve retired Donkey Kong to the back of your closet.

Documentation

The instruction booklet is very detailed.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Synopsis

Based on the Jules Verne novel, this graphic adventure provides a first-person perspective on the realm of Captain Nemo and his enormous submarine craft, The Nautilus. Players guide three brave explorers — marine biologist Pierre Aronnax, his assistant Conseil, and the rough-and-tumble seaman Ned Land — who had boarded the warship Abraham Lincoln and embarked on a mission to hunt down an impossibly enormous “sea monster” reported by several merchant ships.

After finally meeting the creature in battle, far out to sea, the three heroes find themselves thrown overboard, clinging to the metal carapace of the very monster they’d sought to destroy. They are soon brought aboard the “creature,” which is actually the amazing, undersea craft of the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Although technically prisoners of the rogue captain, the men are allowed to explore the opulent vessel and unravel its secrets, through exploration, character interaction, and by solving a number of tricky puzzles.

TERRA COGNITA 1986 – AMSTRAD, C64, SPECTRUM

In this shooter you have to travel as far as possible, whilst
shooting down enemies. There are numerous tiles in the game that
destroy your ship, extend its dwindling fuel supply or add bonuses
like points and speed-ups. Just watch out for the annoying time shift
tiles as they send you back to the start.

StarTropics – Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Mike Jones had no idea what a visit to C-Island to see his uncle, Dr. Steve Jones, would have in store for him. Upon his arrival, the island’s chief informed him of his uncle’s abduction by aliens! Now it’s up to Mike to save him.

In StarTropics, take control of Mike as he fights and figures his way through eight levels of diverse environments such as tropical islands, outer space, and the belly of a whale. His primary weapon is his trusty yo-yo, but Mike will pick up special weapons such as slingshots and baseballs eventually upgrading to the Shooting Star and the powerful Supernova. Occasionally, Mike will break from the Legend of Zelda-like action, exploring new towns in hopes of finding clues leading to Dr. Jones and the climactic confrontation with Zoda, the alien leader.

Never has so much ridden on the shoulders of one young teenager. Save your uncle, the world, and the galaxy in StarTropics.

IBM PC Compatible – Overview

As a group, IBM Compatible PCs are the most popular home computers on the planet. Many of the basic design concepts found in IBM’s original home computer are still seen in PCs built more than 20 years later. IBM began selling its first personal computer in 1981. Unlike other companies vying for a piece of the primitive PC market in the early ’80s, such as Apple and Commodore, IBM built its machine from non-proprietary parts. Instead of manufacturing its own CPU, IBM’s computer was built with an Intel processor. Even the machine’s operating system came from a third-party company — a Seattle upstart called Microsoft.

Through the next two decades, IBM continued to contribute to the evolution of the PC, establishing standards such as the ISA bus and the EGA video card. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the original design of the IBM PC, however, is the mix-and-match mentality it inspired. Since IBM did not have exclusive control over the various parts and software used to build its machine, there was nothing to stop competitors from copying the IBM design and selling their own compatible component systems. In 1982, the recently founded Compaq brought its first “IBM clone” to market. Many, many other computer companies would soon follow that lead.

Relying on a basic architecture but allowing the use of different components from different manufacturers, IBM Compatible PCs can be built for a remarkable variety of purposes and price ranges. Therefore, unlike consoles and other dedicated gaming machines, there is great variation in the system specifications of IBM Compatible Personal Computers. Because of this, the particular system requirements for a PC game are usually listed on the side of its box. These listings typically include the required operating system (OS), central processing unit (CPU) type and speed, amount of random-access memory (RAM), and hard drive space, among other factors. When a PC game supports the use of additional equipment or services, such as a steering wheel controller for a racing game or an Internet connection for a game with online multiplayer features, these are usually listed in the system requirements as well.

While there is no official standard for the display of this information, essentially all published PC games list system requirements someplace on their packaging. Because most PC games will run on a range of computers that meet basic specifications, sometimes two sets of system configurations are listed: the “Minimum” and the “Recommended” specs. Minimum specifications represent the slowest, least powerful computer on which the game will run and be playable, while a machine that meets all the “Recommended” specifications should be able to run the game with graphics, sounds, speeds, and other elements set at their standard or higher levels.

Dragon’s Lair (1983) Arcade Review

Dragon’s Lair was poised to be the game which would revolutionize the videogame industry when it was released in 1983. Gamers were ready to break away from poor graphics and ready to grasp the concept of playing a game that looked like a cartoon with controllable characters. What they got, however, was a big disappointment.

Visually, Dragon’s Lair was breathtaking. Top animators were brought in to make Dirk the Daring look great. New audio and video technology was being used to put the images on the video screen. But, was it a game? A lot of people will tell you that Dragon’s Lair is not a game, that it’s simply a cartoon on a screen in a coin-op console.


Dragon’s Lair offers the video gamer very little control. It is a series of predetermined animation sequences. All the player does is move to the left or right or hit the sword button. Sometimes, the player manages to move or slash at just the right time and goes on to the next scene. Other times, the player misses and Dirk gets killed. Basically, the player waits for a flash of light and then reacts. The rest of the time, he/she might as well be watching television. That’s how little control Dragon’s Lair offers.

Some people will tell you that Dragon’s Lair is a great game simply because of what it tried to do. They’re right, in a sense. Dragon’s Lair did pave the way for more realistic games years after its release, but the Arcade is usually not the best place to try experiments. Games like Pong and Space Invaders, games that were released nearly a decade before Dragon’s Lair, were more engaging and gave players a better game. One can appreciate Dragon’s Lair for what it wanted to be, but it cannot be praised for what it was.

Graphics

The best part of this game are the graphics.

Sound

Good, but sometimes annoying, sound.

Enjoyment

Poor.

Replay Value

Also poor.