Tag Archives: PC games

Retro Select: Nox

Westwood Studios put out some great games in their prime, including their most well-known titles such as Command & Conquer and the Eye of the Beholder series — but also some lesser-known little gems too.

Nox definitely falls into the latter category. Sadly written off as something of a Diablo II clone on its original release, it’s actually a rather distinct sort of experience featuring three separate, self-contained narratives, a great sense of structure and pacing and an excellent control scheme. Well worth your time if you like your action RPGs!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Tyrian 2000

The all-time classic shoot ’em ups of days gone by can typically be found in the arcades and on home consoles — devices with specialist hardware than can handle speedy scrolling and flinging masses of sprites around the screen at once.

But don’t for one second think that there aren’t great shoot ’em ups designed for classic home computers, too. Because there are some fabulous ones out there — and Tyrian is one of the very best, particularly if you crave something with a little more depth and long-term appeal than a standard arcade-style affair. Best of all, it’s free these days, too.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Dungeon Hack

Enjoy D&D games but hate that they have to end eventually — and if you want to play again you end up playing the same old story over and over?

Enter Dungeon Hack, the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition take on the roguelike genre, making use of Westwood’s Eye of the Beholder engine. That’s quite a pedigree, I’m sure you’ll agree — and it’s a great game, too, particularly if you enjoy hack-and-slash treasure huntin’ dungeon crawlin’.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Lands of Lore – The Throne of Chaos

VIRGIN INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS… THE WESTWOOD STUDIOS PRODUCTION OF… LANDS OF LORE, THE THRONE OF CHAOS.

Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos from Virgin Interactive Entertainment and Westwood Studios (natch) is the only game that I never, ever, ever skip over the credit scenes for. I mean, come on, Patrick Stewart bellowing the name of the publisher and the developer with admirable sincerity? You don’t see that every day. Oh, also it’s a damn fine game, too, as evidenced by the fact I ended up playing this for nearly two hours without realising.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Quake

Quake is here! Again. Only this time around, it’s (re)releasing in a context where it actually feels fresh and interesting, rather than a technologically superior version of things we’ve seen before.

It’s fascinating quite how well Quake holds up today, particularly when compared to today’s takes on first-person shooters. Night Dive Studios’ new remaster of the game is incredibly respectful to the original while adding a bunch of conveniences that modern players would demand — and there’s a whole lot of game in there to enjoy, too.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: Teleglitch

As wonderful as true teleportation technology would be, I think we’ve probably had enough cautionary sci-fi tales by now to make anyone very wary of actually pursuing research in this field.

One that I’m rather fond of is Teleglitch, a charmingly lo-fi roguelike-inspired action game that takes a number of cues from classic first-person shooters and survival horror games. In it, you play a scientist at a military research installation with rather questionable ethics where, unsurprisingly, work on both teleportation and genetic engineering has gone horribly wrong.

Enjoy my gameplay in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: The Incredible Machine

PC gaming today is, in a lot of cases, “console gaming but prettier and smoother”. There are exceptions, of course, but over the years I feel like we’ve lost a little something.

Back in the MS-DOS era, “PC games” felt a lot more distinct from “console games”. And a fantastic example of this is Dynamix’s The Incredible Machine: a delightful, subtly educational, Heath Robinson/Rube Goldberg-inspired puzzle game that challenged you to accomplish simple tasks in the most convoluted manner possible.

Join me in rediscovering this old classic in the video below — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: Blake Stone – Aliens of Gold

One of the reasons I wanted to introduce the short;Play series was to celebrate some of my favourites from yesteryear that don’t get talked about all that much.

Today we take a look at Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, a sci-fi first-person shooter running on an enhanced Wolfenstein 3-D engine… and a game that has been mostly forgotten by history thanks to the fact that it came out a week before the legendary Doom.

I like this game a whole lot, and it provides a noticeably distinct experience from both its spiritual predecessor and id’s subsequent classic. Check out the video below to find out more — and don’t forget to subscribe over on YouTube while you’re at it!

Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles

At the time of writing, a new independently developed game called “Helltaker” is all over social media, with all sorts of people sharing screenshots and fanart.

With that in mind, I decided to give it a look for myself. Turns out it’s a free download for PC, available via Steam. As such, there’s absolutely no risk involved in trying it out at the very least — and if you like it, you have a cool thing to add to your library; if, on the other hand, it’s not for you, you haven’t lost anything.

What did I think? Hmm, mixed feelings if I’m perfectly honest; let’s explore all that a little further, then.

Continue reading Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles

short;Play: A Valley Without Wind

One of the things that has always been good about the indie sphere has been its many developers’ willingness to experiment.

One company that has always been at the forefront of experimental gameplay is Arcen Games, who are very fond of blending disparate genres together to create something wonderful — and of throwing a healthy dose of procedural generation into the mix, too.

A Valley Without Wind was my first encounter with them… and it’s a game I’ve loved since I first came across it back in 2012. Take a look at the video below to see how it plays — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!