Tag Archives: shareware

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!

Atari A to Z: Illinois Smith

You’re probably familiar with various methods of software distribution from over the years.

In the Atari 8-bit era, we had a lot of public domain software that was freely distributable, often sold for the cost of a disk or two from user groups, local software outlets and national publications. But “Begware”, a twist on public domain that literally begged you to pay what you thought the game was worth according to some specific criteria, is a new twist on the formula I’ve not seen in quite this form before.

Illinois Smith, possibly the first (and last?) Begware game, is a mildly entertaining if simplistic romp through a maze as you hunt for treasures. Would I pay up in support of creator Greg Knauss’ unashamed (and rather amusing) begging? These days, sure. Back in the ’80s? Don’t be ridiculous, no-one paid for software back then!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari ST A to Z: Quest for Galaxia

The 16-bit home microcomputer era was a bit of a golden age for public domain software and shareware — even long before the advent of the Internet made distributing such things child’s play.

A key player in this space here in Europe was Budgie UK, who became well-known for distributing good quality public domain software, typically taking the form of 16-bit takes on classic arcade games.

Today’s game is a prime example of that, providing a thoroughly serviceable and enjoyable clone of Namco’s fixed shooter classic Galaxian… with a cool demoscene-style title screen!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.