Tag Archives: Sierra

short;Play: Rise of the Dragon

Adventure games — particularly point-and-click affairs from the ’90s — are a genre I’ve loved for a long time. And one of my all-time favourites from back in the day is Rise of the Dragon, a futuristic dystopian adventure by Dynamix that feels all the more plausible today.

Taking on the role of William “Blade” Hunter, trenchcoat-wearing private detective extraordinaire, it’s your job to investigate the strange and horrifying death of the mayor’s daughter, stop the spread of a deadly DNA-altering drug and prevent the resurrection of an ancient Chinese wizard who really wants to take over Los Angeles for some reason. I say he’s welcome to it; LA’s a shithole now, and it looks even worse in the future.

Check out my full playthrough of this adventure game classic 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!

Atari ST A to Z: Donald Duck’s Playground

Growing up, I always had a certain resistance to explicitly educational games; I would much rather have been blasting aliens than doing maths problems.

However, if you were to cunningly disguise those educational components as a Sierra adventure game I would, of course, be well and truly on board. The folly of youth.

Enter Donald Duck’s Playground, then, second of the Disney/Sierra crossovers to be put together by Al “Leisure Suit Larry” Lowe, and proof if proof were needed that Sierra’s AGI engine wasn’t quite suitable for every type of game…

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: Ultima 2

Today’s game hails from the relatively early days of what would go on to become an incredibly popular genre worldwide: the RPG.

Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress is often regarded as the “black sheep” of the Ultima series, but it nicely demonstrates how things worked for this type of game back in the Good Old Days… as well as makes me realise that I really had no need to feel intimidated by the supposed complexity of RPGs back when I was a kid!

The ST version perhaps isn’t the most visually impressive game you’ll see on the platform, but it does make good use of the GEM interface, and provides some solid, enjoyable adventuring action!

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

Summer Daze at Hero-U: Corey Cole Talks Kickstarter, Characters as Puzzles and More

While the idea of the “gaming auteur” is a relatively recent concept thanks to modern creators such as Hideo Kojima, Taro Yoko and Goichi Suda, those of you who have been gaming for as long as I have will doubtless be able to name some “big names” from much earlier in the evolution of the medium.

Many of these names were associated with Sierra, a company established at the very dawn of computer gaming history in 1979 that became primarily known for its adventure games — though this was far from the only type of software they put out.

One of Sierra’s most beloved franchises from “back in the day”, was Quest for Glory, a series of five games that offered an engaging blend of point-and-click adventuring, role-playing game mechanics and a pun-tastic sense of humour. These were the creation of Lori Ann and Corey Cole, a married couple who, between them, displayed considerable flair for both game design and entertaining writing.

In 2018, the Coles brought us Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, a long-awaited spiritual successor to Quest for Glory that featured the pair’s iconic blend of good humour and solid design. Now, in the year of Quest for Glory’s 30th anniversary, development has begun on a new Hero-U title, so I took some time to chat with Corey about its influences, what the pair learned from the previous game, and how we can expect to be enjoying our Summer Daze at Hero-U.

Continue reading Summer Daze at Hero-U: Corey Cole Talks Kickstarter, Characters as Puzzles and More