Twenty years ago today, the gaming world saw the launch of a truly landmark title: Sonic the Hedgehog
. Developed as a vehicle for a new Sega mascot, the fluid, vibrant, cheery-tuned wonderland swiftly became the company's flagship product, inspiring over the ensuing decades an increasingly convoluted universe
of TV shows, comic books
, and dozens of games on a variety of systems (all documented in this frighteningly comprehensive TVTropes portal
). And while in recent years the series has turned out more and more mediocre 3D and RPG efforts
, the original games remain crown jewels of the 16-bit era. So why not kick off this anniversary by replaying the titles that started it all for free in your browser: Sonic the Hedgehog
(1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2
(1992), Sonic the Hedgehog 3
(1994), Sonic & Knuckles
(1994). Or click inside for music, remakes, and other fun stuff! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 23, 2011 -
mastermind Markus "Notch" Persson has officially announced
his company's next project: a hybrid online board game/trading card system
. Spearheaded by Mojang co-founder Jakob Porser (interview
) and with backstory penned by Penny Arcade wordsmith Jerry "Tycho" Holkins, the game will consist of turn-based battles between collectible "scrolls," illustrated character cards
strategically deployed on an abstract gaming grid. In an interesting inversion of the Minecraft
model, the game itself will be free, while updates in the form of additional scroll packs will cost a nominal fee -- a business model gaming analyst Sean Maelstrom decries as "snake oil."
Mojang, for their part, is unafraid and even eager to target an untested slice of the gaming market, and is angling to get their playable prototype of Scrolls
ready for a possible Alpha release this summer.
posted by Rhaomi
on Mar 2, 2011 -
Halfway through the third book of the Hitchhiker's Guide
series, there is a throwaway reference
to a doomed starship, one whose incredible splendor was matched only by the cosmic absurdity of its maiden-day annihilation.
But the story didn't end there. Unbeknownst to many fans, this small piece of Adamsian lore was the inspiration for an ambitious and richly-detailed side-story: a 1998 computer adventure game called Starship Titanic
Designed by Douglas Adams himself, the game set players loose in the infamous vessel, challenging them with a maddening mystery laced with the devilish wit of the novels.
The game was laden with extra content, including an in-depth strategy guide
, a (mediocre) tie-in novel
by Terry Jones, a whimsical First Class In-Flight Magazine
, and even a pair of 3D glasses for one of the more inventive puzzles.
Key to solving these puzzles was the game's groundbreaking communications system -- players interacted with the ship's robotic crew
through a natural language parsing engine called SpookiTalk, whose 10,000+ lines of conversational dialogue spawned 16 hours of audio
recorded by professional voice actors, including John Cleese
, Terry Jones
, and even Douglas Adams himself in several cameos (spoiler cameo)
. Want to experience the voyage for yourself? Then watch this narrated video playthrough (intro (ads)
- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9? 10 11 12 13
) ...or click inside for a information on how to run the game for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux (along with a bunch of other goodies!). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 22, 2010 -
Chromatron 1, 2, 3 and 4
just became freeware. In these little standalone puzzle games for PC and Mac, you align splitters, benders, and mirrors to direct colored laserbeams into like-colored targets. Enjoyably difficult, and an example of great game design. [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2
on Nov 28, 2007 -
Say goodbye to Bleem.
If you don't know, Bleem made emulator software that allowed you to play Playstation games on another console system or your PC. Their 'farewell' is kind of funny in a sad way.
posted by Sal Amander
on Dec 19, 2001 -