Matt Barton's Matt Chat started as a series of discussions on classic video games from Elite to System Shock 2. It now features interviews with the likes of Chris Avellone (Planescape Torment), Tim Cain (Fallout pt.1, pt.2); Arcanum, Brian Fargo (The Fall of Interplay, Waste land and Fallout, Bard's Tale and Wizardry), John Romero (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake and the infamous Daikatana) and Al Lowe (Leasure Suite Larry pt.1 and pt.2). [more inside]
You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now. In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist -- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone and Android. More: Port discussion group - Wishlist - Vintage review - Original game manual (text or scans)
YouTube has a fair number of recordings of well-played classic arcade games. Dig Dug, Mr Do!, Mr Do's Castle, Do! Run Run, Lady Bug Part 2, Bagman, Super Bagman, Q*bert, Venture, Zoo Keeper, Moon Cresta, Scramble, Make Trax, Phoenix, Rastan. click through for more [more inside]
The Pac-Man Dossier is an extremely detailed description of the game logic of arcade Pac-Man. It explains why, once in a while, monsters will harmlessly pass through Pac-Man. It explains why they won't go up through the tunnels above the monster box. It explains why occasionally, after losing a life, monsters will refuse to leave the box. It explains when and why Blinky becomes Cruise Elroy, and why sometimes Pinky gets confused and loses track of Pac-Man. It even explains, as far as the player can continue to play, what to do on the kill screen. It is awesome. Previously....
Hardcore Gaming 101 has a e-newsletter, but the best things there are the loving introductions to dozens of classic games and game series, all either sadly forgotten or practically unknown to the Western World. Thrill to the serious action of Compile shooters! Avoid the mocking gazes of friends, roomies and significant others while reading about venerable Konami cute-em-ups Twinbee and Parodius! Figure out why the hell so many Namco games have Valkyrie in them! Try to keep a straight face when confronted with the likes of Ganbare Goemon, Phoenix Wright, The Neverhood, No One Can Stop Mr. Domino!!!, Panic!, Urban Yeti and Segagaga, the Sega Simulator! Do, uh, something along with the T&A delights of Keio Flying Squadron, Popful Mail and Valis! All this and much, much, much much more.
Retro Remakes is devoted to fan made remakes of classic video games.
Those of you with crazy multi-tasking skills might want to check out Arcadia, where you play four different super simple games at the same time. Extra points for the stylishly retro chunky pixels look, which brings me right back to happy afternoons spent with my 2600!