This is the ninth entry of the [2019 with DOS games] column, a mini-compendium of the mandatory MS-DOS games ever released. For a big part of my life I’ve been a PC games player and I had tons of old games to play with back in the 90s. This is my homage to them.
The rules are simple. MS-DOS has been created in 1981 and was still available in computer until the early Noughties. However the release of Windows 95 acted as a break and everything before immediately becaome. So I can fairly tell that the DOS era goes from 1981 until 1985. [2019 with DOS games] will feature every two weeks a selection of three games, one for every five-year period (1981-1985, 1986-1990 and 1991-1995) in alphabetilac order that I consider either important, ground-breaking or simply fun and easy to play. I’ll try to consider only DOS-exclusive games or in case games spread on different platforms that have the PC version as a flagship. No claim of completeness, I’m not a human encyclopedia (unfortunately…). Let’s go with letter I.
In Search of the Most Amazing Thing (1983)
- Developer: Tom Snyder Productions (later known as Soup2Nuts)
- Publisher: Spinnaker Software
- Genre: Adventure
Probably Tom Snyder himself couldn’t imagine that his game, marketed as a semi-educational game for children, would have become one of the most interesting game of its era. It was still 1983 so video games on MS-DOS were still in its embryonic form.
The goal of the game is to find the “most amazing thing” that your uncle, Smoke Bailey found during one of his adventures, but eventually lost in the Mire. The game is a blend of adventure and investigation, since you need to find clues to locate the place where the most amazing thing is hidden. The crude graphics surely didn’t affect the gameplay and I guess that all the kids who tried this game back in the 80s had some great fun!
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (1989)
- Developer: LucasArts (formerly Lucasfilm Games)
- Publisher: LucasArts (formerly Lucasfilm Games)
- Genre: Point and Click, Graphic Adventure
Indy movies (the old ones) are still some great ones even today and the transition to video game was one of the best adaptations ever. Turn a movie into a game usually leads to questionable titles with either poor sales and mediocre gameplay or good sales but poor contents. LucasArts with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade made a superb point and click adventure that still holds up very well.
Probably undecided on the direction to take (adventure or action) at LucasArts they developed this game along with the twin title Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game, more focused, of couse, on action. The reception of the adventure was incredible, with reviews well over 90%. The SCUMM engine used in the game was a tried-and-tested engine at LucasArts that was used in other masterpieces like Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. The Last Crusade is surely a title that every gamer, even the ones that aren’t interested in adventures, should try at least once in a lifetime.
Innocent Until Caught (1993)
- Developer: Divide By Zero
- Publisher: Psygnosys
- Genre: Adventure
You know the adventure games are my business, especially the graphic adventures and Innocent Until Caught is one of the non-LucasArts and non-Sierra games of the genre I’ve played the most. This is the first game of a mini-series of two (being the second Guilty). and follows the story of the intergalactive thief Jack T. Ladd, arrested for his illegal activity, that will put again himself to test on the planet Tayte until the final unavoidable arrest.
Unfortunately the game was not so well received back then due to some bugs in the gameplay and for being “sometimes disappointing” (Computer Gaming World), but, as if frequently happens with the games you play when you’re young, becomes one of the “game of your life”, depsite its intrinsic value.
As always here are some honorable mentions:
- Infidel (1983)
- Incunabula (1984)
- Infiltrator (1986)
- Indianapolis 500: The Simulation (1989)
- Imperiuim (1990)
- Iron Lord (1990)
- Immortal (1991)
- Inca (1992)
- Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992)
- Ishar: Legend of the Fortress (1992)
- Inca II: Wiracocha (1993)
- The Incredible Machine (1993)
- IndyCar Racing (1993)
- Isle of the Dead (1993)
- I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (1995)
- Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft (1996)
- Ignition (1997)
Tough choice even this time for a game in the 1991-1995 period. The only reason I’ve decided not to pick Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, one of my 100/100 games, is because I’ve already talked so much about it that I don’t want to look like a fanatic fanboy (even if that’s right what I am 🙂 ).
I could have picked Inca or Inca II, two games I owned as a kid and that I’ve never been able to complete. I actually had great problems to get past the first screens since I didn’t have the copy protection code (because the games were…ehm…copied) even though a couple of times for a strike of luck I guessed the code right only to get stuck on a puzzle.
Even IndyCar Racing was a viable choice since it was my first contact with the american world of racing. Since then my world was restricted to Formula 1, but this game, along with NASCAR Racing (always made by Papyrus) opened my mind and made me race for the first time into ovals.
The last game I’ve considered before picking Innocent Until Caught has been Ignition but being released “too late” in 1997 I haven’t included in the top-3 list. This is the game I played the most with my friends while I was doing my night service on the ambulances. Of course I didn’t play it ON the ambulace but in the small computer room we had in the office. There was also a MAME installed there…
Previous entries in this column:
- [2019 with DOS games] The Ancient Art of War / Altered Destiny / Alone in the Dark
- [2019 with DOS games] The Bard’s Tale / Barbarian / Betrayal at Krondor
- [2019 with DOS games] Castle Wolfenstein / Cadaver / The Chaos Engine
- [2019 with DOS games] Dragonworld / Dangerous Dave / Doom
- [2019 with DOS games] Enchanter / Elvira: Mistress of the Dark / Eye of the Beholder
- [2019 with DOS games] F-15 Strike Eagle / Future Wars: Adventure in Time / Flashback
- [2019 with DOS games] GATO / Gobliiins / Guilty
- [2019 with DOS games] The Hobbit / Hero’s Quest: So You Wanto to Be a Hero / Heretic