Help out the artist from The Labyrinth of Time! Blog category

Art by Bradley W. Schenck

The Labyrinth of Time is a beautiful, forgotten game. Luckily, the artist is still going at it, and he has a new book coming out! But he needs some money before he can start publishing it.

That’s where you come in. If you have some spare change, please send a little money to Bradley W. Schenck’s Kickstarter project! He has 30 days to raise $7,800. Any amount you can kick in will help the effort – and as with all Kickstarter projects, the money won’t transfer until he’s raised it all.

As I’ve harped about, Schenck’s art has greatly personally affected me. It’d mean a lot if whoever’s reading could send over a few bucks.

Seize the Day Software category

Title screen from Seize the Day

Planner programs are one of the many relics of 90s computing. Nowadays we default to Google Docs, Outlook, iCal, or whatever we have on our phones, but before we synced up with the cloud, there was competing planning software. If computers could do nothing else right, they would still store contacts and remind you about your appointments. Each planner had to outdo the others with a richer feature set or a more exciting interface.

Enter Seize the Day. Forget the “daybook” part of this program. The biggest and best feature is its rotating gallery plug-in. Seriously, it’s beautiful. » Read more about Seize the Day

Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong Nou Adventure category

Title screen from Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou

Playing Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong Nou for the first time is a life-affirming moment. In a world where games from big publishers need to be marketable, along comes one so nearly incomprehensible that I mistook it for a fevered dream for nearly a decade afterward.

Eastern Mind is, unquestionably, the strangest game ever made. This is mainlined interactive surrealism. It’s also a deeply spiritual game. The game ruminates on the purpose of the soul while jumping erratically from moment to moment. It defies explanation.

…but let’s try. » Read more about Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong Nou

Big Rig Simulation category

Title screen from Big Rig

Not many simulation games from the 80s earn their genre’s moniker like Big Rig. The creator, Bill Pogue, must have had a thing for freight trucking when he set out to recreate an accurate cross-country cargo trip. For goodness’s sake, this is a text-based driving sim that keeps track of the weight of your fuel. To the game’s detriment, all that engaging detail reminds you how monotonous the subject matter is. » Read more about Big Rig

Star Wars: Pit Droids Puzzle category

Title screen from Star Wars Pit Droids!

Star Wars: Pit Droids is a kids game based on the comic relief characters from the podracing segments of The Phantom Menace. Given the hype around The Phantom Menace, the target audience would have good reason to play it. Given the response to The Phantom Menace, you’d be excused for passing it over.

Against expectations, the designers at Lucas Learning put together a decent Lemmings-style game. » Read more about Star Wars: Pit Droids

Roller Coaster Factory Simulation category

Cover art for Roller Coaster Factory

At age 12, I had this deep obsession with wanting to get a roller coaster video game. The object of my affection was Ultimate Ride because of a glowing write-up in some computer magazine that made it look incredible and extensive for its time. There was no theme park administration involved, just building roller coasters, which was perfect for me. The demo took a full day to download on my dial-up connection, but in spite of my enthusiasm, my old desktop computer didn’t meet the system requirements.

Flash-forward a few months to a trip to Office Max with my family. While rifling through the bargain racks, I found a copy of ValuSoft’s Roller Coaster Factory, which looked pretty awesome from the jewel case. It would have to do.

It did not do, not at all. Roller Coaster Factory is awful. It seems to be, somehow, bored by the idea of roller coasters. It screws up the fun qualities of playing a coaster game in the first place, and along the way, it loses something deeper.

(This one is a little personal, don’t mind me.)

» Read more about Roller Coaster Factory

MissionForce: CyberStorm Strategy category

Title screen from MissionForce: CyberStorm

Despite its low profile, MissionForce: CyberStorm is one of the greatest turn-based strategy games of its time, an absolute milestone for the genre. The game creatively plays with genre mechanics, then uses them to demonstrate the dehumanizing effects of technology and war. » Read more about MissionForce: CyberStorm

Don’t Go Alone RPG category

Title screen from Don't Go Alone

Haunted houses never get a fair rap. They might be cheesy and schlocky, but you’re getting what you pay for. Sometimes you just want cheap scares and creepy decorations.

So thank goodness that Don’t Go Alone doesn’t put up any pretensions. It takes place in a haunted house, and you fight ghosts. Doors burst open and scary things crawl out. There’s a fairly fun RPG here, even without the corny spookiness, and it does justice to the roadside attractions and B-movies that inspired it. » Read more about Don’t Go Alone

Frogger: He’s Back! Arcade categoryPlayStation category

Title screen from Frogger: He's Back!

The 90s reboot of Frogger kicks ass. I swear to god. This game is great. As great as Frogger can be, anyway. It’s like someone took the original and injected it with shark hormones.

Hyperbole aside, the Frogger remake (occasionally subtitled Frogger 3D or Frogger: He’s Back!) is easily the best in the series. It expands upon the original in clever, interesting ways without betraying its roots or stretching the formula to absurd lengths. » Read more about Frogger: He’s Back!

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