The Digital Antiquarian offers a potted history of 1990s-era dungeon crawlers: the first-person kind that plays out in real time, but restricts players to movement on a grid to keeps things doable on the era's limited hardware. They were soon outmoded by free movement in three dimensions, but have become a cult subgenre that thrives to this day.
It was easy and natural in these games to control a whole party of characters moving in lockstep from square to square, thus retaining another of the foremost pleasures of turn-based games like Wizardry: that of building up not just a single character but a balanced team of them. In a free-scrolling, free-moving game, with its much more precise sense of embodied positioning, such a conceit would have been impossible to maintain. And much of the emergent interactivity of Dungeon Master‘s environment would also have been impossible without the grid. Many of us still recall the eureka moment when we realized that we could kill monsters by luring them into a gate square and pushing a button to bash them on the heads with the thing as it tried to descend, over and over again. Without the neat order of the grid, where a gate occupying a square fills all of that square as it descends, there could have been no eureka.
Pictured here is of one of the Ishar series, missing from TDA's roundup, perhaps due to its obscurity outside of Britain and France. It was the high point of the genre's golden age, the best and worst of it, and I fancy you can tell from just one screenshot.
This is a really cool homebuilt arcade game project.
What you see before you here is frenetic, graphics-heavy 1985 arcade game Space Harrier as a textmode app. Though represented as chunky extended-ASCII characters, the underlying game is startlingly authentic, with bosses, pylons, tunnel staages and music all running at the Sega classic’s freakishly fast clip. It’s not a clever terminal project floating up on […]
In the 1990s, Nintendo and Sony collaborated on a new game console. Nintendo quit the deal suddenly, one of the greatest business mistakes in video game history. Sony developed and released its own version of the PlayStation console, to spectacular success. But there was a prototype “Nintendo PlayStation”, and the working device is up for […]
Everybody wears socks, even presidents, but not everybody wears sophisticated, ultra-comfortable socks made with bamboo yarn that offers softness, ventilation, and durability. So with all these DeadSoxy socks on sale for Presidents’ Day, why not use this opportunity to make those hard-working feet of yours happier than they’ve ever been? With styles for work and […]
If you’re looking to read more in 2020, you probably wish you had more time to get that done. Well, we can’t create more hours in the day (we’re mad about it too), but we can help you maximize those hours. Catch up on that book list and get ahead of the game when you […]
Grover Cleveland served as America’s 22nd President before being narrowly defeated for re-election by Benjamin Harrison in 1888. But the undeterred Cleveland roared back four years later, winning the 1892 election for his second term in the White House. If the American people can give a president a second chance, don’t you think a gently-used […]