May 31, 2006

PC Review: 'Germ Attack SA'

I'm not the type to say no to a free game, even if it means reviewing it, and Germ Attack, was indeed given to me as a free review copy. Further good news is, it is actually a smart, nice little game. Bad news is, it's another color-matching casual game, in the style of Sweety Puzzle (by the same developer).

Germ Attack, though, introduces an interesting and rather successful twist to the color-matching mechanics, that makes for quite a refreshing gameplay experience. Instead of placing colored candy on a grid a la Sweety Puzzle, arranging falling colored objects a la Columns or utilizing a Baku Baku mechanic, Germ Attack lets you rotate (apparently colored) germs, as they are placed on the playing area. Not easily described, but simple and intuitive, and you'll get the whole idea by playing the demo for 15 seconds. Here's a screenshot:

Got it now? No? Doesn't matter. Trust me, it's really addictive, and for the price of 6.95$ you get 60 well designed and quite varied levels, presented with great hand-drawn graphics. Have a look by clicking here. Or here. No, here!

That's a (seven) out of (ten).
. . . . . . .

Related Gnome's Lair articles: Dungeon Man 3 review, Lula 3d review, 60+ hand-picked free games

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May 30, 2006

Bone Act Two: A Cow's Easter Egg

The cuddly, funny and zanny Bone Act Two: The Great Cow Race includes an easter egg. Gasp! Who would have thought! Well, everyone actually, and to be frank, it wasn't even a very well hidden one (but a nice touch nonetheless). Just win 20 times at the Cow Race Game at the carnival, get a nice new inventory item and spot the differences at the ending. Simple. Totally unlike the Space Quest IV easter eggs.

Related Gnome's Lair posts: Space Quest IV walkthrough, Kaptain Brawe, Lula 3D.

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May 29, 2006

Now, that's really naughty

Nival (or should I say Ubisoft?) you shouldn't have done this. Heroes of Might and Magic 5 is (among other things) a child-related product too. I mean, extreme violence is ok, medieval intrigues too, but this is simply no way to advertise.

Anyway. Enough with being funny. Let me just admit the utter brilliance of HOMM5 and move on. Perhaps to some nice free games or even OXO (the first video game ever).

Museum Monday #16

Monday. It really starts getting a) repetitive and b) tiring. Somebody, please, stop this horrid day. Drive a stake through its rotten ol' heart. Or, let's at least call it something else. Better though, abolish it altogether. Burn the day. Yes. That would be really humane on a humanity level.

On the other hand, as long as the human race is stuck with Mondays, I am stuck with Museum Mondays, which admittedly can be rather fun. Especially when dealing with Psygnosis, a true video gaming legend and creator of such (mostly Amiga) gems as Shadow of the Beast, Lemmings and Blood Money. Of course later on, Psygnosis shifted towards the PC and Playstation market, but it would be better if you found out the rest yourselves. By visiting a relevant virtual museum (of sorts). Have a look at You'll love it.

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May 27, 2006

Space Quest IV walkthrough

What follows is, quite apparently, a walkthrough of Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (that's a 4, or to be more precise the latin numeral that roughly translates to a 4), I had written some months ago for the admittedly great Adventure Lantern magazine. There was also a review.

Anyway. May I present:

Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

Now, before we start my dears, you should know some things. First of all, only use this walkthrough (or any other for that matter) in case of repeated deaths or if you get really-really stuck. Secondly, Space Quest IV is a difficult game, in which you get to die often, so save often. Thirdly, the Taste and Smell icons aren’t necessary for the completion of the game, but it’s worth trying them out and reading responses, that will put a smile on your face. Finally, have in mind that SQ4 can get quite absurd. For example you start playing in:

SPACE QUEST XII: Vohaul’s Revenge II
You are on Xenon. It’s dangerous. Watch out for the zombie and the droid. Avoid them at all costs for they will kill you. If of course you have saved your game you could try approaching the zombie in order to see something like this:

Anyway. From the starting screen go east. You’ll se a rope. Take it, and move two screens to the west. There is a rather futuristic vehicle. Look at it and open the glove box, where you’ll find a nice laptop computer. Take it. Now hide in the left part of the screen, so that even you can’t see Roger (Roger who? Roger Wilco, your virtual persona), and use the rope on the ground. Wait. A pink rabbit should appear and head straight for your little trap. Wait till the rabbit steps on the rope and then click the hand-cursor on him. The rabbit should now appear in your inventory. Look at it. You’ll see its back and a battery. Take the battery and use it for the laptop.

Go north and examine (using the hand-cursor) the broken armored vehicle. You’ll see a piece of unstable ordnance. Take it. Good, now put it back or get killed later on (you’ve still got +5 points).

Time to go two screens east and lift the grate, thus entering a mysterious underground office. On the desk you’ll find a jar you should pick up, and a button you’d rather push. On your left you can see a door. A rather big one. Open it, select the jar as your active inventory item, save and enter the first maze of the game. Go north, west, west and south. Some green slime should start oozing and following you. Wait till it gets close and use the jar on it. Quickly go south and climb the stair (using the hand-cursor). You’ll see the landing of the Sequel Police. Swiftly click with the hand-cursor on the ground and move two screens east. Enter the spaceship and fly to Vohaul’s Base.

Right after Roger exits the spaceship go west. A Timebuster 2000 SUX time-machine should appear. Time for a time-machine joyride. When the two Sequel coppers start their silly argument, quickly enter the Timebuster 2000. Get over the copy protection question (you are on your own here) and prepare to fly through time. Before you do anything else, take a note of the symbols that already appear on the Timebuster’s screen. These are the code for returning to Space Quest XII. Now enter six symbols. Any symbols. Nothing, huh? Ok give it another try, but this time note the symbols down, as these are you code for Space Quest X.

SPACE QUEST X: Latex Babes of Estros

Exit the Timebuster and go west. You’ll see an ominous shadow of an ominous bird. Follow it by going east to the screen you landed your Timebuster and then go south. The aforementioned bird will now grab you and take you for a nice visit to its nest.

Don’t be afraid, you will soon have company. A dead Sequel Policeman. Search him and find a piece of paper in a rather bad condition. Enter your inventory screen and click the hand-cursor on the paper. See those symbols? They are the second part of another time-machine code, so write them down. Leave the nest via a small hole on its lower part and a bit to the right. Prepare for a long and quite interesting cinematic sequence, after which Roger will find himself in the Latex Babes Hideout.

Save. When the tentacles touch Roger’s legs push the red button that’s next to his right hand. After you get up, grab a tank (they are to the right of Roger) and throw it in the mouth of the beast. Good. Time for another cinematic.

The girls leave Roger alone and drop their ATM Card. Grab it. Go to the Software Shop. Approach the crowd, talk to them and learn that the Two Guys from Andromeda are attending a signing. Ignore them and go to the Big and Tall shop. Enter it, talk to the robotic shopkeeper, get a new suit and pay (use the buckazoid on the shopkeeper). Go back to the now empty Software Shop. Enter it and take a look at Roger’s left. There is a bargain bin. Have a look at the hilarious games present (such as ‘Boom’ and ‘It Came for Dessert’), and find the Space Quest IV Hintbook at the bottom of the pile. Click on it, select ‘price’ and ‘keep’, pay the alien and exit the shop. Go to Monolith Burger.
Enter Monolith and ask the Boss (apparently a pig) for a job. Play the silly and quite difficult mini-game only if you are looking for a perfect score, or just get the money. No matter what you do, you’ll end being kicked out of Monolith along with a half-smoked cigar. Proceed to the entrance of the Galaxy Galleria Mall and pick up said cigar.

Time to get naughty. Talk to the robot-saleswoman at Sack’s Dress Shop and end up in drag. Pay the robot and take advantage of your new look. Enter the ATM Card in the ATM next to the Software Shop, select the Clear House option and earn 2001 buckazoids. Get straight by re-entering Sack’s (the room where you first changed your clothes), where you’ll change back to your original clothes. In typical male fashion read the Space Quest IV Hint Book. In the fourth page you will find three more time-machine symbols, that along with the three symbols from the dead SP officer give you a new code (the symbols from the Hint Book are the first part of the code). In the seventh page you’ll find a number (69-65-84-76-69). Write it down, save your game and proceed to the Arcade.

Enter the Arcade from the door towards the left side of the screen, have a look around and try your luck at the Ms. Astro Chicken video game. Keep on walking to the other corridor of the Arcade. Save. A Sequel Police Timebuster appears. Exit the Arcade, move east and quickly proceed to the Skate-O-Rama. Now comes the tough and very action oriented part. It’s better to use the cursor keys. Move up to the Skate-O-Rama Dome, then to the west, and quickly down. Avoid getting shot, and avoid the skaters. It’s difficult, but you should manage it with a try or two. Proceed to the Arcade and enter the SP Timebuster. Enter the Hint Book – dead policeman code, and go back in time.

SPACE QUEST I: The Sarien Encounter

Look at the graphics. So eighties. Pah! Exit the Timebuster and go south. Enter the bar, talk to the monochromatic guys at the bar and get kicked-out. It’s revenge time. Click the hand-cursor on the bikes outside the Bar. Save.

Roger will automatically run away and hide. When the bikers pass him by, try to walk back to the Bar. Whenever you get a warning prepare to face one of the bikers. Just click the mouse when they approach you, so you can jump and avoid them. Eventually you’ll make it to the Bar, enter it, talk to the barman, take the matches from the bar and go back to your time-machine (avoid any bikers on your way by timely clicking your mouse button). Enter the time-machine and give the Space Quest XII code.

SPACE QUEST XII: Vohaul’s Revenge II
Exit the Timebuster and move two screens to the east. See the impressive and rather locked door? Good. Destroy the locking mechanism, by throwing the green slime you’ve got in your nice jar on the door. Open the door and enter a dangerous, booby-trapped corridor. Don’t move anymore. Open your inventory. Use the matches on the cigar. Use the cigar, and see the quite deadly laser beams. Look on Roger’s left and see a nice panel. Use it. The panel is the way to rotate the laser beams (clockwise). Enter the following numbers: 336, 032, 112 and walk without fear to the end of the corridor. Save. Exit the corridor.

This is the most difficult part of the game. Your goal is two screens to the west. Avoid the two droids and get there. Easier said than done, but there are a couple of things you could try. The easy way is to retreat to the corridor when you see a droid and then go two screens west. The complicated way requires that you take a hard look at the computer terminals scattered around the maze. A convenient one should be the terminal at the first screen after the corridor. Look at it. See what kind of an adapter it needs. Go back to Space Quest X, to the Radio Shock and buy the appropriate one. Come back. Plug the adapter to the laptop and the laptop to the terminal. See the helpful map? Good. Hope it helps you.

Assuming you have managed to move through those two screens to the west, Roger should now be standing in the central computer room. Looks like a Giger design, doesn’t it? Doesn’t matter, as all you have to do is open the door by using the code you found in the Hint Book (69-65-84-76-69). Enter the room that appears. You should now be looking at an interface like this:

Grab the droid icon and throw it in the toilet. Do the same thing with the brain icon. Save, the countdown begins. Leave the room and go to the screen right outside the corridor with the laser beams. Now go north-west-down the stairs on the left-west-into the elevator-north-east-north. Approach your son and fight him. Use the cursor keys (up) to push him. After a few tries he’ll get immobilized in the beam. Click the hand-cursor on the stairs. When Roger returns use the disk on the weird-device-drive, select BEAM UPLOAD, DISK UPLOAD, select ROGER JR. by using the arrows, BEAM DOWNLOAD. You’ve won. Watch the ending sequence. It’s almost touching, it is.

. . . . . .

Related Gnome's Lair posts: Space Quest IV easter eggs, Thy Dungeonman 3 walkthrough, Sam and Max: Freelance Police trailer

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The artsy way of the video game

I promise you. I'll soon get into discussing whether video game are art (or even Art) or not. For the time being let me present you with some art (as recognized from the majority of society) created for video games. Paintings to be more precise, that have recently been featured at c-net:

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May 26, 2006

to much free time

Unlike 'quality time', a rather recently discovered (by me at least) term, 'free time' can sometimes be to much. That's why capitalism and bosses worldwide try to take it away from us. Just to make sure we don't waste it in a horrible way. Besides, and I'm pretty sure Marx would agree with me, working unpaid overtime is preferable to creating Oblivion dominoes (via). Have a look.

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May 24, 2006

Meet the Lemmings (and the Lynx)

Apparently, the following jpeg depicts a lemming, a small and quite fluffy rodent.
This picture, on the other hand, is a screenshot from Psygnosis' Lemmings, a fast-paced, real-time strategic puzzler released initially for the Amiga, PC and Atari ST in 1991, and the real reason I bought my first mouse:

And here is a piece of wise gnomish advise: "If you fancy lemmings go for the digital kind. The other ones might bite a finger off". You'll also get a great variety to choose from (eh...from the digital kind; of course), as the Lemmings have appeared on almost every imaginable game system (except the EDSAC, that is). They also had quite a few of sequels over the last 15 years too. Let me elaborate, then.

The original Lemmings game has been released (albeit with a few tweaks here and there) on Amiga, Atari ST, PC, 3DO, CDi, CDTV, Amiga CD32, Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear, Sega MegaDrive (or Genesis), Amstrad 6128, C64, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo Gameboy, Gameboy Color, NES and SuperNES (or Famicom), Sega MasterSystem, PSP, PlayStation, Acorn Archimedes, SAM Coupe, Macintosh, Palm, PocketPC, a variety of mobile phones and other places.

As for the (official) games that helped build the Lemmings myth, they are none other than: Lemmings (apparently), Oh no! More Lemmings, Holiday Lemmings 1993, Holiday Lemmings 1994, Lemmings 2: The Tribes, Lemmings Junior, The Lemmings Chronicles, 3d Lemmings Winterland, Lemmings 3d, Lemmings Paintball, The Adventures of Lomax and Lemmings Revolution. That's the lot. I guess. Now, at last, oh brawe reader you know the truth. The Lemmings were and still are a popular franchise. Exciting, isn't it?

But I digress. Really. What I really wanted to blog about was the Atari Lynx. The best hand-held games machine ever to grace our puny little war-torn planet. The first color portable console, that was designed by people who originally worked on the Amiga. The one that was succeeded by the Lynx II. But, now, having wildly digressed, I feel tired. You'll just have to wait for another post, or simply ignore/forget the Lynx altogether. It did have a brilliant Lemmings cart (pic via though...

Related Gnome's Lair posts: Every Warhammer or Mario video game ever, an artsy video on Nintendo's popular franchises, Sweety Puzzle review

GameTap is the new world of video games. Subscribe to GameTap and play over 600 of the greatest arcade, console and PC games of all time, right from your broadband PC. Plus, access broadband-fueled original programming in the MediaPlex.

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May 23, 2006

OXO: the name of the (first ever) game

Cambridge University, 1949: The EDSAC, short for Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator and a computer developed by M. Wilkes, ran its first program. Surely it had something to do with crushing the reds.

Cambridge University, 1952: The EDSAC, does something rather quirky. It stops being all scientific and anti-communist and tries to be nice. It is thus the platform, where the first computer game (ever) was created: OXO (a.k.a Noughts and Crosses). OXO, a revolution in entertainment, that featured amazing 35*16 pixel graphics, and was actually a version of tic-tac-toe, played by dialing (on an typically 50s phone-dial) your input and facing a simple but decent AI. The first video game's creator was (as is usual in these cases) a PhD student: A.S. Douglas. It seems his thesis was on human-computer interaction.

In case you too, would like to experience this fine video game, the grandfather of the whole shebang and predecessor to Doom, and don't have enough room for the 30ton (I guess; number right out of my ass) EDSAC supercomputer, go get yourself an emulator. Here. It's free.

On the other hand, if free is what you're after, have a look at more than 60 hand-picked free games. If, alternatively, retro is your thing, may I propose a glimpse at 80s home computer ads or at a(n) (almost) complete list of Mario games?

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Board games we drool over

Perhaps not all of us, but the more awfully inclined do. Have a look here and then continue your descent to depravity and further giggling by visiting Something Awful. Heh.

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May 22, 2006

Board Game review: 'Zombies!!! 2: Zombie Corps(e)'

Zombies!!! 2 is, as should have already been noticed by any bearded board games' scholar, closely related to the excellent board game Zombies!!! (already reviewed here). An expansion actually, or to elaborate a bit, a great, tidy, compact and beautifully produced expansion. Assuming those interested in Zombies!!! 2 are already Zombies!!! players (well, they really should be, as the original game is quite required to enjoy the Z!!!2 affair), I'll get right to the new stuff. Ruleswise you get a slightly tweaked core ruleset, that helps speed the game up and clean up slight problems, a nice FAQ and quite a few brand new rules. Without wanting to spoil the overall fun-of-the-fan I'll just mention two of them: 1) you get to ride vehicles, 2) tougher (government enhanced) zombies are introduced. Add to the improved rules:

- 15 new map-tiles that will let you fight the undead in a military base
- 30 new event cards (actually 2*15 new ones)
- 6 goofy looking but definitely nice glow-in-the-dark (super) zombies
- some blank replacement cards & tiles
- and (at last) quite a few (around 50) red heart tokens

and you'll understand why this expansion too, is a no brainer!

That's an (eight and a half) out of (ten).

Related Gnome's Lair articles: Space Hulk 2nd ed. review, Class Struggle, Freeware board games

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Museum Monday #15

Monday. I woke up due to a smashing headache at 6:00 in the morning, noticed that people (well, one at least) have -almost anxiously- been waiting for the next installment in the epic Museum Monday series, swallowed a variety of painkillers at 7:00, behaved in a scientific fashion for a few hours, and finally swore never to drink cheap wine or anything bootlegged again. At last I feel ready to decently face a new week and ... er ... Museum Monday #15.

It apparently is about the Mind Machine Museum. An interesting little (Wii) museum of vintage computers, calculators, computer/electronic games and various other obscure artifacts of the first digital era, like this -admittedly crude- teleconference system:

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May 20, 2006

Summoning Quake Monsters

No, really. You too can have your own paper models based on the serene Quake imagery. Just visit Captin Nod's place. He'll show you the way.

Related posts: Quake mod without guns, a silly little Sam 'n' Max video, The Classic Doom mod

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May 19, 2006

An old Sam & Max video

This is a rather simple post. It's all about the canceled Lucasarts game, that used to go under the name of Sam and Max: Freelance Police. It would have been great. It would have included dozens of mini-games. It even had a trailer (which I uploaded for your viewing pleasure). Now it's dead. Not quite? Well, let's just wait and see....

Related Gnome's Lair post: More free games, Kaptain Brawe: A first look, Bone 2

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May 18, 2006

Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New Beta

Have you heard of Kaptain Brawe? No? Then let me tell you a bit about him, and apparently a bit on the Kaptain Brawe game as well. Well, Kaptain Brawe -a fictitious virtual persona- is something like a spaceship captain, while Kaptain Brawe the game is definitely like an adventure. It is not 100% ready, mind you, but well under development (the game, not the captain, that is). Apparently it's a rather humorous affair too. And, with brilliant 2d graphics along with quite a few interesting tweaks like lighting effects , a traditional point and click interface in the style of Curse of Monkey Island, nice music and classic gameplay, Kaptain Brawe seems the real adventure deal. Straight from the nineties, only updated and quite episodic.

The first episode will be released as freeware, that's for sure. For now, no demo is available (should be out in a week or so), only an early and admittedly promising beta. Download it from here or here (or even here), it's around 20mb.

Now, do enjoy a few screenshots, preferably by clicking on them and witnessing their full glory:

[UPDATE: Demo and website have gone absolutely live. Have a look here.]

Related Gnome's Lair articles: Space Quest IV easter eggs, Thy Dungeonman 3 review and walkthrough, Spooks review

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May 17, 2006

Oh no! More hand-picked free games.

The last time I presented you with my favorite free games, I strived to achieve collage-perfection. This time I tried something easier. Photo-manipulation, using the most advanced digital tools. You can see the results on the nice hand-crafted (ahem) pic, that's right above this paragraph. But, I digress. Nobody is here to read about my artistic and/or technical endeavors. You are all here for the games.

Well, the games that made it to this list, were carefully hand-picked in my rather picturesque cyber-garden. They are not shareware titles, trials or mods. They are all full free (100% legal) games, and each and every one of them has given me at least a few hours of clean-godly-gnomish fun. (America's Army is not included, and no matter how many of you moan, it will never be. I hate this game). Well, without further ado then, on to the list...

The Top of the Crop

Xenon 2000: A Xenon II update, by the Bitmap Brothers themselves. Joy, oh joy! Respects, bows and generally dances around. In a happy way. Oh, it's a classic shoot em'up if you must know.

SimCity: The original, society-altering, pseudo-scientific, but exquisite game (cyber-toy, more like it) for city planner wannabes, is at last free.

GunZ: That's one for my gore-minded friends. Go on, download, install and murder polygonal entities to your heart's delight.

Trackmania Nations: Race race-cars and have mindless fun. For free of course.

Zork I, II and III: The best adventure games ever, made it to the public domain, and there was much rejoicing. Brilliant. No screenshots provided. (They are text-adventures. Aaaah...)

Cholo: A beautiful and groundbreaking (it's an 8bit game remake) 3d action game. Requires some strategic thinking and should be avoided by epileptics. Obviously.

KKrieger: An impressive First Person Shooter in under 100kbs? Of course. Marvel at this creation by the demoscene's finest...

NetHack: By popular demand. The ultimate hack-n-slash time sink. Respect the addictive power of ASCII.

The Elder Scrolls: Arena: Apparently Oblivion's grandfather. An immense RPG, with basic but functional 3d graphics. Thank you, Bethesda.

Hidden and Dangerous Deluxe: The same. Also included are: Devil's Bridge expansion pack and H&D game editor.

Facade: The next step in AI development or the evolution of the Sims and cyber-voyeurs? No matter what you think, you really have a look at this innovative almost-gamy piece of software.

The List v.2 (TM)


Planeshift: Nothing to do with planes or planets, Planeshift is a pretty standard fantasy-themed MMORPG. It's in 3d too!

Gunbound: An amazing-looking on-line game, that's actually fun and simple.

Urban Dead: The best free MMORPG. Web-based, popular, simple and humorous. Plus you can be the Zombie.

Wyvern: It's a MMORPG, it looks like a MUD and it's in beta. What is it? Wyvern, of course.

....Strategy & Wargames

MegaMek: Live the excitement and all-around sexy action of the BattleTech board game on your PC.

Invade Earth: A sci-fi version of Risk.

Chart Wars: Apparently a management game, that has something to do with music. And charts.

GameBiz: Like Chart Wars, only with games.

Bontago: Interesting, real-time, requiring abstract strategy and in 3d.

Dark Oberon: The best freeware 2d RTS around, featuring amazing clay stop-motion animation.


Nexuiz: A pretty decent deathmatch FPS. I must admit it was rather enjoyable.

Starsiege: Tribes: Calling this a shooter is an understatement, but I just don't feel like elaborating. An amazing game, and I guess you'll have to thank Vivendi.

Red Planet Arena: Another highly-polished FPS, but for free.

Alien Breed: Obliteration: At last. A 2d shooter and a remake/expansion/improvement of one of the better games on the Amiga. Classic.


Ultima IV: A remake.

Zelda Classic: Another remake.

Eternal Daughter: Not a remake.

Dungeoncrawl: Neither a remake, nor a novel idea.


The Black Cauldron and more Al Lowe games
: Have a look at legendary Al Lowe's creation after he did Softporn and before doing Leisure Suit Larry.

Flight of the Amazon Queen (CD version): A classic 90's point and click adventure, with great humor. Quite a tough one too.

Betrayal at Krondor: Based on the works of R.E. Feist, this is an excellent adventure. By Sierra of course.

Space Quest 0: Replicated: A funny fan addition to the Space Quest saga.

Kings Quest I, II: Great VGA remakes of the classic Sierra games.

Spooks!: Short, gothic and fresh. Reviewed by me right here.

....Games in Space

Elite: The ueber classic space-trading game, available for free through your browser. Immense.

Battlecruiser Millennium: A very complex, but ultimately rewarding game. In space.

Babylon 5: I've found her: Simply brilliant. Perhaps the best space sim of our day, and it will cost you nothing. Nada. Nichts. Rien.

Wing Commander Privateer Remake: Self explanatory and very well done.


Zombie Farm: Destroy 3d zombies the old fashioned way.

One Must Fall 2097: Great 2d graphics and typical beat 'em up (one-on-one) action.

Beats of Rage: Nothing to do with the Beat generation, just a very well done Streets of Rage tribute.

Horace and the Spiders: Typical platform action from the Spectrum era. Nostalgic.

GL-117: A very-very arcadey flight simulator.

FlightGear: A rather more realistic flight simulator.

A game with a kitty: Beautiful 2d platform action with great visuals.

Little Fighter 2: Decent and with anime style.

Cave Story: Arcade-adventure-platform gameplay and retro visuals.

Rumble Box: Artsy 3d beat 'em up. Worth a look.


Cloud: What can I say for this one? It's beautiful, innovative and very playable. Makes me wonder why I didn't include it in the Top of the Crop games. Really great.

[N]: Not unique in terms of gameplay, but with highly original visuals.

Klass of '99: Relive your school years and cry like a baby.

Ocular Ink: Plain weird. You get to control an eyeball...

....Casual Time Wasting Thingies (CTWTs)

Lemmingball Z: Quirky little game, that's got Lemmings in it.

Plasmapong: Pong with fancy graphics. Guaranteed to break the ice at parties.

Future Pinball: A work in progress it might be, but an impressive pinball game it is.

Grid Wars and other nice and short casual games.

FooBillard: 3d Billard would have been more appropriate, me thinks.

Oh, and ABA Games are offering a modest collection of interesting and mostly 3d freeware games.
. . . . . . . . .

Related Gnome's Lair articles: Running old DOS games, Morrowind mods, Play retro games on Java, Telltale Texas Hold'em review

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Nintendoid Inspirations

The greatest artists have mostly been inspired by the grand and perpetual human drama. Be it personal or social, Art has always been about us. Not digital Italian plumbers, or peculiar Far Eastern brand names. Apparently times have changed. A simple, but admittedly quite inspired, YouTube video can prove it:

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May 16, 2006

Half Life 2: A new Master Race

I really can't help it. Weird mods are turning into a nasty and degrading fetish. And introducing Warhammer's master race (the Skaven, in case you didn't know, but cared to find out) in Half Life 2 can only make matters worse. Really, I can't type anymore. Got man-things to slay. Yes - Yes. You just visit the Gutter Runners homepage and download the mod (when it's ready, actually). Quick-quick. Bookmark.

Related Gnome's Lair posts: The Warhammer video games feature, Latest WHFB rumors, Morrowind mods

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May 15, 2006

Museum Monday #14

Monday. And quite a decent one too, especially when compared to the last three or four exhausting days. Still, a Monday, and as both I and Ross tend to believe, never to be trusted. So, before you go cyber-surfing get a cyber-condom. Update your security software, make sure no earthquakes are about to devastate your area, and follow me to an obscure virtual museum.

The aptly named "Handheld Games Museum", isn't a place about the Gameboy, the Lynx or even the GameGear (the Nomad is of course right out). No, it's a museum featuring an impressive variety of (mostly) handheld games from the seventies and the beginning of the eighties. Think in the lines of the legendary Nintendo Game & Watch series and you'll understand.

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May 14, 2006

Russian Gnomes

Everybody knows I am fond of Russia. And gnomes. Russian gnomes then, are something like a special delicacy reserved only for times like this (relatively happy ones). Anyway. Let your eyes feast upon an amazing dancing gnome (via a site with a beautiful favicon). To see the gnome dance though, you'll have to actually click on the image.

[Update: Well... er... it's not dancing. Sorry for that.]

Oh, and, Chentzilla, thanks for the link mate.

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Battle for Skull Pass and other cute little Warhammer rumors

I'm quite aware of the fact that Battle for Skull Pass has been quite a bit featured here, on Gnome's Lair (for a nice example, you can click here). After the latest news I've posted on it, only a few things remained unclear. Perhaps even unclean, but that's a personal matter. Well, no more! The final details, which include the sprues shown (via the Warhammer Forum), have been revealed. The Warhammer 7th edition box set (Battle for Skull Pass) will hit the shelves this Autumn (perhaps even late August), including Dwarfs, Goblins, a beginner's booklet and a condensed version of the 7th edition rulebook. What is more important, is that buying the boxed set, will also get you the new rulebook for free (when -of course- it gets released). Full details will be revealed in UK White Dwarf 321. Great. If only the miniatures were a bit more on the decent side...

On further news from the rumor front, I can also confirm the apparently well known fact that Orcs and Goblins should be getting a new armybook soon after the release of the box set. Quite a few of rumors are flying around (changes in animosity, Spider Riders ignoring terrain etc), but the only thing that's for sure is that the Forest Goblins will be making a comeback. Oh, here are the sprues of the nice and soon to be released Orc Boss. Quite plastic and discovered at

Well, I am quite sure that's all there is to it. That, and a nice picture from Warseer actually. Gotrek and some other Dwarf apparently:

Related Gnome's Lair posts: White Dwarf 317 review, an impressive Dawn of War video, the Monsters and Mercenaries Collector's Guide review.

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