Welcome to May Maturity 2017!

Another May means another May feature. If you're unfamiliar, I usually pick the quiet month of May for a patch of endurance blogging. Reasons being that I can test my critical acumen by tackling multiple games within the 31 day time frame, and it also gives me a reason to clear out some of my more tenacious backlog items instead of spending the whole period playing a single enormous RPG or open-world game while discreetly buying three more of them in an endless cycle of anguished unfulfillment.

Is Spacewar! on this list? You'll just have to keep reading to fi- Fuck no, it isn't. That thing's old as dirt. Which blip am I even supposed to be, anyway?
Is Spacewar! on this list? You'll just have to keep reading to fi- Fuck no, it isn't. That thing's old as dirt. Which blip am I even supposed to be, anyway?

Anyhoo! It started with May Madness, a daily blog series that picked apart one game per day, randomly chosen from the darkest recesses of my Steam library. That eventually became May Mastery, which focused instead on the Steam games I sorely wanted to play most with a view to complete them, often spending up to three days covering each one. This year we're (well, I am) launching a new variation with a similar theme: May Maturity. This particular spin is also dredging up backlog items I've had my eye on for years, but in this case we're talking specifically about PC games from the 20th century. These are the oldest games I own on Steam - and on GOG, since this is their wheelhouse and all - and while I may not have owned these digital copies all that long, I've known about these games for decades. These are games I was introduced to at a friend's house, or "PC Gamer" style magazines, or word of mouth, and had always intended on visiting but never did for various reasons. Computer retro gaming as is accessible as it's ever been these days, however, with Steam/GOG games regularly including all the .bat and .ini files necessary to configure DOSBox (or SCUMMVM in some cases) to be as accurate to the original experience as possible. The time is now to get into these older games, before they age completely into obsolescence. I realize that's a blasphemous sentiment to many, but as a fan of game design it can be hard to overlook some archaic systems and practices. I don't think I'm quite as patient as I used to be either, in spite of all this old man zen I exude. (At least I hope that's zen.)

"How will this feature work, specifically?" Well, I'm glad you asked that, inquisitive figment of a troubled mind. The fact is, I still want to keep up with the two other big weekly features I have going on this year - The Top Shelf and The Indie Game of the Week - and so I can't feasibly go for another daily series. This May will be a lot more chill, as I work it around the enormous amount of weekly writing I've weighed myself down with already.

  • Each game on my list will include an "Intro" blog and an "Outro" blog.
  • The Intro blog will be a loose, first impressions take on the game which will be presented in a screenshot LP fashion. I find that's usually easiest for describing how a game works, as well as introducing its look and the style it's going for. "Easiest" as in, it sits on the intersection of "easy to demonstrate" and "easy for me to actually pull off" (unlike video).
  • The Outro will be a bit more like a classic review, such as the Indie Game of the Week rundowns above. A summary of what I liked, what I didn't like, how well the game has aged, that sort of business.
  • I'm giving myself an amenable amount of time for each game: a whole week. Each Outro will be posted within seven days of that game's Intro, and in that time I'll be focusing on playing the game and my other two weekly features. And, you know, general life stuff.
  • I do still plan on playing more than one game a week, however. Once a game gets its Outro, the Intro to the next game will be right on its heels. Ideally, I'd like to see the ending credits on at least half of my list (of fourteen), but I'll settle for the top five. It's a quintet I've been wanting to tackle for a long time now.

As per usual, I'll be including every featured game with their intros and outros on the table below, for convenience's sake:

01: ToonstruckIntroOutro
02: Ultima Underworld: The Stygian AbyssIntroOutro
03: The Legend of KyrandiaIntroOutro
04: Jagged Alliance 2IntroOutro
05: The DigIntroOutro
06: MenzoberranzanIntroOutro
07: The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of FateIntroOutro