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Good Games Nobody Seems To Remember

Underwater aliens. A jazz-pop-metal-rock reworking of a H. G. Wells novel. Orphans who fire rotten eggs at enemies. Shapeshifting nasties. Adventurous businessmen addicted to coffee. A hero in your back garden. The REAL Prince of ye olden days. Time-travelling Romans. Disease in a gloomy town. 
What do these esoteric things have in common? 
They are all parts of good and even great games that no-one seems to remember anymore. 
If you can find a copy of any of these, let me know what you think of them. I grew up with many of these titles, and it is disappointing to notice that so few people pay attention to them anymore.

List items

  • A frantic rail-shooter with cinematic presentation, an orchestral score and brilliant graphics (even for today).

  • One of the first real-time strategy games to use 3D models for units, The War of the Worlds did for RTS gameplay mechanics what Dune 2 did for the sheer amount of things you can do in an RTS game.

    And it features music from the original album! What more could you ask for?

  • A whimsical third-person shooter (if you can call bees, rotten eggs and chewing gum ammunition) with strong puzzle-solving elements, this film tie-in had good atmosphere, decent (if a little smudgy) graphics and the voices of the original cast.

    That's right! Jim Carrey in a video game!

    This deserves to be remembered more for its zaniness than anything else.

  • Despite what Spoony might say, The Thing is actually a very strong third-person survival horror shooter with excellent graphics (especially for 2001), effective combat and trust systems and rather disgusting opponents in the constantly-mutating Thing creatures.

    Overall, a successful sequel to the John Carpenter sequel.

  • If you can imagine a cross between Dilbert and Indiana Jones, then you've got a good idea of what you're in for when playing Harry the Handsome Executive.

    Seriously, Dilbert Indiana Jones.

    You can still purchase it from Ambrosia, but the $20 price is unreasonable when you consider that it cannot work on modern Intel Macs.

  • A charming platform-action game from Pangea, Bugdom has you play as a plucky woodlouse on a quest to liberate the Bugdom from the evil ants. This is simple, childish fun, but it still has many inventive set-pieces (beehives, backyards stomped routinely by giant feet, caves flooded with lava for the fire-ants), diverse enemies and some dark situations.

  • This choice is a little petty, but with the newer PoP titles most gamers seem to have abandoned this 1989 gem. No-one I know cares about it anymore, but it's still an extremely solid platformer even today.

  • An accurate reproduction of Rome, the goal of this point-and-click adventure game is to thwart a plot to destroy Rome, and has you solve puzzles and travel through time to get the job done.

    That's right. Time-travelling Romans.

  • The only overriding antagonist in this Russian game is disease, which you must prevent as best you can with food, clothing, warmth and medication.

    This is a novel reinvention of the survival genre, and deserves more attention in the rest of the world.

  • The first game to use a real actor for your onscreen avatar, Phantasmagoria blatantly pushed the boundaries of good taste in video games. Its gory violence, adult themes, sex and rape scenes were not well-received, and Phantasmagoria was either censored or banned in many countries.

    Heck, it's still banned in Australia.

    Spoony reviewed the sequel, and mentioned the original in an FMV Hell three-parter, but otherwise very few people pay much attention to it anymore.

    The game isn't very good, but it caused enough of an outrage to deserve immortalisation as a provocative classic.