Under the Radar - Hidden gems of the gaming world

I am always on the lookout for games which flew under the radar. Maybe they are too old to be discovered by younger generations or suffered from bad PR or reviews. Maybe fate had no success in store for them, who can explain the bizarre ongoings in the game world ? I decided to create a list of games I found to be rather unknown and underappreciated by the gaming community, so that other players may discover and enjoy them as well. Some of these games are great, some feature interesting and rare concepts and some are just bizarre. For whatever reason these games got buried in the sands of time, I think they shoud not be forgotten.

List items

  • An incredibly deep and immersive RPG/Adventure mix which findes the perfect balance between building up and customize your character as well as following the dozens of storylines running through the moonlit nights. The stories vary from quiet fast-paced combat missions, stealthy infiltration missions and creepy ventures into a haunted hotel. A painfully underrated game.

  • In its day, Mad TV was not an underdog an is still held in high regard by many old school players. I recommend it because it remains highly playable and rewarding to this day. There hasn't been a game since which simulated the frenzy of working for a TV station, taking care of programming and advertising contracts. Juggling the responsibilites of a TV executive with your boss breathing down your neck is highly entertaining.

  • I feel really sad and bit angry when thinking about how bad some games did. Severance is one of those titles. Maybe the only game that ever pulled off creating a satisfying and exciting melee combat system, which is not the easiest to learn but the more rewarding once you managed it. The graphics (especially the lightmapping) are fantastic and still great to behold. There is not much of a story, but there is lots of detail in other areas to even that out. The game is also quite gory and features a sophisticated and realistic damage map system which makes the melee fighting even more intense. Multiple characters, different weapons, special abilites etc. add to the game's amazing quality.

  • A very unique and flavourful Golden Axe. Swap your karate gloves for mighty swords and axes. The players choose from three characters (warrior, dwarf, amazon) and stroll across a sidescrolling fantasy world filled with bald bad guys and all sorts of feist villains. The game has an unusal slow pace for fighting games which is definitely a plus because it supports the overall feel of medieval/fantasy melee combat. The game has fantastic graphics and the 2Player coop mode is great fun.

  • After Doom, the was an explosion of first person shooters or ego-shooters as they were called in the day. Most of them were average at best. Heretic is a fantastic game and oozes with theme and atmosphere. Instead of fighting nazi or undead, the player wields magic items and cast spells, fights familiars and mummies. The basic game structure resembles the standard FPS, yet the theme and overall fantasy feel push this game way above average.

  • Before Peter Molyneaux lost his magic touch, his game company Bullfrog fired out one amazing game after the other. Playability and unique themes made for great games. Magic Carpet is not exception. The premise is unique, pilot a flying carpet in a game world inspired by the Arabian Nights, wield spells, collect mana and erect buildings. A brilliant game which still fascinates me.

  • I will make an exception and recommend a franchise as well. Lemmings hit the game world like a Bomb and the mixture of perfectly polished playabilty and a very high cute factor make the Lemmings games (Lemmings 1&2, not the sequels) a highly rewarding journey. The difficulty increased slowly but steady but never hits a level which makes the game frustrating. The game is essentially a puzzle game, most of the levels can be solved in once specific fashion only. Usually, especially for later stages in the game, players will consequently use the trial and error system to figure out what to do. A fantastic series of games !

  • Not many games are controlled by the mouse only, at least no arcade/action games. Shufflepuck Cafe is one of those. Featuring hilarious artwork and graphics the game takes a place in a sleazy cafe where the player takes on all sorts of weird creatures and people in a game of shufflepuck. Great Fun !

  • One of the most unique puzzle games I have ever played. The core game design is very simple but the game offers loads of levels and a polished art style. The plays have to "lead" coloured marbles into the right slots. Once the player has gathered enough marbles of the same colour the slot explodes and the level is cleared. Yet, the game hurls more and more marbles at the player an you will have a hard time managing all the marbles and colours. Great Fun.

  • A shoot-em up sidescroller set in undefined futuristic era. The controls are great and the ability to fire in all directions, upwards, downwards etc. make this is very sophisticated and enjoyable shooter. There is a multitude of weapons which you can buy in between levels. The 2player coop modus is amazing.

  • A fantastic 2player game with an immense cute factor. In Bubble Bobble fashion, the player(s) face various stages filled with monsters which they have to get rid of by catching them with your magic rod and smacking them around a bit. The graphics are brilliant, so is the gameplay. Rodland is a very early game which had a very Asian art style and feel to it.

  • An underrated an unknown game, despite being part of the prolific Sim series by Maxis. The players controls a chopper and is send on various missions ranging from simple transport and traffic jams to more bizarre and far out problems such as rescuing people from the roof of a driving train etc. The gameply is very thrilling and as the game hurls more and more randomly generated problems at you, time is of the essence and controlling the chopper in the face of fires and narrow cityscapes can become very thrilling and intense. A great game !

  • A crossbreed of puzzle an planning game. The premise is very simple. The top down maps feature multiple tracks and stations with trains randomly starting the journeys, putting the players under pressure to avoid crashes and lead the trains into their designated journey. Slowing down or speeding up, let alone stopping the trains is not possible. Players can only indirectly the trains and their journeys by changing the tracks. The game has the player planning ahead and with more and more trains and more complex rail networks coming up as the game progress, the gameplay is delightfully frantic and thrilling.

  • Calling this a racing game is like calling Arnold Schwarzenegger a politician (No, wait). Seriously now, the game is as un-serious as one can get. The game features many bizarre vehicles and racecourses and a very advanced vehicle damage system. The games physics engine is so sophisticated that the game plays like a sandbox stuntcar simulator at times. Yet, the game adds a grizzly black humour to the game (get points for driving over pedestrians, har har) and I frequently won the race by killing off all the other drivers instead of choosing the old fashioned way of driving on the race course itself. A bedlam ride of carnage and mayhem.

  • An interesting concept which has not been visitied as often as it could have been. Find the right team, meticulously plan your coup and sell the loot. THe Clue has lots of atmosphere and some work went into character design and thematic dialogues etc. Solid gameplay.

  • Dwarf Fortress is infamous for the gap between an amazingly rewarding gameplay and a learning curve which pretty much resembles a line that goes straight upwards. Once you learned the game (which can take you weeks), the game offers a thrilling simulation of a Dwarven fortress. They dig, plant, hunt, build, craft, fight and so forth. The game generates new dwarves, a new terrain and a new game world history (!) on the fly each and every time you start a new world. Just to give you a picture how in-depth this generation is, consider that the game GUI is rendered in Ascii (although there are gfx mods available) and it still takes a few minutes to generate the game world. Still, the game is incredibly hard to learn and you really need to be the most hardcore of hardcore gamers to manage it. I highly recommend Captain Duck's Youtube Tutorials.

  • If you are looking for a incredibly simple soccer simulation, miles away from EA's √ľbercomplex soccer games, Sensible Soccer is for you. The controls are ridiculously simple, yet the frenzy and thrill of a soccer game perfectly transported. The game features the usual array of game modes and one can go as far as to simulate whole world cups with nearly all international teams available.

  • A fantasy RTS game with an unique twist which sets it apart from the huge pile of average RTS games out there. While the player can decide what buildings to build in his settlement in the middle of nowhere, one cannot control the inhabitants of the fantasy realm. Heroes will visit and leave your kingdom, depending on the buildings you have and whether you give them enough to do, and there is lots to do. The maps are littered with monsters and villains to which the player can send his heroes by offering rewards, again, the heroes cannot controlled directly but "convinced" to go adventuring (with gold). There are many types of adventurers, who require different buildings to be build, are handled differently and behave differently. Due to the autonomous nature of your inhabitants, the game features more like a fantasy empire simulator than most of its kind.

  • A creepy and grizzly B-movie adventure which starts out in Sanitarium and unfolds through various stages and chapters set in a surreal world filled with symols of psychosis and terror. The game has some quiet unconvetional chapters and the fact the lead character is mentally disturbed makes the journey very touching and intense. A fantastic adventure game.

  • Before Peter Molyneaux started to push out one piece of crap after the other, his company Bullfrog were synonymous for great blends of concept, premise and design. Syndicate is no exception. Set in a heavily industrialized and dystopian setting, the player takes care of a squad of agents taking on all sorts of missions all over the globe.

  • International Karate for the Amiga is a fantastic multiplayer game. Multiple Karate fighters (three fighters) fight each other and the last man standing is the winner. While this premise is a simple as it gets, the execution is slick and very entertaining. The fact that three fighters step onto the boards of Karate instead of the standard number of two makes the game experience very different and you never know who might be sneaking up on you and who will take out who. The controls are sophisticated and it takes some time to figure out all the available moves and attacks. The fights are intermissioned by mini-games as well, another nice feature. All in all, a unique fighting game which has not seen many if any recent incarnations.

  • A simple, yet fantastic arcade game for the Atari. The player roams around rooms filled with evil robots. Sometimes a yellow smiley called Otto pops up and kills you (no joke).

  • A lovely multiplayer game (split-screen). Except no sophisticated racing and controls but the mayhem of a simple top-down arcade races. The game features many racing tracks and each track offers a different vehicle to pilot. Speedboats, monster trucks, formula 1 cars, you name it - it's in there. Each vehicle has a different feel to it when it comes to acceleration, top speed and steerability etc., with some you can even fire at your opponents.

  • Turn-based war-games (like Panzer General or Fantasy General) were a very prominent genre back in the days of classic gaming. Inspired by boardgames and naturally limited by boundaries of graphics capacities, many companies took more than one slice from boardgame design. A Hex-Grid, turn-based, terrain. The game is quite tactical and the difficulty increases with a good pace. Recently, handheld systems led to a resurgence in the hex-strategey genre (Advance Wars etc.)

  • An amazing game ! A blend of empire building, exploring and tactical turn-based army combat. The combat system is similar to the Heroes of Might and Magic series. What makes this game interesting is the heavy theme. The game is set in the world of greek mythology and features the gods, units and creatures of that period. My favourite element of the game is the quest system, every other turn, the player has to choose a god or goddess and fulfil his request. This can range from sacking a certain number of cities, marry off your daughter and so forth. This gives the a more focussed feel than most turn-based empire builders and the diversity of quests and tasks you have to tackle forces the player to use different tactics.

  • A grizzly and bizarre fps/car action game set in a dark and dystopian future. The player drives a cab and has to transport passengers from here to there. While this does not sound like much, the game world is as wicked and brutal as they come.

  • Many gamers associate Blizzard with World of Warcraft, yet they made quite a few interesting and great games before that. Blackthore is but one example, a great Jump N Run and 2D Shooter. Jump N Run does not do the game justice however, one should rather call it Sneak Up & Kill. A stealthy and thrillin gaming experience. The graphics are amazing, even by today's 2D standards. The gameplay is very sophisticated and rewards caution and forethought over dexterity (think Prince of Persia).

  • A freeware adventure game, which is both eerie and fun to play. In the creepy isolation of a spaceship a story of horror and terror unfolds as the player tries to discover what is going on and how to survive. The game feels like an old school adventure game, which is a good thing of course !

  • Standing in the shadow of his big brother Theme Park, the game puts the player in control of a hospital. The main focus of the game are the hiring and firing of staff (doctors, nurses etc.) and building rooms for your staff to work and relax in. The game plays and feels like a tycoon game. It is lots of fun to watch patients come in, being cured and examined, going to the look and so forth. Somehow this game is always a Sims variant, albeit way simpler.

  • One of the best head-to-head racing games, Kikstart simulates cross-country motocross racing. The controls are very simple, yet hard to master and players will constantly have to find the right balance between acceleration, balance and so forth. The game features are split-screen mode and it is amazing fun to go head to head with your friends. The game also included a trackbuilder mode.

  • A simple as they come. in Quix, the player needs to draw lines across the screen an eventually fill it up with colour. Unfortunately, a feist little thing flies around the screen and will destroy your lines should you not manage to draw them up fast enough. A simple game of timing and dexterity.

  • It may sound dry but building up a capitalist empire is more exciting than one might think. While the game design is very straight-forward and old-fashioned, the game picks up speed when you go against the AI competitors and the need to hasten up, acting and thinking faster than your opponents.

  • Everybody knows Duke Nukem 3D but 3D Realms released a few other more obscure FPS shooter which do not have hide between their bigger brother. In Redneck Rampage the player takes control of a gun-wielding Redneck fighting all sorts of bizarre enemies in the deep and eerie Southland of the United States.

  • Based on the cult classic film of warfaring street gangs, The Warriors is a brilliant console conversion. Lead the way of your warrior (or warriors in the amazing coop campaign mode) through the streets, brawl with enemy gangs, spray your tag on the walls, sneak around cops, jump across the rooftops and so forth. A haunting atmosphere and soundtrack make this a hell of an experience !

  • Cannon Fodder was very popular in its day, but seems to be rather unknown by younger players. The controls are very simple but the game and level design is so ingenious that the game becomes more challenging and complex without become overwhelming or too hard. The quirky style and feel might not be the most appropiate way to make a wargame but one should not be too serious about life all the time.

  • A cult classic Amiga Jump N Run, depicting the quest of a Chuck "Caveman" Rock as he tries to rescue his wife from the clutches of some bloke who dragged her off someplace. The game's graphics are fantastic (it's a Blizzard game after all), so are the controls and the character designs. It is fun to tackle the various creatures and dinosaures by various means, throwing rocks around and splatting the critters to a pulp. The game is not the easiest one and rewards careful and slow play, which might not be everybody's cup of tea but is highly rewarding.

  • An interesting and addictive puzzle game. The player needs to trigger a chain reaction which results in all blocks falling down. Prior to that, the player needs to rearrange the blocks in a way which will result in all of them falling over with a single push. There are various types of blocks, those who split up or dont fall over at all etc.

  • A hilarious game in which the player takes on the role of a nurse looking after dozens of babies who constantly crawl out of their cribs only to go after the nearest electric plug or drink from the loo. The game is loads of fun and eventually the players will overwhelmed by the number of renegade babies chasing after their own demise. A simple one-screen platformer that is great fun to play.

  • An interesting sidescrolling shootemup set underwater. Instead of spaceships or aliens, the player faces other submarines and creatures. A great old school Atari game.

  • An interesting mix of defender/space invaders and asteroids. The player sits on his base made up of multiple layers in the middle of the screen with all sorts of bizarre crittes slowly making their way towards you. Make sure to blast them to bits before the destory walls of your base.

  • Save New York from evil UFOs. Try and shoot the down while avoiding the destruction of the skysrapers by the aliens or your own fire. A challenging and entrtaining one screen shoot em up.

  • In Rock N Roll, the players control a rolling ball through levels in the top-down perspective. The levels become more complex and feature different kinds of puzzles and tiles (slow down, jump pads etc.) The game requires both dexterity as the rolling ball can be quiet challenging to control as well as solving the levels by figuring out where to go and what to do first.

  • A simple, yet addictive game about the American Civil war. A mix of strategic army movement on a map and arcade elements, the blend of comic style graphics and fabulous playability make this a wonderful gaming package.

  • Although the game is not worse than the the games by which it was inspired (Lucasarts games), it never saw great success. A quiry and eerie adventure in which the player goes about to hunt down aliens and will find himself in a graveyard and a spaceship respectively. A good game that got the difficulty just right. It features a really annoying maze sequence but we can forgive that.

  • A funny game about a plumber and his minions trying to hold a network of waterpipes together. More sooner than later, the player will struggle to close up all the leaks while avoiding wicked tools on the loose at the same time.

  • Similar to Donald Duck's Playground, Duck Tales is a collection of minigames in which the Duck family engages in order to amass loads of money. The mini-games are fun and the game is a must for classic Disney fans.

  • A classic topdown shooter with a slightly slower pace than usual due to the players driving around tanks instead of faster vehicles. The game featured a nice competitive 2player mode. It was immense fun to drive the tanks around and shoot everything in your way, and you could. The destructability of the environment adds greatly to the ballistic fun.

  • A good, if unknown defender/space invade clone in which the player tries to shoot down moving targets in the sky.

  • In Quasimodo, the player control the hunchback who hurls stones at enemies climbing up the ladders in order to prevent the ascent. A solid and fun arcade game.

  • A series of of minigames, the player leads a crashlaned squad of GI's through the Vietnamese jungle facing all sorts of perils and encounters with the Vietnamese Gurriella army. The game has been praised for its music (as composed by Kraftwerk) and graphics. If you are interested or fascinated by the Vietnam War this game might interest you. As a game, Lost Patrol is quite simple, but the theme and horor of being isolated in the jungle densifies the experience considerably.

  • I always found that Dungeon Crawling and Random Genertion go well together. Way before Diablo turned this formula into an excellent gaming milestone, Dungeon Hack took a shot at it. Throwing your usual D&D adventurer in a dungeon, the player advances into the depths of the tunnels, fighting monsters, casting spells and looting the place. The game is quite difficult and it takes a while before you'll figure out how not to die. Still, the concept is intriguing and the randomly generated dungeons ensure a high replayability.

  • Based on the film of the same name (it even features the enigmatic theme tune as perormed by Lee Marvin), the player hangs around in a wild west city and fights off all sorts of bandits. The gameplay is simple yet enjoyable, the graphics are cute and the controls are quiet tight and satisfying and it is great fun to take down the bad guys and watch the undertaker drag them off into the funeral home.

  • A sort of Pitfall spin-off, in Jungle Hunt, the player takes on the role of an explorer in a jungle, facing all forms of perils, from crocdiles to native cannibals. A nice, if difficult arcade game, showing why the Atari became the successful console it was.

  • A 2D Shoot Em Up at its core, the game features a few secondary aspects which push the game over the border of mediocracy. The ability to build up your ship with money you collected in the game sequence, a good diversity of level design and artwork and the fantastic soundtrack which all Psygnosis games featured. Blood Money is an excellent and milestone 2D Shoot Em Ups.

  • An interesting and very fun game about a plumber and his minions buzzing around a network of pipes, trying to fix leaks and avoiding obsessed tools on the loose. A fast-paced and highly enjoyable game.

  • Widely known as snake (see your mobile), Surround is another version of the simpliest, yet most brilliant game concepts ever conceived. The player(s) take control of "snakes" crawling all over the screen, trying to cut off the other snake's way.

  • Similar to Mercs and Chaos Engine. Warzone is a fast-paced, simple yet brilliant vertical sqaud shooter (with a great 2player mode). Fight your way through hordes of enemies and their territories with loads of gun.

  • Despite being designed by legendary Sid Meier, Sim Golf is one of his obscurest games, despite the fact that it is not an old game at all. Players build their own gold courses and need to cater for the gold players needs etc. The game basically plays like a golf course tycoon game. Design the courses, build restaurants and so forth. Another nice feature is the ability to play your own golf courses which can be arguably more fun than the actual tycoon element of the game. The game features the typical Maxis humour so prevalent in all Sim games. The game is not very complex and not too difficult as well, more or less a very tranquil and meditative past time.

  • There is a rare genre which has only seen a few carnations in the gaming world. Jump N Run/Puzzle games. There is Lost Vikings and Sink or Swim, and there is Fury of the Furries. Like the name suggests, the player controls furry balls with various abilities facing sidescrolling obstacle courses. The puzzle aspect is rewarding, yet the Jump N Run controls can feel a bit unpolished.

  • In case you ever wondered how Rockstar games came up with the concept of GTA (1&2 at least), look no further. Miami Chase is pretty much the same game, at least in terms of controls and graphics. A high-speed top down game of car chasing.

  • An unusal version of the traditional sidescroller. Instead of steering spaceships, the player takes to the horse and tries to hunt down other horses on the run, bringing them in with your lasso.

  • An Arcade racing game which relies on quirkyness and loads of different tracks and vehicles than realism (think Micro Machines). Big Red Racing is a great and fast-paced multiplayer game and the diversity makes it fun to play the game over and over again. It is very easy to pick up and to master.

  • The license makes this game enjoyable. The game itself is average at best, but the franchise's quirkyness is all over the game and it is great fun to hunt down and eventually catch the darn' ghosts !

  • A collection of mini-games, Donald Duck's Playground has you taking on jobs (sorting fruits etc.) in order to buy toys for his nephews. A funny game which is great for kids but not easy to track down.

  • A bizarre game in which the player shoots arrows at balloons carrying wolves to prevent the wolves' approach. A simple but fun 2D shoot em up.

  • A cute little C64 one-screen platformer. The player has to trap strange monsters by digging holes in the ground and subsequently smacking them over their head with his pike.

  • A solid coop vertical shooter. Good graphics and slick controls make this a rewarding experience.

  • Who did not dream of captaining your own starship in space ? Starfeel academy does a good job a simulating various missions which have you facing all sorts of perils in space. The missions are played back-to-back and this makes the game feel rather episodic and very linear. Still, the variety of missions are true to the spirit of the canon.

  • A lovely little game with beautiful graphics. The random map generator makes it the best and worthwhile game in the series. The later stages of the game are a bit tedious due to heavy micromanagment but the game is one of the best of its genre.

  • An obscure game, held in high regard by those who once discovered and play it. The players roam around a fantasy world and face all sorts of enemies in face-to-face combat. The game is quite gory and not the easiest to play, but the overall pace and structure is very rewarding and exciting.

  • An unusual version of the classic sidescroller. Instead of flying through space and shooting other spaceships, the player takes to the horse and lassos down horses on the run. A classic.

  • Commanding your own spaceship in the federation fleet must be the dream of many trekkies around the world. Starfleet academy does a good job. Like most Star Trek games, the license has been implemented very nicely. Unfortunately the game is very linear and the episodic mission structure might resemble the form of a TV series, yet the player never feels like actually exploring infinite and open space. The missions however are very well designed and combat is not always the best solution, which is true to the canon's philiosophy.

  • A classic top down driving/action game. The player steps into his suave white car and hunts down bad guys on the streets, protects civilians and is on the lookout for the supply truck in order to update his equipment. A fast and amazing game with a great OST (Peter Gunn Theme) and very satisfying controls.

  • Another quirky "one-screen" platformer for the C64. Collect Dino Eggs while evading all sorts of other parties interested in the eggs, such as spiders and the dino mothers.

  • A fast-paced top down car-chase game, the player is a secret agent in his fancy white car, hunting down bad guys in their hotrods, protecting civilians and trying to catch the weapon suppy track in order to improve their equipment

  • A fantastic game which flys as low under the radar as possible without crashing. Virtually unknown the game is a fantasy empire building game. Recruit armies, research magic, build cities, wage wars and build up your heroes. In the vain of Age of Wonders and Master of Magic, the game does not feature the greatest graphics (especially the battle animations are not very nice to look at) but more value and depth when it comes to unit variety, back story, races and so forth than any other fantasy empire game I have ever seen. The game features are random map builder and the game has you making very important strategic decisions from very early on making this a very intense and engaging game experience.

  • A cute little kids game. Set in London, the player solves various puzzles more or less related to London and Britain's rich history and culture. The game is not hard to play but a very entertaining and nice experience.

  • A great mini-racing game, sacrificing realism and complex controls for simplicity and focussed competitive racing action (Think Micromachines and Rock N Roll). The game is played from a top-down perspective and set in the far future (the race tracks are scattered all over the universe). Players can upgrade the "cars" which makes it lots of fun to play many races subsequently.

  • Another boardgame conversion, similar to Hero Quest, about a squad of marines crawling through space stations, blasting aliens' heads off. Although I found the overall theme, despite being more original than Hero Quest's, a tad static and unvibrant, the gameplay feels faster and frenzier due to the heavy emphasis on ranged combat and the ferocity of the enemies.

  • Widely known as Snake (on your mobile) Surround is a brilliant game concept and a fun 2-player game. Two "snakes" crawl around the screen and try to cut off the other's way.

  • Back in the day, when graphics were not as flashy and fancy as today's titles, boardgame conversions were a good choice to take a successful formula and turn it into a computer game. Hero Quest was a very successful boardgame, a dungeon crawler in which a party of heroes (barbarian, wizard, dwarf, elf) roam around the dungeon halls, fighting orcs, goblins, zombies and the like. The computer game works in the same way. It is turn-based which gaves the game a nice, meditative feel and is true to the boardgame's philosophy.

  • Like Hero Quest, Space Crusade is a straigtforward conversion of the popular boardgame. Despite having a more original theme than Heroquest I found the bland and greyish futuristic gameworld a tad unspiring and static. Yet, the overall gameplay feels more feverish and exciting due to the high emphasis of ranged combat and the ferocity of the alien enemies.

  • In the shadow of King's Quest, Al Lowe's Black Cauldon is a the better and deeper game (in my opinion). Based on the equally obscure Disney movie, The Black Cauldron is a cute, warm and cuddly fairy tale adventure.

  • A classic beat-em up set in the appropoately themed ancient China. The game is an arcade 2D sidescroller. The gameplay is unusually slow but the pace adds to the overall feel on intruding the enemy's base, taking out the bad guys one by one with your martial skills.

  • Recommending a C64 game is like recommending to eat Ox Bollocks. It might be nutricious but most people will not even try it. Clowns is still a great (mini)-game. The theme is a bit offish, which makes the game more interesting in my opinion. The game can be picked up in a minute but is hard to master and players will feel the urge to try it "one more time".

  • It may look like an RPG, but Death Gate is a great adventure game. A very sophisticated story, great graphics and rewarding puzzles, Death Gate is a hidden game of the adventure genre.

  • The game resembles other classics such as Summer Games or Winter Games at its core. As a Shaolin in training, the player has to compete in various trials and tests. The trials are very diverse and test many of the player's abilities, timing, dexterity and so forth. The game has a nice theme and fine graphics which make the overall experience the more rewarding.

  • The amiga was the golden haven for Jump N Run games (before the SNES). Of course, not all Amiga Jump N Runs were good, some still stand out as the perfect mix of smooth controls, a good balance of difficulty and learning curve and all the other things which made Amiga games so rewarding, a great soundtrack and nice graphics.

  • Back in the day, Speedball 2 used to be anything but an underdog, but it remains very playable to this day. Great graphics and slick controls (like most Bitmap Brothers games) and a nice futurustic theme. Fortunately, the sport portrayed in the game is quiet hands on and half the fun is smacking your opponents around, running theme over and throwing the iron ball in their face, lots of fun.

  • Recently, there has been a surge of games who put as much empasis on playability as on art style and visual brilliance. Knytt Stories is the perfect example. At its core, it is a focussed and simple, yet brilliant platformer. The game truly shines in the graphics and atmosphere department, the game world, background, animations, colour palettes and so forth are enigmatic to behold. There is also an active internet community creating new levels (or stories).

  • An average first person shooter at best, the game is still highly enjoyable. One plus of the game is the very eerie atmosphere, it can be quiet creepy and it used to scare the crap out of me. The game is very difficult which nicely compliments the premise and setting of the game and despite being so challenging it is not frustrating but rather reward cautious and slow gameplay. The best feature about this game is the randomly generated castle which you dwleve into each time you play, making this game highly replayable and haunting.

  • A simple, yet fun arcade game for the Atari. Prevent dozens of cakes from falling of the conveyor belt. Sounds easy ? Nope.

  • Many "car-action" games are set in the present or the not-to-distant future. The ever-opoular GTA series or lesser known titles such as Driver come to mind. Interstate 76 is an episodic action-adventure game whose theme makes it a very unique experience which is enjoyable to this day. Set in 1976, expect a kick-ass soundtrack, groovy characters and a over-the-top Tarantinoesqe storylines.

  • A mini-game before the era of Mini-Games. The players has to steer the balloon through caves and rescue people. Dont fly against the walls or the balloon will pop. Simple but lots of fun.

  • A slick fighting game with good graphics for the time. The game is intensily difficult but it is still fun to play.

  • Another indie game and the sequel to Hinterland, although it does not add much to the core game. A uniqe mixtures of hack n slay and city building. The player is the "mayor" of a city in the middle of nowhere and needs to look after its inhabitants. Those include all sorts of people which need to be recruited when they pop up to visit. Farmers, Wizards, Fighters, the number of available units is quiet diverse and requires strategical decisions from the players. Once they abode in your village you can upgrade their buildings to further improve their contribution to your village. The second part of the game depicts a band of heroes comprised of some of your villages which go out and about in the country side, fighting the beasts which lurk there. Back and forth, the player loots and hunts down monsters and builds up his village, which in turn enables the player to move further out into the wilderness (Hinterland) etc. The game world is random generated and sometims the king might request a specific resource which is hidden far off in the wild. Party managment, city building and a simple, yet rewarding combat system make this a very unique game.

  • A strange sidescroller. The player drives around a neighbourhood infested with spiders and tries to track down and kill the spider queen. The game's mechanics are very simple and the player cannot do much but splat the spiders or spray them. Yet, the fact that the spiders crawl around so feistily makes the experience quite disturbing and eerie. An interesting setting make this game worth trying out, if only for the novelty of it.

  • In Spiderman fashion, the players climbs up a skyscraper, distinguishing fires and rescuing damsels in perils, avoid falling down and avoid being hit by cars falling down (no joke). The game is quite difficult but is still fun to play.

  • I never understood why the crimeboos genre did not spawn more (good) games. Sure, there is Gangsters or Mafia, but pulling the strings behind coups and plots is very interesting and has only been covered by a handful of games. They stole a million is a very old game, but has good and rewarding mechanics. Plan your heists up front and watch how it unfolds, for good or worse, the game is lots of fun and is crying for a remake.

  • An obscure variant of the classic decathlon games of the classic era. Engage in all sorts of medieval tournaments, from archery to fighting on a log above a river. Unlike other atheltic tournament games (Summer Games etc.), the controls are not very easy to pick up and take some time to figure out and master. Yet, the unique theme and nice graphics even out the flaw of fiddly controls.