Eradicator (Accolade, Inc., 1996)
Science fiction shooter action with a bunch of tricks up its sleeve, Eradicator lets you choose between one of 3 characters, drops you in the middle of a station filled with enemies and puzzles and gives you a handful of weapons both familiar and new to play with. Fast paced action, a choice between third and first person POV and some tricky levels - all wrapped up in a great science fiction style. Just don’t be shy of using your automap.
Archimedean Dynasty (Massive Development GmbH, 1996)
Archimedean Dynasty fits somewhere between Subwar 2050 and Wing Commander: Privateer in terms of gameplay - more strategic but less open ended than Privateer, yet less serious and linear than Subwar. It’s an excellent, challenging and beautiful game full of fun writing and excellent combat. Archimedean Dynasty is an action game that manages to tell a story, let you explore and yet doesn’t skimp on quality when it comes to combat, either. Multi-faceted, excellent fun and properly challenging; Archimedean Dynasty is truly glorious.
Reunion/Merit’s Galactic Reunion (Amnesty Design, 1994)
A complex, unique and interesting game of strategy and exploration, Reunion sees you trying to slowly expand your little band of humans’ hold on the universe colony by colony, with the aim of reigning supreme. From a single base on New Earth, you’ll send your satellites and ships across the galaxy, finding new planets and moons, and exploiting the resources of each new find. Despite having a steep learning curve and a complex interface, the depth here is impressive, and the game has absolutely stunning low res graphics and an excellent soundtrack. It’s an interesting game, that will keep you on your toes - just don’t expect conquering the universe to be easy.
Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch (Tsunami Media, Inc., 1992)
A space-trekking adventure set in a universe crafted by the popular author Larry Niven, Revenge of the Patriarch is a beautiful, somewhat streamlined adventure game that sees you exploring a range of otherworldly locations. With a focus on the cinematic over interactivity, and a writing style that takes itself quite seriously, your time on Ringworld can sometimes feel like theatre rather than a game. In any case, there’s some beautiful worlds to explore here, and the lovely hand drawn backdrops make it a very enticing setting for your adventuring.
Retribution (Gremlin Interactive Limited, 1994)
An intense, varied and detailed experience, Retribution sees you piloting both aircraft and lander vehicles in a desperate battle for humanity’s freedom. There’s plenty of mission variety, and the game has gorgeous visuals - with the voxel landscape used to great effect, from making you hunt down tunneling targets by looking for lumps in the terrain, to allowing you to melt an entire planet’s surface. An awesome game.
Mega Man X (Capcom Co., Ltd., 1993)
Capcom’s reboot of the popular Mega Man series is a great platformer, with catchy tunes, varied levels and some great gameplay. The levels contain a bunch of hidden upgrades, interesting and challenging enemies, a whole range of bosses and mini-bosses and some stunning sprite work that is very smoothly animated. An awesome game all round.
Death Rally (Remedy Entertainment, 1996)
Fast paced, top down racing with a bit of violence thrown in for good measure, Death Rally sees you starting with a lowly little car and slowly upgrading it and advancing through the ranks with the aim of being #1. Though less violent and over the top than Carmageddon, it’s still superbly fun, incredibly addicting and excellent to look at.
HacX (Banjo Software, 1997)
Initially a commercial addon for Doom II, and since released as a standalone WAD, HacX took the Doom formula and added a fairly impressive real world setting, some huge levels and a greater focus on puzzles. Though it has rough spots, it also has some great graphics and some satisfying levels, and some fun additions such as destructible objects. Sadly, Banjo Software never managed to release the sequel they were developing.
Tegel’s Mercenaries (Mindcraft Software, Inc., 1992)
Like an early, colourful X-COM, Mindcraft created a game in which you recruit various mercs, fly them in to various alien locations and complete a range of objectives. Although it is, sadly, very hard to recommend when compared to the likes of X-COM and Jagged Alliance, Tegel’s Mercenaries nevertheless has a very compelling and likeable visual style.
Flight of the Amazon Queen (Interactive Binary Illusions, 1995)
The B-Movie of low res adventure games, Flight of the Amazon Queen is filled with a cheesy plot, hammy characters and some very oddball situations. Some fun puzzles and beautiful low res graphics make this one definitely worth checking out.