Obscure video games reviewed

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/11/obscure-video-games-reviewed.html


Did someone say Alley Cat remake?!?



I remember alley cat well. That bright fuchsia and teal always bring back a hit of nostalgia.

Edit: Original Alley Cat is playable here: https://archive.org/details/msdos_Alley_Cat_1984

However, on my Mac it acts as if the left arrow key is stuck down, so I can’t actually play it. :expressionless:

Edit 2: Oh wait! It works on Safari!


Bill Williams was one of the kindest people I ever met.
I am one of the 4 original Cinemaware designer/developers. My game was The King of Chicago and his was Sinbad. I worked with him on two projects. He wrote both the score and the music code for my Amiga version of The King. I ported his Amiga version of Sinbad to the Apple IIGS (ugh.)

I was fortunate to visit him at the home he’d built with his wife. I wish I’d stayed in touch with him.

A week ago Kim Justice did a wonderful documentary about Cinemaware that tells a bit about Bill’s (an my) C’ware games.


To be clear: my “Apple IIGS (ugh.)” is NOT about the quality of Bill’s Sinbad. The Apple IIGS was a dog to code for.

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Psygnosis turned it down because it was too weird for them.

Whoa. That’s weird.

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I completely forgot about Alley Cat. Loved that game.

Does anyone know the background on The Obscuritory’s most recent blog post?

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I loved Cinemaware games – I was just a kid then, and they really opened my eyes about what games could be. I missed Sinbad at the time and must track it down, but King of Chicago, Rocket Ranger, ICFTD… that whole model of clearly-defined aesthetics, narrative and cinematic/literary artifice was always just my cup of tea. Thank you, Doug!


Cinemaware was SO ahead of its time.
And, yet, “they don’t make games like THAT” anymore applies when we’re in that future of that past.

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I played Knights of the Crystallion. I never figured out the economics but, before I caused societal collapse, I managed to hatch a crystallion or two. The meh gameplay was compensated for by some very innovative uses of the copper graphics. I still remember the way the candle flame flickered over those moving tarot cards.

The game was full of little weird atmospheric moments like that. I’d even say the game was all about them, and fails mostly because Williams just couldn’t execute enough of them alone, with the technology and time constraints at hand.

KOTC is a lesson in why a game designer should not try to DIY it just because they’re capable of executing every part of their own vision. It’s better to delegate the work to others, to somehow absorb all the personal and emotional costs of doing so rather than stay huddled alone over the lathe

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