Rainbow Islands, PC Engine

The PC Engine version of Taito‘s classic arcade game Rainbow Islands was only made available on CD-ROM, so you had to have a CD compatible PC Engine to play it.

[until emulation was invented]

The conversion was done by NEC Avenue of Japan in 1993 and it is simply brilliant! Easily the best 8-bit version around.

More on The King of Grabs:
Rainbow Islands Arcade version
Rainbow Islands PC Engine version
Rainbow Islands Amiga version
Rainbow Islands Atari ST version

More: Rainbow Islands on Wikipedia

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Rainbow Islands, Amiga

Graftgold‘s Amiga conversion of the legendary Rainbow Islands is pretty much flawless… Well, if you discount the three secret hidden worlds the developers had to ditch when they discovered them… And the lower resolution, compared to the arcade original.

Rainbow Islands is brilliant rainbow-chucking fun, whatever gaming system you play it on. This is arguably one of the best Amiga games around too.

The Amiga version was published by Ocean Software in 1990.

More on The King of Grabs:
Rainbow Islands Arcade version
Rainbow Islands PC Engine version
Rainbow Islands Amiga version
Rainbow Islands Atari ST version

More: Rainbow Islands on Wikipedia

Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Game Boy Advance

The second game in the Golden Sun series is pretty much identical to the first, which is fine because the first Golden Sun game was so good. Again: this sequel was developed by Camelot and published by Nintendo in 2002 (2003 in Europe).

In Golden Sun: The Lost Age you can import your characters and items from the first game if you like, via the Game Link Cable or a password system, or you can start afresh if you haven’t played the first game. Playing the first Golden Sun is not compulsory, but if you do complete both games you are apparently rewarded with special items.

Golden Sun: The Lost Age plays the same as most JRPGs: colourful towns and villages with shops that you can explore at will; a pseudo 3D map for exploring the “overworld”; and a long procession of dungeons and caves to crawl through. And, if you don’t enjoy a bit of turn-based dungeon-crawling, then maybe this game isn’t for you.

For those who love level-grinders, though, both Golden Sun games present an opportunity for weeks of absorbing adventuring and are well worth a play if you’ve never tried them before.

More: Golden Sun: The Lost Age on Wikipedia

Golden Sun, Game Boy Advance

Golden Sun is a brilliant and richly-detailed handheld Role-Playing Game developed by famous Japanese studio Camelot Software Planning.

It was first published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in 2001 and has since gone on to become something of a legend among JRPGs fans.

Golden Sun is a party-based adventure with engrossing turn-based combat. It contains pretty much everything that you’d expect from a cutesy RPG, but with a few surprises, and a ton of refinement.

A similar (and slightly better) sequel – called Golden Sun: The Lost Age – followed on the GBA in 2002. Together they form a formidable duo.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Sun

 

Juno First, Arcade

Juno First is a kind of overhead shoot ’em up, but with a three-quarters perspective into the screen.

You move your ship along a planet surface, made up of moving dots and shoot at oncoming enemies which come at you from the horizon. It’s very simple stuff, but was an early colour arcade game from Konami and a reasonable attempt at creating something playable and different in the emerging genre.

Juno First was released into arcades in 1983 by Konami in Japan and Gottleib in North America.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_First

Adventure, Atari 2600

Adventure – designed and programmed by Warren Robinett and released for the Atari 2600 in 1979 – broke new ground at the time, on a number of different levels.

Not only was it one of the first ever video games to use multiple screens, which you could explore at will, but it also featured enemies that would continue to move, even if they were not on screen. It was also one of the first games to feature an “Easter Egg” – a secret, hidden room containing text crediting Robinett for creating the game.

In Adventure you basically play a square dot as an avatar, and must explore an open-ended environment in search of a magical chalice. You can pick up keys, weapons, and other items and must use them to solve simple puzzles. A number of dragons roam the game world and will eat the character if caught. A bat will also steal items from the player too, so has to be avoided.

Looking at Adventure now: it would be easy to dismiss the game due to the simplistic nature of the graphics and gameplay, although its influence after release was actually quite profound.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_(Atari_2600)

Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, ZX Spectrum

One of Julian Gollop‘s earlier games, and one that was based on a card system he created as a boy.

Chaos: The Battle of Wizards is a turn-based tactical combat game for up to eight players. Each player takes it in turn to issue commands and choose and use spells against each other. If you’re playing on your own the computer AI steps in and gives you a battle.

Chaos might not look like much now, but as an early example of tactical, magical combat systems it was one of the first and one of the best.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos:_The_Battle_of_Wizards

Entombed, Commodore 64

Entombed was Ultimate Play The Game‘s first (and possibly only) hit game on the Commodore 64. It received rave reviews from most who played it back in 1985 and the gaming world was generally quite receptive of it.

In it you play Sir Arthur Pendragon and must negotiate your way through a deadly Egyptian tomb. Some of the puzzles are obscure and the sprites are quite chunky, but overall Entombed is still quite compelling to play now. Certainly more so than some of its successors. As the series went on it received more and more slatings, and Sir Arthur Pendragon and his miserable little game series finally died a death. 🙂

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entombed_(video_game)