Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

Archive for July, 2008

Taboo: The Sixth Sense

Posted by Tracy Poff on July 22, 2008

Taboo: The Sixth Sense is a tarot game for the NES, released in 1989. It was developed by Rare Coin-it, a sister company of Rare Ltd., and it is terrible.

The game purports to be a mystical authority–it calls itself THE TIME MACHINE ON NINTENDO!
Naturally, as with ‘real’ psychics, it’d be too much to ask for the game to divine your name, vital stats, or intent, so you get to input that yourself.
They neglected to include word wrapping, but that can be forgiven. Their true sin is in the game that follows–or I should say, the lack of game that follows. After this point, there is no interaction until the end.
The game shuffles the cards (in what I admit is a reasonably well animated sequence), then deals them and begins to read off your fortune. For some reason, the fortunes it provides are often rather poorly written. I’m fairly sure the game was written in English originally, so this can’t even be blamed on bad translation. It may be an attempt to increase the number of fortunes by shuffling around pieces of text, but that’s no excuse.

After this, the game becomes interactive again, to the extent that it was ever interactive, for a final time.

Yes, the final interactive segment is the game choosing ‘fortune numbers’ which is clearly a euphemism for lottery numbers.

The whole ‘game’ takes only a few minutes, which is the only thing in its favor. See the video below for a run through the game–just under three minutes, from the title screen to the end:

The bottom line is that the game isn’t even worth the three minutes it takes to complete. Rare Ltd. made some good stuff, like Donkey Kong Country, and apparently Rare Coin-it also made Battletoads, which was pretty good, but this game is an unmitigated disaster.

Posted in Bad, Full Review, NES, Non-game | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Tracy Poff on July 16, 2008

SkyRoads was a driving game released in 1993 by Bluemoon Interactive.

The object is to complete each road, passing through the pipe at the end. There are various obstacles along the way, including blocks or gaps that must be jumped over, pipes that must be entered or avoided, as well as the threat of running out of oxygen or fuel before the end of the road.

The early roads are quite easy, requiring little jumping. Each can be completed on the first play through with minimal difficulty.

As the game progresses, though, the roads become more difficult, some requiring multiple tries to complete. This could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Sometimes, pipes hide walls or missing sections of floor, which will kill you, so you must remember to avoid those pipes the next time through. In my opinion, since the levels are so short (each requiring less than one minute), this required repetition does not detract from the gameplay.

SkyRoads has nice graphics, and very nice music as well, together with fun gameplay–the makings of a great game. It does fall short on replay value, though. While the roads are still nice after you’ve beaten them, there’s no real incentive to play them again–no way to try to beat your best times (which wouldn’t really matter, since most roads will be completed at maximum speed anyway), no secrets to be found, and only one way through the road, with minor variations. Despite this fault, though, SkyRoads is well worth playing, even if you might not play it much after you’ve completed it.

Below you’ll find a video of the first three roads, Red Heat, being completed:

SkyRoads can be downloaded for free from Bluemoon Interactive.

Posted in 1993, DOS, Driving, Freeware, Full Review, Good | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »