Too Much Free Time

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

Archive for the ‘1987’ Category

Towers of Hanoi (1987)

Posted by Tracy Poff on June 2, 2012

Towers of Hanoi by Daniel Miller is a 1987 update of his 1985 Tower of Hanoi game of the same name.


While substantially the same, this game is much improved compared to its predecessor. The animation of the discs is much quicker, which cures the major problem with the previous game, and it also registers when you’ve won, rather than just going on forever. The game also beeps when moving discs, though that sound effect is quite primitive for 1987.


Towers of Hanoi was published in Loadstar #39, as well as Best of Loadstar #4. Hard to imagine a simple game like this being included in any kind of ‘best of’ compilation, but there it was.

Posted in 1987, Commodore 64, Decent, Full Review, Tower of Hanoi | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Pyramidon

Posted by Tracy Poff on June 1, 2012

Pyramidon is a 1987 Tower of Hanoi game by M. Kötter.


Wow, is this game different from the last dozen or so I’ve reviewed. Just look at that lovely title screen! It’s got sound, nice graphics, a plot, everything you could ask of a game. Well, almost everything. It’s not much fun, but nobody’s perfect, right?

As far as I can decipher (German is not my strong suit, I fear), you are an astronomer who has discovered that a comet is on its way, and will strike a pyramid. Naturally you decide to save the pyramid… with a flying saucer. I’m not too sure how you got your hands on one of those, but… well, maybe you’re an alien astronomer.

You may choose between three difficulty levels, the harder difficulty levels having you rescue larger pyramids. The easiest, Menkaure’s pyramid, has three levels  (corresponding to the three-disc Tower of Hanoi puzzle); the second, Khafra’s pyramid, has four; and the hardest, Cheops’s pyramid, has five.

Having selected the difficulty, you’re presented with the pyramid you chose in the center of the screen, and your task is to move it to one side by lifting the layers and solving the Tower of Hanoi puzzle.


While you’re doing this, a meter at the bottom of the screen shows how far away the comet is. Should you succeed in moving the entire pyramid before time runs out, you’re given a score based on how much time was left. You’re also treated to an animation of the comet smashing into the Earth where the pyramid used to be. Should you fail, you still get to see the same animation, but it destroys the pyramid and you get no score. Bad astronomer!

Unlike most of the other Tower of Hanoi games I’ve reviewed so far, which are more like computerized puzzles, Pyramidon is really game-like–it even gives you a score at the end. Unfortunately, the flying saucer moves very slowly; it took me ten minutes to beat the highest difficulty level, and I doubled the emulation speed after a while because it got too boring waiting on the movements to finish. I guess you have about fifteen minutes on the timer when you start, and it takes most of that time.

The game also has a slight problem with the controls. When the flying saucer is moving up or down, you can reverse direction, in case you started moving by accident, which is very convenient. When moving left or right, though, you can’t do this–you have to wait for the flying saucer to finish the movement before you can reverse it. Perhaps accidentally going the wrong way wouldn’t have been a problem on a real C64, with a real joystick, but the analog stick on my gamepad made it pretty easy to go the wrong way, so this missing feature made an already seemingly-interminable game take even longer.

I regret that the first really polished looking Tower of Hanoi game I’ve come to has such poor gameplay, but I’m afraid that’s how it is: I recommend against playing this one, unless you’re quite patient.

Posted in 1987, Bad, Commodore 64, Full Review, Tower of Hanoi | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Blocktower

Posted by Tracy Poff on June 1, 2012

Blocktower is a 1987 Tower of Hanoi game for the Commodore 64, released by Wicked Software.


This seems to be exactly the same as Blocks from the previous year, with the title changed, and both seem to be copies of Glen Fisher’s Tower of Hanoi games. Blocktower was published in The Big 100, a collection of games. It seems they just copied a bunch of games from wherever–in fact, it appears that four of the hundred games in the collection are just copies of four others, with different filenames. That’s quality.

So bad was this collection that it inspired a competition to write terrible games. Oh, Internet, what would we do without you?

Posted in 1987, Bad, Commodore 64, Full Review, Tower of Hanoi | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

First Impressions: The 3-D Battles of World Runner

Posted by Tracy Poff on September 24, 2006

Run around, avoiding the enemies, until you get to the boss. Then button mash.

3-D-Battles-of-World-Runner_01

It’s kind of dull, since all there is to do is move forward, at varying rates of speed, and jump. You get a rocket, which actually looks like a pink fireball when you use it, but I can’t imagine what it’s good for since any enemy you hit with the rocket wouldn’t have been there when you actually run past it, and the enemies which weren’t in your line of fire will run into you.

3-D-Battles-of-World-Runner_02

You have to jump over some pits as you go. Since the game doesn’t have real 3D, you can’t really tell how wide the pits are until you’re in the air, so you have to try to land in the right spot by changing speed in the air. Sometimes you have only a small area to land, so I kept overshooting or actually smacking my face on the edge of the ground and then sliding down to my death. When you finish the level you fight this centipede-thing:

3-D-Battles-of-World-Runner_03

That’s a picture from before the game starts, since I neglected to take a screenshot while actually fighting it. Suffice to say you fire the pink rocket-fireballs at it until it dies. I have no clue how it is intended to hurt you, since it doesn’t seem to have any rockets of its own. Or arms. Or anything.

The second level is like the first, except grey. I assume that the others follow suit. The game also has an anaglyph 3D mode, activated by pressing select. I have not yet mustered the courage to try this.

Verdict: It’s not bad, but it wouldn’t hold my attention for long.

Posted in 1987, Decent, First Impressions, NES | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »