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1988 Winners






Publisher: Hewson

Developer: John H Phillips

Original PC Platform: ?

Ported Platforms: Sinclair Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, C-64, Atari ST, Amiga

Collecting Fact: N/A

Summary:   Twas the night before 3D accelerators and all through the land, graphics were simple, and scaled sprites were grand. 

Eliminator is a simple game in the mold of Roadwar, RoadBlaster and Buck Rogers (the original Sega Arcade machine).  You hover along paths of light winding through the cosmos, blowing up aliens and picking up power-ups.  So why is this bad-boy here in the hall of fame known as GOTCHA?  Because it did it like no game before.  The graphics were fast and smooth, the enemies diverse, the maps well balanced and enough quirks were added with each passing level that you never knew what would come at you next.

The game consists of 8 levels, each with a theme all its own.  The first one is a simple straightforward track, the second has a blue river running through it that will signal your doom, the third introduces a bi-level design allowing you to jump from one level to the other at times. 

Is this the highest budget production of all times?  By no means.  Did this game make us go “ooo-aaahhh” with its astonishing graphics?  Not really.  Did it redefine gameplay?  Not a chance.  Was it the funnest little shooter you could get your mittens on in 1988?  You Betcha!

-- Trantor

Black Lamp

Rainbird, © 1988


System 3, © 1988

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Battlehawks 1942

Lucasfilm Games, © 1988

TV Sports: Football



Image Works, © 1988

Carrier Command

Rainbird, © 1988

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Project Firestart

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Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Dynamix

Original PC Platform: C-64

Ported Platforms: N/A

Collecting Fact: Seldom heard of or seen title by Dynamix before their buy-up by Sierra.

Summary: All contact with the research vessel Prometheus has been lost. It floats silently in orbit around one of Saturn's moons, where it was conducting a series of experiments known as Firestart.  You are a crack storm sent in to investigate what happened to the crew.s  The government hasn’t given you any detail on what the experiments were supposed to be, your mission is merely to recover the science lab logs.   Too bad the horrible truth about Firestart is about to be revealed.

The game is, upon initial inspection, nothing more than a sidescrolling action game with a handful of puzzle elements.  This simple guise however hides the true depth of the game, which could for all practical purposes be deemed the first truly cinematic survival-horror game.  The well placed cut-scenes, twisting and turning story, the anxiousness built up by the sparse ammunition, the unexpected "Thing" encounters and moody graphical atmosphere lead to a true cinematographic experience seldom seen in a game (then or now).  This program shows the story telling talent of Dynamix, which would later be further shown through such titles as Rise of the Dragon and Heart of China.

-- Trantor

Pool of Radiance

SSI, © 1988

Zak Macraken

Lucasfilm Ltd., © 1988

Balance of Power 1990

Screenshot - Click to enlarge
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Copyright - click to enlarge
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Publisher: Mindscape

Developer: Chris Crawford

Original PC Platform: Apple Macintosh

Ported Platforms: Intel

Summary: Balance of Power: The 1990 Edition is an update to the classic Balance of Power released in 1985. Chris Crawford had always resisted making sequels to his games, but the demand for a new edition of Balance of Power was so overwhelming, that he finally caved in. The basic objectives of the game remain the same, but the political climate has changed and there are some added features. For a complete rundown of the basic game, please see the summary in the "1985 Winners" section.

Of the added features, the most significant is the addition of a "Multipolar" level. In this level, the actions of every country in the world impacts the course of the game. Smaller countries can go to war with each other, with or without prodding from one of the Superpowers. Say, for example, Iraq decided to invade Kuwait. What would you do? To help discourage countries from making unwise policy decisions, there is a "minor country crisis" feature that can be used to "persuade" minor countries on a course of action. There are additional displays showing the state of all aid and troops going into and out of a country, and players can take advantage of trade policies, making this an even more complex game than the original.

Other enhancements include:
The database has been updated to early 1988.
The number of countries has grown from 62 to 80.
Addition of a "Crisis Advisory" feature to help the player in a crisis.
Additional data in the Background section.

-- Tony Cervo

Rommel:  Battles for North Africa

SSG, © 1988

Battle Chess

Interplay, © 1988 


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Last modified: November 13, 2001
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