Ok so I thought I’d kick off September with another retro game feature; this time focusing on Mike Singleton’s supremely ambitious first-person action/strategy classic “Midwinter” – published by Microplay/Rainbird for Amiga/ST/DOS way back in 1989.n.
Though groundbreaking it’s vast scope and initial slight complexity curve ensured Midwinter probably reached a smaller audience than it deserved to, those that persevered would find themselves sucked into an enthralling mid-21st century Guerrilla War spanning across a vast playing area of over 160,000 square miles – completely unheard of for that time…
Midwinter’s environmental catastrophe based plot was great too; in the early 21st Century the Earth has cooled drastically after a devastating asteroid impact, billions have died with massive food shortages – with onset of a cataclysmic new ice age, arable
A selection of screenshots from David Braben’s classic 16bit Space trading adventure game elite Elite 2 “Frontier” which made it’s debut back in 1992. Frontier’s core gaming may not have been as playable or fun as it’s illustrious, highly successful 8bit predecessor, but it was IMHO a much more immersive experience – Armed with an Commodore Amiga, Atari ST or IBM PC (boo!) it offered you the chance to explore an almost limitless galaxy of Millions of Star Systems, ok so perhaps only 100 of them were of actual interest but that was still plenty of traveling. Probably the games most fascinating aspect was it’s Galactic and Local star chart’s, the prior offering a 3d rotatable Grid enabling the player too see not only Star positions, jump distances and shipping lanes but also how far above or below the galactic plane a potential destination might be- cooler still, real star’s were featured up to a 20 light year radius from our own,
A quick follow up to a feature I ran a year ago on Roger Dean’s Artwork for the computer game “Shadow of the Beast” published by legendary 80’s/90’s 16bit software house Psygnosis. This image is a close up of the highly sought after limited edition t-shirt featuring a graphic bio-mechanical deer (reinterpreted from the Box Art) and that oh-so-cool logotype!
Scan is part of SOTB Boxs Set selection via Flickr User Pocket Clouds. “Psygnosis will never die!” … amen to that! In fact if you remember Psygnosis you might want to check out this superb French tribute site: http://psygnosisamiga.free.fr
Game Box art produced by Peter Andrew Jones, as used for the 16/8 bit title ‘Artura’, published by Gremlin Graphics in 1989. More on the game here: http://www.mobygames.com/game/amiga/artura
Superb pixel illustration / retro game graphics taken from the groundbreaking “Dune 2: Battle for Arrakis” considered by many to be the defining RTS game (real-time-strategy game). Dune II was released in 1992 by Westwood Studios who later went on to evolve the game concept into “Command & Conquer” and beyond. These Graphics by Ren Olsen were used to depict the various buildings and units attainable within the game, the actual in-game graphics (down to hardware limitations) were representational and quite simple, so Dune II’s real artwork – Ren’s lavish animated cutscenes, menus etc – was necessary to set the mood.
Dune II’s was a hugely immersive experience set within the Dune universe but only loosely based on the Frank Herbert Novels. Basically, Westwood deployed a shit-load of creative license and all for the greater good. In fact, the game was that good I’m pretty certain that (via emulation) the Battle for Arrakis will still be raging on
Excellent original Atari Art, I presume for the legendary 2600, that was the wood-panelled console with the stiff-as-hell one button joysticks. The vaporising image is “Defender” and the lower art, if you’ve haven’t guessed, is “Super Breakout”.
Many thanks to Ben at http://www.buhbomp.com/ for supplying the scans.