Three for the Road: Maze of Space, Death Worm, Crystal Hammer.

Chip Hageman's picture

Three for the Road
·  · ·· November 14th, 2010: Crystal Hammer, Death Worm, and Maze of Space ·· ·  ·

We are back with another edition of Three for the Road. I had a lot of fun cobbling this edition together this week. Instead of just reviewing indie and homebrew titles, I started to investigate some older software for computers and consoles. Many of these titles were once commercial but have since been religated to abandonware status due to their IP holder being a dissolved company.. or the author just not enforcing his/her copyright due to the age of the software and the inaccessibility of the parent platform. That said, they're easy to find with a simple Google search.

Anyway, let's get to the games...

Maze of SpaceMaze of Space[PC:Mac] The author Petri Purho defines this as "A game about killing space monsters." and he's pretty spot on with that description. Basically, the game is a roguelike set in space. You run your character around a randomly generated space station, attack baddies and collect the loot.

This is what I would call a "Rapid Prototype". Rapid Prototypes are created when an author has an idea about a concept and wants to see how it works in practice. This game was made to see how it would look if the characters "pixels" looked as if they were painted. While the game is very sparse in what it offers, I am hoping that Petri expands upon it some more. I do like the art style of the game, I just wish the individual games would last longer.

Crystal HammerCrystal Hammer[Amiga] is not an indie title nor is it a homebrew. It's an Arkanoid clone that was released for the Amiga line of computers back in 1988. The game was developed by reLINE Software, a German game design studio active from the late 1980's to 2004. As to the game itself, it's probably one of the best Arkanoid clones ever made. The graphics and level designs were great, controls were responsive and the music was one of the signature soundtracks for the Amiga. The game is now considered to be abandonware and can be found on a number of sites with just a simple Google search.
The easiest way to get the game running is with WinUAE. Especially, Cloanto's Amiga Forever flavor of it. If you have an installed WinUAE setup with kickstart ROM's or if you have Cloanto's Amiga Forever (Recommended), then you only need to launch the .ADF file under Amiga 500 emulation [ECS/OCS] and you should be good to go. This game is a true classic. If it's one you missed in the late 80's then be sure to check it out now.
Death WormDeath Worm[PC] is a bit of a guilty pleasure. You take on the role of a gigantic killer worm (ala Tremors or perhaps the Mongolian Death Worm) and begin to tear into everything and anything that crosses your path.. People, Planes, Tanks, Dogs, Elephants, etc. As the game progresses the inhabitants will start devising ways of protecting themselves- Guns, Bombs, Mines, electrocution towers, etc.

This game is a great stress reliever.. bad day at work? Fire up a game of Death Worm and you'll be right as rain in ten minutes.


Well, that brings us to the end of another edition of 3ftR. Hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you would like to see some more cross-platform games in the future. I have quite a few ideas lined up that span PC, Amiga, Vic20, C64, Amstrad, Sinclair and other systems. However, if you prefer just indie/homebrew PC releases, that's fine too. I haven't even scratched the surface of whats out there.

Hope you enjoyed it,
-Chip

Comments

Matt Barton
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Interesting selection, Chip.

Interesting selection, Chip. I like the idea of including some abandonware into the mix. Are there any of those emulator-in-a-browser type solutions for Amiga and DOS?

I remember listening to the music for Crystal Hammer, but never played it back in the day. I did love Arkanoid, though. One of the few games we actually bought, and boy, did we play the hell out of it. I can hear the soundtrack in my head even now. It's a good example of a game that was not original at all, but did such a great job with the polish that it became a great game in its own right.

Death Worm also looks interesting. I've never heard of it before.

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Chip Hageman
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Matt Barton
Matt Barton wrote:

Interesting selection, Chip. I like the idea of including some abandonware into the mix. Are there any of those emulator-in-a-browser type solutions for Amiga and DOS?

I think flash and java would probably have a hard time doing the Amiga with all of it's heavily integrated support processors. There is an x86 (not strictly DOS) emulator written in Java called JPC which does have a few games running on it. I haven't really checked it out yet, so maybe it warrants closer inspection.

-Chip

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Chip Hageman
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I was messing around with

I was messing around with JPC. I got it to play Monkey Island, which was great except for the oversensitivity of the mouse. And I got it to load Damn Small Linux [DSL] which worked fine but was sssllloooooooowwwww. Then again, I'm on an Athlon XP 2800+ right now, so that may have something to do with it.

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Effing Worms: A Death Worm clone in Flash!

I forgot I had this game in my bookmarks, but just rediscovered it. It appears to be a clone of Chip's mention of "Death Worm." Now you can play it without installing anything (assuming you have Flash enabled in your browser."

It's mindless fun! Play it! Here's the link:

http://www.kongregate.com/games/EffingGames/effing-worms

Chip Hageman
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Excellent find Rob. There

Excellent find Rob. There are quite a few sequels floating around on numerous platforms but this is the first time I've seen this particular one.

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