Retro Gaming is my classic game playthrough series in which I attempt to go through my growing GOG.com library to see how these older games hold up. Note that they aren’t all complete playthroughs, as I allow myself the freedom to kill a series if the game is too frustrating or boring.
In April 2017, I attempted to complete a project of playing all of the way through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords for the first time. It’s somewhat of a cult classic and the overlooked entry in the Old Republic series.
Retro Sample Week: During one vacation week, I posted five quick “samples” of retro titles that I honestly had no interest in playing for an extended duration. They were pretty interesting and triggered several memories!
- Monday: Duke Nukem 2
- Tuesday: X-Com UFO Defense
- Wednesday: Police Quest
- Thursday: Ultima I
- Friday: Dungeon Keeper 2
- Bonus: The Sims
“Hail to the king, baby!” It’s time to return to an old favorite shooter of mine to see how the bizarre, funny, and definitively non-PC Duke Nukem 3D has aged over the years.
For this retro playthrough, I launch out into the void of space to pull together an alien alliance and stop a bunch of jerks from ruling the galaxy. Star Control 2 is a huge cult classic — and one I’ve never played until now. Spoiler: It was kind of weird and awesome.
As we continue the series, Quest for Glory III takes us from Arabia to Africa, as I encounter liontaurs, leopardmen, and Sanford and Son. Sure, why not?
In Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire, I return to the intriguing adventure/RPG hybrid series that doesn’t seem to be as widely known as some of Sierra’s other series. In this installment, the hero goes to ArabiaLand(tm) in the distant year of 1990.
King’s Quest V took us into the era of VGA and point-and-click adventuring, two very welcome changes to the series. It also introduced Cedric the annoying talking owl, which wasn’t as welcome. “It’s a POIIIIsonous snake!”
King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella put me in the shoes of a woman for the first time in this series. With that, a 24-hour clock, and an expanded fairy tale world, hopefully this will prove to be a better experience than its predecessor.
I returned to this classic adventure series with a look at the third entry, in which I had to escape a wizard while being slave to a fiddly timer.
1998’s Thief might have a reputation of being a brilliant stealth title — but for a guy who hates stealth mechanics, will it be the most annoying game ever? Fans voted to have me play it, so read on and see how this blogger became a master thief.
Master of Magic was a 1994 “4X” strategy game that put you in the role of a wizard attempting to grow and conquer a fantasy world. I mostly used my time creating parties of war bears and naming cities after Twitter followers.
Take the first SSI “Gold Box” D&D game from 1988, put it with modern sensibilities, and what do you get? A weird and strangely wonderful tour through Pool of Radiance. Well, the slums at least.
Interplay’s 1993 adventure game sequel, Star Trek: Judgment Rites, improved on its successor in just about every way possible. Behold as Kirk and crew are put through the weirdest series of tests imaginable!
With a terrific game design, story, and the reprise of the full original cast of actors, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary is the closest thing we ever got to a 4th season of TOS.
Planetfall features the original space janitor in a classic 1983 text adventure from Infocom. There’s way too much eating and drinking in it for my like.
1993’s X-Wing was a great start to an awesome series of space dogfight simulators, but this playthrough was hampered by the lack of a good joystick. Don’t play without one, kids!
The post-apocalypse was never more fun than in 1998’s Fallout 2. It’s a truly massive game that I only started to cover in 16 installments!
This was a pretty sad and aborted attempt to play through the 2003 Temple of Elemental Evil. It was also the last retro gaming series before a four-month break.
A true adventure game classic, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was one of my all-time favorites and remains so even to this day. Not bad for 1992, eh?
1986’s Starflight might have been a wildly ambitious open universe Star Trek clone at the time, but it proved to be a somewhat boring slog.
1989’s Quest for Glory (of which I played the VGA remake) was a brilliant hybrid of RPG, parody, and adventure gaming. The mix actually worked fairly well and made for an exciting run through fantasy tropes. Could’ve done without the cape, though.
This 1998 adventure game should’ve been awesome, with trips between an insane asylum and weird horror worlds, but it was severely hamstrung by the worst voice acting ever and clunky controls.
This acclaimed title was a personal bogeyman of mine, having scared me off back in 1999. I returned to find a truly terrific game that was more scary and inventive at the start than later on.
The 1991 time-traveling installment of this series was one that I was really excited to play, yet ultimately was less compelling than those that came before. Still, the jokes were funny and the visions of Space Quests-that-never-were fascinated.
1989’s Space Quest III was a major step up for the series and was tons of fun to play through. Plus, it had Astro Chicken!
A quickie cash-in sequel that trod over the same story beats as its predecessor, Space Quest II was somewhat decent in the end. Although if you mention that plant monster to me I will scream in your face.
A true Sierra classic, 1986’s Space Quest combined fiendish puzzles, dead ends, and sci-fi parodies to great effect. And it’s still kind of fun to play today!
Probably the strangest adventure game ever made and perhaps one of the best. Gabriel Knight 2 combined bad FMV and greenscreens with werewolves and an extended history lesson concerning King Ludwig II. I miss Tim Curry.
For my first Ultima game ever, I went with what was reported to be the best. Ultima VII was a truly immersive game in many respects, although I felt a bit lost and aimless through it.
1990’s Wing Commander might have been hot stuff back then, but it’s sadly lacking today with a barebones story.
I got myself out of my normal Fallout routine by making the dumbest (yet strongest) character possible for this playthrough. Well, at least he got through the first part of the quest!
A return to one of the first adventure games I ever played, King’s Quest II is a cheeky if recycled return of King Graham and his fairy tale adventures. I do not forgive the designers for that bridge, however.
How does one of the first graphical adventure games hold up in a modern view? Actually, not too bad if you like the retro charm of it all! At least I was able to beat it, something I could never do as a kid.
What a disappointment. This was a seminal RPG of my teenage years, and I was totally let down when I returned to it and found annoying systems and menus instead of a fun romp across the post-apocalypse.
Board game? Strategy game? Empire builder? Heroes of Might and Magic III is all of that and more. It’s also one of the largest games ever with all of the expansions and add-ons!
I don’t get it. This was one of those critically acclaimed “must play” titles, and yet I was bored out of my mind with a rather tepid platformer-slash-adventure game and its predictable story.
Arcanum is one of those games that the idea of it is far more attractive to me than actually playing it. I tried, oh how I did try, but this magic/technology mishmash was a little too dark and dreary for me in the end.
I think we all had fun with this playthrough, as I worked in a lot of fellow bloggers into the mix and tried — unsuccessfully — to wage war on multiple fronts.
An example of expectations versus reality, Zork had me all worked up to play this classic game but then let me down with no story to speak of and a lot of wandering around wondering what to do.
The game that kicked off my retro gaming series, Planescape Torment remains one of the best RPGs — nay, the best games — of all time. Where else would you find a man who is constantly on fire, a talking skull, and an intellectual prostitute?