Home of the Underdogs logoSuperb news! Possibly the best “ethical” abandonware site that ever was has been put back into action. A group of determined individuals seem to be working their socks off to reincarnate Home of the Underdogs after several years of stagnation! :-D I wish them the best of luck… it’s not the smallest of tasks to attempt.

Take a wander through some of yesteryear’s best games at www.hotud.org. And don’t forget to tell your friends!

Back in the days of Windows 3.11 there weren’t all that many decent games; most of the really cool and trendy stuff was still being made for DOS. One shareware game that bucked the trend, however, was Inner Space [link], released in 1994 by Software Dynamics. I would say it’s worth recognising as one of the most innovate shareware games made back then, and as long as you don’t have a 64-bit version of Windows, it’s still quite playable… and rather addictive, too!

Inner Space - the title screenInner Space - rough justice for an EnforcerInner Space - more fisticuffs with Pirates

The amazing storyline goes like this: a virus has invaded and let loose all of your installed programs. Being the noble hero that you are, it’s your job to enter the mysterious electronic realm known as “inner space” to capture or destroy all the errant program icons before returning home for a nice cup of tea. Careful, though. The terrifying Inner Demon that controls this digital dimension might not let you out so easily…

Read more…

Today is a catch-up of something that caught my eye on Retro Remakes a few weeks ago. It’s Omega Race 2009 [link], a smooth remake of a game that ranks pretty highly on my list of all-time favourite arcade blasters. Who’s responsible? That’d be Søren Borgquist, better known in the remaking community as Sokurah.

Omega Race 2009 - the title screenOmega Race 2009 - Oh no! It's full of glowing neon vectors!

In the spirit of the Midway arcade original, you’ve got to fly Asteroids-style around a rectangular track picking off the nasties that are also present. They meander either clockwise or anticlockwise on their merry, kill-you-horribly way. Although the majority of the enemies are fairly harmless – at least in the early levels – others will both attack you with their lazers and also drop mines to hinder your evasive maneuvers. Pro tip: the more glowy vectors an enemy has, the more lethal they tend to be!

Simple, yet nerve-jangling difficult, Omega Race 2009 is a game that’s no less addictive today than the original was back in 1981. My only complaint about this version is the over-eager bullet collision detection on the corners of the central rectangle – bullets seem to die on hitting the neon glow rather than the line itself, which makes it tricky to pull off sneak attacks. Other than that, all your modern remake features are here – online highscores, widescreen resolution support and tastefully done sound and music. Definitely worth playing!

Happy birthday, this blog! :-D

Sorry - no cake is currently available.I’d offer you a slice of cake in celebration, but some crazy computer has it locked away out of convenient reach right now… however, I’m sure that the cake does exist, no matter what all you doubters out there may think.

To mark the occasion I’ve tarted up the blog banner a bit and done one or two other things. More changes may be on the way – or things may even go back to how they were. But hopefully this place will live on for a while yet, with more games and other interesting stuff to come!

Unfortunately, the many constructive things I could have blogged about today seemed to fly out of my head as I actually sat down to write something. Instead, have this pointless YouTube video of some random Minecraft multiplayer action involving water, spirals and water. And spirals. Oh, did I mention it has watery spirals in it?…

…Yeah, I’ll just be going now. Tomorrow will be more informative, I promise :)

This isn’t new by any means (gosh… is there anything I post here which actually is?!), but if you ever wondered exactly what it was possible to do in just 4 kilobytes’ worth of computer program, check this out:

I just can’t even begin to think how something like this is made. Clever stuff.

Not much time for blogging tonight so I’ll have to be fairly brief. :-?

Today I wanted to highlight the recent release of Erik Svedäng‘s Blueberry Garden [link] on Steam. You can buy this year’s IGF Grand Prize winner for a piddly $5! Indie games really don’t come much cheaper than this, though admittedly you probably aren’t going to be getting days of gameplay for your dosh. But I’d say there’s enough to fill a couple of hours if you’re really casual and/or thorough.

Blueberry Garden - a whimsical landscapeBlueberry Garden - what's that over there?

The style is wonderfully whimsical and inviting. Everything has been done to create a calm, relaxing atmosphere – from the soothing piano music to the hand-drawn look of the graphics, Blueberry Garden is a perfect game to unwind with. It’s open-endedness caters to fans of Seiklus or Knytt perfectly, so if you’ve enjoyed either of those then you should feel completely at home flying in this world of berries and giant cheese!

Humm. I really should be installing WordPress 2.8 that was released today, but I honestly can’t be bothered til the weekend… :)

Minecraft - The Zolyx Zone!So, for at least some of  the time I wasn’t blogging, I was instead building random stuff out of cubes in Minecraft [link]. It’s ridiculous. Why do I like this game so much? Why is fiddling with a bunch of pixelated blocks so addicitive? I cannot say. But since I’m currently enjoying it so much, it’s possible you might too. Here’s an overview of what’s been added since last month’s mention…

  • Fluids – water (for that island-in-an-ocean feel) and lava
  • Ore veins – coal, iron and gold (purely decorative for now, but will be used for stuff later)
  • New tile types – sand, gravel, foliage, wood
  • Trees generated automatically on new levels
  • Different level sizes
  • Save and load single-player levels to your Minecraft.net account
  • Last but not least: Multiplayer! Huzzah!

I also brushed off the dust on my nearly non-existant PHP skills to create the Minecraft Museum, a place to store various interesting screenshots that anyone – yep, you too! – can contribute to. And as an extra bit of fun, I’m running a public Minecraft server – “The Zolyx Zone” – every weekday evening from about 6pm to 9pm GMT (it isn’t run 24/7 since I and fellow ops PrinceOfFire59 and Lmaoboat like to extend personal greetings to griefers with our trusty bansticks). You can connect to it right here if it’s up, or browse the list of other public servers if it isn’t.

Happy Minecrafting, ’til tomorrow! :D