Video Games 1991

VIDEO GAMES 1991

video games 1991

Video Games of 1991: The 1991, one of the most important years in video gaming history. It was a year that in many ways serves as a transition between the early days of the video games industry, and the true beginnings of the modern era. So what made this year so special among the others? Continue reading below or choose another year from the menu.

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VIDEO GAMES of 1991: THE ARTICLE

Video Games 1991

Video Games 1991: The 1991, one of the most important years in video gaming history. 1991, a year that in many ways serves as a transition between the early days of the video games industry, and the true beginnings of the modern era. So what made this year so special among the others?

video games 1991

Some of the most important Video Games released in 1991

First of all, Formula One Grand Prix (also known as World Circuit), the first proper racing simulator, designed by Geoff Crammond, was released. The game that was noted for its 3D graphics, remarkably high framerate (25 fps) and attention to detail, took Formula One simulation to a whole new level. It aimed to simulate everything that was possible to simulate, from aerodynamics, to engine mechanics, to tire wear.

It allowed to skip time, replay options and it is considered to be the founder of online racing community. Besides that, players also had the ability to edit the teams and drivers and set up their car to their own personal specifications.

Secondly, Sonic the Hedgehog, the crowning jewel of Sega Genesis was released. Sonic the Hedgehog was well received by critics, who praised its visuals, audio, and gameplay. It was also commercially successful, establishing the Genesis as a key player in the 16-bit era and allowing it to compete with Nintendo and their Super Nintendo Entertainment System console. The game became Sega’s new mascot, new face.

Street Fighter II was not the first fighting game, and even not the first in the series. However, it defined the fighting genre, what it should be. It innovated basically everything in fighting genre – having characters with different abilities and styles, stages, music. Considered as the greatest creation of Capcom, many also consider it as the best fighting game ever made. It also resurrected the arcades, being the best-selling title since the golden age of arcade gaming.

Sid Meier’s Civilization, the game that allows you to control a civilization from stone age to space age, was released. Economical progress, military power with the size of armies and technology from spears to missiles and nuclear weapons.

The player is tasked with leading an entire human civilization over the course of several millennia by controlling various areas such as urban development, exploration, government, trade, research, and military. The player can control individual units and advance the exploration, conquest and settlement of the game’s world. The player can also make such decisions as setting forms of government, tax rates and research priorities. The player’s civilization is in competition with other computer-controlled civilizations, with which the player can enter diplomatic relationships that can either end in alliances or lead to war.

Hardware 1991

With Nintendo’s NES and Sega’s Master System declining, and Super Nintendo yet to rise, Sega Genesis (also known as Mega Drive) stepped to the throne of home consoles. Lovely rounded corners, circular design cues and fabulous 16-bit technology made the previous generation of consoles look positively clunky by comparison.

With the rise of 16-bit home consoles, 16-bit computers like Amiga and Atari ST started to decline. The Amiga and ST were too expensive and many gamers switched to the home consoles. Adding even more pressure on the Amiga and ST, IBM PC was about to rise. It was a machine that could indeed do all of the practical, functional things we were told home micros could do, but it did them so, so much better than anything else that was out there.

In 1991, the PC’s final, secret weapon (86C911 by S3) was ready to be deployed that would enable it to establish itself as a bona fide gaming machine – and become the customizable, do-it-all personal computer that both consumers and professionals really wanted. 86C911 was the first significant commercial graphics processing unit.

At the same time, an epic four-way battle royale between Nintendo, Sega, Atari and NEC was taking place in the handheld world. Within the space of 18 months, three technically advanced, but power-hungry and prohibitively expensive color hand-held systems had been launched against Nintendo’s much cheaper black and white Game Boy: Atari’s Lynx, retrospectively looking like a PSP forerunner, Sega’s Game Gear, essentially a mini Master System, and NEC’s TurboGrafx-16-on-the-go, the TurboExpress.

By 1991 each of these systems had some great games available for it, but none had hit critical mass for success. Instead, it was the Game Boy that was kicking ass and taking names thanks to its monstrous popularity – and vast software library.

Other notable Video Games of 1991

Electronic Arts releases motorcycle racing combat game Road Rash for Sega Genesis, starting the series.

Final Fantasy IV, the first 16-bit FF was first released in Japan, and then released as Final Fantasy II in North America in November. It was named as Final Fantasy II because original Final Fantasy II and III were not released outside the Japan.

Nintendo releases Super Mario World and F-Zero along with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America. Super Mario World was the original pack-in game for the SNES. Nintendo also releases The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the Super Famicom in Japan and Super Castlevania IV for SNES in North America.

For the computers, Neverwinter Nights (credited as the first graphical MMORPG) was released. DMA Design releases Lemmings, a puzzle game that requires the player to lead a group of lemmings through a dangerous environment to an escape portal. A cinematic action-adventure game Another World was released for the Amiga, which uses polygons instead of sprites.

LucasArts releases Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge for Amiga, MS-DOS, Macintosh, and FM Towns.

Namco releases Starblade for arcades, featuring one of the earliest instances of real-time 3D graphics in video games.

LIST OF THE BEST VIDEO GAMES: 1991

Vote For Your Favorites of 1991

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SUPER GHOULS ‘N GHOSTS

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Super Nintendo
Released(JP): October 4, 1991
Released(NA): November 28, 1991
Genre: Action, Platformer

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

CASTLEVANIA II: BELMONT’S REVENGE

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Game Boy
Released(JP): July 12, 1991
Released(NA): August, 1991
Genre: Platformer

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

SUPER CASTLEVANIA IV

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Super Nintendo
Released(JP): October 31, 1991
Released(NA): December 4, 1991
Genre: Action, Platformer

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Super Castlevania IV

CROSSED SWORDS

Developer: Alpha Denshi
Publisher: Alpha Denshi
Platform: Arcade, Neo Geo
Released: July 25, 1991
Genre: Hack and Slash, Action, RPG

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Crossed Swords

CAPTAIN COMMANDO

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Arcade
Released: September 28, 1991
Genre: Beat-’em-up

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Captain Commando

THE KING OF DRAGONS

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Arcade
Released(NA): September 10, 1991
Released(JP): August 5, 1991
Genre: Beat-’em-up, Action, RPG

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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The King of Dragons

SID MEIER’S CIVILIZATION

Developer: MicroProse
Publisher: MicroProse
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: September, 1991
Genre: Turn-based strategy

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Sid Meier's Civilization

SIMANT: THE ELECTRONIC ANT COLONY

Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Maxis
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Simulation

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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SimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony

OH NO! MORE LEMMINGS

Developer: DMA Design
Publisher: Psygnosis
Platform: Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Puzzle

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Oh No! More Lemmings

LEMMINGS

Developer: DMA Design
Publisher: Psygnosis
Platform: Amiga
Released: February 14, 1991
Genre: Puzzle

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Lemmings

STREET FIGHTER II: THE WORLD WARRIOR

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Arcade
Released: March, 1991
Genre: Fighting

Street Fighter II is regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time, and in particular the most important and influential fighting game ever made.

The original Street Fighter II features a roster of eight playable characters that could be selected by the player. The roster initially included Ryu and Ken—the main characters from the original Street Fighter game—plus six new characters of different nationalities.

In the single-player tournament, the player faces off against the other seven main fighters, before proceeding to the final opponents, which are four non-selectable CPU-controlled boss opponents, known as the “Shadaloo Bosses”, which included Sagat from the original game.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Street Fighter II - The World Warrior

FATAL FURY: KING OF FIGHTERS

Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK
Platform: Arcade, Neo Geo AES
Released: 1991
Genre: Fighting

Fatal Fury: King of Fighters is a 1991 head-to-head fighting game released by SNK.

The plot of Fatal Fury centers around a martial arts tournament known as the “King of Fighters” tournament, held in the fictional American city of South Town and sponsored by local crime boss Geese Howard. Ten years prior to the events of the game, Geese murdered a rival martial artist named Jeff Bogard who was on his trail.

Now, Jeff’s adopted sons, Terry and Andy, along with their friend Joe Higashi, enter the tournament to get their revenge on Geese.

The most novel aspect of Fatal Fury were the addition of two-lane battles. Many stages featured two rows, a background row and a foreground row. Players can change between rows at any time other than in the Single Player Mode, where they have to wait for the CPU opponent to change rows before they can in almost every stage.

Many seem to forget, while comparing it with Street Fighter II, that you were actually able to play this at home on Neo Geo AES console.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Fatal Fury: King of Fighters

LAKERS VERSUS CELTICS AND THE NBA PLAYOFFS

Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Sega Genesis
Released: 1991
Genre: Basketball

Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs was originally released in 1989 for MS-DOS.

It was the first NBA licenced basketball video game and obviously the first to contain real NBA teams (8 teams) with real rosters.

Genesis version sounds, looks and plays a lot better. So if you are not after the exact (1989) teams and rosters precisely, Genesis version is the definite version to choose.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs

RIM ROCKIN’ BASKETBALL

Developer: Strata
Publisher: Strata
Platform: Arcade
Released: 1991
Genre: Basketball

Rim Rockin’ Basketball is a nice looking basketball game with a voice commentary. It allows you to play either 5-on-5 or 3-on-3 game with up to 4 players simultaneously.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Rim Rockin' Basketball

ANOTHER WORLD

Developer: Delphine Software
Publisher: Delphine Software
Platform: Amiga, Atari ST
Released: November, 1991
Genre: Cinematic platformer, Action

Another World, known as Out of This World in North America, is a 1991 cinematic platformer action-adventure game.

The game tells a story of Lester, a young scientist who, as a result of an experiment gone wrong, finds himself on a dangerous alien world where he is forced to fight for his survival.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Another World

MONKEY ISLAND 2

Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts
Platform: Amiga, MS-DOS
Released: December, 1991
Genre: Point and click, Adventure

After defeating ghost pirate LeChuck in The Secret of Monkey Island, little is known of what happened between Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley. The sequel involves Guybrush’s attempts to find the mysterious treasure of Big Whoop.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Monkey Island 2

CRUISE FOR A CORPSE

Developer: Delphine Software
Publisher: U.S. Gold
Platform: Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Point and click, Adventure

The game is designed as a murder investigation. The player assumed the role of Raoul Dusentier, a French Detective invited to spend some time on Niklos Karaboudjan’s boat. Quickly after arriving, Karaboudjan is murdered, and the investigation begins.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Cruise for a Corpse

HUNTER

Developer: Activision
Publisher: Activision
Platform: Amiga, Atari ST
Released: August, 1991
Genre: Action, Adventure, 3-D

The player controls a soldier in a large three-dimensional world where he can move freely by walking, swimming or using various vehicles such as cars, vans, tanks, ships, bicycles, helicopters, hovercrafts or even rowboats and surfboards.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Hunter

SUPER CARS II

Developer: Magnetic Fields
Publisher: Gremlin Graphics
Platform: Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Racing

Super Cars II is a top-view racing game, the sequel to the 1990 game Super Cars.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Super Cars II

STREET ROD II

Developer: P.Z.Karen Co. Development
Publisher: California Dreams
Platform: Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Racing

Street Rod 2 exclusively featured American Muscle Cars, specifically those from GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Street Rod II

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Developer: Ancient
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Master System, Game Gear
Released(Game Gear): December 28, 1991
Released(Master System): 1991
Genre: Platformer

The premise and story of the 8-bit Sonic are identical to that of the Genesis game: as the anthropomorphic hedgehog Sonic, the player must race through levels to rescue the imprisoned animals Doctor Robotnik plots to turn into robots.

Gameplay is similar as well; Sonic collects rings while avoiding obstacles, but is paced slightly slower as the 8-bit version focuses more on exploration.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Sonic the Hedgehog

PREDATOR 2

Developer: Arc Developments
Publisher: Image Works
Platform: Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Shoot’em Up, Crosshair

The gameplay bears a lot of similarities to other first person shooters, particularly Operation Wolf and Dynamite Duke.

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Predator 2

SUPER MARIO WORLD

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Super Nintendo
Released(NA): August 13, 1991
Released(EU): April 11, 1992
Released(JP): November 21, 1990
Genre: Platformer

Super Mario World is often considered one of the greatest video games of all time. It sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling SNES game.

In addition to the power-ups from previous games, new power-ups that provide new gameplay options are also introduced. The new power-up in the game is the Cape Feather, which gives Mario a cape and the ability to fly, glide in the air, and use the cape as a sail.

More than that, the game introduces the ability to “store” an extra power-up in a box at the top centre of the screen. For example, if the player obtains a Fire Flower or a Cape Feather, then a Super Mushroom will appear in the box. If Mario gets hit by an enemy, the stored item in the box will automatically drop. Alternatively, the player can manually release the stored item at any time.

The game also introduces Yoshi, a dinosaur companion Mario can ride who is able to eat most enemies.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Super Mario World

FINAL FANTASY IV

Developer: Square
Publisher: Square
Platform: Super Nintendo
Released(NA): November 23, 1991
Released(JP): July 19, 1991
Genre: Role-playing

Final Fantasy IV, known as Final Fantasy II for its initial North American release, as the original Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III had not been released outside Japan at the time. It is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Released in 1991, it is the fourth main installment of the Final Fantasy series. The game’s story follows Cecil, a dark knight, as he tries to prevent the sorcerer Golbez from seizing powerful crystals and destroying the world. He is joined on this quest by a frequently changing group of allies.

Final Fantasy IV introduced innovations that became staples of the Final Fantasy series and role-playing games in general. Its “Active Time Battle” system was used in five subsequent Final Fantasy games, and unlike prior games in the series, IV gave each character their own unchangeable character class.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Final Fantasy IV

UTOPIA

Developer: Celestial Software
Publisher: Gremlin Interactive
Platform: Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Strategy, City building

Utopia: The Creation of a Nation in full, is a strategy video game developed by Celestial Software.

The game, taking place in the future, on a new planet, is open-ended where the player character is a planetary governor who evacuated his colony after it was hit by a biological weapon by an alien race. Instead of being reprimanded or fired, the governor is lauded for his care of colonists’ lives over material gain, and promoted to a series of pioneer worlds to colonize.

It is the player’s task to colonize the new planet, manage the colony and raise the quality of life for the citizen in order to reach utopia.

Initially the player has a few colonists with a lot to do. The player needs to build everything from scratch. Building takes time and free colonists, in addition to money. Buildings under construction are depicted by scaffold.

However certain buildings require personnel (hospitals, labs, mines, factories, shipyards …) and therefore the player has to engage in population management. The player also has to micromanage features such as tax rate, birth rate and trade.

In addition, each world also has a competing alien race which is trying to colonize the same planet. There is no option to form alliances, which means that the player’s population must come into conflict with the aliens. The player never actually gets to see the alien city, as it is located outside the playable map, but must instead rely on espionage to find out what the aliens and their city look like. It is possible to completely eradicate the alien race, after which the game loses its combat aspect and becomes a pure management simulation.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Utopia - The Creation of a Nation

BATTLE ISLE

Developer: Blue Byte
Publisher: Blue Byte
Platform: Amiga, MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Strategy, Turn-based tactics

On the distant planet Chromos, the Drullian people fight the forces of Skynet-Titan, an AI out of control. The player has to lead the Drull armies to victory in several battles.

A turn-based strategy game. The screen is split in two, one half for each player. While the first player can move his units, the other can attack and vice versa.

There are 16 levels to play against the computer and another 16 for 2 player competitive play.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Battle Isle

GOBLIIINS

Developer: Coktel Vision
Publisher: Coktel Vision
Platform: Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle

In Gobliiins the player controls a team of three different goblins each with a unique skill. The first goblin, Asgard (BoBo in the US release), is a warrior who is more brawn than brain, and whose skill is punching, causing various things to break or fall over. He is also the only one who can climb other objects than stairs and ladders. The second goblin, Ignatius (US: Hooter), is a magician who can ‘zap’ things with magic with a wide variety of usually unexpected effects, which include objects moving, growing, or coming alive. The third, Oups (US: Dwayne), is a technician and is the only one of the three that can pick up and use items.

The story follows the three goblins as they attempt to aid their king, who has gone insane under mysterious circumstances. They meet with the wizard Niak, who informs them he can cure the king’s madness if they bring him three items. However, upon obtaining the items, Niak is revealed to be the one behind the king’s insanity and he manipulated the goblins into performing his bidding. The goblins manage to escape from Niak’s lair, save the king by destroying the voodoo doll used to drive him insane, and defeat Niak while he is creating deadly potions.

The game is linear and consists of 22 levels, each of which occupies a single screen. The puzzles on each level must be successfully solved in order to progress to the next.

Several actions may harm the goblin involved, including leaving them in an unsafe place, using incorrect items, or interacting with items with the wrong characters, thus reducing their shared life meter. When the meter runs out, the game ends in defeat (though all levels can be completed without loss of life).

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Gobliiins

QUACKSHOT STARRING DONALD DUCK

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Genesis
Released(EU): December, 1991
Released(NA): December 19, 1991
Released(JP): December 20, 1991
Genre: Platformer

Donald, ventures through a variety of side-scrolling levels. Generally, each level is divided into an overland part and a dungeon, such as the Maharajah’s palace or the temple in which the Great Duck Treasure resides.

Although the player may choose any order to play the overland sections, various obstacles prevent the player from entering the dungeons outside of a specific order. In addition to this, some levels provide the player with vital clues which solve puzzles needed to progress in later sections. Once Donald has completed the overland section of an area, he may leave by calling his nephews’ biplane, and will return to the dungeon entrance of that area if the player chooses to return.

Donald is armed with a special gun that can shoot plungers, popcorn or bubble gum. Donald has unlimited plungers which can temporarily stun enemies (though bosses can still be damaged with plungers), and can collect popcorn and gum along the way or get the latter from Gyro Gearloose.

Later in the game, the plunger is upgraded to act as a temporary platform to climb walls with and, when stuck to a passing bird, allows Donald to traverse longer distances. In Duckburg, India and Egypt, Donald can also pick up chili peppers which increase his temper, eventually temporarily allowing him to become invincible, increase his speed and knock out enemies in his path.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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QuackShot Starring Donald Duck

BATTLETOADS

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Tradewest
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Released(NA): November, 1991
Released(EU): 1992
Genre: Action, Platformer

Despite having the same title as the original Battletoads game, Battletoads for Game Boy is a completely different game with other levels. It was never ported to any other systems.

Game Boy port of the original NES game was released in 1993, and is called Battletoads in Ragnarok’s World.

The player controls Zitz and it is only a single-player game. Zitz is given three lives and three continues to complete the game, after which he must start over. The gameplay is a mix of side-scrolling fighting and various vehicle races, ranking up to eight stages (nine if to also include the final showdown).

As in the case of the original Battletoads, the Game Boy game is also notoriously difficult to beat, requiring fast reflexes, memorization of obstacles, and patience. However, there are many differences in the levels and they range in difficulty when encountering enemies or obstacles.

Almost every stage finishes with a battle against a boss, including known boss characters in the series like General Slaughter, Scuzz, Big Blag, General Vermin and Robo-Manus, who is this game’s final boss.

This is also one of the two Battletoads games in which the ‘Toads do not have to confront the Dark Queen herself, although she still taunts the player in cutscenes before the levels in a similar fashion to other games in the series.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Battletoads

BATTLETOADS

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Tradewest
Platform: Nintendo NES
Released(NA): June 1, 1991
Released(JP): December 20, 1991
Released(EU): February 18, 1993
Genre: Beat ’em up, Platformer

Professor T. Bird and the three Battletoads, Rash, Zitz, and Pimple, are escorting Princess Angelica to her home planet using their spacecraft, the Vulture. When Pimple and Angelica decide to take a leisurely trip on Pimple’s flying car, they are ambushed and captured by the Dark Queen’s ship, the Gargantua.

Pimple then sends out a distress signal to the Vulture, alerting Professor T. Bird, Rash, and Zitz. Learning that the Gargantua is hidden beneath the surface of a nearby planet called Ragnarok’s World, Professor T. Bird flies Rash and Zitz there in the Vulture to rescue them.

Battletoads is a platform scrolling beat ’em up, with varying elements of racing, climbing and vehicle-based obstacle courses.

Players start with three lives each time the game is started, which get replenished every time the player continues after getting defeated.

The game contains no saving system or password features.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Battletoads

POLICE QUEST 3: THE KINDRED

Developer: Sierra On-Line
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Adventure

Sonny Bonds, the protagonist of the previous two games, returns to Lytton with his new wife, Marie. While she takes work in the local shopping mall, Bonds resumes work in the Lytton Police Department as a newly promoted Sergeant.

On his first day, while handling traffic duty and dealing with a mentally disturbed man, Bonds becomes concerned over the actions of Pat Morales – a female police officer in the department who has received complaints over her behaviour and attitude.

Police Quest III uses a point and click interface common to adventure games of the time. The mouse is used to select and interact with objects from the game world and the player’s inventory, as well as to direct the player character around the various environments.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Police Quest III: The Kindred

JAMES POND 2: CODENAME: ROBOCOD

Developer: Millennium Interactive
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Sega Genesis, Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Platformer

The game takes place immediately after its predecessor, James Pond. Although Acme Oil Co. has been destroyed by James Pond, Pond’s arch enemy Dr. Maybe survived and has retreated to the North Pole where he has taken over Santa’s workshop.

Dr. Maybe is holding Santa’s workers hostage (in most versions of the game they are penguins, in some they are elves), and has turned many of Santa’s helpers into his own twisted and dangerous assistants. James Pond is recruited to infiltrate Santa’s grotto, free the captive penguins, retrieve the stolen toys for the children of the world, and defeat Dr. Maybe once and for all.

This time, however, due to the greater risks involved in this mission, Pond is given a robotic suit and the code name “RoboCod” (a play on RoboCop). This suit gives Pond superhuman strength and agility as well as enabling him to stretch his midsection almost indefinitely and reach otherwise impossibly high areas.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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James Pond 2: Codename: Robocod

JAMES POND: UNDERWATER AGENT

Developer: Millennium Interactive
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Sega Genesis
Released: 1991
Genre: Platformer

A nefarious supervillain named “Doctor Maybe” (a play on Dr. No) has overtaken the ruthless megacorporation Acme Oil Company, and is not only filling the oceans with radiation and toxic waste but even threatening all the world from his underwater lair.

The protagonist of the story and player character of the game is an intelligent, mutated anthropomorphic mudskipper who is given the name “James Pond” (after the legendary spy James Bond) and hired by the British Secret Service to protect the seas and take out the bad guys in underwater areas. He is also suave enough to seduce numerous attractive mermaids, some of whom act as double agents as is common with James Bond’s love interests.

The game spoofs James Bond movies with levels mimicking their titles, with level names like “License to Bubble” (after Licence to Kill), “A View to a Spill” (after A View to a Kill), “Leak and Let Die” (after Live and Let Die) and “From Three Mile Island with Love” (after From Russia with Love).

James Pond has to solve puzzles to defeat the enemy and the gameplay revolves around finding objects to perform specific tasks, such as keys to rescue captured lobsters, or sponges to bung up the holes in leaking oil tankers. James must also fire bubbles at his enemies to trap them, before popping them to finish them off.

James Pond is not a traditional platform game, as most of the game takes place underwater.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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James Pond: Underwater Agent

COMMANDER KEEN IN ALIENS ATE MY BABYSITTER

Developer: id Software
Publisher: FormGen
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: December, 1991
Genre: Platformer

Despite being the sixth episode in the series, Aliens is not clearly stated to take place after the events of the pair of episodes in Galaxy.

In the game’s introduction, eight-year-old child genius Billy Blaze is working on his wrist computer in his backyard clubhouse when his babysitter, Molly McMire, calls him in for dinner. Upon hearing a loud noise he rushes out, only to discover her missing and a note burnt into the grass stating that the Bloogs of Fribbulus Xax have taken Molly and plan to eat her; donning his helmet as Commander Keen, Billy rushes off to save her before his parents get home.

During the game, Keen journeys through the various outposts, factories, and installations of the alien Bloogs on the planet of Fribbulus Xax as well as a space station above it.

After Keen finds Molly tied up at the back of the Bloog Control Center on the space station, she explains to him that she was kidnapped on the orders of her younger brother, who Keen knows to be his nemesis Mortimer McMire. Mortimer convinced the Bloogs to kidnap her by offering them the Stupendous Sandwich of Chungella IV.

Keen is surprised, as he thought Mortimer was dead (he was apparently killed at the end of the Vorticon trilogy), and is dismayed to find out that Mortimer plans to blow up the entire universe. This conclusion is also revealed in an encoded note at the end of the Galaxy. The game ends by asking the player to play the next installment, where Keen would again fight Mortimer.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Commander Keen in Aliens Ate My Babysitter

COMMANDER KEEN IN GOODBYE GALAXY

Developer: id Software
Publisher: Apogee Software
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: December 15, 1991
Genre: Platformer

The second main game in the series, consisting of episodes four and five of the series, “Secret of the Oracle” and “The Armageddon Machine”.

The game follows the titular Commander Keen, an eight-year-old child genius, as he first journeys through the Shadowlands to rescue the Gnosticenes so they may ask the Oracle how the Shikadi plan to destroy the galaxy, and then through the Shikadi’s Armageddon Machine to stop them. The two episodes feature Keen running, jumping, and shooting through various levels while opposed by aliens, robots, and other hazards.

Both of the episodes contain a different set of enemies in their levels, which the player must stun or avoid. The first episode contains a variety of alien creatures, including large slugs, giant bouncing mushrooms, and flying bats, while the second contains different types of robots and alien energy beings.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy

COMMANDER KEEN IN KEEN DREAMS

Developer: id Software
Publisher: Softdisk Publishing
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Platformer

Commander Keen in Keen Dreams is the second game of the series, released in 1991 as a single episode. It is sometimes referred to as episode 3.5 of the series.

Having defeated the Grand Intellect in Invasion of the Vorticons and saved the Earth, eight-year-old child genius Billy Blaze is still forced by his parents to eat his vegetables at dinner. After being sent to bed, he falls asleep and wakes up in his pajamas in bed on top of a hill.

Giant helmet-wearing potato men tell him that their king Boobus Tuber has brought him to their land with his Dream Machine, and Keen is now his slave. Keen puts on his Commander Keen helmet and defeats the vegetables, but finds that his raygun is now out of charge. Another child in chains runs up to him and asks Keen to defeat Boobus Tuber and save them all from the Dream Machine, and Commander Keen agrees to do so.

After journeying through several outposts and cities of Tuberia, defeating various types of vegetable creatures, and collecting Boobus Bombs along the way to attack Boobus Tuber with, he reaches the castle on top of Mount Tuberest. Upon defeating Boobus Tuber and turning off the Dream Machine, Keen wakes up in bed at home, where his mother informs him it is national “I Hate Broccoli” day.

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Commander Keen in Keen Dreams

WRATH OF THE DEMON

Developer: Abstrax
Publisher: ReadySoft Incorporated
Platform: Commodore Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Fantasy, Hack and slash, Action

The player controls a hero on a quest to defeat a demon.

Music was composed by David Whittaker.

ACE gave the Amiga version of Wrath of the Demon an overall score of 884 out of 1000, calling it better than Shadow of the Beast 2, stating that Wrath of the Demon is “technically … the most accomplished and polished game yet written for the Amiga”. ACE praised Wrath of the Demon’s ‘smooth’ scrolling during horseback sequences.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Wrath of the Demon

RINGS OF POWER

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Sega Genesis
Released: 1991
Genre: Role playing

The player takes on the role of a young sorcerer whose quest is to collect eleven rings and use them to remake a powerful weapon to defeat an evil god.

Unlike most role-playing video games of the time, such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, Rings of Power has a style that shared many similarities to PC role-playing games such as Dungeon Master, Wizardry, and A Bard’s Tale. The game is very open-ended, contains hundreds of non-player characters with many different dialog choices, and dozens of quests and random events. Practically every location is available from very early in the game.

The game has received mixed reviews. MegaTech magazine criticized the controls and difficulty. GamePro claimed it a ‘must for video adventurers’.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Rings of Power

BONK’S REVENGE

Developer: Red Company
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Platform: TurboGrafx-16
Released: 1991
Genre: Platformer

This time, the titular large-headed caveman is on a quest to recover half of the Moon, which was stolen by the evil King Drool III. Its multiple stages each contain several specific areas, which range from outdoors to trains to space to underwater.

Bonk is able to power-up and change into various forms by eating meat. With one small piece of meat, when he Bonks, a cloud floats towards enemies, freezing them when they come in contact. When he spins in the air, he has a cloud surrounding him. When he lands on his head, it freezes all enemies on-screen.

With an additional small piece or one large piece, he becomes fully powered up and becomes temporarily invincible. In this form, he breathes fire, which destroys any enemies that come into contact with it. When spinning, he is surrounded by fire, & when he lands, it causes damage to all enemies, and instantly destroys most, but not all of them on-screen.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Bonk's Revenge

WHOMP ‘EM

Developer: Jaleco
Publisher: Jaleco
Platform: Nintendo NES
Release(NA): March, 1991
Release(JP): December 7, 1990
Genre: Platformer

Whomp ‘Em is an action platformer, akin to many games at the time. It bears some similarities to the Mega Man and Mario series.

After completing the first stage, the player can play the other six in any order. Each of the stages revolve around elements, such as fire and water. After each stage, the player gains a new weapon, much like in the original Mega Man series, which was extremely popular at the time.

Both Whomp ‘Em and the prior Saiyūki World (which was an adaptation of Wonder Boy in Monster Land) are based on the Journey to the West novel.

The title, “Whomp ‘Em” is a pun, based on wampum, white beads used by Native American tribes primarily for trading.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Whomp 'Em

FINAL FANTASY LEGEND II

Developer: Square
Publisher: Square
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Release(NA): November 1, 1991
Release(JP): December 14, 1990
Genre: Role playing

GAMEPLAY VIDEO


Final Fantasy Legend II is a role-playing game developed for the Game Boy handheld console, the second game of their SaGa series.

Like its predecessor, the English version was re-branded as a Final Fantasy title due to the series’ popularity in the Western territories.

The game is set in a fantasy world where the player assumes the role of one of eight different characters of varying race and gender who leaves on a journey to find their lost father and discover the secret of “Magi”, a substance created by the gods that holds powerful magic.

Final Fantasy Legend II was largely well-received worldwide during its original release, with readers of Japanese magazine Famitsu voting it the 94th greatest game of all time in a 2006 poll.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Final Fantasy Legend II

FINAL FANTASY ADVENTURE / MYSTIC QUEST

Developer: Square
Publisher: Square
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Release(NA): November, 1991
Release(JP): June 28, 1991
Release(EU): 1993
Genre: Role playing, Action

Final Fantasy Adventure, and later released in Europe as Mystic Quest, is a Final Fantasy spinoff and the first game in the Mana series.

Originally developed under the name Gemma Knights, it features gameplay roughly similar to that of the original The Legend of Zelda, but with the addition of role-playing statistical elements. Along with Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Final Fantasy Adventure was the first Final Fantasy game to be released in Europe.

The story follows the hero and the young heroine as they attempt to thwart the Dark Lord of Glaive and his sorcerer assistant, Julius, from destroying the Tree of Mana and dooming their world. The game was released with many familiar elements of the Final Fantasy series, such as Chocobos, but these were later changed to feature common enemies and the gameplay style of the Mana series.

Final Fantasy Adventure was met with generally positive reviews at the time of its release. Over the course of time, reviewers have considered it one of the best action adventure games on the Game Boy. The game also spawned an entirely new game series, called the Mana series, which became a successful video game role-playing franchise.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Final Fantasy Adventure / Mystic Quest

METROID II: RETURN OF SAMUS

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Release(NA): November, 1991
Release(JP): January 21, 1992
Release(EU): May 21, 1992
Genre: Action, Platformer

The first Metroid game for a handheld game console, that follows bounty hunter Samus Aran on her mission to exterminate the Metroids from their home planet before the Space Pirates can obtain them. Players must find and destroy the Metroids to progress through the planet’s tunnels.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Metroid II: Return of Samus

CADASH

Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Platform: TurboGrafx-16
Release: 1991
Genre: Role playing, Platformer

The Turbo Grafx 16 (PC-engine) version of Cadash, which was translated into English by Working Designs, implemented many changes to the original game, including agility, defense, spell costs and damage, to better balance the characters.

Formerly challenging characters such as the fighter and mage were greatly enhanced to rival and even surpass the priestess.

To accommodate the differences in hardware power, the levels were divided into large rooms and halls connected by doors and corridors, whereas the arcade game used large, seamless levels.

The PC-engine version features colorful, new designs and graphics that are a sharp contrast from the darker shades used in the arcade and Genesis versions.

The PC-engine version does not allow any continuing in one-player mode, although dead allies could be revived at inns in two-player mode.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Cadash

PRINCE OF PERSIA

Developer: Riverhillsoft
Publisher: Riverhillsoft
Platform: TurboGrafx CD
Release: November 6, 1991
Genre: Action, Platformer

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Prince of Persia

OUTRUN

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release: 1991
Genre: Driving, Racing

Sega Mega Drive version, seen for a while to be the best home port of OutRun with faithful stages design and which even includes an exclusive music track called Step on Beat.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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OutRun

WWF WRESTLEFEST

Developer: Technōs Japan
Publisher: Technōs Japan
Platform: Arcade
Release: 1991
Genre: Wrestling

It is the sequel to Technōs’ previous WWF game, WWF Superstars.[1] Compared to Superstars, WrestleFest adds a variety of different wrestlers to the roster as well as enhanced graphics and sound. There are more voice samples, including commentary and pre-match introductions by WWF ring announcer Mike McGuirk. The voiced cut scenes featuring Gene Okerlund from Superstars returned as well.

Just like its predecessor, WrestleFest simulates professional wrestling matches. The game adds support for up to four simultaneous players and the ability to insert more credits into the machine to buy energy. Two modes of play are available. In the new Royal Rumble mode, the player picks one superstar and takes him through a Royal Rumble match.

In Saturday Night’s Main Event mode, the player must pick two wrestlers to form a tag team and take them through a series of matches, including a title match with the Legion of Doom. In this mode, players can perform numerous double team moves. Additionally, after a team member has been on the apron for a certain length of time, they will “power up,” temporarily giving them the ability to win all grapples and inflict more damage than usual.

The game features ten selectable wrestlers. Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Big Boss Man return from WWF Superstars. Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Earthquake, Mr. Perfect, Sgt. Slaughter, Demolition Smash, and Demolition Crush, are available as new characters, with The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) making an appearance as a non-selectable boss tag team. Each wrestler has their own signature maneuvers.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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WWF WrestleFest

WWF WRESTLEMANIA

Developer: Twilight
Publisher: Ocean Software
Platform: Amiga
Release: 1991
Genre: Wrestling

Not to be confused with WWF WrestleMania (1989 video game).

This game was released on multiple home computers, however Amiga’s version is consider to be superior.

The player can choose from either Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, or The British Bulldog and must defeat five opponents to become the WWF World Heavyweight Champion. The opponents are, in order, Mr. Perfect, The Warlord, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, The Mountie, and Sgt. Slaughter.

Before each match, the opponent will taunt the player’s wrestler with a comment, and the player will then be able to choose from several replies in a nod to the WWF house style at the time.

Each wrestler is able to perform basic punches and kicks as well as a range of more advanced moves such as dropkicking, clotheslining, and one signature grapple maneuver which is performed by “waggling the joystick”. In addition, there is a chair outside the ring which can be used as a weapon.

Matches have a five-minute time limit, and a time limit draw or count-out will have the same effect as losing a match. The player has a total of four credits.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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WWF WrestleMania

WWF SUPERSTARS

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Acclaim
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Release(NA): April, 1991
Release(EU): 1991
Genre: Wrestling

Not to be confused with arcade’s WWF Superstars, which is unrelated game.

All wrestlers have the same moves, with the exception of individualized strike attacks. The moveset consists of attack moves (punch and kick), a bodyslam, grappling moves that can only be performed when you pick your opponent up from the mat (piledriver, suplex, headlock with punches), ground attack moves (elbow or knee drop), Irish whip moves (clothesline and dropkick), and flying turnbuckle moves (elbow or knee drop).

Players can also wrestle outside the ring by throwing their opponent over the ropes or by performing a dropkick through the ropes. Throwing the opponent out of the ring can be done once per match and causes considerable damage.

Before every match, wrestlers cut promos on their opponent. Following the match, Vince McMahon comments on the action. The wrestlers each have two comments. One is a generic taunt, while the second is specific to the opponent.

The game features five wrestlers: Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, and Mr. Perfect.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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WWF Superstars

CASTLE OF ILLUSION

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Game Gear, Master System
Release(Master System): February, 1991
Release(Game Gear): June, 1991
Genre: Platformer

This is an 8-bit counterpart to the Sega Mega Drive game of the same name, which although shares the same story and basic design concepts, has differing levels and gameplay mechanics.

In Castle of Illusion the player controls Mickey Mouse through six levels, known as the “worlds of illusion”. Mickey can grab and throw objects, jump. When Mickey is midair, he can perform a bounce attack. He can also go through doors and climb ladders.

Three levels, containing a gem each, are available in the beginning and can be joined at any order: “The Enchanted Forest”, “Toyland” and “The Dessert Factory”.

Once the first three levels are finished, another two are unlocked, with two gems each and no sequential restriction again: “The Library” and “The Clock Tower”.

After collecting all seven gems, the final level is unlocked: “The Castle”.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Castle of Illusion

SHADOW DANCER

Developer: Images Software
Publisher: U.S. Gold
Platform: Commodore Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Platformer, hack and slash

Climax (under the name of Images Software Ltd) created the Amiga and Atari ST versions simultaneously, targeting the ST first and then porting the game’s contents to the Amiga, where minor improvements would be added.

Sega did not give the team access to the game’s source code, so sprites were copied from a video of the game and touched up in the Atari ST version of OCP Art Studio[10].

As was to be expected, the two versions are very similar, however the Atari ST omits the introduction sequence to save space.

Parallax scrolling is missing in both versions, as are the intermission screens.

–Zagrebo
A pretty competent version of the great arcade game. The graphics feel a bit too bright and “chunky”, and the parallax scrolling is gone but the music and sound are fine and the gameplay is largely intact.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Shadow Dancer

SHADOW DANCER

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Master System
Released: 1991
Genre: Platformer, hack and slash

Shadow Dancer on the Master System retains a lot of the arcade game’s content, but simplifies the graphics and sound to better suit the hardware. Level layouts are slightly different, and the decision to use sprites similar in size to the arcade version means that fewer enemies can appear on screen at any one time.

Sprite flicker is a common sight, and entire sections of levels are removed to save space. Unlike the arcade version, players cannot backtrack during either side scrolling or boss sections, limiting player to a very small section of the screen during the boss fights.

The most striking omission in the Master System version of Shadow Dancer is the dog as an active character, but it is still available as a game mechanic. When a valid target is onscreen, the player must crouch. While crouched, the ninja magic icon will slowly transform into a a dog head.

When the icon is completely full, it will move to the target enemy’s location. Pressing attack will cause the dog to appear out of nowhere and attack the enemy. If no valid target exists, the icon will not move and pressing attack while crouched will perform a normal attack. Dog can be called only three times each level.

Master System version retains the first person shuriken throwing bonus rounds but the one between the second and third level is the same bonus round used by the Mega Drive version, which makes player to jump from a tall building and attack ninjas in a downward shoot ’em up fashion.

Just like the Master System version of Shinobi, Ninja magic cannot be used during boss fights. In addition to the previously mentioned problem of being confined to the small section of the screen makes the boss fights even more difficult than the arcade version.

A small oddity, in the Master System version, player always bows to boss before the boss battle.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Shadow Dancer

THE GG SHINOBI

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Game Gear
Release(NA): 1991
Release(JP): April 26, 1991
Genre: Platformer, hack and slash

Terror and destruction have made their way to Ninja Valley. The Master of the Oboro school of shinobi sends his best students to investigate the suburban areas. They return with news of a powerful dark force that has established a base within Neo City.

The Master knows that only a warrior trained in the arts of ninjutsu can stand against this menace. One by one his greatest pupils enter Neo City to locate and destroy the source of the evil. Ninja Valley has lost contact with each of them. All are believed to be captured.

Now Joe Musashi the Red Shinobi, must carry out this dire mission. As the oldest and strongest of his ninja disciples, Musashi must use his special skills in the art of ninjutsu to free his fellow shinobi. With their combined strength, they can destroy the City of Fear.

It was the first Shinobi game developed specifically for a portable game platform. The player controls the modern-day ninja Joe Musashi, protagonist of previous Shinobi games, as he goes on a mission to rescue four kidnapped comrades from an enemy, gaining control of the other ninjas (each with different abilities).

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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The G.G. Shinobi

SWITCHBLADE II

Developer: Gremlin Graphics
Publisher: Gremlin Graphics
Platform: Amiga / Atari ST
Release(Amiga): 1991
Release(Atari ST): May, 1991
Genre: Action, Platformer

Taking place several centuries after the events of the first game, the story follows a descendant of the original protagonist named Hiro, as he embarks on a journey to defeat Havok, the original main antagonist who has returned from his previous defeat in order to bring chaos upon the land of Cyberworld and its inhabitants after the Blade Knights ceased to exist.

Its gameplay consists of run and gun action mixed with platforming and exploration elements, with a main single-button configuration.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Switchblade II

BOMBERMAN II

Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Platform: Nintendo NES
Release(JP): June 28, 1991
Release(EU): 1991
Release(NA): February, 1993
Genre: Action, Maze

A Bomberman named White Bomberman is framed for terrible crimes by Black Bomberman. After being accused of robbing a bank, White Bomberman is thrown in jail. Bomberman’s mission is to escape his prison cell and bring Black Bomberman to justice.

The game follows the classic Bomberman formula: you are in a room full of blocks and enemies and Bomberman must plant bombs to destroy the blocks and enemies.

Several blocks contain power-ups (such as blast radius increasers or fuse shorteners), and one in each level contains a door, which takes Bomberman to the next level.

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Bomberman II

BOMBERMAN / DYNA BLASTER

Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Platform: TurboGrafx / Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Action, maze

As White Bomberman, the player must defeat the Black Bomberman, who has kidnapped the daughter of the inventor of both him and White Bomberman and imprisoned her in his giant castle. To do so, White Bomberman must travel to the top floor of the Black Bomberman’s castle, which is crawling with evil monsters and villains that work for him.

The single player game is divided into eight worlds, each one divided into eight stages. Each stage is presented as a maze of blocks filled with enemies. By using bombs, the player must destroy the blocks blocking their path and defeat all of the enemies.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Bomberman / Dyna Blaster

TEENAGE MUTANT HERO TURTLES: THE COIN-OP!

Developer: Probe Software
Publisher: Image Works
Platform: Amiga / Atari ST / MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Beat ’em up

The computer ports of the arcade game were released by Image Works and ported by Probe Software.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: The Coin Op!

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MANHATTAN MISSIONS

Developer: Distinctive Software
Publisher: Konami
Platform: MS-DOS
Released(NA): June 1, 1991
Genre: Action, platform

Manhattan Missions is notable for its more mature tone and setting than other TMNT games of its time.

The goal of the game is to complete a number of missions, consisting of levels divided into screens, culminating in a final battle with The Shredder.

The gameplay is similar to the original Prince of Persia, as characters switch between free movement and melee fighting stances in a two-dimensional platformer environment. In between missions the Turtles can rest, regaining lost hit points, but the player only has a limited amount of time in which to find the Shredder.

The game is designed to be played with a keyboard, and utilizes a key to switch between walking and fighting modes. Each Turtle has the ability to arm and withdraw his weapon.

Each Turtle wields his signature weapon and a number of shuriken. Holding the enter key makes the Turtles attack, and the spacebar is used to block enemy attacks based on which arrow key is held.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Manhattan Missions

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: TURTLES IN TIME

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Arcade
Released: March, 1991
Genre: Beat ’em up

A sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, a side-scrolling beat ’em up game based mainly on the 1987 TMNT animated series.

Like its predecessor, Turtles in Time was available for the arcades in two- and four-player versions. In the two-player versions, each player gets to choose which of the four turtles they wish to control, whereas in the four-player versions the characters are assigned to the control panel from left to right in the following order: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael.

Each playable character has his own strengths and weaknesses. New features in this game include the ability to execute a power attack by hitting an enemy several times in a row, and the ability to slam Foot Soldiers into surrounding enemies.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: BACK FROM THE SEWERS

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Released(JP): November 15, 1991
Released(NA): December 1, 1991
Released(EU): May 21, 1992
Genre: Platformer

Similar to Fall of the Foot Clan, the previous Game Boy game in the series, the player can switch between turtles before each stage.

Each turtle has his own strengths and weaknesses. Donatello has a long range of attack, but attacks slowly, Raphael’s attack is fast but has a very short range, and Leonardo and Michaelangelo are well-balanced. When a turtle is defeated, he becomes captured by the enemy. The game is over when all turtles are captured.

After completing a stage, the player is given the opportunity to rescue a captured turtle. If no turtles were captured, the player enters a bonus stage instead.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers

LETHAL XCESS: WINGS OF DEATH II

Developer: X-Troll
Publisher: Eclipse Software
Platform: Amiga / Atari ST
Released: 1991
Genre: Shoot ’em up

It is a sequel to 1990’s Wings of Death, in which its wizard hero goes into the far future to fight the descendants of the evil witch that he had defeated in the first game.

Despite having been acclaimed by critics, the game was a commercial failure.

The great magician Sagyr has won over his nemesis, the wicked witch Xandrilia, and regained the human shape of his former self. But Xandrilia’s curse sends him 3,000 years in the future. There he finds out that the witch’s posterity, known as the Xandrilians, plan to rule the universe with an army of monsters and machines.

Determined to stop the forces of darkness, Sagyr pilots a small combat spacecraft on a desperate mission to destroy the planet where the Xandrilians live.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Lethal Xcess: Wings of Death II

POPULOUS II: TRIALS OF THE OLYMPIAN GODS

Developer: Bullfrog Productions
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Amiga
Released: August 31, 1991
Genre: Strategy, god game

Like its predecessor, Populous II is a god game, where the player is guiding his people in battle against the followers of an enemy god. Whereas Populous only generally alluded to undefined deities, Populous II is specifically set under the backdrop of Greek mythology.

The player is a demigod, one of Zeus’s countless children with mortal women, and has to battle one Greek deity at a time until finally facing his father. Zeus has promised to let the player into the Pantheon on Olympus if he can survive all the battles.

Atari ST version was released in 1992, DOS and Genesis ports in 1993.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods

BARBARIAN II

Developer: Psygnosis
Publisher: Psygnosis
Platform: Amiga / Atari ST
Released: 1991
Genre: Action, adventure

Not to be confused with Barbarian II: The Dungeon of Drax, which is a different game developed by Palace Software.

Barbarian II is a 1991 fantasy action-adventure game by British publisher Psygnosis for the Atari ST and Amiga. A sequel to 1987’s Barbarian, the player takes on the role of Hegor on a quest to destroy his resilient and nefarious brother, the sorcerer Necron.

The game takes place from a side-on view, and Hegor moves between areas across the six regions, including forests, caves and temples. Hegor’s primary weapons are his broadsword and bow, but he can attain other weapons including a shortsword and axe. Running and jumping comprises a large part of the gameplay, and in particular some of the later levels are extensive and require significant exploration.

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Barbarian II

SHINING IN THE DARKNESS

Developer: Climax / Sonic! Software
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release(JP): March 29, 1991
Release(NA): August 6, 1991
Release(EU): September 9, 1991
Genre: Role playing

Shining in the Darkness is a “dungeon-crawler” role-playing video game. The game puts the player in control of the main character and two friends (Pyra and Milo), as they explore 3D dungeon mazes with turn-based battles. It is the first in the Shining series.

Shining in the Darkness is set in the Kingdom of Thornwood. The king’s daughter and the main character’s father have vanished, while the evil sorcerer Dark Sol (not to be confused with his father, Shining Force villain Darksol) has appeared to threaten the kingdom. The main character is charged to find the Arms of Light, rescue the princess and his own father, and stop Dark Sol.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Shining in the Darkness

NINJA GAIDEN 3: THE ANCIENT SHIP OF DOOM

Developer: Tecmo
Publisher: Tecmo
Platform: Nintendo (NES)
Release(JP): June 21, 1991
Release(NA): August, 1991
Genre: Platformer, Action

Third installment of the Ninja Gaiden trilogy, in which the events take place between the first two games in the series.

Ryu Hayabusa is framed for the murder of Irene Lew and investigates the circumstances behind her death.

The game features similar gameplay to its previous two Ninja Gaiden titles and includes some new features such as the ability to hang overhead from pipes and sword power-ups.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

NINJA GAIDEN SHADOW

Developer: Natsume
Publisher: Tecmo
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Release(NA): December 1991
Release(JP): December 13, 1991
Release(EU): 1992
Genre: Platformer, Action

Set three years before the events of the first Ninja Gaiden (NES), the player controls Ryu Hayabusa, who must save New York City from the forces of Emperor Garuda, a servant of Jaquio.

Garuda’s minions include the cyborg “Spider”, kickboxer Gregory and his manager Jack, former military commander Colonel Allen, and the Japanese nobleman Whokisai.

In contrast to the variety of ninja arts and power-ups available in the NES games, Ryu only has a basic sword attack and a Fire Wheel attack that can be replenished for up to five uses.

While Ryu cannot stick to or climb walls like in the NES games, he can hang onto railings and move underneath them like in Ninja Gaiden III, and use both his sword attack and the Fire Wheel art while hanging onto railings. Unique to this installment, is Ryu being equipped with a grappling hook that allows him to latch onto hard-to-reach railings.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Ninja Gaiden Shadow

NINJA GAIDEN

Developer: Japan System House
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Game Gear
Release(NA): December 1991
Release(JP): November 1, 1991
Genre: Platformer, Action

Ninja Gaiden is an action video game released for the Game Gear that stars Ryu Hayabusa and is part of the Ninja Gaiden series, although it features a plot not connected to any of the other Ninja Gaiden games. The gameplay is similar to previous Ninja Gaiden games where the player jumps between platforms defeating and avoiding enemies.

Ryu Hayabusa is a member of the Dragon Ninja clan, who have protected Japan for generations. One day he is away from home, he receives a message that the Dragon Village, home of the Dragon clan, has been brutally massacred. He rushes home finding that all but one of the village members have been killed.

The last survivor of the village tells Ryu with his dying breath that the sacred Bushido scroll has been stolen. The Bushido is a scroll of power so strong that its owner can control the world.

The game features similar gameplay mechanics to the previous NES Ninja Gaiden games. Movements, attacks and jumps are performed in the same mood, and special ninja attacks are cast as usually, by pressing Up and Attack simultaneously.

This version replaced some features from the NES games with new abilities, such as the ability to climb hand-over-hand or cling to walls in the NES games being replaced by the new wall-to-wall jumping ability

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Ninja Gaiden (Game Gear)

DOUBLE DRAGON 3: THE SACRED STONES

Developer: Technōs Japan
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Platform: Nintendo (NES)
Release(NA): February, 1991
Release(JP): February 22, 1991
Release(EU): 1991
Genre: Beat ’em up

Double Dragon III can be played by one or two players simultaneously, with an “A mode” where both players can’t harm each other and a “B mode” that allows friendly fire.

Like its arcade counterpart, the NES version of Double Dragon III reverts to having punch and kick buttons as the standard control scheme and the ability to dash by pressing the D-pad left or right twice has been added. The rest of the combat system is a bit closer to the previous NES games, retaining the hair grab move that was removed in the arcade version (although the shoulder throw is gone, as well as the flying knee kick and hyper uppercut from the NES version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge).

New moves in this version include a running jump kick (which can become a triangle jump kick when performed on a wall) and a midair somersault that allows the player to throw enemies by jumping on them. During 2-player mode, when both players are controlling each Lee brother, they can perform a twin cyclone spin kick and a triangle jump.

The game discards the traditional lives system from the previous NES installments, as well as the item shops from the arcade version. Instead, the player gains the ability to control two new fighters in addition to the Lee brothers as they progress through the game.

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Double Dragon 3: The Sacred Stones

DOUBLE DRAGON 3: THE ROSETTA STONE

Developer: The Sales Curve
Publisher: Storm
Platform: Amiga
Released: 1991
Genre: Beat ’em up

The Amiga flexes its conversion-accuracy muscle in this game and it’s pretty dead-on accurate. Lots of work was put into the port, and the end result is a very faithful translation. Unfortunately, it’s just an accurate translation of a mediocre brawler with the Double Dragon franchise slapped on it.

Other than than, this Amiga version doesn’t have in-game soundtrack, which is a shame!

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone

DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE

Developer: PALSOFT
Publisher: PALSOFT
Platform: Sega Mega Drive
Release(JP): December 20, 1991
Genre: Beat ’em up

Unlike the earlier NES version that was developed in-house by Technos and is quite a different game, Mega Drive version was intended to be a direct conversion of the arcade game. And actually it is the only direct conversion of DD2 out there, all the other versions are different from the arcade’s original.

One day, the Black Warriors were gathered on a certain spot after their usual rampaging of the city when a young woman accidentally stumbled into their meeting. The gang brutally murdered her without mercy. Her name was Marian, Billy Lee’s girlfriend. With his older brother Jimmy, Billy sets out on a mission to get his revenge on the Black Warriors.

Many would say it was a disappointment, however it’s not all bad! Unfortunately, it’s not wonderful either! Game has some horrible slowdown issues which can be overcome with overclocking. What you can not fix are the sound effects and graphics that are below the Genesis standards.

If you forget it is a Genesis game, and if you overclock it, it’s actually pretty good. Music is great and controls are responsive.

Unfortunately, this version ended up being exclusive to Japan.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Double Dragon II: The Revenge

SWORD OF VERMILION

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release(NA): January 28, 1991
Release(EU): April 22, 1991
Genre: Role playing, Action

Sword of Vermilion was the first console exclusive game designed by the Sega AM2 studio.

Sword of Vermilion is about the son of Erik, king of Excalabria, who takes on a quest of revenge to defeat Tsarkon and free the world of Vermilion from evil.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Sword of Vermilion

KID ICARUS: OF MYTHS AND MONSTERS

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Release(NA): November 5, 1991
Genre: Action, Platformer

Palutena has a nightmare, which a soothsayer interprets as a foreshadowing of an invasion by the demon Orcos and his minions.

The goddess summons Pit—the leader of her army—and commands him to enter a special training that will give him the power to use Angel Land’s three sacred treasures.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters

OPERATION C

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami / Ultra Games
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
Release(JP): January 8, 1991
Release(NA): February, 1991
Genre: Run and gun, Platformer

Operation C is a sequel Super Contra, it is the first portable installment in the Contra series.

It features gameplay and graphics similar to the Nintendo Entertainment System versions of Contra and Super Contra.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Operation C

LEISURE SUIT LARRY 5

Developer: Sierra On-Line
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: September 7, 1991
Genre: Point-and-click, Adventure

Being an (in)direct sequel to Leisure Suit Larry 3, its title is misleading, as there is no Leisure Suit Larry 4.

The absence of a “Leisure Suit Larry 4” forms the basis of this newest installment, as Julius Biggs has stolen the “missing floppies” of the game and caused Larry Laffer to become amnesiac.

Larry is now in the adult film industry, working for a Mafia-connected company known as PornProdCorp.

His boss sends him across the United States to scout for models to appear in “America’s Sexiest Home Videos”.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Leisure Suit Larry 5

LEISURE SUIT LARRY 1 (VGA)

Developer: Sierra On-Line
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: July, 1991
Genre: Point-and-click, Adventure

In 1991, Sierra released a remake version titled Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards that used the Sierra’s Creative Interpreter (SCI) engine with 256 colors and a point-and-click, icon-driven (as opposed to the original’s text-based) user interface.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Leisure Suit Larry 1 (VGA)

ROHGA: ARMOR FORCE / WOLF FANG

Developer: Data East
Publisher: Data East
Platform: Arcade
Release: 1991
Genre: Run and gun, Platformer

Two years have passed since the military occupation of New York City in 1999 and since then Ragnarok (aka: DAGGER) – the organization responsible for the events – have disappeared following their air borne destruction.

During that time, mech technology has been the boom of future military projects worldwide with the biggest factories residing in Oceania. These mechs become the main target of Ragnarok when it resurfaces and claims the military factories and cities of Australia and New Zealand.

Their plan is to apparently use any and all of the deadliest mechs that have not yet reached completion to their chaotic liking.

GAMEPLAY

Rohga: Armor Force is an unusual scrolling horizontal shooter. Because the players control a mech, the players can hover against slanted walls in the back ground and occasionally land on higher platforms.

Players are set with controls similar to a platformer as they face whichever horizontal direction they choose, can duck, aim their gun upwards at a 45 degree angle, and jump.

Players can also move and aim their gun in different directions by holding the firing button down.

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Wolf Fang / Rohga: Armor Force

XEXEX / ORIUS

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Arcade
Release: October, 1991
Genre: Scrolling shooter

Perhaps the ultimate Konami shooter, a culmination of the craft they had honed over the past decade. Visually it’s unlike anything Konami has ever done, and mechanically it stands apart from their line up too. The game was initially advertised to Western audiences under the name Orius.

The story involves saving the planet E-Square from a rather effeminate looking evil lord. Each stage is punctuated with a cutscene of Princess Elaine La Tias crying for help as she’s tortured by the evil Lord Klaus Pachelbel. As the game goes on, she begins to lose clothing – not unlike Artemis from Namco’s Phelios.

Read the full article: Here

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Xexex / Orius

MIGHT AND MAGIC III

Developer: New World Computing
Publisher: New World Computing
Platform: MS-DOS
Released: 1991
Genre: Role playing

After the defeat of Sheltem and his forces on CRON in Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World, a new party of adventurers from Sheltem’s “homeworld” of Terra find themselves embroiled in the battle between the two Guardians.

The adventurers must aid the mysterious Corak in attempting to stop Sheltem once again and putting an end to his evil machinations.

In canon, these adventurers are named Sir Caneghem, Crag Hack, Maximus, Resurrectra, Dark Shade, Kastore, Robert the Wise and Tolberti.

Throughout the game, the adventurers travel the Isles of Terra, a grouping of separate, flat “nacelle” worlds drawn from the Void onto the oceanic planet of Terra by Sheltem himself in previous years. Driven against the Ancients, Sheltem is now launching their nacelles into the suns of various worlds, snuffing out countless lives in his wake.

Driven by the tales told in Corak’s journals regarding the Ancients, the Elemental Lords and the “Forces of the Dome”, the heroes pursue the Guardians, battling terrors along the way.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Might and Magic 3

MIGHT AND MAGIC II

Developer: New World Computing
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release(NA,EU): July, 1991
Genre: Role playing

After the events of Might and Magic Book One: The Secret of the Inner Sanctum, the adventurers who helped Corak defeat Sheltem on VARN take the “Gates to Another World” located in VARN to the land of CRON (Central Research Observational Nacelle).

The land of CRON is facing many problems brought on by the encroachment of Sheltem and the adventurers must travel through CRON, the four elemental planes and even through time to help Corak stop Sheltem from flinging CRON into its sun.

Genesis version of Might and Magic II was actually the first that was released on home consoles. Might and Magic 1 was released one year later on the NES.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Might and Magic 2

PHANTASY STAR III

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release(NA): July, 1991
Release(EU): 1992
Genre: Role Playing

Phantasy Star III takes place 1000 years after the event of Phantasy Star II, and runs parallel to Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium.

At first, the game appears to take place in a medieval fantasy setting, in contrast to the science-fiction settings of previous games.

A thousand years before the start of the game, two factions — one led by the swordsman Orakio, the other by the sorceress Laya — were engaged in a bitter conflict.

An attempt at peace was made when the two leaders met for an armistice, but soon afterwards they both mysteriously vanished. This placed the two factions in a precarious situation, as each blamed the other for their leader’s disappearance.

All communication between the Orakians and Layans was suspended, travel between their respective worlds was prohibited, and the two groups teetered on the brink of war.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday

INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

Developer: Software Creations
Publisher: Taito Corporation
Platform: Nintendo (NES)
Release: March, 1991
Genre: Action

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a video game released in 1991 by Taito, for the NES based on the film with the same name.

Not to be confused with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game by Ubi Soft.

In the game, the player controls protagonist Indiana Jones going through levels taken directly from the film, albeit with a shortened and simplified plot.

RATING

Rating: 3.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

VENDETTA / CRIME FIGHTERS 2

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Arcade
Release: July, 1991
Genre: Beat ’em up

Vendetta, known in Japan as Crime Fighters 2 is a 1991 side-scrolling beat-’em-up arcade game. It is the sequel to 1989 Konami’s Crime Fighters, although it was marketed internationally as a stand-alone game with no previous connections.

Dead End City is a place controlled with a firm grip by the “Dead End” gang, an endless parade of violent criminals. Their only obstacle is the opposing hero gang, called The Cobras.

The Cobras number five members: Blood (former prizefighter, with a passing resemblance to Wesley Snipes), Hawk (former professional wrestler, with a passing resemblance to Hulk Hogan), Boomer (a martial artist, possibly based on Jean-Claude Van Damme), Sledge (a military ex-convict with a passing resemblance to Mr. T) and Kate, the damsel in distress, described as Hawk’s protegee and wearing a blue shirt similar to his.

One day, Kate is kidnapped by the Dead End Gang under the leadership of Faust, who is looking for the leadership of all street gangs in an attempt to take full control of the city. The four men go to enemy territory to save Kate, fighting through the waves of enemies sent against them.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Vendetta / Crime Fighters 2

TOEJAM & EARL

Developer: Johnson Voorsanger
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release(NA): October, 1991
Release(EU): November, 1991
Release(JP): March 13, 1992
Genre: Action, Dungeon crawler

ToeJam & Earl centers on ToeJam and Earl—alien rappers who have crash-landed on Earth. As they attempt to escape the planet, players assume the role of either character and collect pieces of their wrecked spacecraft.

ToeJam & Earl’s design was heavily influenced by the role-playing video game Rogue, and took from it such features as the random generation of levels and items. It references and parodies 1980s and early 90s urban culture and is set to a funk soundtrack.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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ToeJam & Earl

ACTRAISER

Developer: Quintet
Publisher: Enix
Platform: Super Nintendo
Release(NA): November, 1991
Release(EU): March 18, 1993
Genre: Platformer, City-building, Simulation

ActRaiser is a platform and city-building simulation game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System developed by Quintet and published by Enix, combining traditional side-scrolling platforming with urban planning god game sections.

The plot follows a godlike being known only as “The Master” (God in the Japanese version) in his fight against Tanzra (Satan in the Japanese version), also referred to as “The Evil One.” According to the instruction booklet, The Master was defeated in a battle with Tanzra and his six lieutenants. The Master retreated to his sky palace to tend to his wounds and fell into a deep sleep. In the Master’s absence, Tanzra divided the world into six lands, one for each of his lieutenants; they later turned the people to evil.

After several hundred years, the Master awakens fully recovered to discover that he has lost his powers due to the lack of belief in him. As the game progresses, the Master defeats Tanzra’s lieutenants and recovers his powers by rebuilding the civilizations of his people and communicating with them through prayer. After all lieutenants have been slain, the Master commences an assault on Tanzra’s stronghold, Death Heim, eventually defeating him.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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ActRaiser

ARMED POLICE UNIT GALLOP

Developer: Irem
Publisher: Irem
Platform: Arcade
Release: 1991
Genre: Scrolling shooter

Armed Police Unit Gallop is a side-scrolling shoot ’em up, part of the popular R-Type video game series.

Taking place concurrently with R-Type Delta, Gallop sees the player as a member of the like-named private security organization tasked with hunting down autonomous vehicles driven berserk by the Bydo, dubbed “Mad Cars”.

The player pilots an R-Type fighter, the R-11B Peace Maker. As in most horizontal shooters the screen scrolls continuously to the right, but Gallop is unusual in that the scroll rate can be controlled by the player. The further right the player’s craft is oriented onscreen, the faster the game scrolls.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Armed Police Unit Gallop

FINAL FIGHT

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Super Nintendo
Release(NA): 1991
Release(EU): 1992
Genre: Beat ’em up

A port of Final Fight for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released as a launch title for the platform in Japan in 1990 and later in North America in 1991 and then in the PAL region in 1992.

The SNES port removed the two-player co-op option, the Industrial Area level, and playable character Guy. Most of the scene transitions were also edited out. In the arcade version, the player characters would be seen exiting the levels and breaking through doors unlike the SNES version.

Due to hardware limitations the SNES version could only display two or three enemies on-screen, in contrast to the CPS arcade version, which could display up to nine or ten enemies on-screen; to make up for this difference, the SNES version features more stopping points than the arcade version and the enemy placement is vastly different.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Final Fight

STARBLADE

Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Platform: Arcade
Released(JP): September, 1991
Released(NA,EU): 1991
Genre: Rail shooter

Starblade received critical acclaim, being praised for its 3D graphics and cinematic presentation. It is cited as an important and influential game in 3D video games, serving as inspiration for games such as Star Fox, Panzer Dragoon and Rez.

Home conversions were released for the Panasonic 3DO and Sega CD, with a PlayStation remake named Starblade Alpha being released a year later.

Starblade is a 3D rail shooter video game, taking place in a first-person perspective. The player assumes control of a starship named the FX-01 “GeoSword” in its mission to destroy a hostile alien race known as the “Unknown Intelligent Mechanized Species” (UIMS) before they destroy Earth.

Gameplay revolves around the player controlling a crosshair and firing at incoming enemies and projectiles. The GeoSword has a shield meter at the bottom-left corner, which will deplete when it is inflicted with enemy fire; when the meter is fully-drained, the game ends.

The player will need to complete two missions; destroying the power reactor of the superweapon “Red Eye”, and eliminating an enemy fortress and a powerful ship named the “Commander”. The Commander stalks the player throughout the game, with a fight against it ensuing once both missions are completed.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Starblade

BUCK ROGERS: COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY

Developer: Strategic Simulations
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release(NA): December, 1991
Release(EU): February, 1992
Genre: Role Playing

Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday is a Sega Mega Drive RPG based on the Buck Rogers TV series. The game is a port of the PC and Amiga game of the same name, with some elements removed and/or combined to make the game easier to play on a console.

It is one of the few games in the Sega game library to come with a strategy guide along with the manual.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER II

Developer: Westwood
Publisher: Strategic Simulations
Platform: MS-DOS
Genre: First-person RPG
Release: 1991

After the adventures of the first game, the heroes head to a local inn to rest and enjoy their new found fame but a note gets slipped to them from Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun, Archmage of Waterdeep, who says that he sent a scout to investigate reports of evil brewing in a temple known as Darkmoon but she has not returned. Khelben then transports the heroes to the temple to find Amber and continue the investigation.

While battling their way through the temple’s clerics and other inhabitants, the players discover that the high priest, Dran Draggore, is assembling legions of skeletal warriors to attack Waterdeep. The players need to pass an acolytes’ test to gain access to the inner parts of the temple. In the final confrontation, Draggore turns out to be a red dragon.

Much of the game remains within the confines of the temple, where the player is allowed to roam freely between locations once inside. The game itself features the catacombs beneath the Temple Darkmoon, the upper levels of the temple, and its three towers; silver, azure and crimson.

RATING

Rating: 4.75/5. From 2 votes.
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Eye of the Beholder II

BATMAN: THE MOVIE

Developer: Atari Games
Publisher: Atari Games
Platform: Arcade
Released: 1991
Genre: Beat ’em up

Batman is a horizontally scrolling beat ’em up and first-person shooter arcade game released by Atari Games in 1991. Game was suppose to be released in 1990, but it got delayed until Jack Nicholson approved of the vocal mixing. Supposedly he wasn’t happy with how his voice came out. They had to keep revising the sound until he gave it an ok.

The storyline is based on the Tim Burton’s eponymous 1989 movie. The game features audio clips of Batman (Michael Keaton), The Joker (Jack Nicholson) and Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) as well as digitized photos from the movie and the music is based on the movie’s soundtrack composed by Danny Elfman.

Story in details

In the crime-infested Gotham City, there are reports of a ”Six Foot Bat” torturing and catching criminals. This, of course, has the criminal underworld scared stiff. Meanwhile, crime boss Carl Grissom finds out that his right-hand-man, Jack Naiper, has been having an affair with his mistress. Grissom sets Jack up to be killed by police, during a scheduled break-in at the Axis Chemical Factory.

Batman arrives, and accidentally causes Jack to fall into a vat of acid, which alters Jack’s appearance, and mind. Jack now calls himself the Joker, and he goes totally off the deep end, determined to wreak as much havoc on Gotham City as he can. But the Joker has a problem: Batman.

Other games and ports

It’s the fourth title in the Batman series – after Batman (1986), Batman: The Caped Crusader (1988), Batman (1989). However, it was the first based on the movie. Multiple versions of the game were produced – for the Genesis, NES, Gameboy, PC Engine. You should check them out, these are all different.

Unlike the other versions, it’s including first-person control of the Batmobile and the Batwing.

Gameplay

Batman can use various weapons, such as Batarangs, Batrope and Gas Grenades, as he takes on various goons and the Joker. Common enemies appear throughout the game, shooting guns and throwing knives at Batman. The player character’s energy is displayed using the Batman logo – three hits, and you are dead.

When the platform is higher than you can jump, fire the Batrope upwards. The player must use a 4-way joystick to take control of Michael Keaton’s version of Batman, with two buttons (the first to make him attack the enemies, and the second to make him jump).

Reviews

Doc Lathrop Brown (gamefaqs)

The hit detection is kinda poor, and it’s slightly hard to connect a blow. Although it can be annoying, after a few minutes of play, you’ll probably become used to it and figure out how to compensate for it. Otherwise, the game controls smoothly enough.

Graphics are amazing. That’s all I have to say. While they’re probably merely 16-bits, they still do their job. The color application for the graphics are equally as nice. The game uses many vibrant colors, but uses enough so that everything can be colored correctly. Nope, Batman isn’t purple!

Sprites are wonderfully detailed! You can’t help but laugh when the Joker actually puts on the funny nose glasses! The Batman sprite stands with his cape in his hand, covering himself. Gives him a nice, mysterious look.

Backgrounds are undeniably one of the best parts of the game. Anton Furst’s award-winning production design survived the transition from movie to game. The backgrounds compare wonderfully with movie stills.

RATING

Rating: 4.50/5. From 1 vote.
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Batman: The Movie

DUKE NUKEM

Developer: Apogee Software
Publisher: Apogee Software
Platform: MS-DOS
Release(NA): July 1, 1991
Release(EU): 1992
Genre: 2D platform

Duke Nukem is a 2D platform game developed and published by Apogee Software, featuring the adventures of the fictional character Duke Nukem. The game was followed by another 2D scroller, Duke Nukem II, in 1993. The series made the jump to 3D graphics with Duke Nukem 3D in 1996, which became the most popular of the three games.

The game is set in the year 1997. Dr. Proton is a madman, determined to take over the world with his army of Techbots. Duke Nukem, the eponymous hero, takes upon the task of stopping him. The first episode takes place in the devastated city of Los Angeles. In the second episode, Duke chases Dr. Proton to his secret moonbase. In the third episode, Dr. Proton escapes into the future, and Duke pursues him through time, to put an end to his mad schemes.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Duke Nukem

BATMAN: RETURN OF THE JOKER

Developer: Sunsoft
Publisher: Sunsoft
Platform: Nintendo (NES)
Release(JP,NA): December 20, 1991
Release(EU): November 19, 1992
Genre: Action Platformer

Batman: Return of the Joker is a 1991 platform video game, the follow-up to Sunsoft’s first Batman game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Unlike that game, which was based on the 1989 Batman film directed by Tim Burton, Return of the Joker is entirely self-contained and based more on the modern comic book iteration of Batman.

The story begins with the Joker escaping from Arkham Asylum, and with various henchmen and mercenaries plots to destroy Gotham City by targeting it with missiles with warheads that are filled with his deadly Joker-gas from his secret island base. Batman must survive several side-scrolling levels and defeat five boss levels, to ensure that Gotham is safe.

Batman is armed with a utility belt that allows him to collect various types of icons throughout the stages in order to shoot different types of batarangs and projectiles. Batman only has one type of batarang in the Game Boy version. The console version of the game uses a password feature which allows players to return to any non-boss level which they have previously reached. The Game Boy version allows the player to select a level at the start of the game.

RATING

Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Batman: Return of the Joker

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Developer: Westwood
Publisher: Strategic Simulations
Platform: MS-DOS
Genre: First-person RPG
Release: 1991

Eye of the Beholder features a first-person perspective in a three-dimensional dungeon, very similar to the earlier Dungeon Master.

The player controls four characters, initially, using a point-and-click interface to fight monsters. This can be increased to a maximum of six characters, by resurrecting one or more skeletons from dead non-player characters, or finding NPCs that are found throughout the dungeons.

The lords of the city of Waterdeep hire a team of adventurers to investigate an evil coming from beneath the city. The adventurers enter the city’s sewer, but the entrance gets blocked by a collapse caused by Xanathar, the eponymous beholder. The team descends further beneath the city, going through Dwarf and Drow clans, to Xanathar’s lair, where the final confrontation takes place.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 3 votes.
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Comments

I’ve gotten my money’s worth after 30 years. Still playing it occasionally.

JimmyDavis1980

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Eye of the Beholder

CATACOMB 3-D

Developer: id Software
Publisher: Softdisk
Platform: MS-DOS
Release: November, 1991
Genre: First-person shooter

GAMEPLAY VIDEO


Catacomb 3-D is a landmark title in terms of first-person graphics. The game was released in November 1991 and is arguably the first example of the modern, character-based first-person shooter genre, or at least it was a direct ancestor to the games that popularized the genre. It was released for MS-DOS with EGA graphics.

The game introduced the concept of showing the player’s hand in the three-dimensional viewpoint, and an enhanced version of its technology was later used for the more successful and well-known Wolfenstein 3D. The game’s more primitive technological predecessor was Hovertank 3D.

The player takes control of the high wizard Petton Everhail, descending into the catacombs of the Towne Cemetery to defeat the evil lich Nemesis and rescue his friend Grelminar.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Catacomb 3-D

STREETS OF RAGE

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release(JP): August 2, 1991
Release(NA): September 18, 1991
Genre: Beat ’em up

The once peaceful city has been taken over by a criminal syndicate, including factions of the police. Mass violence is now common and no one is safe. Adam Hunter (an accomplished boxer), Axel Stone (skilled martial artist) and Blaze Fielding (judo expert) are vicenarian ex-police officers who have quit the force to fight back against the syndicate.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Streets of Rage

Video Games 1991: Facts!

Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis was the Blockbuster’s highest-renting video game in 1991. Blockbuster also released a list of the top 10 highest-renting NES titles of the year: Take a look!

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release(NA): June 23, 1991
Release(JP): July 26, 1991
Genre: Platform

The game features an anthropomorphic hedgehog named Sonic in a quest to defeat Dr. Robotnik, a scientist who has imprisoned animals in robots and stolen the powerful Chaos Emeralds. The gameplay involves collecting rings as a form of health, and a simple control scheme, with jumping and attacking controlled by a single button.

RATING

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Sonic the Hedgehog

history of video games books

HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES: BOOKS

Books “History of Video Games: Games You Should Try, Volume 1, 1971-1976” and “History of Video Games: Games You Should Try, Volume 2, 1977-1979” were composed for all the current and future retrogamers.

And will be followed with Volumes of the 80s. If interested, you can find them here: Kindle Store

Books were composed as guides to help retrogamers. The main purpose is to give information about the games you should try if possible. They were composed to save your time searching for information. Instead wasting your time, you can get all the information from one source, from these books.

history of video games books button

In these books you can find the – most important, most innovative, most playable video games as of today, listed in chronological order.

Every video game has a picture and short description on the side.

However, these books were not meant to give you in-depth reviews about the games, these books were composed to provide overview – about what games were released back then and which are still playable, worth to check out today, if possible.