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Old 05-02-2005, 06:18 AM   #1
gildedgirth
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This probably has happened to you before. You go to your favorite abandonware site, wanting to try some game you've never heard of before. You read the description and think the game rocks and go "hell yeah, I want to be Emperor God of the Farvulian Empire and build a dynasty of Nabsico Class A supercruisers so I can dominate the universe". You're jazzed and excited to play this game and but then...you take a close look at the screenshots and the illusion breaks. You see picture after picture of blocky green, red and blue pixels and you're hopes and dreams of a master conqueror vanish as the reality sets in that all you're going to be master of is a bunch of crappy dos pixels from the past with pc-speaker music as your battlecry.

So you don't download the game, and quite possibly overlook a classic or at the very least, an enjoyable game.

So in an effort to prevent this and get people to actually play some games that the graphics don't justice to and would otherwise deter people from playing a game, post your recommendations here for fun games with subpar graphics. It could be anything from a text adventure game, or a game with awesome gameplay but with EGA graphics to a modern VGA game with horrible artistic design. The other thing that deters people is that the difficulty level for old games are much higher because 1) possibly no saving 2) you're expected to read a thick manual that explains how to play 3) lack of in-game tutorials to learn the game which are now commonplace but back then non-existant.

For me, the old games from Legend Entertainment are still very fun. The Spellcaster 101 series of games are basically text adventures with EGA graphics but the writing by Bob Bates is very funny. If you saw the screenshots, you'd probably wouldn't try out this game. Also Eric the Unready is another humourous text adventure game with lame graphics.

I also still to this day play the original Apple IIe Conan game with the apple emulator. While not for everyone because these are really old graphics, I still think this game is a pretty fun sideview platform game. For RPG diehards, you can try out Questron I and II for the Apple IIe. These graphics are possibly the worst of any of the games I've mentioned, but I still enjoy playing these Ultima-inspired RPG (I'm talking about Ultima 1 & 2 inspired). Something abour roaming the world on horseback then on a flying carpet and gambling in casino's is still fun.

Loderunner Online : The Mad Monk's Revenge, while this game has the better graphics of any the games I've mentioned, since this game can be played in Windows without dosbox, its still is a forgotten about game. The level design for this puzzle type game is so much better than the original Loderunner game I had for apple IIe but if you saw the screenshots and never heard of Loderunner, you might be turned away from this addicting game. Even comes with an level editor, co-operative play and modem play. I still have this on my hard drive.

Terra Nova - an overlooked Looking Glass squad-based Sci-fi FPS game that got rave reviews at the time but didn't get good sales. I love this game and it took a long time before any company again did a decent squad based game. While the game is in pseudo-3D like Doom, it doesn't sport any improved enhancements so it actually looks pretty bad today. No 3d graphic acceleration and everything is really pixellated despite this game coming out in the middle 90's (although at the time it was cutting edge graphics). I still think modern squad FPS game could learn something or two from this great singleplayer experience. Definitely would have to mess with dosbox to try to play this game. Man, looking glass was such a great company (system shock 1 & 2, thief, etc). Anyway don't let the pixellated graphics deter you from playing this game.

Heh, I stil have the original Civiliation 1 DOS game on my old pc laptop. Definitely lame graphics, but I'm hesistant to recommend this game as most people already know this game and the later sequels for Windows are better experiences and sport better graphics and sound.

Dune 2 - well hmm...I'm also hesistant to recommend it because this RTS game while a milestone for PC RTS' gaming history predates Blizzard and thier Warcraft game, is rather a basic RTS game now when compared to the huge amount of RTS games now available however at the time it was revolutionary and Warcraft, while at the time looked at merely as a copycat clone, still took a year or two to come out and Dune 2 was alone in the PC world as the only RTS game on the market. I however have nostalgic memories of playing this game and I still play a game or two now and then. I jreally love the sound effects and music. The cutscenes are gorgeous 2d painted graphics but the actual RTS graphics are very pixelated and your soldiers are in the classic Westwood tiny scale size but here it looks really bad. If you love Dune or sci-fi, give this a try (or maybe you're better off with Dune 2000 and Emperor of Dune).

So post your great games with lame graphics recommendations here. =)





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Old 05-02-2005, 06:24 AM   #2
Eagle of Fire
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It really depend of your taste. For example I would never say that CIV1 have bad graphics. I do like them for their simplicity. Same thing for Dune II.

What I can't take is 3D graphics. They always try to do too much or not enough, and sometime it's even both at the same time...

The graphics I like most is the isometric ones like Xcom: Ennemy Unknown.
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:18 AM   #3
Yamcha
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It happened to me. I recently got Hexplore and OMG the graphics are awfull
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:30 AM   #4
Wael
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- Archon [Naturally]
- Trust & Betrayal - Legacy of Siboot
[An excellent socializing & paper rock scissors game with no graphics [Still pictures from 1984?]...
And thus shouldn´t be here, But now is /-
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:26 AM   #5
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Like the burning eagle mentioned, the graphics from civ1 are very good, although at first glance might seem primitive.Simple but beautiful would be the best expression to sum it up.On the other side are the excelent graphics of games like QfG1, Kyrandia series.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:36 AM   #6
Yamcha
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I never really played Civ 1 for Dos. I prefer the Win version for its better graphics.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:40 AM   #7
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Civ, Colonization, great games with great graphics... ohh the memories
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:00 PM   #8
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Yes, Prime Minister- a really drab interface belies a genuinely amusing political sim, adapted from the greatest comedy series ever made. Your task, as Prime Minister of Great Britain, the Rt. Hon James Hacker, is to survive for one week without being kicked out of office. This task is not so simple, as you're bound to be blocked at every turn by scheming civil servants, backstabbing cabinet colleagues, and of course the inimitable Sir Humphrey Appleby. It looks awful, but it isn't. Not by a long shot.
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Old 06-02-2005, 11:47 AM   #9
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Magic Candle I. Not that the graphics were really bad; they were average for the period: EGA and tile-based. But by today's standards, they would be considered awful.

Or are we supposed to focus on titles whose graphics were truly horrendous for their day? I think almost anything Sid Meiers did would qualify. Don't get me wrong: I think his games in general are great fun. But Sid has this kind of look-down-his-nose attitude at decent graphics, and doesn't think they're worth a programmer's time. In fact, GOD Games made Sid and his team take back Alpha Centauri to redo the graphics in late pre-alpha stage. I saw the original visuals: they were truly awful. Not that the new ones are that much better, but still...

Behind that unassuming appearance of Sid's lurks a stiff elitist, though a genuinely nice guy.
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by BlackMageJawa@Feb 5 2005, 08:00 PM
Yes, Prime Minister- a really drab interface belies a genuinely amusing political sim, adapted from the greatest comedy series ever made. Your task, as Prime Minister of Great Britain, the Rt. Hon James Hacker, is to survive for one week without being kicked out of office. This task is not so simple, as you're bound to be blocked at every turn by scheming civil servants, backstabbing cabinet colleagues, and of course the inimitable Sir Humphrey Appleby. It looks awful, but it isn't. Not by a long shot.
Could you make a play giude for this game? I have the game somewhere but could never figure out how it works.
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