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  1. #1
    Network Hub frenz0rz's Avatar
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    Your favourite old and/or obscure games that nobody has heard of

    (I am utterly sick of the article comment system eating my posts, since I've been trying to post about this interesting little subject on RPS for months now, whenever the opportunity arises, and my comment has been eaten up every single time. So yeah, bugger it, I figured I'd make a thread instead.)


    This article posted by Anthile in the Sunday Papers comments thread mentions a “software-rendered 3-D team-on-team multiplayer-only sci-fi hovertank war game” made by Jonathan Blow at the start of his career in around 1998. That game was Shockforce (on TEN, if anyone recalls that), later Wulfram, then eventually Wulfram 2. It was, at the tender age of 10 years old, my first online game. By that point Blow had long since abandoned the project, with his co-developer Bernt 'Slurpy' Habermeier continuing to support and update it until its eventual decline in early 2011. It wasnt until Braid came out that I saw this supposedly unknown developer's name and realised I'd seen it before. Jonathan Blow helped forge Wulfram, and for that I am very grateful to him.

    The game involved two factions fighting to obliterate the other in hovertanks, of which there were multiple classes. The game was fairly complex - each team had spaceships orbiting the planet, each located in a grid square laid out over the map. These ships, controlled by a single device on the ground known as the 'uplink', had the ability to parachute down deployable base units in crates, such as gun/flak turrets, repair/refuel pads, radars, darklights (anti-radar devices), and the all important power cores.

    They could also drop "skypumps". When powered, these would allow the 'linker' controlling the uplink to move ships between adjacent grid squares when said square was powered by a skypump. This created a meta-game whereby you could outnumber, focus-fire and destroy the other teams ships, allowing your team to eventually position one of your ships over the enemy base and rain down an orbital bombardment. All this was going on while hovertanks fought on the ground.

    It was a small but brilliant community, with regular clan or 'squad' wars taking place, and a dedicated group of admins and 'trainers' who actively volunteered to help new players get accustomed to the game's fairly unique mechanics. Wulfram was one of the best games I've ever played, and to this day I am dismayed that it never got the attention that it deserved.


    So does anyone else have that one game that you loved, but you reckon nobody else has ever heard of?
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  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ian's Avatar
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    For years I half-thought I'd entirely invented a game I "remembered" playing as a kid. Living in Qatar I went to a friend's house (he was originally from.... Pakistan, I think... this is relevant!) and we played a side-scrolling action thing called "Crude Buster". I honestly don't remember if it was any good because the problem was I became fixated on the fact that not one gamer I spoke to about Mega Drive games had even heard of it.

    It turned out that the problem was that Crude Buster was the Japanese name (so I'm guessing that he'd ended up with a Japanese copy bought in wherever it was he was from) for Two Crude Dudes. I've no idea how well-known a game Two Crude Dudes is but knowing it by a name that nobody else I knew was likely to didn't help when trying to find somebody who remembered it.

    Another game I loved was Burning Rangers on the Saturn (it's one of the three Saturn games I still own.) Is that an obscure one?
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Possibly doesn't qualify as it's been featured in-depth on RPS (albeit a while ago). But I once lost an entire weekend to Liberal Crime Squad. The other game by Dwarf Fortress creators Bay 12 games. You should read Kieron's series of articles on it for the full flavour of the game, but it's essentially a game about putting together a team of hippies and other lefties and going on a violent rampage in protest at the republican right-wing American government.
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  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    The local library used to have a selection of TKKG point-and-click adventure games. As far as I know, they were only ever available in German, so most people probably never heard of them. I liked them quite a lot, but it's been over a decade since I last played them and I don't remember many details, so I have no idea if they were genuinely good or if I simply had a much less discriminating taste.

    There's another German point-and-click game I really loved as a child, called "Pink Panthers gefährliche Mission", starring the Pink Panther as a secrent agent, trying to find kidnapped children all over the world. Unlike the previous example, I actually do remember most of the game and it's a lot of fun. Come to think of it, I should try to find my old disc and replay it one of these days.

    There's also Ubisoft's Hype: The Time Quest, which was essentially a Zelda clone for the PC, but a pretty good one all things considered.

  5. #5
    Network Hub frenz0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    For years I half-thought I'd entirely invented a game I "remembered" playing as a kid. Living in Qatar I went to a friend's house (he was originally from.... Pakistan, I think... this is relevant!) and we played a side-scrolling action thing called "Crude Buster". I honestly don't remember if it was any good because the problem was I became fixated on the fact that not one gamer I spoke to about Mega Drive games had even heard of it.
    I know the feeling. When I was younger my parents bought me one of those compilation CDs with 101 shareware games on it. Most of them were crap, but there are a few that I loved and have been desperately trying to remember the name of.

    I eventually stumbled across a few of them, such as Blades of Exile by Spiderweb and Zombie Wars, a sequel to Halloween Harry/Alien Carnage by Apogee. However, I fear some are simply too far gone and too obscure to ever recall. The major one I've been trying to remember for years was a 3D shooter set in a huge arena, where you drove a car around running people over, but also had to get out to flick switches, open doors and shoot dudes. The disk, unfortunately, is lost to time.

    Also, looking at the box art for Two Crude Dudes, I was unaware that Duke Nukem had two identical brothers.

    Twocrude.jpg
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  6. #6
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    Well, i doubt that it's very obscure, and I expect a lot of people will have played it. But the most obscure one I can think of that I ploughed a decent amount of time into was Scorched Earth.

    It was a shareware (?) game very similar to Worms... two tanks with many weapons try to blast each other by calculating elevation and shot strength. With destructible terrain. Actually it was exactly Worms (no idea which was first) but with less annoying "wackiness" and more real fun.

    I played the hell out of it back on my early PCs (286? 386? don't remember exactly)... the main reason being that it was playable by two people, so if i popped over to my friends house, or he popped over to mine, it was great fun.

  7. #7
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    And someone in the other thread just reminded me that Terminator: Future Shock was an awesome game that the world seemingly forgot. It wasn't obscure - it was front cover material... for about one month until Quake was released and everyone forgot it. :-(

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    When I was young, my brothers and I were the only people I knew who played SimCopter. That counts doesn't it?

    Also, I've never really met many people who remember Hunt for the Red Baron, that game was awesome although I had to play it with cheats on because I was a big pile of ass at it.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woundedbum View Post
    When I was young, my brothers and I were the only people I knew who played SimCopter. That counts doesn't it?
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  10. #10
    Network Hub desvergeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    Well, i doubt that it's very obscure, and I expect a lot of people will have played it. But the most obscure one I can think of that I ploughed a decent amount of time into was Scorched Earth.

    It was a shareware (?) game very similar to Worms... two tanks with many weapons try to blast each other by calculating elevation and shot strength. With destructible terrain. Actually it was exactly Worms (no idea which was first) but with less annoying "wackiness" and more real fun.

    I played the hell out of it back on my early PCs (286? 386? don't remember exactly)... the main reason being that it was playable by two people, so if i popped over to my friends house, or he popped over to mine, it was great fun.
    I had that, and can agree it was pretty excellent.

    Anyone remember a game called Hunter?

    It was essentially a sandbox game where you had to assassinate an enemy leader after they invaded your country. Large 3-d environment, 3rd person perspective, and you could achieve your goal in a number of ways. Reminded me of Midwinter in ways, and must have gone as some inspiration into the GTA games.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Hunter_Screenshot01.gif

    "This vehicle is occupied".

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node Oshada's Avatar
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    Budo: The Art of Ninja Combat!

  13. #13
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Stunt Car Racer, which I don't really think there's any risk of being underappreciated.
    Midwinter, which needs a modern remake so much it hurts.
    Corporation, which was the scariest goddamn thing.
    Mega lo Mania, because we've nuked them!

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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Sink or Swim

    I only had the demo, and I never managed to finish it. It was a real time puzzle platformer set against a rising water level and based on you escorting the (barely able to swim) people to an exit.

    I'm sure I'd swallow the game whole if I went back to it but the stress of the drowning and the inexperience of my young brain lead to failure every time.

    Similarly, Benefactor, Blob and Push Over. However push over was literal enough and I finished every level... Except the final with blank dominos, that I meant to come back to with paper and pen and never did.

    For raw 'hours played' nothing can top settlers 1,but that's hardly obscure.
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  15. #15
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    Infantry on the SOE station.com. So obscure than it may even still be going.

  16. #16
    Network Hub frenz0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surlywombat View Post
    Infantry on the SOE station.com. So obscure than it may even still be going.
    Oddly enough, SOE finally shut the Infantry servers down just over two weeks ago. I remember back when it was one of the main free online multiplayer game competitors to Wulfram, along with Tibia, Subspace and some other game I cant quite recall the name of.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    I only remembered it because it was posted on RPS recently (I think by Alec) but I remember loving the demo of Fury of the Furries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fury_of_the_Furries). Never got the full game though.

    Oh and Rescue Rover (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rescue_Rover) one of the lesser known ID games, was a pretty cool little puzzler I got on a demo disc.

  18. #18
    Network Hub frenz0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
    I only remembered it because it was posted on RPS recently (I think by Alec) but I remember loving the demo of Fury of the Furries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fury_of_the_Furries)
    According to that wiki article, "One can play the game in the Fremen language."

    Sold.
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  19. #19
    Network Hub Stense's Avatar
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    I loved Fury of the Furries, such a fun little puzzle platformer. I would dearly like to see it on GOG or something.

  20. #20
    Network Hub Memph's Avatar
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    Purple Heart on the C64. Was like a 2 player Commando and far superior to the later Ikari Warriors, at least in memory.
    Must be fairly obscure as there's no sign of it on youtube.

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