Posts Tagged ‘Bullfrog’

Have You Played… Theme Park?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Oh, the months of fun I had in Theme Park as a sprog! I’d spend hours creating beautiful parks with elaborate rollercoasters, places I’d dream of visiting, then force them collapse into hellscapes as quickly as I could. I didn’t have the patience or interest to play ‘properly’, see, and mostly cheated. So I’m asking you: have you played it properly? What’s it actually like? What did it do that modern park ‘em ups don’t?

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Have You Played… Dungeon Keeper 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I’d all but fallen out of PC gaming by the time Dungeon Keeper 2 arrived, but a combination of my student house increasingly preferring electronic entertainment (primarily Tekken) over nightclubs and the news that one of my most beloved games was getting a sequel prompted me to request a graphics card for my birthday. And lo, I got to play DK2 with rudimentary 3D acceleration. I believed it to be beautiful.
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Won’t Take Much Persuading: Syndicate For Free

Don’t panic, I mean the original one, not the forgettable Starbreeze shooter (though it did have a decent multiplayer mode). Given Recent Events it’s a good time to look back at glory days Molyneux/Bullfrog, a time when that studio’s games were rewriting the rulebook. So, I heartily recommend grabbing Syndicate from Origin today, given it’s currently free.
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Cure Me Good: Bullfrog’s Theme Hospital Free On Origin

haha you bloaty-headed fool!

Can we all knock off work early? If we stick together, surely The Man will be powerless to stop us as we march in unison out our offices, taxis, shops, warehouses, workshops, fields, pools, forests, and skies to go play Theme Hospital. Bullfrog’s fine comedy hospital management sim is currently free on Origin, see, but I can’t go pop the balloonoid noggins of people suffering Bloaty Head or mock people in blue suede shoes with King Complex because ugh I have to write a thing for the Internet about how Theme Hospital is a great game and free on Origin right now. Unbelievable.

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Patient Readmitted: Theme Hospital Now On GoG

I actually remembered the fax code 24328 without looking it up. You better believe I'm damn proud.

For some reason I was sure this was already in the venerable GoG library, but evidently not: Bullfrog’s timeless hospital management sim Theme Hospital is now available to be played on your modern machines. I can see how my evening is going to run now: Water those plants! Turn up the radiators! Hire more nurses! Buy more chairs! Oh, no, Earthquake! Fix the Slack Tongue machine! Build more windows! Shoot all the rats! Overprice the Kit Kat drinks machine! 24328 Shift+C! Completed level objectives, Shift-Y, Shift-Y!

Fair warning: if you click this link, you’ll have no choice but to buy it.

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Buying Old Games: Where Your Money Goes

Raaaaaaaage indeed, Mr Horny

Edit: cos there are various theories flying around below about my perceived intent in posting this, I shall clarify my own feelings. I would really like to see contracts between publishers and developers more commonly include an arrangement whereby key (and ideally, but rather less plausibly, all) creatives on game projects continue to see some post-release royalties, as is the case in some other entertainment and publishing industries. That so many old games are being (apparently profitably) rereleased lately highlights this disparity. That is all.

There’s obviously a very good chance you already know this, but just in case: when a developer is bought out by a publisher, it’s usually the case that they then don’t see any ongoing royalties from the games they make for them, or indeed for any existing intellectual property that was swallowed up as part of the studio acquisition. It’s standard practice, knowingly agreed by both parties during the dark deal some studios made to ensure immediate financial viability and larger project budgets. But what it does mean is that a great many of the PC games we regularly celebrate around these parts are no longer bringing in any money for their creators, despite still being on sale. Whenever we excitedly see an old classic appear on Steam or GoG (such as Thief last week), chances are very high that whatever we pay for it goes purely to the publisher and the download service. And while it may well be right that these bodies profit from projects they funded and distribute, it’s sad that the men and women who toiled over that game’s creation won’t see another penny from it.
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