• Tag Archives DOS
  • Breach (1989)

    Source: Computer Play – Issue Number 6 – January 1989

    Breach was released in 1987 by Omnitrend Software for the Amiga, Atari ST, DOS and Macintosh. It is a science fiction turn-based tactical squad combat game. Ten missions are included but a scenario builder is also included with which you can add more missions. There are also some RPG like elements in that your squad leader progresses to each new mission but leads a different group each time. The missions you are able to do are based on your past performance and if your squad leader dies, he is deleted and you have to start over.

    Turn-based strategy games in one form or another have been my favorite for a long time whether that takes the form of an RPG (I loved the Gold Box AD&D games for instance) or something like this. This particular game has some issues like the inability to move diagonally and the whole permadeath thing. However, there really weren’t a whole lot of games like this so if you like this genre it is worth playing.

    Later iterations of the game would come along in the form of Breach 2 and Breach 3. Breach 2 was basically an improved version of Breach. Breach 3 was only available on DOS. These games have mixed reviews so your mileage may very, particularly with the 3rd one. If you want to give the first one a try, the Amiga version is probably the best followed closely by the Atari ST version. You’ll have to find an original or try it via emulation as I don’t think there are any re-releases of this game or any of the others in the series.

    Screen shots above are from the Amiga version and the ad is from the January 1989 issue of Computer Play.

  • Crossword Magic (1985)

    USA 1985


    Today you can find any number of online apps that will let you generate your own crossword puzzles so it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. However, if you wanted to do such a thing in the 1980s you would have had to do it by hand or use a piece of software like this which made it a whole lot easier.

    I remember using a crossword puzzle maker in English class when I was in 8th grade (1988 or 1989) but I can’t remember for sure if it was this one or not. It would have been on an Apple II.

    Anyway, it does all the basic things you would expect to be able to do to make a crossword puzzle. I suppose there is probably a limit in terms of size but unless you are trying to do something crazy it’s probably not a big deal.

    Crossword Magic was released by Mindscape and was available for the Commodore 64, Apple II, DOS and Atari 8-bit computers like the 600XL and 800XL. Other than nostalgia, there’s probably not much reason to seek this out today as there are more convenient ways to generate crossword puzzles. However, this was a neat tool to have back in the day if you wanted to do such a thing.

    The ad above is from circa 1985.

  • Out of this World

    Out of this World


    Out of this World, known as Another World outside of North America, is a cinematic action adventure game originally released in 1991 for the Amiga and Atari ST. This game reminds me a lot of Karateka and the developer was in fact influenced by Karateka and Impossible Mission. It’s use of cut-scenes and cinematic effects was unique for the time and influenced later games like Metal Gear and many others.

    The plot of Out of this World involves a physicist who is involved in an accident that transports him to an alien world. Here he is taken prisoner and with the help of another alien he must escape. Game play is pretty straightforward with controls that allow you to run and jump and perform other situation specific actions. Early in the game you can only kick at your opponents but you eventually obtain a laser pistol with various firing modes.

    Out of this World was hugely successful and was ported to a very large number of platforms over the years. In 1992 it made its way to DOS based computers, the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, 3DO, and Apple IIGS (which was a port of the SNES version). A Sega CD version was also released that included a sequel exclusive to that platform, Heart of the Alien. Later in 2006 a Pocket PC version was released followed by a 15th anniversary edition for Windows XP. In 2011 a 20th anniversary edition was released initially for iOS and Android and then over the next few years via Steam, GoG and for various consoles such as the PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch. An Atari Jaguar version was originally planned for 1994 but its release was cancelled. It was enhanced and eventually released in 2013.

    Throughout the years, Out of this World was enhanced and improved somewhat but remained mostly the same game. The vast majority of the versions released are very good. The worst criticism is probably that the game is too short. The easiest way to play today is to pick it up via Steam or GoG or to grab any of the console versions. They are all good, including the Atari Jaguar version though it is perhaps the most difficult to obtain. This is definitely a game you should try in one form or another. There haven’t been any further sequels but there have been some games strongly influenced by Out of this World, including the Flashback, Heart of Darkness and others.

    The ad at the top is from 1992 and features the Amiga and MS-DOS versions. Screen shots are from the Amiga version of the game.