Here I've started to write reviews for the games that I've purchased over the last twelve years. (This is 140 games, or one per month for twelve full years!)
  • Games with a solid bullet are ones that I've played extensively and can effectively critique.
  • Games with a solid square are ones that my wife has played extensively, and with which I have vicarious familiarity.
  • Games with an open circle are ones that I've purchased, but haven't played enough to properly review.

Adventure Games
These involve solving puzzles to find your way from the beginning to the end, and are therefore typically played only once. After that, you know the solutions to all the puzzles, so it's little fun to play the game again. The artwork in these games tends to be superlative.
  • Ark of Time  (International Computer Entertainment & Trecision & KOEI, 1997, Win95)
  • Azrael's Tear  (SciTech & Intelligent Games & Mindscape, 1996, Win95)
  • Beyond Atlantis  (Cryo Interactive Entertainment, 2000, Win95/98)
  • Bioforge  (Origin/Electronic Arts, 1995, DOS)
  • C.H.A.O.S. Continuum  (C.H.A.O.S Continuum Partnership & Creative Multimedia, 1994, DOS)
  • Daedalus Encounter  (Mechadeus & Virgin Interactive, 1995, Win31)
  • DeathGate  ()
  • The Dig  (LucasArts Entertainment, 1995, DOS/Win95)
  • Galapagos: Mendel's Escape  (Anark Game Studios & Electronic Arts, 1997, Win95)
  • Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time  (Presto Studios & Sanctuary Woods, 1995, Win31)
  • King's Quest V  (Sierra On-Line, 1992, DOS)
  • King's Quest VI  (Sierra On-Line, 1992, DOS)
  • Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards  (Sierra On-Line, 1987, DOS)
  • Maabus  (Microforum, 1994, Win31)
  • Majestic  (Istvan Pefy & Piranha Interactive Publishing, 1995, Win31/95/Mac)
  • Millennia: Altered Destinies  (Take-Two Interactive Software, 1995, DOS)
  • Milo  (Sibling Interactive & Crystalvision Software, 1995, Win31/95)
  • Mummy: Tomb of the Pharoah  (Amazing Media & Interplay, 1997, Win31/95/98)
  • Myst  (Cyan & Red Orb/Broderbund, 1993, Win31/Mac)
  • Riven (Myst II)  (Cyan & Red Orb/Broderbund, 1997, Win95/Mac)
  • Rama  (Sierra On-Line, 1996, DOS/Win95)
  • Riddle of the Sphinx  (Omni Creative Group & Dreamcatcher, 2000, Win95/98)
  • S.P.Q.R: The Empire's Darkest Hour  (CyberSites & GT Interactive Software, 1996, Win31/95/Mac)
  • Seventh Guest  (Trilobyte & Interactive Drama/Virgin Games, 1992, DOS)
  • Star Trek: Borg  (Simon & Schuster, 1996, Win31/95)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation  (Microprose & Spectrum Holobyte, 1995, DOS)
  • Tomb Raider  (Core Design & EIDOS Interactive, 1996, DOS/Win95)
  • Zork Anthology  (Infocom/Activision, 1979-1994, DOS)
  • Zork: Return to Zork  (Infocom/Activision, 1993, DOS)

Role-Playing Games
These games focus on one or more characters with whom you identify. You grow these characters over the course of the game in order to overcome ever-greater obstacles (foes).
As in the Adventure games, there are typically puzzles to solve, and once you win the game, you know all the solutions.
  • Arena: The Elder Scrolls  (Bethesda Softworks, 1993, DOS)
  • Baldur's Gate  (Bioware & Black Isle Studios/Interplay, 1998, Win95/98)
  • Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast  (Bioware & Black Isle Studios/Interplay, 1999, Win95/98)
  • Betrayal at Krondor  (Dynamix/Sierra On-Line, 1994, DOS)
  • Darklands  (MicroProse, 1992, DOS)
  • Disciples of Steel  (FormGen & Megasoft Entertainment, 1994, DOS)
  • Diablo  (Blizzard Entertainment, 1996, Win95/NT)
  • Hellfire  (Sierra On-Line, 1997, Win95/NT)
  • Eye of the Beholder  (Westwood Studios & Strategic Simulations, 1990, DOS)
  • Eye of the Beholder II: Legend of Darkmoon  (Westwood Studios & Strategic Simulations, 1991, DOS)
  • Eye of the Beholder III: The Assault on Myth Drannor  (Westwood Studios & SSI, 1992, DOS)
  • Invictus: In the Shadow of Olympus  (Quicksilver Software & 14 Degrees East/Interplay, 1999, Win95/98)
  • Menzoberranzan  (Strategic Simulations, 1994, DOS)
  • Shadow Caster  (Raven Software & Origin/Electronic Arts, 1993, DOS)
  • Stonekeep  (Interplay, 1995, DOS)
  • Ultima IV: The Quest of the Avatar  (Origin, 1985, DOS)
  • Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny  (Origin, 1988, DOS)
  • Ultima VI: The False Prophet  (Origin, 1990, DOS)
  • Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss  (Blue Sky Productions & Origin Systems, 1991, DOS)
  • Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds  (Looking Glass Studios & Origin Systems, 1992, DOS)
  • Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge  (D.W. Bradley & Sir-tech Software, 1990, DOS)
  • Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant  (D.W. Bradley & Sir-tech Software, 1992, DOS)

Terrestrial Strategy Games
These require you to build and deploy military units to overcome your opponents. Most require some sort of base-construction and resource-gathering. Some are real-time, and some are turn-based. A few have rudimentary plots, but most just have "campaigns" composed of a sequence of missions. Replayability is generally good.
  • Age of Empires  (Ensemble Studios & Microsoft, 1997, Win95)
  • Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome  (Ensemble Studios & Microsoft, 1998, Win95/98)
  • Alpha Centauri  (Firaxis Games & Electronic Arts, 1999, Win95/98)
  • Civilization  (MicroProse, 1991, DOS)
  • Civilization II  (MicroProse/Spectrum Holobyte, 1996, Win31/95)
  • Command & Conquer  (Westwood Studios, 1997, Win95)
  • Dominus  (Visual Concepts Entertainment, 1994, DOS)
  • Dungeon Keeper  (Bullfrog & Electronic Arts, 1997, Win95)
  • Heroes of Might & Magic  (New World Computing, 1995, DOS/Win95)
  • Lords of Magic  (Impressions/Sierra On-Line, 1997, Win95)
  • Lords of the Realm II  (Impressions/Sierra On-Line, 1996, DOS/Win95)
  • Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers  (MicroProse, 1997, Win95)
  • Master of Magic  (SimTex Software/MicroProse/Spectrum Holobyte, 1994, DOS)
  • Myth: The Total Codex  (Bungie, 1998, Win95/98)
  • Populous: The Beginning  (Bullfrog, 1998, Win95/98)
  • Rise & Rule of Ancient Empires  (Sierra On-Line, 1996, Win31/95)
  • Shogun: Total War  (Electronic Arts, 2000, Win95/98)
  • Syndicate  (Bullfrog & Electronic Arts, 1993, DOS)
  • Unnatural Selection  (Sim-Business/Maxis, 1993, DOS)
  • Warcraft: Orcs and Humans  (Blizzard Entertainment, 1994, DOS)
  • Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness  (Blizzard Entertainment, 1995, DOS/Win95)
  • Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal  (Blizzard Entertainment, 1996, DOS/Mac)
  • Warcraft II: BattleNet Edition  (Blizzard Entertainment, 2000, Win95/98/NT/MacOS76)
  • Warlords III: Reign of Heroes  (Strategic Studies Group & Red Orb Entertainment/Broderbund, 1997, Win95)
  • X-COM  (Mythos Games & MicroProse/Spectrum Holobyte, 1994, DOS)
  • X-COM: Terror From the Deep  (MicroProse/Spectrum Holobyte, 1995, DOS)

Space Strategy Games
These are similar to the Terrestrial Strategy Games listed above, but they involve conquest on a galactic scale, using futuristic technologies and units.
  • Alien Legacy  (Ybarra Productions/Creative Insights & Dynamix/Sierra On-Line, 1994, DOS)
  • Ascendancy  (The Logic Factory, 1995, DOS/Win95)
  • Dark Colony  (Take-Two Interactive Software & Strategic Simulations, 1997, Win95)
  • Deadlock  (Accolade, 1996, Win31/95/NT)
  • Earth 2150  (TopWare Interactive & SSI, 2000, Win95/98)
  • Fragile Allegiance  (Gremlin Interactive & Interplay, 1997, DOS)
  • Homeworld  (Relic Entertainment & Sierra On-Line, 1999, Win95/98)
  • Imperium Galactica II  (Digital Reality & GT Interactive, 2000, Win95/98)
  • Maelstrom  (Don Bluth Multimedia/PAS Systems & Merit Software, 1992, DOS)
  • Mankind  (Cryo Networks & Vibes Online Gaming, 2000, Win95/98)
  • Malkari  (Interactive Magic, 1999, Win95/98)
  • Master of Orion  (SimTex Software/MicroProse/Spectrum Holobyte, 1993, DOS)
  • Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares  (SimTex Software/MicroProse/Spectrum Holobyte, 1996, DOS/Win95)
  • Outpost  (Sierra On-Line, 1994, Win31)
  • Outpost 2: Divided Destiny  (Dynamix/Sierra On-Line, 1997, Win95/NT)
  • Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain  (Heliotrope Studios & THQ, 1997, Win95)
  • StarCraft  (Blizzard Entertainment, 1997, Win95/NT)
  • StarCraft: Brood War  (Blizzard Entertainment, 1998, Win95/NT)
  • Star Control 3  (Legend Entertainment & Accolade, 1996, DOS/Win95)
  • Star General  (Catware & Strategic Simulations, 1996, DOS)
  • Star Reach  (Techtonics & Interplay, 1994, DOS)
  • Wing Commander: Armada  (Origin/Electronic Arts, 1993, DOS)

Space Simulations
These simulate the experience of piloting spacecraft, usually in combat situations. Though these might arguably be lumped under the "Action" games below, they're a little more sophisticated, and seem to deserve a separate category. Most of these games have mission campaigns to lend some cohesiveness to the otherwise random violence.
  • Ares Rising  (iMagine Studios, 1998, Win95)
  • BattleCruiser 3000AD  (3000AD & Interplay, 1998, Win95)
  • Darklight Conflict  (Rage Software & Electronic Arts, 1997, DOS/Win95)
  • Descent: Freespace: The Great War  (Volition & Interplay, 1998, Win95)
  • Frontier Elite II  (David Braben & Konami/Gametek, 1993, DOS)
  • Independence War  (Particle Systems & Infogrames Entertainment, 1998, Win95/98)
  • Klingon Academy  (Interplay, 2000, Win95/98)
  • Starfleet Academy  (Interplay, 1997, Win95)
  • Starfleet Command  (Interplay, 1999, Win95/98)
  • Star Trek: Starship Creator  (Simon & Schuster Interactive, 1998, Win95)
  • Star Wars: Tie Fighter  (LucasArts, 1994, DOS)
  • Wing Commander: Privateer  (Origin/Electronic Arts, 1993, DOS)
  • Wing Commander: Privateer 2: The Darkening  (Origin/Electronic Arts, 1996, DOS)
  • Wing Commander: Prophecy  (Origin Systems, 1997, Win95)

Action Games
These are typically first-person shooters, with little plot beyond a rudimentary sequence of missions. Some people refer to the gameplay as "run-and-gun". This isn't necessarily a BAD thing -- it leads to extensive replayability.
  • Corporation  (Virgin Interactive, 1991, DOS)
  • The Immortal  (Sandcastle & Electronic Arts, 1991, DOS)
  • Mechwarrior 2  (FASA & Activision, 1995, DOS/Win95)
  • Mechwarrior 2: Ghost Bear's Legacy  (FASA & Activision, 1996, DOS/Win95)
  • S.T.O.R.M.  (Virtual Studio & American Softworks, 1994, DOS)
  • Wolfenstein 3D  (Id Software & Apogee/GT Interactive/Activision, 1992, DOS)
  • Doom  (Id Software, 1993, DOS)
  • Doom II  (Id Software & GT Interactive, 1994, DOS/Win31)
  • Quake  (Id Software, 1996, DOS)

Military Simulations
Derived from the earliest flight simulators, these recreate the experience of piloting military craft, whether airplanes, helicopters, tanks, battleships, or submarines. Most have mission campaigns.
  • Comanche: Maximum Overkill  (NovaLogic, 1992, DOS)
  • Falcon 3.0  (Spectrum Holobyte/Sphere, 1991, DOS)
  • F-15 Strike Eagle III  (MicroProse, 1993, DOS)
  • M1 Tank Platoon  (MicroProse, 1989, DOS)
  • M1A2 Abrams: America's Main Battle Tank  (Interactive Magic, 1996, Win95)
  • Silent Service II  (MicroProse, 1990, DOS)

Other Simulations
These simulate non-military endeavors, and tend to be a bit more fanciful.
  • Gazillionaire  (LavaMind & Spectrum Holobyte, 1994, DOS)
  • SimEarth  (Maxis, 1990, DOS/Win31)
  • SimAnt  (Maxis, 1991, DOS/Win31)
  • SimCity 2000  (Maxis, 1993, DOS/Win31)

Board & Puzzle Games
The earliest computer games copied traditional board games, though usually with the computer as an opponent. Chess was the premier example of this. The genre has evolved a bit, so that some of the more modern "board games" have never actually existed outside of the computer (e.g. - Tetris).
  • Alley Cat  (Synapse & IBM, 1984, DOS)
  • BattleChess  (Interplay, 1988, DOS)
  • ChessMaster 2000  (The Software Toolworks, 1986, DOS)
  • ChessMaster 4000 Turbo  (The Software Toolworks, 1993, DOS)
  • Kasparov's Gambit  (Electronic Arts, 1995, DOS)
  • Lemmings  (DMA Design & Psygnosis, 1991, DOS)
  • Monopoly  (Don Phillip Gibson, 1987, DOS)

Sports Games
These are computer adaptations of sports games. As a general rule, I really hate these things, since I can't see the point in playing computer basketball when you can go outside and get some fresh air while shooting hoops for real. These games only catch my interest if they're technical masterpieces.

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1999-2003 Robert M. Freeland II. All rights reserved.
Changes last made on: Mon, Mar 3, 2003
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