It’s funny, but when you write about games as long as I have, you don’t really play them that much any more. Nowadays, when a game keeps me playing, it’s something special. Out of the 600 games I newly added since I started Download Central half a year ago, these are five that did keep me playing.
If someone had shown me, some time ago, a screenshot of Zeek the Geek and told me that I would play this game, play it a lot, I might have laughed. But I did. I played it and played it until the levels got too hard for me. What’s so great at collecting flowers and avoiding the carnivorous ones as a bonneted cephalopod in a game designed for children? I really don’t know. It’s cute. Everything fits. Just try it yourself.
I discovered Slay on some old shareware CD I had owned for years. It’s a simple yet complex strategy game. Even though the shareware version is restricted to only one map, only one setting, and every game starts exactly the same, I found Slay strangely addictive. And I never really found anything like it, not even among Sean O’Connor‘s other games.
There aren’t many arcade-style shoot ’em ups for PC, not from the classic epoch. Half a dozen, maybe a dozen. Among these, Raptor: Call of the Shadows is in my as usual not all that humble opinion the best. It perfectly combines arcade quality graphics with PC style, somewhat RPGish gameplay. You control your plane with the mouse, which quickly gets very intuitive. Instead of lives that you lose with one shot you have a sort of hitpoints. You get money from your kills and use it to buy power-ups. If you want to know how much I played that game, just look at my collection of Raptor screenshots.
I’ve already mentioned Nibbly as the perfect example of the German arcade puzzle. Nibbly’96 frustrated me a lot with its pointless system of lives and time limits. But I kept on playing. Again, look at the screenshots. Currently I’ve reached level 8, but have not solved it yet.
Another German arcade puzzle. Another huge screenshot collection. The gameplay elements of Lomax Boulders are all from Boulder Dash, but the way they are used here is unique and insane. There are five games, the shareware versions have about five levels each (the later ones less, I think), so combined they are a good sized game.