Dune has battles, but it’s not a game about combat. There’s treachery, and negotiation, but deals alone cannot secure victory. The highly asymmetrical factions give their leaders incredible power, but they are balanced in such a way that they are but a tool in the fight for the desert planet.
Forty years after its original publication date, its multi layered mechanics and superb theming have made Dune one of the best games I’ve ever played.
Deep Sea Adventure is cute, but fundamentally broken. The idea of diving for treasure is a good one, as is the twist of having to come back before depleting a shared oxygen supply. And yet, the implementation of those ideas does not work, leading to a game where the best move is to crash it entirely.
Chicago Express is a game of alliances. But they are not the kind of alliances made explicit through negotiation. Rather, they are the kind that naturally arise from shared interests.
Set at the height of railroad expansion through the Appalachians, Chicago Express is a challenging game of stocks and manipulation. Quick and heavily streamlined, its simple rules hide a tremendous amounth of depth and a degree of tension that it’s often missing from many other train games.
It’s not well-known, but the original F-Zero had a series of small sequels over the years. Released for Nintendo’s Satellaview, a unique Super Famicom periphelial that connected the console with a radio satellite, these games were available only in Japan and only for a brief period of time.
Preserved by historians and fans, they are a great choice for those looking for a bit more classic F-Zero action from Nintendo themselves.
F-Zero never was technologically important. Published five years after Space Harrier and a year after Hard Drivin’ and its 3D graphics hit the arcade, its importance is rooted, not so much on novelty, as on bringing arcade advancements home.
It is, in fact, a fairly conservative game with more in common with old-fashioned classics such as Punch-Out that with a genre that progressed in leaps and bounds. And it is this traditionalism, not its technology, that has kept it relevant for almost thirty years.