You ever have a game you played, but seemingly no one else you knew played it? Like, it seems like it should have been some huge hit, but no one's heard of it? Well, this is a list of games I've found that follow the above description.
Deadlock: Planetary Conquest - Mac/PC - Published by Accolade - Developed by Accolade - 1996
Ah the years of turn based strategy games with sprite graphics. This was a semi-popular Mac and PC turn based strategy game, in which a few species tried to conquer a planet at the same time, which leads to... Well, whatever you want, victory by military might, or victory by diplomacy.
The game is for the most part quite simple, though it has a lot of breathing room, with a bunch of interesting options, the gameplay, take over square by square, build solders, research to build better buildings and solders, ect. However, this game is just *fun* I can't really say why, other then it has a sense of it's own style, and it's just complex enough to not be generic, but not be overkill for a beginner.
I really wish a OSX version of this game was released, because I would still be playing it now, that and fix the randomly quitting glitch. :P
It's extremely addictive, easy on the eyes, and simple enough for anyone to get into. It's sadly forgotten, and or never been heard of, quite a shame.
Interesting Note: They made a PC only sequel, which I was luck enough to play the demo of once, seems more like an expansion pack. Still, maybe someday I'll try it.
Myth II: Soulblighter - Mac/PC - Published by Bungie - Developed by Bungie - 1999
Ah Myth II, how I love you so. *Ahem* Myth II is hardly a fair choice, because it was an extremely popular game, however, most everyone I talk to these days have never even *heard* of it, let alone played it.
Myth II is a Real Time Strategy game, though, it seemed to make it's own sub-genre of that, as it contained no building cities, units, or researching technologies. You got a group of units, and absolute control of them, rather then just clicking units and having them attack, there was a fair bit more you could do, with special abilities, status effects, and different units being very different from each other.
Myth II had an amazing story that you actually cared about, taking place in a mid evil time period, somewhat akin to Lor od the Rings. The story was presented through a narrator reading from his journal, animated cutscenes, and in game voice acting. The narration was wonderful, and fit the game so well, you can't imagine the game without it. The animated cutscenes were decent, but nothing to write home about. The in game voice acting was sometimes cheesy, but only slightly. Overall, I completely love the story, and have played it over and over again.
The graphics where good for it's time, but the sprites were a bit low res, and a lot of scenery is 2D, however, the game is still completely playable. It's great to look at the landscape after a huge massacre. And let me tell you this game is pretty bloody, with people bursting into pieces after explosions, and burning to death by fire arrows.
The game's music is phenomenal, it sets the mood, and goes beyond almost any music of the day in gaming. It still holds it's own against the best game scores of today. I found the soundtrack as fast as I could, and still listen to it today. Simply amazing.
The gameplay is just downright amazing, really, I can't say more then they got it as close to perfect as they could, everything works, and is satisfying. The balance is impressive, and the overall gameplay is really addictive. There are a ton of difficulties, and people still play online to this day, there are also a ton of mods for the game, probably over 1000. Tons of extra single player, and multiplayer mods, of which there are quite a few outstanding ones, ones that could be their own games. The most famous online one, was WWII: Recon, which was a World War II mod for multiplayer.
The game shipped with powerful yet easy to use modding tools, and there are still people making mods for it to this day.
This is one game which withstood the test of time.
Interesting Note: Bungie, the company that made this later became famous for the Halo Series.
Star Wars: Droid Works - Mac/PC - Published by Lucas Learning - Developed by Lucas Learning - 1998
I knew a lot of people that bought this, however, most people I know now have never even heard of this title, which is somewhat to be expected, a Star Wars game for kids, based on education.
However, this game was far more then that, with a overall dark feeling, which was probably due to the game using the same engine as Dark Forces II. The game had tense moments, puzzles, and a large customization element.
The game starts with a for it's time beautiful pre-rendered cutscene, explaining the story, and introducing R2D2, C-3PO, and the new character, Holo-Cammy. The game then lets you play around with the advanced droid editor, which lets you make both wheeled and legged droids, with your own combination of arms, hands, torso, head, and legs. You could color your droid, and save it for later, or take it on one of 27 missions.
The missions in the beginning are pretty straight forward, however, later on they become much more adventure oriented, and better. Even so, the beginning missions are pretty fun, and can sometimes take a few tries to get right.
I really had fun with this game, it looked great, albeit a bit dark for a children's game, it had a great musical score (taken from the movies), a good enough story, and just fun gameplay with the deep customization factor.
I can't ignore the somewhat stupid ending, but overall, I really enjoyed this game, shame it stopped working for me in classic mode.
Interesting Note: The music for the game is on a separate audio-CD part of the disc, and is easy to rip. :)
So, there you go, this was great fun to write, and I hope you find these games as fun as I found them.