Of course, in a technical sense, a Spectrum or C64 game from 1984 won't hold up very well compared to a modern PC game. This places me/other reviewers in a dilemma. On one hand a review should be fair and take into consideration that the games aren't new. On the other hand: a dull game is a dull game, no matter what decade it was written in. This site is not a museum. The reviews are written with the hope that, even in this era of multi-million dollar games, you'll be able to play an oldie and still enjoy it. Some of the oldest games were written on slow computers with very little memory, which means that the games are often quite primitive and hence not a lot of fun. So blame it on technology. That doesn't make the games any more enjoyable. So...
We try to take into consideration the age of the game, but we're not afraid of slaughtering it if it's awful (hehe)
All ratings go from 0 to 10. The categories are:
Vocab/parser: Does the game understand more words than a 2-year old? And does the parser allow you to do more complex stuff than TAKE AXE, KILL TROLL, GO DOOR?
Story: Is the story interesting and original, and are the puzzles logical and well-placed?
Atmosphere: Does the game make you want to play for hours on end? Is it a thrilling experience?
Graphics: are they neat and fast to draw? Do they fit the game?
Overall: Is this game really worth your time???
Yeah, what's the point of reviewing 15 year old games??? Has he gone completely bonkers at last?
Well, I hope not! Obviously, many people visit this site because they have an old pet cause: beating this or that 1983 adventure game that has bothered them endlessly since then. But I also have a hunch that, with all the emulation sites around, many of you have discovered lots of good games you never heard about (and, in my case, found games I'd never heard about before and was glad I hadn't :).
I know some people think that the game industry nowadays have deteriorated into evil, megalomania-infested money-making corporations which know nothing better than to churn out yet another Doom/Dune 2-clone to rip off the buyers. Lots of people also think that decent adventure games died with the introduction of graphics, and definitely with the point'n'click interface. Before we get completed carried away in nostalgic bliss: good games are still produced and lots of good games in the 80s had graphics. I enjoyed the Monkey Island series immensely and The Hobbit had graphics that didn't spoil the game in any way. Some of Sierra's titles are, in fact, quite entertaining!
Admittedly, the games aren't as original as they used to be. But let's not confuse originality with quality. In the beginning, the market was so fresh that you could release just about any kind of original, but unplayable junk and people would buy it. I've certainly lost plenty of money on abysmal games which had cost me $30 and would hold my interest for around 10 minutes. Many games of the 8-bit era were, technically and otherwise, terrible at the time of release. And no, they haven't improved since.
My point is that although you can find literally thousands of (text adventure) games out there, many aren't worthy of your time and attention. Hence this reviews section.