Antique Code Show > More stories

SimCity 2000

SimCity 2000

Antique Code Show The summer of 1995, I remember it well. I was but a slip of lad at the time, slightly console obsessed perhaps, but about to embark on a period of PC gaming that would put me at the forefront of cutting-edge videogame technology, nearly bankrupting my parents as I went. It was my birthday and I’d just finished hooking up my …
Mike Plant, 1 Mar 2013

SimCity Classic

Antique Code Show Doughnuts. Doughnuts are what I think of when someone mentions SimCity in my vicinity. Not because I used to cram them into my face, Homer Simpson-style, while I played, but rather because, back in my childhood, I was obsessed with arranging my own ‘simmed’ city in perfect concentric 'doughnuts'. Squares in three-by-three …
Mike Plant, 22 Feb 2013
Earthworm Jim

Earthworm Jim

Antique Code Show I can’t think of one person I’ve met who didn’t enjoy the run and gun fun of Earthworm Jim. Released in 1994 on both the Super Nintendo and Sega Megadrive (Genesis) it made my eyes pop. The graphics were revolutionary (and surreal) and it’s certainly one of the most popular platform games ever made. It went on to spawn a cartoon …
Lucy Orr, 11 Dec 2012
Double Dragon

Taito's Double Dragon

Antique Code Show It was the summer of 1989 in a not-so-sunny Prestatyn Pontins, so the majority of our holiday's evenings were spent in the resort's arcade hall. Being my first foray into the seedy underbelly of cutting-edge - well, for 1987, when the game debuted, at least - videogames, one of the first arcades I ever played was the side- …
Andy Davies, 22 Nov 2012
Dark Forces

LucasArts' Dark Forces

Antique Code Show With the release of Doom in 1993, and Bungie’s Marathon, the year after, the first-person shooter was firmly on the gaming map, so it was no surprise LucasArts wanted to be there. If there was one thing a Star Wars fan wanted, it was to get in on the action, to grab a blaster and take out some Stormtroopers. In 1995, Dark Forces …
Tony Smith, 5 Nov 2012

Valve's Half-Life

Antique Code Show I’m not a fan of modern first-person shooters, which is a shame because there used to be a massive soft spot in my heart for Half-Life and its head crabs. When then small, independent developer Value announced it was basing its first game around the exploits of a theoretical physicist, most gamers were understandably …
Lucy Orr, 17 Oct 2012
Populous 1989 Bullfrog Productions


Antique Code Show So I just re watched Cabin in the Woods (spoiler alert) and when the big glowing god hand explodes out of the earth in the last frame, I was left with a niggle at the back of my subconscious. Populous 1989 Bullfrog Productions Divine intervention It wasn't till later in the pub that I remembered my formative god/hand …
Lucy Orr, 26 Sep 2012
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Antique Code Show I didn't play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time when it was first released in the late 1990s because I was too busy on my SEGA playing Sonic. However, I do remember that I always used to think the name Zelda referred to the main character. It wasn't until I watched The Legend of Neil that I realised the hero's name was Link …
Lucy Orr, 12 Sep 2012
Ghostbusters 1984 game


Antique Code Show In 1984 Activision released their adaptation of the classic movie Ghostbusters. I was 12 and remember after seeing the movie wanting the game more than George Michael's Careless Whisper which, in hindsight, was quite a sensible choice. Ghostbusters 1984 game The ghost of pixels past As Ray Parker Junior says "I ain't 'fraid …
Lucy Orr, 29 Aug 2012


Antique Code Show Playing Goldeneye always felt more like an event rather than a gaming session. Four controllers and a 20in telly – it seemed huge at the time, believe me – headshotting friends had never been such fun. I have always had a soft spot for commies but playing Pierce Brosnan – wreaking havoc on Eastern Europe in Goldeneye – made me …
Lucy Orr, 15 Aug 2012
Spyhunter 1983 by Bally Midway

Spy Hunter

Antique Code Show Take my money! Spy Hunter at the arcade was definitely school of hard knocks, just trying to stay alive meant keeping my foot on the brake as the Peter Gunn soundtrack, with it’s chugging beeps, ricocheted around my head. Spyhunter 1983 by Bally Midway Arcade moneyspinner turned console favourite Ported to my NES, the whole …
Lucy Orr, 25 Jul 2012
Streetfighter 2: The World Warrior

Streetfighter 2: The World Warrior

Antique Code Show Yoga-fire! Had-uken! A-shab-dap-whoo-jit! In the early 1990s, such was common playground talk up and down the country, as children re-enacted their Streetfighter 2 fantasies, and dinner-ladies looked on in bewilderment. Streetfighter 2: The World Warrior Eight controllable characters was something of a revelation 20 years …
Giles Hill, 18 Jul 2012

Ten... highlights from 40 years of Atari

Antique code show With Atari celebrating its 40th anniversary today, we thought we'd look back at the company's rise and fall in the computing world, in case you're either too young or - worst case scenario - too addled to remember. Or you haven't yet seen the Atari feature on El Reg. Either way, here's ten highlights from Atari's history that …
Caleb Cox, 27 Jun 2012
Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe

Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe

Antique Code Show I know it’s not 2095 yet but with Boris back in power and the Olympics imminent, I am preparing myself to witness London fall into terminal decline due to sports related overspending and aggressive austerity measures. Indeed, I can envisage an appetite for a Rollerball-style games event; entertaining the galleries of corporate …
Lucy Orr, 20 Jun 2012
Marathon icon


Antique Code Show Back in the early- to mid-1990s, the Mac wasn't considered much cop as a games platform. Sure, it had a sexier GUI than Windows boxes, but they could drop out into DOS and dedicate their CPUs' few tens of megahertz to games. Not so the Mac. But that didn't stop coders from trying to make the most out the Mac. Early …
Tony Smith, 6 Jun 2012
Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Antique Code Show As a nipper during the 1970s and early 80s, there can't be a war movie I haven't seen, either at the cinema or on telly on a rain Sunday afternoon. You can surely say the same of Grey Matter Interactive, because its Return to Castle Wolfenstein lets you play pretty much every famous war film scene. Not that this is a dull combat …
Tony Smith, 23 May 2012
Head over Heels

Head over Heels

Antique Code Show Inspired no doubt by two years pondering the literal semantics of Tears For Fears' 1985 hit, Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond's Head Over Heels was an absolute masterful exploration game for the 8-bit era. Drawn in the same isometric vein as Knight's Lore and Ritman and Drummond's own Batman - no, not Arkham City, although I'd buy …
Andy Davies, 9 May 2012
Jazz Jackrabbit 1994 Epic Megagames

Jazz Jackrabbit

Antique Code Show What with Easter's inextricable link with bunnies, it seemed in order to revisit an old lop eared friend. Jazz Jackrabbit is a side scrolling platform game and one I consider to be DOS shareware gaming at its finest. Who would have thought our friend Jazz would come from the same stable as a Gears of War Nemacyst? Jazz …
Lucy Orr, 11 Apr 2012
Rock'n'Roll Racing

Rock'n'Roll Racing

Antique Code Show Having just reviewed the Steelseries SRW-S1 steering wheel on some pretty serious racing games, I was reminded that I have had a soft spot for a certain genre of racing game but it was a long time ago and involved some particularly severe riffs. Rock'n'Roll Racing In my humble opinion - and yes I did go to Download and …
Lucy Orr, 21 Mar 2012
Carmageddon icon


Antique Code Show Reg Hardware Car Week Has there ever been a driving game quite as gleefully bloodthirsty, so nihilistically violent and as downright daft as Stainless Games' Carmageddon? The blood red hued baldy leering out from the front of the box set the tone: this isn't a game about simulating the driving experience, or even winning …
Tony Smith, 7 Mar 2012
Leisure Suit Larry icon

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Antique Code Show Reg Hardware Sex Week I'm actually surprised that it took till 1987 for someone to make a real effort and bring sexy time into a computer game. This new sub-genre effectively combined sex, comedy and gaming into a somewhat sleazy but hilarious adventure. It's all about the polyester leisure suit and gold chains... feel that …
Lucy Orr, 15 Feb 2012
Looking Glass Studios System Shock

System Shock

Antique Code Show We've come along way since Looking Glass Technologies released System Shock in 1994, which earned it the distinction of being first first-person game with an engine able to render sloping walls. Before then, gaming environments were limited to verticals and horizontals. System Shock by Looking Glass Technologies Making waves: …
Lucy Orr, 1 Feb 2012
Dizzy ZX Spectrum screenshot

Dizzy: the Ultimate Cartoon Adventure Part Deux

Antique Code Show For my money, one of the greatest games ever made for the Amstrad CPC was Fantasy World Dizzy. At age seven, I was positively ravenous for my fix of Dizzy's latest adventures, and my brimming fervour to play it was good training wheels for the likes of Sonic 2 and Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition. Fantasy World Dizzy …
Andy Davies, 18 Jan 2012
Dizzy ZX Spectrum screenshot

Dizzy: the Ultimate Cartoon Adventure

Antique Code Show Resident Evil is considered a classic by many. But did you know that the design of the first three games was popularised ten years prior by a little eggy wegg? Dizzy was never actually conceived as an egg. His rotund form emerged merely as a way for Philip and Andrew Oliver to more easily spin the little fellow during his eight …
Andy Davies, 4 Jan 2012
Santa's Xmas Caper

Santa's Xmas Caper

Antique Code Show So let’s just get one thing straight: 99.99 per cent of Christmas-themed games suck. I might make an exception for Christmas Nights on Sega depending on my mood, but, hey, it’s that time of year again and between the overwhelming urge to take a machete to every brightly tinseled tree I see, there must be time to reminisce about …
Lucy Orr, 21 Dec 2011
Rainbow Islands

Rainbow Islands

Antique Code Show I know you played this. Admit it, darn you! Or at least you coveted it from afar as I did, watching my little sister Chloe play it and waiting till she fell asleep to sneak into her room to worship it’s vivid iridescent rays - or as close as you can get with just 4096 colors! Rainbow Islands is one of the most successful …
Lucy Orr, 7 Dec 2011

Fragged, fragged and thrice fragged! 20 years of id Software’s Doom

Antique Code Show id Software’s Doom – the definitive first-person shooter – is 20 years old today. It was uploaded to the University of Washington’s servers at midnight, 10 December 1993 in the form of a .zip file containing the game and the first set of levels. It didn’t take long to generate a massive buzz – and because id was offering extra …
Lucy Orr, 23 Nov 2011
DMA Design Lemmings


Antique Code Show Lemmings was developed by DMA who are now known as Rockstar North of Grand Theft Auto fame. Who’d a thought such innocent beginnings would lead to such depraved offspring? DMA Design Lemmings Multiformat title: to begin with only multiplayer on the Amiga Originally released on the Commodore Amiga, Lemmings was one of the most …
Lucy Orr, 9 Nov 2011
BioWare Baldur's Gate PC game

BioWare Baldur's Gate

Antique Code Show I remember one summer when my dad decided it would be great to go on holiday for two weeks in a stone farm house in Scotland, it rained and we spent the whole time playing Dungeons and Dragons. BioWare Baldur's Gate PC game A few more options than a roll of the dice Yet it wasn’t until the release of Baldur’s Gate in 1998 …
Lucy Orr, 26 Oct 2011
Flashback: Quest for Identity icon

Flashback: The Quest for Identity

Antique Code Show Nobody wants to wake up in the wilderness with no memory of how they got there - though it sounds eerily reminiscent of a typical Saturday morning in Camden Town. Flashback: Quest for Identity screenshot Who are you? More to the point, who am I? But that's just what's happened to Conrad Hart - and he doesn't even have …
Andy Davies, 12 Oct 2011
The Secret of Monkey Island screenshot

The Secret of Monkey Island

Antique Code Show The Secret of Monkey Island ignites the urge to buckle swashes in everyone and 20 years on from its debut everyone I know still loves this game. The Secret of Monkey Island screenshot She goes sixty miles to the galleon Especially my friend Pippa, who manages to constantly find parallels between our pop punk adventures and …
Lucy Orr, 28 Sep 2011
Star Control

Star Control

Antique Code Show Star Control 2 is a bloody good game, but not the game I fell in love with. Yet it was playing the original Star Control on my Sega Genesis that just makes me feel all squidgy inside. With colour spaceships that battle across my screen to eerie alien toonz, I didn't need Arnie in Total Recall to fulfil my sci-fi fetish. Star …
Lucy Orr, 14 Sep 2011
Sid Meier's Civilization

Sid Meier's Civilization

Antique Code Show I remember 1991 starting on a sombre note, with my sister and I sitting in a bar doing shots under an Apocalypse Now poster waiting for the start of World War III, as we watched US bombers strafe Iraq. The end of civilisation? Well, not quite. Sid Meier's Civilization Civil engineering? Looking back on events of the time, the …
Lucy Orr, 31 Aug 2011
Wolfenstein 3D

id Software Wolfenstein 3D

Antique Code Show With the EDL taking the opportunity to whip up support after the latest riots, it seems a fitting time to resurrect the memory of shooting fascists. Indeed, it must be heartwarming for id Software to know it invented the gaming genre that is now outselling porn: Wolfenstein 3D was the definitive first-person shooter. …
Lucy Orr, 17 Aug 2011

Bullfrog Syndicate

Antique Code Show Bullfrog’s innovative titles gave me some of my best 1990s gaming memories. Who could forget Populous and Dungeon Keeper? The pre-cyberpunk aesthetic of Syndicate mesmerised me and gave us Agent Smith before anyone had even heard of The Matrix. This game isn’t complex but as long as I have a Persuadertron, I am going to do well …
Lucy Orr, 3 Aug 2011
X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown

X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown

Antique Code Show 1994 could never be called a dull year but after packing away my ailing Mega Drive and putting on my finest stripy jumper for Kurt Cobain’s funeral, I needed to be diverted by a great game. Quite fittingly UFO: Enemy Unknown aka X-COM came along just as OJ’s white Bronco was trying for orbit. X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown UFO: Enemy …
Lucy Orr, 20 Jul 2011
Manic Miner

Bug-Byte Manic Miner

Antique Code Show For me, 1983 was all about Flashdance but getting Manic Miner for my ZX Spectrum on Christmas morning was almost as good as some burgundy legwarmers. Manic Miner Manic Miner: fiendishly frustrating and yet so easily addictive Created by Matthew Smith and released by Bug-Byte Software, this diabolically difficult platformer is …
Lucy Orr, 7 Jul 2011
Day of the Tentacle

LucasArts Day of the Tentacle

Antique Code Show Dr. Fred: I think I've made myself totally clear. Step one, find plans. Step two, save world. Step three, get out of my house! Let's get cracking! Day of the Tentacle Day of the Tentacle: suck it and see Day of the Tentacle generates a lot of good will and happy memories. The reason this was my first choice for a retro review …
Lucy Orr, 16 Jun 2011