Gloom commodore  amiga

Blood

Perhaps a little outside of our early-to-mid 90s designation (it was released in 1997), I still group Blood in that sort of era as it was a later-period 2.5D FPS. A game about an undead cowboy seeking revenge on a Lovecraftian cult in 19th century America, Blood managed to pull off a pretty consistent atmosphere, being both unnerving and darkly humorous with a suitably redoubtable lead character. It was still filling out the standard Duke Nukem 3D-inspired 2.5D shooter checklist of ultra-violence and pop culture references, but that didn't get in the way too much. Not then, anyway. It certainly did in the terrible full 3D sequel, Blood 2: The Chosen, which decided it was more interested in being some kind of violent, futuristic Simpsons episode. Give it a full-on modern-day remake and dial the gloom back up a bit, 'cos if the modern age of gaming is big on anything, it's gloom. Speaking of which:

Gloom

What do you get when you combine a growing trend for first person shooters with a computer that's entirely unsuited to the purpose? You get Gloom, the Commodore Amiga's rather courageous attempt at a Doom knock-off. The resolution would've embarrassed a postage stamp, the levels were smaller than the average inner city apartment, and your gun only fired orange basketballs, but it had a certain try-hard charm. There was something about the way enemies exploded into slow-moving bloodless body parts that felt rather festive. And all the soldiers looked like Rob Liefeld characters stuck in hard vacuum.

Diggers

It may not surprise you to learn at this point that I owned an Amiga CD32 in the early-to-mid 90s, and Diggers was a game often bundled with it. It was kind of overshadowed at the time because its small characters and side-on digging gameplay looked a bit Lemmings-y (and since we're already nostalgia tripping, what the hell happened to Lemmings?) but Diggers wasn't a puzzle game; it was a management-y mining game in which you dig down and look for precious minerals. There really is nothing new under the sun, is there? Although considering how Minecraft clones are now some kind of desperate indie gaming get-rich-quick cottage industry, remaking a game that did it in the 90's might give you the edge you need.

Floor 13

Speaking of nothing new under the sun, did you really think that Papers, Please was the first ever game to simulate the bureaucracy surrounding incredibly fucked up situations? Floor 13 was an interesting little duckie. You're the head of a secret department within the British government with carte blanche to tail, interrogate and disappear people before they do something to embarrass the ruling party. All summarized in emotionless reports and text menus across your office desk. Like Papers, Please - a sort of "banality of evil" simulator. Floor 13 should be remade, and specifically, it should be remade for the Wii U. You view the reports and make all the decisions through the gamepad, and on the TV screen will be images of your prisoners getting beaten and tortured for information. Occasionally they will plead directly to you for mercy. But all you can do is ignore them. And lick your thumb and forefinger as you turn to the next report.

Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.

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