Today’s “Have you played?” on RPS reminded me that in the true spirit of Hellraiser, you’d be surprised by just how many sequels to Passage there are out there. However, unlike Hellraiser, they’re not rubbish after the first one. Possibly. Oh, and they’re definitely not “official” either. There is always that, I guess.
Still, who needs official when we’re dealing with the very soul of being a human? Or a hedgehog. Or something. I’m not sure how Passage works, really.
No spoilers, so here’s a list. I’ve probably missed a few out and if so, sorry! Someone nudge me over twitter with any missing or something.
Passagebalt is a personal favourite, in case you were wondering.
Doodle City is an alternative mode in Atari’s I,Robot. A self styled “ungame” where the player is tasked with doing nothing more than drawing things on the screen using the objects from the videogame as brushes, for when you’re burned out with mass destruction.
Doodle City is a tool that allows anyone with a handful of change to create digital art and, at the same time, a tool that takes away your digital art as soon as the money runs dry. For 3 minutes, this piece will exist and then it will be gone. Lost in time, lost to everyone.
Doodle City may be digital art as performance as the player strives to doodle a thing in front of their chums, it could be digital art as competition as the player and chums strive to outdo each other in what they throw up onto the screen or it could be digital art as the personal, where the player smears and spins shapes across the screen to produce something just to satisfy themselves.
anyone can move a joystick around and make relatively pretty pictures
It’s a fascinating moment of self awareness from early arcade machine creators where the emphasis was truly upon little more than blowing shit up and a concession to those for whom jumping around the place trying to avoid being shot in the face by a disembodied eye may not be that appealing.
And of course, there’s always the small thing that sussing out the controls of a videogame isn’t necessarily intuitive but anyone can move a joystick around and make relatively pretty pictures, making I,Robot one of the first videogames to offer decent concessions to accessibility for your money should you so choose.
Doodle City is digital, it is so very computer and so very videogame.
And yes, I’d adore it if more games brought back Doodle City as an option. I’d like that very much indeed.
Tempest 1992 never existed, never would exist. The concept of Tempest 1992 came about as part of a brief series by ACE magazine tasking the then top coders with re-imagining a classic game.
I think the series only ever consisted of two articles as ACE magazine would close up shop pretty soon after and the first part, for those curious, is pretty much Peter “Russian Fish Simulator” Molyneux inventing Crossy Road a good twenty years before anyone could be bothered inventing Crossy Road for reals. Although, naturally enough with the sort of Peter Molyneux twists you’d expect. And by twists, I mean “has a fart joke” but there we are.
Tempest 1992, however, is the Bitmap Bros what-if videogame. How would a 16 bit version updated version of Tempest actually work? Well, from the description I worry the answer is likely “not sure it would” but it’s an interesting what could have been all the same and Dan Malone’s mock up art work is undoubtedly a beautiful thing all the same. I guess I’d just be satisfied with some Tempest-y prints rather than the game itself. Someone make this happen.
As far as I can remember the mobile port of Jet Set Willy never managed to make it out into the wild and that’s a big shame as it’s quite a gorgeous looking thing. Whilst it no doubt would have been quite the handful to try and play the game on a normal mobile phone screen from the time (we’re talking 2004 here, long before smartphones were AThingTM) it was none the less, a really lovely recreation of the game that played great and sounded great too.
Numfun would later go on to write the final “official” entry into the Willy series with… Jet Set Racing which is, yes, a kart racer. You may laugh but it’s a really nice Kart Racer as mobile phone games from 2005 Kart Racing style go. And we get to find out the foot is called Terry. So that’s a thing.
Anyway, here’s some “look what you could have won” pictures of the game.