The visual technology of gaming is advancing at a pace like never before, reaching heights of graphical complexity never before seen. And yet, we still find something to admire in the games of the past that pushed their engines to the limit, even if their achievements were dwarfed by the raw CPU power of later generations. Developers no longer have to use programming "cheats" to create 3D effects, but we respect the skill of those who wanted to and did. This week, the JiG Vault features three excellent pseudo-3D games from our archives. It may have been five years since their graphics were cutting-edge, but the fun is timeless.
- The Missile Game 3D - Even the most pacifist among us can probably see the appeal of riding horseback on a cruising missile. Damien, of DXInteractive, cleverly tapped into this Jungian drive with the release of The Missile game 3D, and it's arcade-style awesomeness. It's hard to prevent moving your whole body along with the mouse as you dodge every obstacle the corridor throws at you. With the elegance that comes with a masterful exploration of a simple premise, The Missile Game 3D will keep you addicted even as its velocity increases from "speedy" to "insane". Plus, there's the possibility of it giving you a seizure! That's living on the edge, my friends!... Seriously though, epileptics might want to skip this one.
- Nimian Hunter - If it wasn't for how smoothly it plays, one could be easily fooled into thinking that Nimian Hunter was a just-released Unity action game, rather than Flash from 2006. ProtoPop beat the limitations of Flash 8 like no other, and the result combines a gorgeously bleak post-apocalyptic landscape, twisted creatures of fantasy, and a narrative all the more engaging for its minimalism. The Hunter's quest to revive his land borrows quite a bit from Shadow of the Colossus... but, really, why is that a bad thing? Nimian Hunter is short, sweet, and well worth a replay to see the second ending.
- Archipelago - Archipelago, a point-and-click puzzle game from Dark Room maestro Jonathan May, seems to draw its inspiration from the Hypercard adventures of the 90s. Don't get too Myst-y eyed with nostalgia though: this tropical chain of islands is filled with devious inventions, perplexing riddles, and a not-quite-inactive volcano. Archipelago is will vex, confuse, and frustrate you and you'll love every minute of it. Navigation hasn't aged as well as the atmosphere has, but Archipelago is enjoyable, even if you do nothing more than move from island to island, listening to the waves crash and the wind blow. It and its sequel make for a quite relaxing vacation... all that's missing is a drink in a coconut shell.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!