After getting an Amiga 500 the primary change was quality of games. Oh, and three new major categories of games were added: cRPGs, strategies and simulations. Ok, the last ones weren't especially important to me but two first became my favorites from now on. I won't list all the games I played in nineties – it'd be easier to just look on YouTube and check one of many videos of various Amiga games. I'll only focus on particular games that have a very-very special place in my heart.
From the Hired Guns we can smoothly move to Dungeon Master. This is one of the classic cRPGs, and in some ways the classic cRPG. Four heroes traveling in the dungeon's depths, solving puzzles, looking for secret passages and hidden triggers, defeating monsters and gathering equipment, until they reach the McGuffin required to defeat the Big Bad Evil Guy. But wait, how does it differ from Hired Guns? Well, for starters it's fantasy instead of SF. There are some other factors involved. Hired Guns used food as healing resource. Dungeon Master and its spiritual descendants instead require the characters to eat and drink from time to time to merely maintain their strength. Combat is less based on the player's agility and more on the characters attributes, which increase with experience (note that the player's agility and timing still plays important role in most Dungeon Master-like games). Dungeon Master itself tells a story of group of champions traveling into the depths of the dungeon to defeat
Eye Of The Beholder II: Eye Of The Beholder sequel changes little in the way of gameplay, except it began outdoor... And by outdoor I mean in a dungeon with trees painted on its walls. It added a few features and was more interesting when it came to puzzles and the story.
Both Eye Of The Beholder games were made by SSI in early nineties and had the honor of being official AD&D/Forgotten Realm games. Before them SSI released a series of AD&D games using older game engine today best know as SSI Gold Box. It included series of games taking place in Forgotten Realms and a shorter series of Dragonlance games. Gameplay was significantly different from Dungeon Master and its spiritual descendants. Turn-based combat required no agility but much more tactical skills and luck with computer-generated dice rolls, the exploration part was much easier and starvation wasn't an issue. Plots of the game, while mostly provided in the form of text and often referencing entries in game journal, originally provided as printed book together with the game, was well developed and quite absorbing. In fact I currently GM a Pathfinder campaign based on Pool Of Radiance game.
The last two games I'd like to mention today will be Amberstar and its sequel Ambermoon. Those two games were created by German group Thalion, who happen to be creators of Lionheart mentioned above (and in fact Valdyn, the Lionheart's protagonist is special guest star and optional party member in Ambermoon). The first game tells the story of a young adventurer who learn that to save his world from a demon prince he must travel all around the continent gathering thirteen pieces of the titular Amberstar and then defeat the demon. While the protagonist defeats the demon, not all goes well leading to the second game taking place some eighty years later. The first game character's grandson ends with saving the world from unexpected threat again, in better graphics. The second game is also full of various references to the first part, rewarding player for remembering minor details from the first game (regretfully it punishes as "cheating" coming to one conclusion that was rather obvious to anyone who played the first part). Again those two are games I would gladly use as a basis for a short campaign.
Next time I'll write about some of the memorable games I played after moving from Amiga to PC.