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Old 16 August 2022, 00:05   #1
ImmortalA1000
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It Came from the Desert, my fav' 'computer game' of all time

About a month ago during the 3-4 day heatwave, too hot to have projector+PC on, I played It Came from the Desert on my Amiga 1000. I went back to it this weekend and I have made my mind up 100%. For me this game was the peek of Amiga gaming.

I have played 1000s of games on various machines in the last 3 years for YT since I bought my camera and I have to say this 16bit game is the one that has aged the best of all that I have tried. So for me this is the best 'home computer game' of all the ones I owned back then and all the ones I have tried for the first time this decade. The only other game that came close in being as awesome as I remember it was Law of the West on the C64.

I find it is a rich and diverse gaming experience, both whilst playing each game and subsequent additional games of it you can do fun things like take in a hot sexy 'lodger' or set fire to your home etc. It's not perfect, there are things that could be changed but for the time it is very awesome. You can also play it on a CDTV via ISO if you don't have 2 external disk drives like I have attached to my A1000. It's joystick controlled and very nicely designed to play via joystick only. I played it on my A1000, 3 disk drives, Pioneer 1988 Hi-fi (same one I actually bought in 1988 myself a month after getting an A1000!!). I hate hot weather but that was a nice evening

I can't tell you what my fav' console/arcade type* Amiga game is because my f^&$ing Shadow of the Beast disks are knackered along with some other games I want to try on my A1000 I haven't found the disks for yet. You don't really get games like ICftD as it appears on Amiga/PC DOS on games consoles...indeed the unreleased MD version is pretty naff and the PC Engine CD-ROM edition which caused Cinemaware to go bankrupt is ugly on FMV colours and VERY cringeworthy too, beyond B-movie, more like 'put it in the trash' VHS tape movie quality scripting/acting. ho-hum.


*I mean games like Beast 1, Sodan, Battle Squadron, Lotus II, Soccer Kid, Stardust etc not just arcade conversions done well on Amiga like Ghosts n Goblins which is brilliant (as is Elite's Commando).

Last edited by ImmortalA1000; 16 August 2022 at 00:06. Reason: just a note about Law of the West C64.
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Old 16 August 2022, 00:16   #2
Flimbo
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Wings by Cinemaware is probably my favourite Amiga game ever and I it still plays great today. Not sure why I havent gotten around to playing some of their other games, especially this one.
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Old 16 August 2022, 00:37   #3
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on a rando thought, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4288674/ never seen it, probably shit? cant believe that got made into a film of all things given the inspiration for this in the first place is b-movies like "Them!".

Played and liked the first one, didnt even know there was a sequel, AntHeads until i googled it just now
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Old 16 August 2022, 00:42   #4
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Played and completed them (finally!) earlier this year. Loved the first one when I was a kid. Around 2004 I remember finding the sequel and playing it on WinUAE, but never figuring out how the damned safe worked - until this year. Still the entire safe minigame feels very finicky and IMHO one of the few weak points (along with the knife fight and chicken minigames) in the two games.

Otherwise they have great writing, awesome atmosphere and adequate gameplay.

I remember playing Wings as a kid but I didn't like the dogfights. I should try it again sometimes...
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Old 16 August 2022, 05:43   #5
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The 1954 Movie " Them " was the inspiration for sure, the only one with Ants.

Chris
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Old 16 August 2022, 12:56   #6
DisasterIncarna
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The 1954 Movie " Them " was the inspiration for sure, the only one with Ants.

Chris
a quick google shows an oldie called empire of ants, cant say i ever saw that one. it's from the 70's so not really from "THE" initial/real b-movie era imho. it's weird, i could have sworn i saw several big ant type b-movies, but only really those 2 come up on a quick search. Probably just me getting old and forgetting stuff.
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Old 16 August 2022, 14:35   #7
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i love ICFTD, as many others Cinemaware titles

i have completed it a lot of times, also in slight different ways
btw, never been able to convince the Mayor to intervene
that axxhole
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Old 16 August 2022, 14:40   #8
jbenam
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I watched both Them! and It Came from Outer Space. I remember Them! to be a really good movie, while I remember being less impressed with It Came from Outer Space.
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Old 16 August 2022, 18:43   #9
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Wings is one of my fav games from my younger days. Such atmosphere, loved the diary. Got play that again and finish it some day.
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Old 16 August 2022, 20:25   #10
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Wings is one of my fav games from my younger days. Such atmosphere, loved the diary. Got play that again and finish it some day.
The diary and the music made the game so atmospheric. I actually loved the dog fights.
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Old 17 August 2022, 02:52   #11
ImmortalA1000
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Wings by Cinemaware is probably my favourite Amiga game ever and I it still plays great today. Not sure why I havent gotten around to playing some of their other games, especially this one.
People always say Wings lol it's like when you say Breaking Bad people have to mention The Wire

For me personally Wings is 3 arcade style mini games over and over and over, after a week you get fed up with it because one of them is rubbish (bombing run) and the dog fighting really needs a 28mhz Amiga to be really fun. It has lovely presentation but the reality of playing the game is there is not much to do except those 3 mini games and read loads from the war diary. Not their worst game (SDI, Sinbad, King of Chicago, Lords of the Rising Sun, 3 Stooges are less fun for me).
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Old 17 August 2022, 02:57   #12
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Originally Posted by DisasterIncarna View Post
on a rando thought, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4288674/ never seen it, probably shit? cant believe that got made into a film of all things given the inspiration for this in the first place is b-movies like "Them!".

Played and liked the first one, didnt even know there was a sequel, AntHeads until i googled it just now
Hmmm I am not going to mess about with my original 3 decade old disks to play Antheads as you have to make the runtime disks from the ones you get in the box combined with your It Came from the Desert disks. I am lucky I got one box of Desert to work as it is lol

Don't bother with that film, it's conveniently set in the current time frame and it is a very cheap feeling film which is probably why they did that so I have zero interest in it and probably filmed in some old quarry. Nice intro though
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Old 17 August 2022, 03:00   #13
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The 1954 Movie " Them " was the inspiration for sure, the only one with Ants.

Chris
The title and how it is written is pure "It came from beneath the sea"

I tried to watch THEM but honestly black and white movies don't look real to me, not on a TV or on a 150 inch projected image. Might be a decent film, lots of outdoor shots but I personally don't get any realism from B/W movies. Psycho needs to be recoloured IMO !!!!!!!!
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Old 17 August 2022, 03:05   #14
ImmortalA1000
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a quick google shows an oldie called empire of ants, cant say i ever saw that one. it's from the 70's so not really from "THE" initial/real b-movie era imho. it's weird, i could have sworn i saw several big ant type b-movies, but only really those 2 come up on a quick search. Probably just me getting old and forgetting stuff.
I remember there was one with Joan Collins, very naff 70s movie, and there was one from the 50s/60s where the radioactive giant ants were in the desert and there were these "huge" hexagonal glass segment bio-sphere/domes. Mostly I remember First Men in the Moon with giant ant creatures.

I do remember Giant Spider Invasion, watched an episode as a kid of something with Fred Harris showing you how to write a Blitz game in BASIC on an Acorn machine and then writing one for my C64 and finishing it just in time to watch Giant Spider Invasion that Sunday afternoon on my portable TV I used my C64 with

Most of these B-movies are black and white, as I say in my previous posts B&W movies do not work for me, not even Psycho....which is a great film but it looks unreal.
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Old 17 August 2022, 03:13   #15
ImmortalA1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S0ulA55a551n View Post
Wings is one of my fav games from my younger days. Such atmosphere, loved the diary. Got play that again and finish it some day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flimbo View Post
The diary and the music made the game so atmospheric. I actually loved the dog fights.
I loved Wings too, the presentation is more consistently excellent in pixel art, the music just as atmospheric (love the accordion music!!) but ultimately it's the same 3 mini-games over and over and over so for me it is OK now and then but I couldn't sit and play it for an afternoon or two. The bombing mini game is also pants. Dog fights were quite fun on my A1200 back then and I remember that was a lot of fun, Wings is ultimately a more arcade-y sort of game though, ICftD is more strategic than games like Wings/Rocket Ranger. Not sat down with Defender for a long time (original disks are a bit flaky)

Did you know Wings got a sequel on the SNES!
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Old 17 August 2022, 03:17   #16
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I watched both Them! and It Came from Outer Space. I remember Them! to be a really good movie, while I remember being less impressed with It Came from Outer Space.
There is a colorized version of It Came from Beneath the Sea out, Ray Harryhausen did the creature effects for that and it's quite a recent colorization so I will be checking that out soon, had a quick look and they did quite an acceptable job making it colour.

Earth vs the Flying Saucers colorized was quite nice I thought. Cinemaware surprisingly didn't do an alien invaders related space movie knock-off sadly.

Tremors would make a really good Cinemaware game.
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Old 17 August 2022, 14:38   #17
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What a game ICFTD was, I remember playing it for days on end to complete it, was a satisfying ending to unlike many titles! The mix of little mini games and story driven sections, along with the amazing visuals (for its time) set it miles apart from anything else, only SOTB had a similar eye catching impact.

Cinemaware nailed it on several occasions, Defender of the Crown and Wings were also games that were beaten to a pulp, though never cared much for their TV Sports titles or Rocket Ranger, the annoying code wheel done my head in at the time!

Games in general now don't have much of a wow factor, cannot remember the last time I was impressed by a modern game at all, maybe Death Stranding. Think even kids today don't have the eye opened awe of a game, like gamers of the 80s and 90s had. Everything now is just so ... samey =/
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Old 17 August 2022, 18:04   #18
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Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
I loved Wings too, the presentation is more consistently excellent in pixel art, the music just as atmospheric (love the accordion music!!) but ultimately it's the same 3 mini-games over and over and over so for me it is OK now and then but I couldn't sit and play it for an afternoon or two. The bombing mini game is also pants. Dog fights were quite fun on my A1200 back then and I remember that was a lot of fun, Wings is ultimately a more arcade-y sort of game though, ICftD is more strategic than games like Wings/Rocket Ranger. Not sat down with Defender for a long time (original disks are a bit flaky)

Did you know Wings got a sequel on the SNES!
I have not played the sequel on the SNES - that one past me by somehow so thanks for the heads up. I can see your point regards the mini games but at the time I didnt see it that way. More complex than Mario or Sonic games or any shmup really. Not sure why I never got around to playing more cinemaware titles as I really love their style. I have bought the cinemaware anthology on steam now so I have a choice of systems.
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Old 18 August 2022, 18:49   #19
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I have not played the sequel on the SNES - that one past me by somehow so thanks for the heads up. I can see your point regards the mini games but at the time I didnt see it that way. More complex than Mario or Sonic games or any shmup really. Not sure why I never got around to playing more cinemaware titles as I really love their style. I have bought the cinemaware anthology on steam now so I have a choice of systems.
I am going to put aside some quiet time for Wings, to be fair I haven't gotten to play it as it randomly crashes on my crack disks. Luckily my only original copy did load up to mission start screen/manual protection request so we should be good to go.

If I had more memories of playing these games then it would be easier to overlook some things, essentially I am playing these games today almost as if I never owned or played them back in the 80s/90s. Used to play Test Drive II a fair bit but today I have no time for it as it runs just as badly on my A4000/040 as my A1000. We viewed games with different expectations 3 or 4 decades ago, that's the tough part about reviewing stuff I never owned at the time.
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Old 18 August 2022, 23:47   #20
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Games in general now don't have much of a wow factor, cannot remember the last time I was impressed by a modern game at all, maybe Death Stranding. Think even kids today don't have the eye opened awe of a game, like gamers of the 80s and 90s had. Everything now is just so ... samey =/
I was kind of dumbstruck by all the Unreal Engine 5 videos though, especially those where hobbyists recreate reallife locations in it.

I don't find it fun anymore, it's become too realistic. I need my games to look like games.
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