Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cover to Cover: Virgin Games 1992 Catalog (pp. 17-18)

Two more pages of the Virgin Games catalog for 1992 continue our cover-to-cover overview.  Page 17 features computer adaptations of two very popular board games:

Of historical note here is that RISK was available in both DOS and Windows-specific editions -- the industry was entering a period of transition in the IBM PC-compatible world, and this particular game benefited more from mouse control than most of Virgin's offerings at the time.  Also note how different the PC, Mac and Windows versions looked -- today, the same game will generally look similar on platforms of widely varying graphics capabilities, because audiovisual assets are reused and downscaled as necessary.  But in 1992, versions for different platforms were often independent, handled by different teams or even different developers.  Virgin's Monopoly adaptation is similarly unique -- the PC features a pseudo-3-D perspective of the board, with big, clunky icons, while the Mac edition uses a more schematic overhead view and presents more detailed information onscreen.

Page 18 returns to traditional early 1990's computer gaming territory:

Conan the Cimmerian was an action adventure with large animated characters, available in floppy disk and CD-ROM editions, even gracing Commodore's ill-fated CDTV platform.  The CD versions were augmented with "real actors' voices," reflecting a novel trend at the time that has become almost de rigeur for any video game released today.  Overlord, featured earlier in this catalog in its Nintendo NES edition, remains one of my favorite resource-management sims.

I doubt there's any mystery about what comes next... pages 18 and 19, most likely, next weekend!

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