Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cover to Cover: Virgin Games 1992 Catalog (pp. 21-end)

Okay, I think we can wrap this one up today.  Virgin Games 1992 catalog was 24 pages plus the order form, so this has been a fairly lengthy journey.  I hope it has been interesting -- old game catalogs are time capsules that I always find fascinating, as so many details and titles are lost to time and fading memory.

These last few pages comprise the vintage part of the catalog, focusing on Virgin's Classics, i.e. titles that have been in circulation for a while but are still marketable, sometimes at reduced cost, or that are currently more marketable in console form.

The titles on page 21 are given box art and descriptions, starting with adaptations of the classic Clue (with an expanded game board) and an earlier Scrabble title, not yet superseded by this catalog's Scrabble Deluxe.  The original Amiga version of Chuck Rock (also available for the Sega Genesis) is here, along with the older Tolkien-inspired strategy title War in Middle Earth, 7-Up game Spot (also on the NES and Game Boy), and multiplayer arcade port Super Off Road.

Page 22 is similar, with generally brief descriptions.  We are offered the strategy game Conflict, which bears certain resemblances to Risk, and gambling simulation titles Caesar's Palace, Casino Spectacular, and Sport of Kings, foreshadowing Virgin Games' present-day business model.  The Monty Python game is an odd duck, featuring Terry Gilliam's animated graphics from the classic Flying Circus television show, thrown into a rather generic 2-D action game.  And while Magic MVP Johnson sounds like a fantasy game or Leisure Suit Larry imitator, it's just another largely-forgotten licensed basketball title.

The inside back cover, page 23, covers all the necessary legalese associated with the many licensed products in Virgin's 1992 lineup and the company's own trademarks -- if we care to examine it closely, we can remember that, for example, Super Off Road was originally a Leland Corporation coin-op arcade game, and see a fairly comprehensive list of McDonaldland characters.

The back cover is just the back cover, with a "100% Pure Entertainment" seal and the address of Virgin Games' U.S. subsidiary.

And that's it for Virgin Games, circa 1992, as documented in the company's consumer literature.  The company survives today primarily as an online gambling concern, and was arguably near its artistic and commercial peak when this catalog was in circulation.  Consider it more evidence, as if any is needed, that the only constant in the game industry is change.

No comments:

Post a Comment