Released in 1991, Neighbors is an officially licensed video game based on the hit Australian television show with the same title. Developed by Impulze for the Amiga and created by Ian Copeland, the game puts players in the shoes of Scott Robinson in a forgettable skateboard racing title. Die-hard fans of the show may get enough enjoyment out of seeing Charlene Ramsay, Mike Young and Brownwyn Davies but genre fans are likely to be disappointed with the clunky controls.
Aside from winning races, your goal here is to increase Scott's popularity. You may increase your ratings by avoiding collisions with popular characters and picking up rubbish -- we kid you not. The cameos aren't spectacular and the system leaves much to be desired. Bottom line is, it's a waste of a good license.
2. Graeme Souness Vector Soccer
When it comes to paving the way for football simulation titles, Graeme Souness Vector Soccer is at the top of the list. This game features accurately calculated vector graphics which adds some believable realism to the pitch action. It features a 11 vector teams with the original competing teams being England, France, Scotland, Italy, Cameroon, Germany and the USSR. There are six camera angles to choose from so you are sure to get the best view every time. It also has digitized music, single and two-player play as well as action replays. Sure, it' all sounds good but with a title that boasts about having characters which are "drawn as filled polygons", even being first in line may not be enough to save the day.
3. Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy is a 2D shooter which was created by Titus Interactive as a tie-in for the 1990 film classic. The game takes place in America during the 1930s with players taking on the role of detective Dick Tracy as he heads to Club Ritz to take down Alphonse Caprice, a.k.a. "Big Boy" the crime kingpin. The storyline follows events in the movie, with the same trio of baddies (Pruneface, Flattop and Influence) coming to hinder Dick Tracy. Sounds good so far, right? Thing is, this is an unforgivably short game, with only a handful of levels that can easily be completed in under 15 minutes. It also doesn't help that the graphics and music don't come together as they should and that the animation is horrible. Later a Dick Tracy Master System version proved a better attempt and portraying the famous fictitious detective in a game.
4. International Ice Hockey
As you may have guessed, your goal in International Ice Hockey is to win league matches in order to emerge as the top ranking team. Featuring single and two-player modes, this basic ice hockey title has quite the tricky control system which likely leave casual players confused. Basically, having the puck and going for a goal isn't all that bad. All you need to do is to hold down a button long enough to put in enough power into your shot. Defense, however, involves cycling through your team of athletes. There are options for manual and automatic cycling as well as a few things to toggle with regards to difficulty, duration and game highlights, but these aren't all that helpful for adding that extra zing to the lackluster game.
5. Karate King
Released by Kingsoft in 1987, your objective in this action game is to survive past 9 screens. If that sounds simple to you, then you're in for a real surprise. Fighting against the CPU is, to put it simply, unbelievably tough. You have sixteen movements in your arsenal, but unless you've got both the dexterity and timing down pat, you're more likely to twist your fingers than to do any actual damage. You could practice on two-player mode all by yourself of course, but the level of frustration makes this title a tad unpopular and it would literally loose big in a kumite match up against >IK.
6. Doctor Doom's Revenge!
In this side-scrolling beat 'em up, infamous comic book super villain Dr. Doom intends to make use of a stolen atomic bomb to decimate New York City. Captain America and Spider-Man must team up and head to Latveria in order to foil the president's plan. Throughout the course of the game, you will get the chance to alternate control between the two, battling against baddies such as Boomerang, Hobgobline Electro and Rhino. Each character has their own set of super moves which change depending on the distance between them and the villains. The game's graphics are stunning, however, this results in slow loading times and sluggish controls. The linear delivery and storyline was also lackluster compared to the back story provided by the comic book included in the package.
7. Beverly Hills Cop
Developed by Tynesoft, Beverly Hills Cop was released back in 1990. Its story is loosely based on the original film in the series. As Axel Foley, players must beat four scenarios, with each one having a different style of game play. There's some action side-scrolling, a first person shooter stage, a driving segment as well as a shooter with an overhead view. If you're looking for variety, it's not so bad. On the other hand, if you want a game that does one thing best, then you may find that this title is a master of none. A later PS2 remake would do little to raise the credibility of the idea of this great film proving likewise as a game.
Long, long ago, back when magic was real and evil queens were the worst thing a kingdom could have, three unlikely heroes banded together to go on an epic quest. In Willow, you are in possession of a magic scroll which records their grand adventure. To help you along the way are some acorns, dwarves and a shield you can use as a sled. The story is compelling enough, with obvious D&D influences yet the poorly executed graphics and yawn-worthy music, it really could have been better.
9. Bram Stoker's Dracula
Another game based on a hit license, Bram Stoker's Dracula offers 9 stages to play. Each one gives you a task which usually involves locating and destroying coffins with gusto, battering small animals and battling the dead in order to rescue your fiancée. Somewhere along the way you will encounter the Brides of Dracula as well as the Count himself. With beat 'em up segments mixed with platformer action, you'll likely find enjoyment in playing as Jonathan Harker initially. That is, until you get tired of seeing the same dreary landscapes and dispatching the same ho-hum foes.
10. Jaws the Computer Game
In Jaws the Computer Game, you step into the shoes of Martin Brodie, the Police Chief on Amity Island. As a man of the law, it is your job to ensure that tourists and beach-goers are safe and do not end up being chomped in half by the terrifying shark, Jaws. To make matters worse, you've got the irritable Mayor breathing down the back of your neck and the weapon which can kill the shark has been broken into four pieces. You must find these by exploring more than a hundred screens of the game, shooting fish and closing parts of the island to keep people safe. As it is based on the popular movie, so much could have been done to make the game stand out. As it is, we're given what appears to be a cookie cutter action game that wouldn't even make the cut against various hungry shark style games made cheaply for web play. The game incorporates some boring strategy and shoot 'em up segments which leave a lot to be desired.
Even modern day gaming has its’ share of bad eggs –and it happens. Usually at the cost of both the developer and the players. If there is anything that these games can teach us, it is to be vigilant about what we buy in order to support the developers who actually care enough to provide players with a bit of fun and enjoyment.