Willy’s Top Games

Having gotten into video games through board games, war games, and Dungeons & Dragons, I mostly play strategy games and RPGs. I like mazes and detailed statistics and don’t like plot and exposition.

RPG Top 3:
1) Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant (PC)
The setting is a cool mixture of sci-fi and fantasy that somehow seems much less hokey than all of Wanda’s manga that try to do the same thing. Also, one of the most forgiving and playable Wizardry games. To be fair, I haven’t played Wizardry 8 yet.

2) Shadowrun (Genesis)
The SNES version of this game is alright too, but the Genesis version is the most faithful video game adaptation of the Shadowrun rules.

3) Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday (Genesis)
It’s an SSI Gold Box game in space. The Genesis version is slightly rebalanced to be more console friendly than the PC version. I prefer it since I love the Genesis, but both versions are fine games.

Strategy Top 3:
1) Warlords 4 (PC)
The latest and greatest in my favorite strategy series, with many more RPG elements than its predecessors. It’s even more fun with the 1.05 patch from http://www.warlorders.com.

2) M.U.L.E. (NES)
I prefer the NES version, but some would say that’s absurd. No introduction should be needed here.

3) Robosport (PC)
The simultaneous turn-based system works really well, and the modes and mechanics are just solid fun.

Honorable Mention) Cave Wars (PC)
It’s like Warlords mixed with Master of Orion, set in the Hollow Earth. The multi-leveled maps are a cool idea.

Adventure Top 3:
1) Deja Vu (NES)
The style, atmosphere, and music are top notch. This game also strikes an emotional chord for me since being falsely accused of a crime I didn’t commit is my greatest fear.

2) Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (PC)
I actually read a novelization of this game.

3) Adventure (Atari 2600)
Does this count as an adventure game? Regardless, it’s still clever to this day

Honorable Mention) Mysterium (Game Boy)
I haven’t played this yet, but it looks annoying, cryptic, and pretty original. I’m totally intrigued.

Artillery Top 3:
1) Pocket Tanks (PC)
Ultra-streamlined play but with a staggering quantity of weapons.

2) Genocide (PC)
A hard to find freeware game. Isometric view, excellent maps, and clever weapons put this above the rest.

3) Human Cannonball (Atari 2600)
A different take on the artillery game where you try to save a man’s life rather than destroy it.

Rouge-like Top 3:
1) Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (PC)
Based on Linely’s Dungeon Crawl, Stone Soup is primarily about combat, but lots of races and classes and an intuitive interface keep me coming back.

2) Ancient Domains of Mystery (PC)
The most epic rouge-like in terms of scale and detail. I’ve spent years learning the intricacies of this game and still find cool new stuff.

3) The 3rd game?
I’m holding out for someone to make a real-time rogue-like set in the world of Robotron: 2084.

Honorable Mention) Mission: Mainframe (PC)
You play as a secret agent infiltrating an office complex to destroy a diabolic AI. Using stealth, subterfuge, and force, you escape brainwashed employees and avoid traps. Recommended for its unique theme and multitude of different approaches.

FMV Top 3:
1) Phantasmagoria (PC)
Impossibly, it’s a horror FMV game that isn’t (too) cheesy.

2) Voyeur (PC)
Slinky, sleazy fun. I remember seeing an infomercial about this when I was 6. I’ve liked it ever since.

3) Night Trap (Sega CD)
It’s Slumber Party Massacre, mixed with Home Alone, mixed with vampires. The sexiest reason to own a Sega CD.

Shmup Top 3:
1) Darius Gaiden (Saturn)
Who can say no to 24 levels of massive, laser-spewing fish bosses?

2) Bio-Hazard Battle (Genesis)
Cool music, levels, and bosses, but mostly this is a nostalgia thing for me though. It’s the first shmup I ever 1 credit cleared.

3) Kingdom Grand Prix (Saturn)
A racing/shmup cross where you fly through castles and graveyards while killing the whole D&D Monstrous Manual.

Various Top 3:
1) Spy vs. Spy (NES)
An interesting 2 player versus game that encourages sneakiness and captures the flavor of the comic well.

2) Serpent – (Game Boy)
The spiritual successor to Surround on the Atari 2600. 2 players try to encircle each other with their long, snaky bodies. It’s simple but engrossing.

3) Face Ball 2000 (Game Boy)
A remake of the early deathmatch game Midi Maze. Wanda won’t play it with me anymore because I’m too devious.

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