Games From The Black Hole

Cavenoire – You never forget your first Roguelove

As in videogames, it is sometimes the case in life that we discover unexpected, mysterious treasures in the most unlikely of places. That’s exactly what happened to me in the late 1990s, when I found Konami’s little gem, Cavenoire, in a shoe repair shop in Wakefield!

Ys Origin – When low budget feels high quality

In my ongoing quest to discover, understand and play both the Ys series and the works of Nihon Falcom, I remarked in my Ys III blog that Falcom is a games company that exudes a feeling of luxury. That’s certainly true in the company’s early boom years when it was pumping out truly remarkable Japanese computer games that stood head and shoulders above their peers, and it feels true today with modern works like the lavish Ys VIII or the sprawling Trails series. But what of the middle part, the darker second act of Falcom history, when Ys Origin was made?

Bahamut Lagoon – More Final Fantasy tactics than Final Fantasy Tactics

After discovering Shining Force III in 1998, it’s fair to say I fell in love with the strategy RPG genre, and tactical games in general. From Fire Emblem to Valkyria Chronicles, to XCOM and Vandal Hearts, I’ve spent the decades since exploring the genre across both exciting new releases and old school classics. One such game that’s eluded me until now is the intriguing, import-only Bahamut Lagoon.

Hillsea Lido – A very British seaside simulator

Fun fact! Hillsea Lido is the only reason I even know what a lido is. An old English word for an open-air swimming pool or fashionable beach resort, it’s a term lost on a boy from Wakefield, far from the sea, a warm climate or anything remotely fashionable. According to Wikipedia there are just 20 strictly named Lidos left in the country, including the similarly named Hilsea Lido, from which I assume this late, obscure Amiga game takes its name.

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