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Do you know some obscure 1990's PC games?

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Posted (edited)

Esoteria: Techno-Assassin of the Future (1998) is another interesting game almost nobody knows.



It's an early Third-Person Shooter/Adventure and one of the few examples were the player character is sprite-based. I liked the style of Esoteria, it had some pretty open levels with interesting futuristic architecture. I once tried to play through it, but somehow the controls were wonky, so I never made it very far. Would play it again if there was a good source port.

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"Gruntz" is probably the most obscure 90's one that I've played (the most obscure one that I've played is from the 2000's).


It's a top-down, sorta RTS, but mostly puzzle game about a bunch of goop monsters beating each other over the heads with shovels. Good game, never beat it tho :(




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A few more that came to my mind, and may not be that obscure

  • Math Rescue
  • Wing Commander: Privateer
  • Freddi Fish
  • Marble Drop
  • Logical Journey of the Zoombinis
  • SimEarth
  • Hugo II: Whodunit
  • CD-Man
  • Zulu Assault
  • BreakFree! (Yeah I know someone else mentioned this one but still this game was pretty kewl)
  • Hyperball
  • Dune (1992)
  • Star Wars: Droidworks (unfortunately my CD-ROM for this game is all fucked up and it won't install properly anymore :.( )

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On 1/28/2021 at 8:14 AM, Ruritanian said:



Codename: Tenka.  It's unplayable without this ROM hack, as it didn't have separate buttons for strafe left / right.  With the hack, it can be remapped in an emulator onto the modern control scheme on analog sticks.


It was the first First Person Shooter game on the PS1 which had proper 3D polygonal graphics.  Unbelievably for a PS1 game, it has a widescreen option for presenting the game in 16:9.  I play it on my jailbroken Vita.


It's really good.


On 2/2/2021 at 3:20 AM, mrthejoshmon said:

Thank you! You have no idea how long I have been looking for this!


I remember playing it on a UK PS1 demo disc way back when and I spent forever looking for it, I have seen this game title and thought nothing of it, turns out that it is actually called Lifeforce: Tenka in my neck of the woods apparently.


I also played it on a demo disc, albeit in New Zealand and found it neat. Never found the game, and ultimately forgot it ever existed. Watched a video and a couple of things, like the loading screen with the laser hitting the spinning disc, were instantly familiar. Thanks for the reminder about it. Demo discs back in the PS1 days were great, so many hidden gems to be found, and a lot of them were unique versions. Silent Hill's demo was amazing, but also a really different take on the school that differs from the final game, for example.


I don't have many games from the 90s, but one I have a lot of memories of that was totally an unknown game, was Darkstone. It was a Diablo clone with pretty terrible 3D graphics, but I had so much fun with it. 'Eight' characters (four classes really, with gender variations), a silly amount of difficulty levels compared to Diablo's three, and the Playstation version was a noticeable different version to the PC version; the graphics, plot etc was identical, but the UI was friendly on a console, the multiplayer was gone, and you now only controlled ONE character; in the PC version you have two characters at once, with the AI controlling one of them. You also had only one quest per region, resulting in a unique land for each of the Crystals, instead of several regions all sharing a few. I felt this was far better for the pacing; every new region I advanced to back then was an achievement. And I never knew which quest I was going to get, as just like Diablo, every game was random with the same crystal often having two or three variations on how it might play out. The reward for beating the game actually was satisfying too; after slaying Generic Evil Dragon Mage Guy, whos just kinda there with almost none of the worldbuilding that made the original Diablo so captivating, you unlock his treasure room and loot SO MUCH GOLD. It felt great. Compare to something like the Borderlands story rewards these days, where you open a fuckton of chests, and leave 90% to 100% of it behind.


I recall finding a great cheese strategy for the PS1 version involving the Thief and Assassin; the Pickpocket skill was OP beyond reason, I could fill my inventory with quality goods from monsters by spamming the skill on high level creatures, and it was often magic goods that sold for a buttload. Once I got enchanted throwing axes for my Assassin from this trick, he basically became an axe murderer with a penchant for magic explosions. Given how OP the endgame monsters were, with traps or creatures often oneshotting me, I was only able to beat the game as these two. Wonder if I can beat the PC version? Probably not, it plays like total ass on keyboard and mouse, at least to me.

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On 1/27/2021 at 9:47 PM, Redneckerz said:
  • Thor 3D

BTW, I keep forgetting to ask, what's that one? I can't seem to find any info (it's not Thor's Hammer is it?).

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32 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

BTW, I keep forgetting to ask, what's that one? I can't seem to find any info (it's not Thor's Hammer is it?).

it seems to be a seperate game but i never saved up detailed info on it, sorry.


Its either that or an early version of Thor's Hammer.

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Posted (edited)

Another gem from the 1990s: Sanitarium (1998).


This is one of my favourite Adventure games. For some reason I played many point-and-click Adventures in the 1990s, but since the 2000s my main gaming interest shifted towards FPS games and Action RPGs, and to much lesser degree, RTS games. It has been ages since I played a good Adventure game. Machinarium is the last I positively remember, and that was 2009.


Sanitarium has the protagonist in a state of mental derangement after some accident happened to him. You have to travel through nightmarish realms that are still somehow grounded in reality, connected to things that happened in the characters life. You have to find out what all this means. A very fascinating and atmospheric game.

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