100th Review Special, Part 3: Thrashing the Threes

Whether it was through Schoolhouse Rock, De La Soul’s debut album, or the Planescape setting of Dungeons & Dragons, we were taught that three is the magic number. That is sort of the case here on Extra Life as well. Specifically, 3/10 is that highest score a game can get without me being able to recommend it. The main difference between this grade and the two that preceded it is that I can imagine people liking the following games in a non-ironic fashion. I would suggest several alternatives, but I can see why they would garner a fanbase, as there’s enough to like about them.

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Shadowgate

Shadowgate

Introduction

In 1984, Apple released the first in what would become an extensive line of personal computers. It was later dubbed the Macintosh 128k and has the distinction of being the earliest mass-market computer to feature both an integral graphical user interface and full mouse support. Around the same time, the debut of King’s Quest paved the way for the adventure game genre, starting the careers of many prominent creators. One group from this scene was the Illinois-based ICOM Simulations. Taking advantage of the Macintosh’s innovative capabilities, they created four games for the platform, starting with Déjà Vu in 1985. This became known as the MacVenture series. Three games in this series would make their way onto the Nintendo Entertainment System, making them some of the oldest adventure titles available for consoles. The third of these games was Shadowgate, which quickly gained a following for its ambience and music provided by Kemco, the NES port’s publisher.

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