Since I just got back from going to two conventions in the course of a month, it’s about time for me to show that I Bought Stuff. It’s gonna be a double-header this time around: We’re gonna be covering not only the stuff I got from last weekend’s haul at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, but also what I stumbled upon after PAX back in early September. It’s gonna be a fun one, indeed.
– Police Quest 2: The Vengeance (DOS, $3)
– The Colonel’s Bequest (DOS, $3)
– Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters (PC, $3)
I got these three games the day after PAX ended, on Monday. I had some free time to kill before I had to get to the train station to get home, so I had a doughnut at Top Pot Doughnuts — highly recommend you do so if you’re visiting Seattle — and found a Value Village several blocks away from where the main convention center was. After poking around the store that was in an old building complete with freight elevators, I found these three gems.
Police Quest 2: The Vengeance and The Colonel’s Bequest are classic Sierra-published games. This was back in Sierra’s heyday, when they made a whole bunch of adventure game titles. Granted, most of them have not aged well primarily due to their obtuse puzzle mechanics, but finding complete box copies of both games is a treat.
The Colonel’s Bequest was the first game in a mystery series starring Laura Bow, which she returned in another Sierra game a few years later, The Dagger of Amon Ra. I have no idea where this ranks on terms of quality Sierra games, but judging how I didn’t hear of this until I bought it, I assume it’s one of the forgettable ones.
Police Quest 2 continues the same silly stuff that other Police Quest games did where you had to follow every step of police procedure to the absolute letter. I preferred the later spinoff series SWAT, which went from being a bad FMV game to a strategy game to a solid squad FPS that rivaled Rainbow Six in its day. As an unexpected bonus, Police Quest 2 had extra 5 1/4″ copies somebody made presumably to give to a friend. Funny, considering the original disks are also inside. I guess somebody didn’t watch Don’t Copy That Floppy.
Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters, on the other hand, was more of a gimmick purchase. It had never been opened, and one copy there had a dozen GameStop price stickers on it, going from $20, to $10, to $5, to $2 by the end of it. This is the Wheel of Fortune host’s first foray into making video games after having a weird aversion to appearing in Wheel of Fortune games for a solid two decades. At least he eventually got over that.
This casual game is a hybrid of crossword puzzles mixed in with elements from The Joker’s Wild. Put into a sleek casual games package, it’s an interesting little game made around the time of the casual games boom. There was another game under the Pat Sajak Games label named Trivia Gems, but I don’t know if that ever got a retail package. Bet both of those games are worth looking into.
The rest of my PAX swag was a shitload of buttons, energy drinks, cards and promo stuff, followed by Guitar Hero: Van Halen. I mean, when Dan Amrich (then of Activision and One of Swords in 2012, currently at Ubisoft) just hands them out for just showing up at a panel, you can’t resist. Then again, I heard that lots of people got copies of that game, apparently they had excess stock.