tribute to text-mode games

ANSi Dude

Author: Vectorscope Software

Download: adude.zip

Description

The first time I played ANSi Dude, the game had me doing double-takes—I had to keep squinting at the monitor to convince myself that these really were text-mode graphics! This game is a visual feast from start to finish, with engaging sound effects and humorous one-liners to boot. I could easily have posted a half-dozen screen shots on this page—indeed part of the appeal of this game is anticipating what the next level will look like. Three screen designers are listed in the credits, in addition to the programmer; it is obvious that a group of talented young people pulled out all the stops to give ANSi Dude the best text-based graphics they possibly could.

Graphics aside, ANSi Dude impresses in other ways. Most notable from a gameplay standpoint is the assortment of useful tools at your disposal. The game offers the standard plasma rifle for incinerating bad guys (and there are plenty of those). However, you also get a force shield capable of erecting an impenetrable barrier, giving you the choice of offense or defense depending on the situation. The game also provides two methods of dealing with movable wall sections—you can either pull them out of the way with your suction cup, or blast through them with the sonic pickaxe (spending a few energy units in the process). The variety of tools means there is usually more than one way to solve a level, which greatly enhances the strategic interest of the game (hint: conserve your battery whenever possible).

Stumbling across an obscure gem like ANSi Dude is a big part of what keeps me enthusiastic about this site. Just when I think there is nothing more that can be done with text mode, someone pushes the envelope just a little bit farther.

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