Category Archives: 1989

Quint prowls the waters for the dreaded beast

Oscar Week at TDE: Jaws (1989)

1975′s Jaws might not have been Steven Spielberg’s first theatrical film (it was his second; The Sugarland Express, released the previous year, takes that honour), but it most certainly was the first to put him on the map. The story of a resort-town police chief and his battle against a monstrous killer shark, it set the template for the movie blockbuster and kept a huge swath of the public away from their beaches, bays and bathtubs. While nominated, it didn’t swim away with Best Picture; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest flew away with all the big awards at the 1976 ceremony.

Jaws: The Computer Game was released in 1989 for the Amiga, C64, Atari ST and other systems. Made by developer Intelligent Design, Ltd. and published by Screen 7 Ltd., it is a strange mish-mash of strategy and 2-D platforming. Players take on the role of chief Martin Brody, who circles the island of Amity in his boat The Orca, following reports of shark sightings.  He can close beaches to prevent attacks, although keeping them closed too long ticks off Mayor Larry Vaughn and can lead to Brody’s dismissal. Both Hooper and Quint from the movie join Brody on his quest, along with a team of six divers who pilot a submersible vehicle into the depths around Amity.  The ultimate goal is to collect pieces of a special gun and a cache of bullets, which when assembled can be used to dispatch the fishy fiend.

Jaws: The Computer Game is actually fun to play.  Trying to guess where the shark will go lends a bit of strategy, and the underwater parts are competent if a bit draggy and frustrating at times. The colourful graphics help keep things interesting, along with John Williams’ famous main theme from the movie, which lends tension leading up to the titular fish’s occasional appearances. It’s worth going back into the water for this one.

Here are the rest of the Oscar Week articles on TDE:

The Towering Inferno (VCS/2600, U.S. Games 1982)
Star Wars (Arcade, Atari 1983)
M*A*S*H (VCS/2600 Fox Video Games 1983)
Rocky (ColecoVision, Coleco 1983)
The Wizard of Oz (SNES, Manley/SETA 1993)

Not so humble

The Humble Bundle Is Now Populous

The Humble Bundle has always been a popular way for gamers to put money toward charities, and get a bunch of great games to boot. This year’s Bundle features EA games, and it is a terrific deal. Called the Humble Origin Bundle, you can pay what you like and get:

  • Dead Space
  • Dead Space 3
  • Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
  • Crysis 2 Maximum Edition
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Medal of Honor

If you pay over the average of $4.83, you also get:

  • C&C: Red Alert 3 – Uprising
  • Battlefield 3
  • The Sims 3 + Starter Pack

And to give retro gaming a little loving, in that last tier you also get Populous.  Designed by Peter Molyneux, Populous created the God Game genre and put Molyneux and his Bullfrog game development studio on the map.  Here’s a video of one of the first levels in this classic game:



The Humble Bundle is a terrific value for gamers, and a huge boon to the charities involved. As always, to find out more about the history of EA, consult your local Dot Eaters entry.

Title for The Wizard, a video game movie by Universal 1989

Celebrating Famicom’s 30th – The Wizard

As part of our celebration of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Famicom, the Japanese video game system by Nintendo that was later adapted for the North American market as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), I’m posting my review of The Wizard. It’s a 1989 Fred Savage vehicle that many consider as simply a 100 minute commercial for Nintendo. I made this initially for Ten Point Review, where we rate a movie according to four criteria, and then add and/or subtract points as we see fit in order to come up with a numerical rating between 0 – 10. Time to watch people play games!

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