Galactic Gladiators and Galactic Adventures

...are two strategy/RPG games from the early 80's, designed and programmed by Tom Reamy (he only made these two games afaik).

The player(s) assumes command over a band of alien adventurers armed with things like disruptors and laser swords. Like in most RPGs, the characters all have names, stats, XP and equipment. Both games uses single screen arenas/sites where two teams of 1-7 characters or so can duke out. In Galactic Adventures you can travel between different planets, exploring new locations for treasure. As I understand it, there's no final goal, other than what you may set up yourself.

During combat, the players (human or AI) first take turns to give orders to their characters (perhaps in secret), and then watch the action play out in a real time segment, one character at a time. If everyone moved and fired at the same time, it would be more difficult to follow events that unfold on multiple fronts (although it would be more realistic and cooler to watch).

I think the intent of the author was to capture the freeform adventure feel that early Flash Gordon, Doctor Who and Star Trek TOS had... and perhaps their newer incarnations lack.

I have only tried Galactic Gladiators (using DosBox of course). The interface is very primitive, but you can make the AI play against itself and just watch.

The manual for Galactic Adventures (I can't find the one for Gladiators).

Videos (Apple II versions):
Galactic Gladiators
Galactic Adventures

Other random finds:
Mother Brain Has Been Aliving!
Too cute. Sad end.
Hero Quest music, ZX Spectrum


I don't have much games on my Mac. In a way it's kind of good, because games make me feel unproductive. It would be great if games could educate me in some way, or allow me save and even share what I have accomplished in the game (e.g. Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress). Leveling up a number is less interesting to me. It can be fun to become better at a player skill oriented game (e.g. Tribes), but ultimately that feels like a waste of time too.

It's a bit of a tangent perhaps. I felt like sharing some thoughs. This is a blog after all. Maybe I should treat it as such and post more often. In respect to Diablo... I think it's a game about building a character. I always liked the character creation and development aspect of games, be it Starflight, Spore, or Dungeons & Dragons. I often play the wrong class (e.g. warrior sorceress) in Diablo 2 because I enjoy playing like I shouldn't. Feels more creative.

Diablo 1 allowed you to mix things up more (Magic being learned from books), but the game isn't available in Blizzards BattleNet store. While the Diablo games did a good job at giving you what felt like personal items, most of the items actually disappear into the information swallowing black hole that is the town store. Anyways, personally I'd like the see the character personalization aspect taken further, be it wearing in boots and gear, naming things, changing graphical appearances, or even stuff like home decoration and pets, as seen in some Japanese dungeon raiding games (e.g. Azure Dreams).

Anyways. I have hastily put together a rather incoherent page with some notes and random ideas. I'm not sure where it's heading.

Diablo page