Although digital preservation has been happening for quite some time now, there are still many games actually released that are still very much at large. Often perhaps because some of these titles didn’t sell in great numbers in the early days, or even later days of a machine’s commercial life.
Back in the early 1990s, there was a software company called Crystal X that sold games by the homebrew developer Angela Swinbourne – a mixture of strategy and action games. A young David Crookes at the time had obtained these games, which he believes Angela sent to him, as he was in touch with a lot of PD people and home brewers at the time.
Forgotten about for many years, David recently purchased a Kyroflux device to go through many of his old disks, in the hope of finding titles that had yet to be preserved. David struck gold when discovering the Crystal X disk and four titles by Angela that were not out there in the wild. He suggests that he probably copied the games from 3″ disk to 3.5″ to free up, as 3″ disks were in short supply and expensive (as his handwriting is on the disk).
So what do we have on the disk? Firstly we have – Cloaker and Pacifist, which are two neat strategy titles. Mantis is a simple Lunar Lander/Maze style game, and P.Z.P is a strange tug-of-war game set in space.
David revealed his findings in issue 244 of Retro Gamer, and has very kindly allowed GTW to host the games for you to check out for yourself. It was hoped that Angela could be found to potentially re-unite with her games, though David was unable to find them at the time of writing.
Enjoy, and fingers crossed David will uncover more unpreserved gems in the near future. A huge thank you to David Crookes for preserving and sharing his findings.