I was a PC gamer for most of the late 90s. While kids at school were talking about their SNES and Genesis I was going home every night and play Doom through my dial-up til 6 in the morning.
I worked in a store that sold PC games and one of my close friends worked in a store that rented them. I was up to date on every new release no matter how obscure.
While the games on this list are definitely not obscure, they seem to have gotten lost in time. These games were all fairly well played and loved in the PC gaming community at the time but are rarely talked about nowadays.
These are 5 Forgotten PC Games of 1997
Released in June 1997, Dungeon Keeper is a strategic-action game for DOS and Windows 95 developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts.
The game puts you in the position of an evil dungeon keeper that can recruit creatures to follow your orders. As the evil dungeon keeper, you can also pit your heroes against rival keepers.
In the game, players must construct and manage their dungeon, while protecting it from enemies. Typically, the game starts with some Imps, a dungeon heart, some rooms, and some gold.
On top of being an already great game, Dungeon Keeper offered some innovative features for its time. The main one being the ability to switch between a first-person and isometric view. Something that is not done very often even to this day.
Released for PC in 1997, Carmageddon is a vehicular combat game. Stainless Games produced the game, while Interplay Productions and Sales Curve Interactive published it.
Despite criticism over the violent narrative, the game was a massive success and later saw releases to most other platforms.
In Carmageddon, you are racing against various other computer-controlled competitors. It takes place in many different settings that include industrial areas, cities, mines, etc. The goal is just as in any other racing game, reach the finish line within a specific given time.
If you don’t think you are going to make it on time, you can extend the timer. And that is where the controversy comes in.
To earn extra time, you can damage the competitors’ cars, collect bonuses, or run over pedestrians. While there were many violent games out there, Carmageddon was one of the first that actually rewarded you for taking out innocent bystanders.
But it gets better. The standard race was just one option. In other modes, you could set wrecking every car in the race or even killing all pedestrians on the level to be the winning objective of the game.
Myth: The Fallen Lords
Released in November 1997, Myth: The Fallen Lords is the first in a series of real-time strategy games for Mac OS and Windows.
Bungie developed the game and published it in North America. Eidos Interactive was responsible for its distribution throughout Europe in February 1998.
The plot revolves around the fight between the forces of the “Dark” and those of the “Light.” The cause of the battle is to gain control of an unnamed mythical land.
Balor is the leader of the Dark that comprises of a group of the titular Fallen Lords as lieutenants. The leaders of the Light, on the other hand, is “The Nine,” who are potent sorcerers known as “Avatara.”
The game starts in the seventeenth year of the war, where Balor is in power. With almost the whole area under his command, the Light forces are on the verge of defeat.
The Light control some smaller towns and one major city. From there the game follows the fight of “The Legion,” an elite unit in the Light army. They aim to defeat Balor and regain control of the lands.
The series had 2 quickly released and popular follow-ups to the original, Myth II: Soulblighter, published in 1998 and Myth III: The Wolf Age, published in 2001
Total Annihilation is another real-time strategy video game, made by Cavedog Entertainment. The game released on September 26, 1997, for Windows and Mac OS by GT Interactive.
It has quite the story for an RTS. The game revolves around a galaxy in the far future. A central body of humans and artificial intelligence, known as the Core rules the universe.
The Core is a contraction of the word “Consciousness Repository.” Core allowed humans to colonize the Milky Way and revel in the peace and prosperity.
A technological breakthrough process called “patterning,” let the transfer of human consciousness into machines, which grants infinite life, breaking the balance.
The Core imposed consent for humans to undergo the patterning process as a measure for public health. The formation of the Arm came about after a rebel band refusing to leave their natural bodies revolted.
The game begins with each player having a Unique Commander Unit and a mech that creates formations to act as bases. It is also an extension of a military force, including a variety of mobile units. It is essential to keep the commander, who is not just a powerful combat unit, but can quickly build units.
Published by GT Interactive and developed by 3D Realms, Shadow Warrior was a first-person shooter video game, that was released shortly after their success of Duke Nukem 3D.
In the Shadow Warrior, players control Lo Wang, a modern-day ninja tasked with taking down the demon army of his ex-boss Zilla.
Lo Wang has a wide array of weapons at his disposal including a railgun, sticky bombs, and a riot gun that fires shotgun shells, along with Asian inspired shurikens and a Katana.
The game has a great atmosphere overall with lots of humor, violence, and fun puzzle-solving. But it does not take much to see that Shadow Warrior is little more than an Asian Duke Nukem (which is not a bad thing).
While the reviews were mixed, if you liked Duke, you’ll like Shadow Warrior.