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Sunday, April 23, 2021

If you’re a child of the ’70s/’80s, you may remember the hoopla over “Dragon’s Lair”. It was a new type of videogame: It wasn’t a block-pixelated mess of beeps and boops, but rather, was a slickly-animated projection of interactive gaming action!

Sorta.

It was pretty to look at, with the visuals having been developed by former Disney animator Don Bluth. But the convergence of high-grade visuals and responsive videogame play was too complex a trick to pull off in the early ’80s. “Dragon’s Lair” was more of less a high-tech whack-a-mole game: Animated scenes would run, a visual prompt would tell you that a proper joystick-button tap was needed to deliver the “correct” game action, and you advanced the game. There was no real skill involved, just rote memorization culled from many quarters’ worth of trial and error.

As a result, it never caught on, despite the spawning of the companion “Space Ace” and a couple of other similar games. Far from ushering in the next wave of videogaming, they represent an interesting dead-end in the evolution of the medium.

But they aren’t forgotten. And so, someone’s distilled those memories into “Dungeon Escape”, a rough Flash-built homage to the beat-the-clock point-and-click adventure.

The stick-figure characters and backgrounds should tip you off that Bluth wasn’t involved with this latest permutation. But it’s as amusing an Internet trinket as you’ll run across.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/23/2006 12:05:03 PM
Category: Internet, Videogames | Permalink |

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