Sonic Xtreme

Oh, I didn't see you come in there. Haha.

Welcome, once again, the Hedgehogs Never Tell,  a series where I ramble on and on about Sonic games, and you feign interest. Now, picking up more or less exactly where we had left off in the last installment, would bring us to 1994. Ah, 1994, the year The Scream was stolen in Germany, and everyone wore flannel shirts,  and although Bill Clinton was the president, Sonic the Hedgehog was king, as far as kids, and marketing analysts where concerned.

In addition to being the most relevant videogame series/character of the time, he also appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and boasted a soundtrack written by Michael Jackson himself. But this wasn't enough for Sonic, who drunk with fame, and surrounded by yes-men, co-launched not one, but two animated television series in September of '93. Why did they need to make two? I don't know. One was a syndicated weekday cartoon, that channeled Tex Avery's coke-fueled slapstick humor, and the other was exclusively broadcast on ABC, trying to paint the series as a much darker affair, despite still being about furries with shiny red kicks.

"Well, that's all fine and well", you must be thinking "But what has this to do with video-games?"
And I would respond with "Shut up. I'm getting there"


Yeti Hunter

Man has forever been haunted by the unknown; for as long as man could communicate, there have been legends and tales of horrible monsters that lurk in the shadows unknown waiting to strike. What do they want? Where did they come from? Who knows? Who cares? All that matters is that they are there, we don't know what they're up to, and we must destroy them, for some reason. This is Yeti Hunter.


Lethal Application

Lethal Application is a doujin-shooter, featuring a female protagonist, and a science-fiction setting. No, no, don't leave just yet. Lethal Application is actually very innovative in it's design, straying far away from standard SHMUP conventions. In it, your primary method of combat is also your chief form of mobility; they are one in the same, and offer different results depending on how you apply them, hence the game's clever title.

It's like Shakespeare. Nothing short of poetry in motion.

Vidiot Game

Howdy masochists!  Rob Zilks here with another game that I'm sure most of you will either enjoy or lose your mind over


This Precious Land

 (This will be a short article, as I'm currently writing two fairly large articles in the meantime. Stay tuned.)

Every now and again a game comes along and promises that you will waste hours of your life playing them and accomplish absolutely nothing. These types of games are generally known as 'Sandbox games", and are a good way to waste a rainy day, granted that you have the ability to waste vast thatches of time guilt-free. This Precious Land takes this idea, and adds a challenging twist, that requires you to earn the ability to place things on your plot of land. Go grab a coffee, and a clove cigarette, and join the revolution.

Let's just say that smoke isn't there because that girl is hot.


Sonic Crackers

Welcome back to Hedgehogs Never Tell, a rosy, and informative retrospective on the Sonic the Hedgehog series, focusing on unreleased games, and content left on the cutting room floor. Today we'll be answering the question you never asked before, "What is Sonic Crackers?"

Skipping ahead a bit from where we left off, Sonic 3, just like it's predecessors, was the focal point of a media blitz. Even after the game was released, SEGA teased the public with hints that, unsurprisingly, a follow-up was due soon. However, SEGA had hinted that a fourth (actually fifth) installment might come before 1994 was through. This was unexpected, as each game in the series thus far had spent close to a year in the oven. In October of that year, everyone discovered that this much alluded-to game was in fact Sonic & Knuckles, a game stitched together from stages that couldn't be finished in time for Sonic 3. But what about this other mysterious game?


Minotaur in a China Shop

Hello all.  I am Rob "Robrony" Zilks, and this is my first article for hidden gems, and I will say, it was fairly interesting, a small in-browser game called "Minotaur in a China Shop".



Several years ago, an Italian teenager discovered a strange game on a blank CD. The game was, unsettling, to say the least, in it's minimalist appearance, and seemingly pointless existence. The game consisted simply of a checkered maze, with nauseating 8-bit music. He knew not what to make of such a find, and  immediately uploaded the game to show his friends


Alien Zombie MegaDeath

Most videogame enthusiasts are at least aware of the character SonSon, from Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but  unlike the rest of that game's roster, few are aware of the game from which she originated. That game was an arcade platformer/shooter, titled SonSon, based on Son Wukong of Chinese myth. The game was similar to most Horizontal shooters of the time, with the exception that you could only fire while perched on a set of tiered platforms. The game is super-obscure, but it hasn't been completely forgotten, especially not by the folks at PomPom Games.

In 2010, PomPom released Alien Zombie Megadeath, a spiritual-successor of sorts to SonSon on the PSN. It's very reminiscent of SonSon, only more refined, and featuring much more variety in terms of objectives, and general gameplay. It also has the truly terrible title of Alien Zombie Megadeath. Makes me think they trying too hard.

Seriously. They're trying too hard.. And if anyone knows about trying too hard, it's Dave Mustaine.



Hey out there gamers and game-ettes. I hope I classed up some of you tasteless hacks with my last MegaMan review. Much like Kevin Costner is type-cast as a bland, boring, slow line reading actor, I'm type cast as the token MegaMan guy, and you know what that means!

No! It's time for a MegaMan review, only this time, it's a MegaMan clone! And a damn good one! But no imitation can ever be as good as the original right? Well lets find out with this Rule 63 variant of our favorite blue bomber and jump right in with RokkoChan.



As a PBR swilling indie gamer, I have a soft spot for underground platformers you've probably never heard of. They tend to be reminiscent of Mario before it was cool, or perhaps after it became ironic.

As such, I always like to check out the latest plaformer guns before they become cool. One such game might be a little too top 40 for me, since it has over 850,000 hits on Newgrounds which makes it too passe'. However, since I know many of you are sheeple who are too conformist to know about this game, so I decided to review it anyway.

Eh, it stopped being cool when it got popular.



Roguelikes are a bit of a double-edged sword in the gaming world. On one-hand, since they are easy to create, there exists a large number of would-be devs churning out Roguelike after Roguelike, so there is no short supply of available games. On the other hand, this huge amount of content is staggering, and might intimidate a new player, which is to say nothing of the genre itself. Roguelikes, are by definition, daunting and involved; their complexity lies in micro-managment. It's a wide, varied genre, so what you're micro-managing will vary, be it supplies, food, or even just yourself, but it's still micro-management nonetheless. This level of unnecessary tinkering is but a part of the game's appeal to enthusiasts, but is also the chief reason many are repelled altogether.

This is where the so called 'Coffee-Break' games come into play. Originally used the describe Doom: The Roguelike, a worthwhile RL that I've covered previously, the term has been adopted by the Roguelike community as a looseley-defined subgenre, describing any and all casual RLs that focus more on action, and less on resource-management. Zaga-33 takes the idea of a casual-Roguelike to it's logical extreme, creating an almost arcade-like experience.

Note: Does not actually take place in space


Utte Yosili

Cats frequently chew on cardboard boxes, and in retaliation, the boxes make it as hard as possible to allow the cat to climb inside of them. As a result, the relationship between cats and cardboard boxes is strained at best. However, when the earth is under attack by space marshmallows, terrorist cats, and Yeti, even the most bitter enemies must pull together and defend the world from... Weird shit.

In his own way he is perhaps, the most dangerous cat who ever lived!


Sonic 2 Beta

During the late eighties, and early nineties it was difficult for any consumer-level hardware to really dig themselves a competitive niche in the videogame market, at least this was the case in North America, and Japan. The reason for this was the borderline monopoly that Nintendo had going; 1 in 5 homes in America had a Nintendo Entertainment System. This firm market-share, was established with the help of a Robot - packaged in to trick people into thinking it was a toy, rather than a videogame console - atop piles of dead-Atari clones. The Nintendo had a lot of things going for it, and was a major breath of fresh-air for both the consumer, and an industry that was literally on it's knees.

Well, not literally. It's an abstract noun.

In 1989, arcade stalwart, Service Games, better known by their contraction, SEGA, introduced a powerful new piece of tech, that promised that with it's BLAST-PROCESSING it could do what NINTENDON'T. Haha, get it? They used their name as a slam against them! It's even more hilarious, because nothing stated in those ads really meant anything; Blast Processing, muh like Grade A Beef, is a meaningless buzz-word. McDonald's uses Grad A beef, and their 'food' still tastes like Blast-Processing.


Space Funeral

Of all the RPG Maker titles that I have had the pleasure of playing, Space Funeral definitely sticks out as the oddest. It's similar to Mother in that they both parody the genre, but Space Funeral definitely takes the weirdness factor up a notch. The aesthetics and dialogue are definitely unique and come together to give the game a quirky charm. The music ranges from Noise Rock, to Electronic, to...I don't really know and the sprites have a disturbing, yet narm-y appeal to them.


Space Dynagon

So,  in 1992, there was a charmingly bizarre shmup released for the Super Nintendo, titled Pocky & Rocky (奇々怪界~謎の黒マント). P&R was a scrolling shooter, that's main draw was that your character was a person, instead of an aircraft; keep in mind this is during the early Nineties, years before Touhou made lolis and cuddly-things the norm. Furthermore, your character wasn't airborne, and could move around much more freely than in a more standard shooter, though you were still only making your way down long, single-screen-sized corridors. Now at this point, you're probably wondering why I'm going on about P&R; it was made by Natsume, a rather reputable company, and it was met with pretty handsome success. Surely it doesn't fit the criteria for a write-up here? Well, you'd be right, except I'm not talking about Pocky & Rocky, instead, I'm talking about a doujinshi that took what Pocky & Rocky had to offer, and ran far, far away with it.




Face it, kids, everyone has to do chores, you're not special. In fact, you're privileged that you even have a skeletal system with which to do chores in the first place. The same can't be said of Octodad, the star of Octodad, who haphazardly flings his limbs around in a vain effort, trying to perform simple tasks we all take for granted. Lament the unfortunate Octodad.

Octodad breaches the fourth-wall to clumsily shake-hands with various KFC employees.


Nitronic Rush

SUP NERDS! what if a game existed were you drove a car in an AMAZING Tron themed city. Sounds crazy right well we're not even done yet the car can BEND gravity to its will! oh yeah did I mention the car has... wings! Well that's what you are getting when you download Nitronic Rush which is completely free.
Unless your too chicken to play a real mans game!


The Hatchings

The life of a domestic foul is a harsh form of oppression; day-in, and day-out, you are forced to laboriously produce eggs, and your only retirement plan involves hot-oil, and eleven herbs and spices. Not unlike ЯUSSIAИ SUBWAY DOGS, Ferry Halim's  The Hatchings, tells the inspiration tale of an oppressed animal, fighting against insurmountable odds in order to achieve it's place in the annals of history, by means of repetitive, charmingly pointless casual gameplay.

Megaman - 8-Bit Deathmatch

Alright, first and foremost, let me just get this off my chest. I LOVE MegaMan. MegaMan is MY GAME. I grew up with it, and it was my first video game I ever got specifically for me to play, and eventually got good at. Mario and the others were more or less for my parents, but as they grew out of video games, I grew into them until I became the internet superstar you see before you. What? You don't see me? I thought a blog worked that way. What do you mean I'm not an internet superstar? I'm writing my own damn blog and I know damn well all of you guys want to hear about everything I have to say. You're a tasteless hack if you dont. True facts....


SONIC Robo Blast 2

Games come and games go. During their time in limelight, each videogame released has a limited opportunity to accumulate a fanbase, and become timeless. The games that don't, end up like Rakuga Kids. However, the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, for better, or worse, has one of the largest followings of any videogame in history.  Sonic is more than a videogame; Its a cultural icon that has influenced millions of people growing up during the 90's. Some of those people went on to college, where they earned degrees in various fields of art, design, programming, and many other things, gaining the tools to achieve their dream of creating their own masterpieces. Others went on to start a DeviantART account, picked up textile work, and built fur-suits. And some still, decided to do both, and create Sonic Robo-Blast 2.


DOOM (the Roguelike)

 (This is going to be relatively short, as I'm splitting my writing time between this, and writing a HUGE article. Fortunately I write fast)

Do you like Doom? Of course you do. Do you like Roguelikes?


Ahem, so anyway, now that you've read about what those are, what if I were to tell you that there was a game that combined the gritty, metal-album inspired imagery, and violent, over-the-top shenanigans of Doom with the slow, strategic, and painfully difficult gameplay philosophy of Rogue? Yeah.



  (This article will be brief, because I'm splitting my carefully budgeted blog-time between this, and a HUGE article. Good things come to those who wait.)

"Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps.
- Vladimir Lenin
 "I don't care too much for money, For money can't buy me love." 
                           - John Lennon

"I must break you" Ivan thinks to himself, as his dog takes a dump in the living room.

Developed & Published by: Miguel Sternberg
Released on: February 28th. 2012

Life in the motherland is hard. It is even harder, when you are hard-working sled-dog. In what's been rated as "Number Greatest game in Soviet Union" by me, ЯUSSIAИ SUBWAY DOGS combines famous American Arcade action, with an inspiring tale of a young soviet canine, who barks at comrades until they throw him potatoes. Sometimes thew will drop their vodka, which acts as incendiary bombs, and hurt you. In Soviet Union, people drink molotov cocktails. It builds character.



"Shmups are a lot like prostitutes, in that they're the oldest kind of videogame, and that you're likely to contract Hepatitis from playing Gradius."                           

Oh, hello there, and welcome back to Hidden Gems. In the previous installment, I had mentioned how the arcades' decline resulted in several genre's periodically dying out, but I also made mention of how in the 2000's, the Japanese Doujin (indie) scene revitalized the Scrolling Shooter genre for PC. Well, this would seem like the perfect segway to discuss the Touhou Project, wouldn't it? Instead, this installment will be taking an in-depth look at SONIC IRONSTORM: FATAL ATTACK, a game with a name that even Steven Segal would think is trying too hard. Actually, we won't be taking a very in-depth look at it, because I am terrible at this game, so without further ado, here is Hidden Gems' in-depth look at the first stage of  SONIC IRONSTORM: FATAL ATTACK.



 The mid to late-nineties were a pivotal time for videogames. Home consoles were growing ever more powerful, and for the first-time, it seemed as though the consumer would have a true arcade experience available to him in the comfort of his own home (this actually wouldn't become true until the Sega Dreamcast, but that's a yarn for another time). Unfortunately, for all but the most hardcore, convenience is a greater virtue than experience; many consumers eschewed the arcade scene, figuring ''Why walk a few blocks when I can play X-Men in my living room?". The decline in patronage lead to the cataclysmic downfall of the American Arcade industry...

The death of the American arcade lead to a severe decline in several genre's particularly, Shmups and Fighters. Shmups would eventually reinvent themselves thanks to the Japanese Indie scene, around the turn-of-the-century, but Fighters were hit much harder. A combination of the death of arcades leaving most players without any central hub to find fellow players to compete with, combined with the many small-fry companies over-saturating the market with gimmicky, shallow Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat clones, lead to a much longer hibernation for the the genre. 

It was during this era, that many, ever increasingly gimmicky games were being released, both in Arcades, and on Sega Saturn/Playstation. There was a third major console, however, that for whatever reason, wasn't granted a robust gallery of fighters (although, that's not all it was missing). Aside from some butchered ports, and Smash Bros, the only true fighter the N64 had to call it's own was a strange little gem called Rakuga Kids.



Welcome to Hidden Gems, a blog dedicated to shedding light on the games that have fallen through the cracks over the years, as well as independently developed titles, and fan-games that need the exposure they deserve. This blog will be a haven for those looking for in-depth information about niche and obscure games, from the past, and the present.
Be sure to follow, and stay tuned for updates