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M.U.L.E. Is Back

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-for-the-red-wings dept.

Classic Games (Games) 110

jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."

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A classic. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691844)

There was a video of a Scandinavian chick sucking the dick of a M.U.L.E.

It blew a voluminous load in her mouth and caused her to choke.

Re:A classic. (-1, Troll)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691958)

There was a video of a Scandinavian chick sucking the dick of a M.U.L.E.

It blew a voluminous load in her mouth and caused her to choke.

Is that why you got yo mama Orbit gum for mother's day?

Re:A classic. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692034)

a yo mama joke. to that there can be only one reply: NIGGERS!! big, black, and BOLD just like a nigger.

Re:A classic. (0, Offtopic)

node808 (1620443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693388)

I think you're just upset that someone recorded your mother with a M.U.L.E.

Nice...but no intro music? (3, Informative)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691848)

Just downloaded it....COOL...but where's the intro and intro music??? It was 8-bit sweetness on the C=64.

Glad somebody did it though!

Re:Nice...but no intro music? (4, Informative)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691880)

Intro in question.... [youtube.com] :)

Re:Nice...but no intro music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692770)

http://nintendo8.com/game/29/m.u.l.e./

Not particularly nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692936)

Are you kidding? Even the Amiga conversion [worldofmule.net] looked better, in effing 1990.

Re:Nice...but no intro music? (1)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693342)

Just downloaded it....COOL...but where's the intro and intro music??? It was 8-bit sweetness on the C=64.

Glad somebody did it though!

I just downloaded the Windows version. It has intro and intro music.

never can get enough of the theme song. (4, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691868)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6L6MhSgpgo [youtube.com]

Some of the best home computer music of the time. This song is the number 1 reason I fire up SIDplay (followed closely by many things by David Whittaker).

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691948)

And I'm sure the young'n's will be looking at us like we have three heads. :)

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

BobisOnlyBob (1438553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693200)

As one of "the young'n's" I wholeheartedly support your love of this catchy chiptune. Although I still prefer Anaconda [youtube.com] .

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692212)

I always preferred the Atari 800 version of the music- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWvQQuLPmzg&feature=related

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694776)

Yeah, the Atari version was the king. The sounds were awesome. I can't even tell you how many hours my sister and I wasted playing that game back in the day...

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695388)

>Yeah, the Atari version was the king
Yep. One of many games that these days are always attributed to the C64 but were actually ports from the Atari 800 or the Atari 800 version came first.

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30698518)

Yes, the Atari version was first. A great deal of the game's design was dictated by the limitations and strengths of the hardware (4 players, the arrangement of mountains, etc). Dan Bunten, M.U.L.E.'s creator, deftly exploited almost every feature that made the Atari 8-bits great.

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696604)

That sounds great too, it might even be better from some objective level. But it's just not what I'm used to so it sounds funny to me. I always wanted an Atari 800, but you can't always get what you want.

The trills in the final segment sound discordant to me.

And to the other poster:
I knew the game came from the 800, the 800 was the only machine which had 4 joystick play (on the C64 two players had to use the keyboard during trading). But the C64 version is what's familiar to me.

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30700124)

OMG. It's the sound of "humanization" (tones are slightly off here and there to sound less machine-like). This is some great nostalgia.

I had a C=64, but I always envied the four joysticks of the Atari 800 series. We got stuck using keys for collusion.

--
Toro

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692908)

The Atari original, played at NTSC rate, with more harmony (4-voice sound chip):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z48FWWCG4dU

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

daha (1699052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693636)

I couldn't agree more. Any mention of the word "mule" and I start hearing that music. It's a shame that it isn't in this version.

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694464)

Dude, Parallax. Parallax, Dude. Martin Galway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igVxjCecmEg [youtube.com]

M.U.L.E. sucks.

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694674)

Just noticed the YouTube movie cut out about a minute and a half of the song. Not a huge deal, really, but I put the full version in MP3 format on my website: http://blakeyrat.com/commodore-64-sound-rips/ [blakeyrat.com]

Re:never can get enough of the theme song. (1)

Sax Maniac (88550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694956)

I was bored a few years ago, and transcribed the tune out. I did very little else to it other than picks some sounds that they might have used in the first place. So, it's only a four-voice tune, representative of the hardware of the time. It would be easy to fill out and make it thicker, but part of the charm of the tune that it sounds good, with such a limited sound technology. Enjoy [tringali.org] .

Oh, I am so ready... (1)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691870)

Used to play M.U.L.E. on the Atari 800.... downloading it now :)

Re:Oh, I am so ready... (3, Interesting)

antek9 (305362) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693110)

I played it on the C64. This game set the ground for turn-based strategy and sim games, and it is just incredible to learn that it never sold more than 30,000 copies. And yet, _everybody_ was playing it. Today's piracy 'problems' are nothing compared to that.

If Dani Bunten were still alive I'm sure lots of people would be glad to donate quite some amount of money to make up for lost and long time overdue revenue.

Re:Oh, I am so ready... (1)

Coz (178857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695186)

I was working in the first computer store in my hometown and bought it (using my wages - heh). This and Archon... I lost entire weeks to the two of them.

Re:Oh, I am so ready... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696510)

MULE had a negative impact on my GPA my freshman year in college.

Welcome Blue Leggite! (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691998)

I spent a lot of time playing this on the NES. I don't suppose this version includes the cheesy computer voices though?

Insult towards original author.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692036)

As much I like the Original M.U.L.E., I cant go on downloadign and playing this game.

Considering the Fact that these new holders of the name Ozark Softscape were not norn while the game was made and did (alongside their mother) abandon Dani Bunten Barren after her transformation I'd like people to show their respect to original author and tell these **** to get lost.

See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_Bunten_Berry [wikipedia.org]
http://anticlockwise.com/dani/ [anticlockwise.com]

Re:Insult towards original author.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692894)

Please make sure to get your facts straight on this sensible topic before condemming anyone...

First, at the time the game was made, it was credited to Dan Bunten and no one else,
so citing the original copyright, this may very well fit into the overall scheme of things as they were.

Second, the "new holders of Ozark Softscape" are not mere strangers nor disrespectful people:
These are Dan's children, foremost Dan's daugther Melanie, and she surely was born at the time the game hit the stores, although may have been to young to appreciate it back then!

As to the internal reasons the Bunten family may have, that should be their very own thing to be kept from the public,
but surely you can't condemn a game and its legacy when there is apparently no shred of evidence related to the new version to make cheap money out of it (it's for free without any catch) and be disrespectful to the true creator at that time: DAN Bunten. Thanks.

Re:Insult towards original author.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30693402)

Copyright belongs to Person, not the name.. When people change their name (for whatever reason) they still own to that right and have rights. If Mule were released today (and she still lived) it would be copyrighted by Danielle Bunten.

What annoys me most is the way this "ozark softscape" page is made. It's quite obvious they want people to forget essential part of that person who made this game, yes she was also their father (and later mother) a lot longer than they want to let us know. She was a lot more than just designer/coder of MULE and I think she's entitled to be respected as a whole and not just some 20 years old pictures and copyright texts.

I have no idea why that page (and company behind of it) was made. Is it for respect or for trying to cash out the retro nostalgia, but the way the page is made tells me that they don't respect the Person.

Re:Insult towards original author.. (3, Interesting)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694658)

Seeing as they are a SOFTWARE company, I believe they want people to concentrate on the actual GAME, and leave all the stupid arguments about gender out of it. So, way to fail. The only person that seems to have any issue with the gender change so far is you AC.

Transgender etiquette 101 (5, Insightful)

eca212 (462201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696458)

On the contrary, I think that most if not all transgender people and those who appreciate transgender issues would have a problem with the way this is being handled.

The standard etiquette for referring to a transgender person is to use the name and pronouns they prefer, even when referring to the past. If you don't know the person's preference, use the pronouns that correspond to how they live publicly. This, as well as being the courteous and respectful thing to do, is also agreed upon by the Associated Press Stylebook.

It's the same courtesy we give anyone when they change their name, except that in these cases you're changing the pronouns, too. For example, everyone refers to Laura Bush as Laura Bush, not Laura Welch, even if you're talking about her childhood. If you need to clarify, you still treat the person's current name as the primary name, as in "Laura Bush (born Laura Welch) fell off the swing when she was 5."

The difference is that with transgender people, it's a bigger deal to disrespect their name and pronoun change. It's effectively saying "I don't care what gender you think you are, I know better than you." That's incredibly insulting, demeaning, and disempowering.

It's understandable to be confused the first time you encounter a transgender person, because in over 99% of the population, sex and gender match one-to-one, and they're static final. I mean, they don't ever change. (: So it's understandable to assume that it's a one-to-one unchanging relationship -- until you find a counterexample. At that point, how do you adjust your worldview? Do you dogmatically stick to your view that sex and gender must match one-to-one and must never change? Or do you expand your worldview to account for the counterexamples? It seems to me that both the scientific method and human kindness suggest the latter.

Re:Transgender etiquette 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30696750)

+1 Informative

Re:Insult towards original author.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695596)

As at trans woman, I can tell you that it is insulting when people deliberately use my former boy name to try to delegitimize me as a woman.

Re:Insult towards original author.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692970)

I have seen several highly creative people go through reassignment surgery and I can't help but wonder if there's a certain madness behind their creativity. I guess if you've got the money and the urge...

I'm 15 and I ask, is this worth playing? (1)

RPG Master (1460785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692044)

I've read many times how big an affect it had on games, but I don't really care for Sim type games...
So I ask my (MUCH) older fellow geeks, is this really worth the time to learn to play it?

Re:I'm 15 and I ask, is this worth playing? (1)

thred (203074) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692090)

It is more like a table top game than a simulation. Easy to learn, hard to master...

Re:I'm 15 and I ask, is this worth playing? (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693548)

I can't answer that for you. I've played it fairly consistantly since it's release (I'm 42 now). It's addictive -- and particularly fun against human players.

I think the hardest part you'd have with the game is that it's TURN based -- which means you sit and wait while the 3 other players take their turns (auction not withstanding).

Re:I'm 15 and I ask, is this worth playing? (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694600)

that being said, auctions in MULE have been some of the most cutthroat experiences I have ever had

Re:I'm 15 and I ask, is this worth playing? (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696382)

Especially with with collusion!

MULE Manual [muttoo.on.ca]

Re:I'm 15 and I ask, is this worth playing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694146)

The word you are search for is effect, not affect. Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun.

Re:I'm 15 and I ask, is this worth playing? (1)

RPG Master (1460785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30699268)

Sorry, and thank you for correcting me. :)

Re:I'm 15 and I ask, is this worth playing? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694516)

If you want to understand modern gaming's roots, then yes.

Danielle Bunten should have been credited (5, Informative)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692130)

...not Dan Bunten. She made it clear.

Re:Danielle Bunten should have been credited (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692882)

Someone posted some links to a couple pages, one of them Wikipedia. That page then linked to this one and honestly, I'd say she didn't make it as clear as you think she did.

http://www.anticlockwise.com/dani/personal/changes/dont.htm

Re:Danielle Bunten should have been credited (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693652)

Genitals are not the same as gender identification. One can identify as female and still have male genitals, just as one can identify as male and have female genitals.

She's not saying that she regrets changing her name and assuming her gender identity. She's saying that she regrets changing her genitals.

Re:Danielle Bunten should have been credited (1)

wolfsdaughter (1081205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30697086)

Dani did say, among other things, that she regretted having non-orgasmic genitals and that some of her family abandoned her due to her transition. If she really regretted transitioning, wouldn't she have transitioned back? (Which she didn't...)

Re:Danielle Bunten should have been credited (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696874)

You have no clue.

Re:Danielle Bunten should have been credited (-1, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693950)

Yeah, and I want to be called "His Majesty Lord BigWang," but it ain't happening.

Re:Danielle Bunten should have been credited (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694570)

Yeah, and I want to be called "His Majesty Lord BigWang," but it ain't happening.

*plonk*

Re:Danielle Bunten should have been credited (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694624)

Legally change the name, and, well, you can

Re:Danielle Bunten should have been credited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30697422)

-1 Flaimbait

NES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692156)

I still run the NES version of MULE, not quite as classic as the C64 version, but the improved sound and graphics are a big plus. I run an emulator for the NES version, and you can play it multiplayer over the net as well, so I don't really see the need for another remake.

Confirmation: YES, is as awesome as you remenber. (3, Informative)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692306)

I play the planetMule version of MULE, and I can confirm that is still a awesome game. MULE has this ability to make you play crazy in 2 turns, 3 turns... Is a deep game, and you meet different skills and ideas about how to play. The planetMULE version is both tryiing to make a faithfull version (and is a SUCCESS as that), and make tiny improvements that don't change the gameplay.

RECOMENDED!!!

brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692308)

M.U.L.E is one of the greats! - used to play it all the time on my C64, who needs more than 64k!

Love it! (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692382)

What a great game and great remake. The updated graphics are actually a little easier to make out than the original.

There's an OSS version (3, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692666)

http://www.codenautics.com/openmule/ [codenautics.com] ... although development appears to have stalled in 1997.

Re:There's an OSS version (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693050)

There's an OSS version [...] although development appears to have stalled in 1997

So, pretty active by OSS game development standards?

Re:There's an OSS version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30699066)

This new version is supposed to be an OSS as well (GPL), at least that what I was told when I was working on the first prototype.

FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692692)

Upgrade graphics, but on web site no screenshot.

64k - 36Mb (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692738)

This was one of my favorite games in college on the C-64. I expected to find a slim flash game, instead it's a 36Mb installer (Win). A bit better on Max/Linux (16Mb), but still, WTF? I'm guessing these guys used to make printer drivers for HP.

Re:64k - 36Mb (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30697054)

The filesize is very small for nowdays standards, but has nowdays features. Flash games, true, use much less space, but because most are optimized to get downloaded from the net, so 26+ megs will not do it.

The features that these 36 megs provide are way beyond what you can get with a simple Flash game.

Second Foundation! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30692748)

Whoever tagged this story with "Foundation" is my hero for the day ...unless they weren't referring to the Asimov novels. If that's the case, they should burn for teasing me like that.

Kudos (3, Informative)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692776)

Kudos to them for releasing it as freeware, as opposed to releasing it onto a DRM enabled platform like Steam or worse, Xbox Live.

How to play MULE, for newbies. (4, Informative)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692846)

MULE is a strategic economic simulator for 4 players. A long game (12 turns) take about 90 minutes.

The first thing you will see wen you join, is the surface of the planet. The surface is divided into "plots", that later can be taken by the players. You will put "mules" (multi use labor element robots) in these plots to craft raw metal (smithore), precious luxuries (cristite), energy or food. Your mules to work need energy, you need food or you will be unable to manage your mules.

First phase, a cursor move trough the planet, simply pressing space take a plot. The "river" plots are specially good for food, the desert for energy, and the mountains for smithore.

Next phase, the players move his character, and have the option to take a mule, and move it to a specialization house (energy, food, smithore...) then move that mule to his plot, and press space again to place the mule.

After all players have placed his mules, theres a "production" phase. You will produce based on your mule type, type of terrain, and some economy of scale bonus.

Next phase is selling/buying. You need to secure energy, if you don't have, and food, if you want to place mules.

The tournamente mode (somewhat like the 'full experience') is 12 complete turns of this. With some random bonus and malus events for the players.

The game is some sort of economic sandbox, most people "play to win", but is possible to "play to make the colony a success".

More info:
http://www.planetmule.com/forum?topic=379.0 [planetmule.com]

Re:How to play MULE, for newbies. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30692940)

Next phase is selling/buying. You need to secure energy, if you don't have, and food, if you want to place mules.

I loved the way they implemented the commodity trading phase! Each player first chooses to buy or sell, then the sellers appear at the top of the screen and the buyers at the bottom. Sellers can move down (lowering their price), buyers move up (raising the bid), and when the highest bidder meets the lowest seller in the middle, they begin trading until they run out of money or goods, or until one of them steps back. In rounds with only one seller of a scarce commodity, you'd have a literal run on the market

Re:How to play MULE, for newbies. (2, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693888)

Sounds a bit like Settlers of Catan, a game a few friends and I use to play on a weekly basis. I'll have to try it out when I get home.

Re:How to play MULE, for newbies. (1)

Rhys (96510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694578)

In particular it needs to be pointed out that "play to win" often means "play to make the colony a success." In the old 8-bit versions where it kept a consistent high score, you would always get a better personal score by being (mostly) a team player than being a selfish twit. That isn't to say you can't be selfish sometimes and do better but if selling energy to Mr. Smithore computer player nets the colony more MULEs it needs it can be worth it even at a loss.

Re:How to play MULE, for newbies. (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695622)

I'm trying to play an A.I. game but after grabbing some land it just keeps looping turns for each player, where there's only enough time to run to the pub and grab some cash. How do you get the game to actually continue to the next part of the round?

Re:How to play MULE, for newbies. (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695922)

*doo-dooo-DOOOOOO-doooooooo* Your colony needs food!

Re:How to play MULE, for newbies. (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696776)

Ok, but how do I get food if all I can do each turn is run to the pub?

I'm accumulating money, but I don't seem to have time to spend it.

Anyways I'll try that.. :) Thanks.

Re:How to play MULE, for newbies. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696974)

on the auction phase = buy food to the other players or the shop

LWJGL... Java based (1)

ebolaZaireRules (987875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693004)

Hmm... If it uses lwjgl, its java based... so why not just have a downloadable and executable jar?

Still, gives lax coders like me hope.

Lessons from M.U.L.E (3, Informative)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693074)

I think we, as a community, can learn a lot from the ancient and wise game:
  • Catch the Mountain Wampus for mod points
  • Press all player buttons to post first
  • Develop a cutthroat economy where a single asshole player can collapse the entire system

OK so maybe some aspects of the game are more plausible than others.

-Purple Mechtron

Re:Lessons from M.U.L.E (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30699426)

I think we, as a community, can learn a lot from the ancient and wise game ...

If you go to the pub to gamble, you always win something.

Another version (3, Interesting)

Manax (41161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693322)

I personally did a port (download here [heroicproportions.org] ) of an earlier rewrite (though the site I got it from is gone) back in 2005. It's a pretty decent version, as far as I can tell, though honestly I didn't play the original hardly at all. The main drawback is local multiplayer only...

Re:Another version (1)

Manax (41161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693362)

Oops, sorry for replying to my own thread, but that's a _linux_ & SDL port that I did, based on the earlier DOS version. Not exactly clean code, but it worked (at least back in 2005) and is GPLed.

M.U.L.E. (2, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693502)

Rose-Colored nostalgia, +1.

Yes, I played MULE. I also played Doom, and going before that I played Empire, Sword of Aragon, Ancient Art of War, Star Viking, Star Raiders, Wizardry, Ultima, and Oregon Trail (on a MECC line terminal) as well as a host of other games that are stored fondly in my nostalgia-vault as 'awesome games'.

But do you know what? My suggestion is DON'T PLAY THEM AGAIN. Like watching the original Star Wars, the memory of "greatness" is tied inextricably with context - the state of tech of the time, my age, and the whole novelty of the thing. They don't age very well.

Go to the abondonware sites, you can (thankfully) find all these games - play them, and then you can (if you're honest) admit "Meh, this is unappealing". Yes, diehards will whinge about 'gameplay over graphics' and to a point that's true; but ultimately that's not the whole story - there are a heck of a lot of advances in things other than graphics that go a LONG way toward making a game fun: credible AI that's not easily gamed, UI usability, ease of patching, online play, and (usually) a whole host of rationalizations that we accepted at the time because it was such a huge step forward from where we'd been, and it was cool just to be using a computer in the FIRST place.

I'm not saying that these games weren't great IN THEIR TIME. They were. But, like these ancient much-remembered games, just because my grandpa was cool doesn't mean I need to drag his corpse out and re-animate him today because I've got no ideas of my own.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693952)

M.U.L.E has a gameplay that is more like a boardgame though. I just played this version and I have to say that, like many popular boardgames, it has aged very well. There are many strategies and simple rules. Not to mention the catchiest damned theme-song I've ever heard (thankfully this version included it!).

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694002)

Going back and watching Star Wars (the real one, not the 1997 CGI-fest), the only thing that seems really cheesy now as an adult is some of the dialogue and Mark Hamill's poor acting. The movie holds up surprisingly well, considering the time it was made (only the hairstyles and Han's vest give it away).

Re:M.U.L.E. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694108)

just because my grandpa was cool doesn't mean I need to drag his corpse out and re-animate him today because I've got no ideas of my own.

No, you need to drag his corpse out and re-animate it because "Grandpa Zombie" would kick ass.

Re:M.U.L.E. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30694220)

Cool story bro!

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694598)

Like watching the original Star Wars,

Actually the whole original Star Wars trilogy holds up very well. That's the benefit of having a very strong design-- since your design isn't tied to the contemporary styles, it'll still be current long after the bell bottoms have been relegated to the junkheap.

For a counter-example, see Star Trek: The Movie. You can tell what decade it was made in 10 seconds.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696056)

I'm sorry, but I can't imagine a universe where "Ewoks" hold up well. The entire idea seemed like Lucas took a fucked up childhood dream about teddy bears and ran with it. He even went so far as having the teddy bears getting together to brush out Leia's long hair. Talk about sexually repressed childhood fantasies! The entire 3rd movie was nothing but a cry for help by Lucas!

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30696682)

Well...

Point taken. But the ART DESIGN holds up well.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30697194)

The entire 3rd movie was nothing but a cry for help by Lucas!

Based on the 4th, 5th, and 6th movies, he didn't get any.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694612)

I think MULE is the exception, because the game play is timeless. MULE is not to be measured by the modern game benchmarks of fps, in-game advertisements and number of frags.

Also, there is something to learn from the early good games as far as creating engaging gaming (as opposed to fps and fragging). Play a game like Atari's Adventure. Although it is simplistic, short, and pretty lame compared to something like Drake's Fortune, it's good to understand how game development evolves based on the constraints presented at the time of development and where we can go next.

Re:M.U.L.E. (2, Interesting)

edmicman (830206) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695070)

I dunno, I played Oregon Trail semi-recently and found it still to be engaging and entertaining. And what about classics like Tetris or Dr. Mario? Some of those old games I see similar to Monoply, chess, checkers, etc. Games that are fundamentally fun no matter how old they are.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

JoeWalsh (32530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30695634)

That's a pretty broad statement, isn't it?

I think video games are like any other product, in that most of them aren't going to stand the test of time -- but some will. Take movies, for instance. For every "timeless classic" that we still enjoy watching 50 years after it came out, there were a hundred or more that deserve to rot in some film vault.

It's the same with video games.

Pac-Man, Tetris, and Galaga will always be good games.

As for M.U.L.E., it always appealed to only a subset of gamers. It's about economics, it's about competition, and it's most fun when you're playing it face-to-face against three of your friends. For the gamer who only likes shooters (whether we're talking Doom or Space Invaders), M.U.L.E. will seem boring.

But for the people for whom it was made, it's still a good game. It is to me, anyway.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

oh2 (520684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30697122)

Meh, one of the best games ever is "Colonial Conquest" from SSI. Its the reason that I have an Atari ST emulator on my desktop, because when the urge to conquer sets in the only thing that satisfys is a game from 1988.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30699100)

I just spent a few hours playing the NES version of MULE with a few friends while snowed in a few weeks ago. It was just as great as ever. Some of the games you mention really haven't aged well; this is not the case for MULE at all.

I was a little disappointed by some of the gameplay changes in this new version. They were so close to having a perfect remake, then changed some things that I shift the gameplay balance in a way I didn't think was an improvement. If you're going to try and remake a game this carefully balanced, you should do as good of a job as possible first, then consider adding optional changes. The same issue plagued the earlier Space HORSE remake too.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701820)

"There are a heck of a lot of advances in things other than graphics ... [such as] AI ... UI ... online play ..."

I think you'll find a many of those developments are part of Planet MULE.

And no matter how much you winge about people having fun, you can't stop them by trolling about it on Slashdot.

MULE!!!!! Happy 2010 to me! (1)

thinktech (1278026) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693628)

I still load this up in an emulator every once in a while. but it's hard to get the keys to work properly.... this makes me giddy with happiness.

M.U.L.E. -- Great times (1)

tomservo84 (990233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30693638)

Wow...M.U.L.E. is definitely one of my favorite games of all time.

Remember playing it for hours and hours with friends in college.

I remember M.U.L.E. being the place where I first learned about (and heard the word) "Collusion".

Hunting the wumpus, trying to get the mountainous regions to get crystite...

And the only true way to play was the long 90 minute 12 turn game.

Wacka-Chika Wacka-Chika Wacka-Chika (2, Funny)

daivzhavue (176962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694078)

That's all I have to say. One of the actual PURCHASED games I had for the C=64. Good Times.

Gotta go hunt down a Wumpus.

Sweetness! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694334)

OMG, the best video game in history is back!

Re:Sweetness! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30694854)

Or, according to a lot of your posts, was never really gone, but at least it's now available on my OSX box without futzing around with arcade emulators...

IBM PCjr MULE (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30695480)

only slightly off topic, but if you ever come across the version of MULE released for the IBM PCjr, waaaay back when, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make it available on the interwebnets. it is so incredibly rare and needs to be archived before it fades away forever.
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