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10 3DO Exclusives Every Retrogamer Must Play

The 3DO was the brainchild of Trip Hawkens whom was able to, somehow, bring together a conglomerate that would make other conglomerates declare that it was huge.  See, ole Trip there was also the founder of one of the largest third party developers in the world, Electronic Arts (the Madden guys).  This pedigree helped him negotiate some amazing agreements with companies as the 3DO evolved from the “Opera” stages to become the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (though we never have found out what a “Multiplayer” is).  There were many games released for the 3DO, quite a few in fact (over 300 in under three years).  This is probably because there was no “real” quality control operation in place and the cost to produce games was reportedly cheap (about $3 per game disc released is allegedly the cost of being a licensee).  There were plenty of games for the 3DO, and here I have compiled a list of the ten best, console exclusive, games every retrogaming fan should play.

Zhadnost the People’s Party (Ebay)3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Zhadnost

Long before we got You Don’t Know Jack and its party fun antics there were titles like Zhadnost the People’s Party and Twisted: The Game Show.  Sure these titles were not exactly like YDKJ but the fun was still there.  Full motion videos of people acting out scenes and actions abound, some funnier than others.  You are only going to get to play these if you own a 3DO folks.

Icebreaker (Ebay)

3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Ice_BreakerSecond, Icebreaker, an action strategy title released by Panasonic (see a trend forming here?).  Thrashed, and loved by just as many, gaming magazines of the time Icebreaker sort of straddled the fence of entertainment.  For me, it was quite interesting, a different pace and challenging.  The levels require you to remove all of the pyramids on the level, both stationary and mobile ones.  It is tougher than it sounds.  Icebreaker was also released on personal computers.

Captain Quazar (Ebay)

3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Captain_QuazarCaptain Quazar was probably a game that was in development for quite a while, or at least on the drawing board at Cyclone Studios.  Had Captain Quazar been released sooner, by say two years, then maybe the 3DO would have been viewed differently by gamers.  The action is taken on via an overhead ¾ angled view.  There is satire, fun and various antics that are simply too wild to discuss here.  Suffice to say, Captain Quazar is worth playing if you have the hardware to do it.  This one also saw a release on PC’s.

Jurassic Park Interactive (Ebay)

3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Jurassic_Park_WorldJurassic Park Interactive is a collection of mini games based around the movie Jurassic Park.  The games are all over the place from driving a Jeep in an effort to escape a Tyrannosaurus Rex or fumbling around a claustrophobic building in first person mode trying to survive to everything in between.  Things are kept fresh as you attempt to find all of the park guests and bring them to the helipad to escape.  Sorry, PC gamers, this one is completely exclusive to the 3DO.

Way of the Warrior (Ebay)

3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Way_WarriorWay of the Warrior got a lot of gruff from a certain gaming publication from back in the day but it is not as bad as they tried to make it out to be.  From the music of White Zombie (thanks Rev Rob for the correct music used) to the graphics, Way of the Warrior was quite the show-off game for 3DO owners.  There were some problems with the controllers, depending on which one you were using as not all 3DO controllers were made equal.  Not the best fighting game but it beats out anything Atari was able to produce on the Jaguar and is only bested on the 3DO by Super Street Fighter II Turbo.  If you don’t own a 3DO you won’t be playing Way of the Warrior as it is an exclusive all around (no PC release).

Lucienne’s Quest (Ebay)

3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Luciennes_QuestLucienne’s Quest is a strategy role playing game that allows turn based control over your characters positioning in battle-unlike straight up role playing games such as the Final Fantasy series..  Lucienne’s Quest has been hailed as the most complete nearly perfectly balanced RPG in history.  The pacing of the battles is spot on, the story telling is great and the graphics are great.  Lucienne’s Quest was “the” game that defined Panasonic’s dedication to the 3DO- too bad it was too little too late to save the platform.  If you can read Japanese then you can always try the Sega Saturn version, otherwise you are going to have to rock a 3DO to play this one.

Killing Time (Ebay)

3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Killing_TimeKilling Time is a first person shooter in the style of Doom (which saw release on the 3DO and boy was it poor) but there is so much more here.  Killing Time featured ghosts that furthered the story in meaningful full motion video clips that played right in the level, not in a cutscene (which was interesting and unique, even today).  Oh, and you got to shoot ducks.  There is a PC version but it is quite different than the 3DO version, and not as good if you ask me.

The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel (Ebay)

3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Sherlock_HolmesWhen you think of Sherlock Holmes you think of tough to crack detective cases and that trademark smartness.  The Case of the Serrated Scalpel is was the first game in “The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes” and the only one to hit the 3DO.  Separating this adventure from the 16-Bit fare were full motion video clips by actors dressed like the characters acting out “talking” scenes throughout the adventure and some great musical scores.  This one is also available on computers, with the sequel “The Case of the Rose Tattoo”.

Star Control II (Ebay)
3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Star_ControlStar Control II has to be on this list somewhere (they are not in any particular order) that is just a fact.  For anyone that has played this game (original, re-release, update, whatever) it is either the best game they have played or it is some weird space romp that they “don’t get”.  The 3DO version comes with full voices and orchestral sounds (the remakes usually ripoff this versions audio).  The story is complicated and intriguing, especially for anyone that is a fan of space operas.  More than worth your time.  If you don’t own a 3DO you can pretty much get the same experience, now thanks to homebrew developers, on most platforms such as the Playstation Portable to Windows computers and Android phones to name a few.

The Incredible Machine (Ebay)

3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer_retro_retrogaming_game_Trip_Hawkens_exclusive_Incredible_MachineLast but not least is we have the Incredible Machine.  For those that have played Amazing Alex on mobile devices and thought “man this is great” will probably want to check this title out, it is a console exclusive (it also saw release on PC’s).  The idea is like a grown up version of Amazing Alex with a lot more stuff to get in trouble with and more interesting level design.

There you go folks, 10 exclusive 3DO games that should be necessary playing for any retrogaming fan to become a card carrying member.  Some are off the wall like Twisted and Zhadnost while others are more mainstream such as Way of the Warrior though all are interesting in their own ways.  In the future I will take a look at other platforms such as the original Playstation, Sega CD, and more.

What were your favorite 3DO games?

Carl Williams

It is time gaming journalism takes its rightful place as proper sources and not fanboys giving free advertising. If you wish to support writers like Carl please use the links below.

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15 Responses to “10 3DO Exclusives Every Retrogamer Must Play”

  1. Rev. Rob says:

    Pretty solid choices here. But why does everyone always call Lucienne’s Quest a tactical/strategy RPG? I bought this game based on other stories that say it is. It’s not. It’s typical JRPG turn based combat except you can position your characters left and right on a battlefield. It’s not Shining Force or Fire Emblem or an actual SRPG where you move on a grid to maneuver and fight it out against another group.

    Hardcore Gaming 101 gets this one right:

    “Overall it’s just a nice JRPG, traditional but with some mild innovation; one that doesn’t outstay its welcome and isn’t ruined by over ambition.”

    Anyways, just wanting to point out that the idea that Lucienne’s Quest is a strategy RPG is kind of an internet myth.

    • Carl Williams says:

      Made some changes based on your comments Rev Rob (and others on Reddit).

      I still stand with Lucienne’s Quest being a strategy role playing game due to the points you brought up- moving your characters around during battle. It may be extremely basic strategy but it is there.

      • Rev. Rob says:

        That’s not a strategy RPG. It’s turn based with some added elements thrown in. All you can do in LC is move up and down in a line. That’s just how you pick your target. Plenty of other “strait up RPGs like Final Fantasy” allow target selection as well. Panzer Dragoon Saga has a feature where you can move during battles, but no one calls it strategy.

        You should play the game instead of sticking by an internet myth. It’s pretty obvious that all you did here was a cursory Google search and then wrote an article. Maybe also play a strategy RPG while you’re at it so you know what one is.

        • Carl Williams says:

          Don’t worry, I have played LC (back when it was new) and I have played plenty of strategy role playing games, action/turn based etc also.

          If you are interested in putting your credibility behind some articles then let me know, we are looking for people that know games. Hell, if you are good enough you might even make some money out of the deal. I understand if you would rather be the one critiquing than the one being critiqued.

    • Carl Williams says:

      A lot of people are missing that this is a 10 best EXCLUSIVE titles for the 3DO, not a general games article- there are a few better games on 3DO but they are not exclusive to the console so they were omitted. I may do a 10 best 3DO games of all time sooner than later though as there is a lot of interest in this console- moreso than I figured there was.

      Since it was exclusives only, the pickings were actually quite hard to sift through. My list was stuck at 11 games but thanks to a coin flip it was narrowed down.

  2. […] and the good games are not cheap either (yes, there were more than one good game on this console- see here).  Well, an Android developer has recently released an emulator for the 3DO Multimedia Multiplayer […]

  3. Holly_Wight says:

    I’d say the two First-Person D&D games were must-play, as well. At the time, there was nothing like those on any console or PC. They were the predecessors to modern-day Oblivion and Skyrim.

    • Carl Williams says:

      YES! Deathkeep and Slayer, I believe. We find a couple more 3DO exclusives that fans should be playing and we have another article!

      Can’t believe I forgot the D&D games though. I had a lot of fun with Slayer, Deathkeep was “too different” from Slayer for me though.

  4. Mikki Barnes says:

    What is the best 3do version to purchase? What is the difference between the Japan version and regular version?

    • Carl Williams says:

      If you are wanting the most compatible, for completeness of collectiong, then grab the Japanese Panasonic FZ-10 model (it is only missing a headphone jack). The reason I say this is because in the Japanese models there is a bit more RAM available (I believe it was extra RAM) that allowed Sword and Sorcery to run (this was ported for North American gamers to enjoy under then ame Lucienne’s Quest though. If the RAM thing is not a concern for you then grab the North American version (it is the flip top model so you don’t have to worry about a drive door motor dying some day on top of a CD laser).

      I am not aware of any games, other than Sword and Sorcery/Lucienne’s Quest, that required the slight improvement of the Japanese models.

      If you have the capabilities (i.e., still have a computer with an ISA slot) you can grab the Creative 3DO Blaster card and then you can build one nice classic console all in one machine there.

      If you grab any of the consoles you will be able to use the FZ-EM256 memory expansion for additional save space for your games. Just make sure you get one with the CD-ROM as it is required to use the unit (I think only to manage save games).

      Hope that helps.

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