If you’re like me, your fondest memories of LucasArts are rooted in the 1990s, with classic computer games like X-Wing, The Secret of Monkey Island, Sam & Max Hit the Road and Star Wars: Dark Forces.
With any luck, those games will soon be available for purchase again through Valve’s Steam download service. Tomorrow, LucasArts will bring 10 classic games to the service, but none of the ones I mentioned above are among them. Included in the list are Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, The Dig, LOOM and Star Wars Battlefront II, plus six others. But, the company’s Twitter feed says this is “just the beginning” of plans for the publisher’s back catalog.
Even if you have old CD-ROMs of these games kicking around the house, you may have trouble getting them up and running on today’s machines. Assuming that you can still make it through LucasArts’ authentication hoops — I recall a Star Wars alphabet matching system for X-Wing — you’ll likely need extra software and a bit of technical know-how to experience the games as they were (check out DosBox for your pre-Windows titles).
Indeed, a hassle-free experience might be worth the cost of admission, though it’s worth noting that some of these re-releases will carry paper-form copy protection, but in printable digital files.
It looks like LucasArts doesn’t intend to stop with Steam, either. Apple policy discourages discussion of pre-release App plans, but LucasArts CEO Darrell Rodriguez literally said “wink wink, nod nod” to Joystiq after saying “it would make sense” for the company to release its old adventure games for the iPhone.
I see only good coming from LucasArts’ decision to dip into its back catalog and pushing it on new platforms. It just brings me that much closer to my dream of a multiplayer adaptation of X-Wing or Tie Fighter for one of the three gaming consoles.