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|Developer(s)||Veda Hlubinka-Cook, James Brown|
|Platform(s)||PC, Amiga, Amiga CD32, Atari ST|
D/Generation is an arcade adventure computer game with puzzle elements, published for the PC, Amiga and Atari ST by Mindscape in 1991. It was later ported to the Amiga CD32 in 1993, the new version largely based upon the Amiga version but allowing use of the 6-button CD32 gamepad. In 2018 it was ported to Nintendo Switch by West Coast Software with HD graphics. It was originally developed for the Apple IIe under the name D-Generation. An early version for that platform exists and is dated 1989. According to the Prince of Persia journals by Jordan Mechner, the game was completed in 1990 but the PC version from 1991 appears to be the first public release.
The game takes place in a slightly cyberpunk futuristic setting in 2021. A French company called Genoq has developed a series of new genetically engineered bioweapons, which have run out of control and taken over Genoq's Singapore lab. The main character is a courier making an emergency delivery by jetpack of an important package to one of Genoq's top researchers, Jean-Paul Derrida (a name likely inspired by the philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Derrida), and who is happily oblivious to the carnage until the lab's doors lock behind him. His customer is ten floors away, all of them crawling with bioweapons.
D/Generation's plot begins in Singapore on June 27, 2021 and is told in a "late to the party" fashion: the player starts off completely lost at sea, and a picture of past events is gradually built up by examining computer terminals and talking to surviving employees.
The game presents an isometric point of view of different interconnected, maze-like rooms that the player passes through floor by floor. Each room can require brains, brawn or both. All bioweapons present in a room must be killed and all air duct vents that they enter through sealed before proceeding further. The building's paranoid security system has predictably gone haywire, leaving rotating grenade launcher turrets, land mines, electrified floors and laser fences targeting humans. Less hostile puzzle elements are doors, the switches and computers that control them, keycards, infrared electric eyes and teleporters.
The courier is soon armed with a laser gun that holds unlimited ammunition and a great puzzle value: its shots bounce off walls, trip switches and travel in teleporters. Finally, surviving Genoq employees and some special items are scattered around the floors. Rescuing a survivor by clearing a room of bioweapons and getting him/her to its entry point in one piece earns an extra life. Bombs are the most prominent item; they can blast through doors and destroy some hazards, making them a kind of a "get out of puzzle free" coupon.
The number of lives is limited. Losing one restarts the room if any are left, the floor if not. Saving is available, loading returns to the start of the floor.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Amiga CD32 version a 7.25 out of 10. They criticized that the Amiga CD32 controller does not work well with the game's isometric perspective, but praised the combination of action and puzzles, describing the game as both addictive and challenging.
In 1994, PC Gamer US named D/Generation the 32nd best computer game ever. The editors wrote that its "clever mix of puzzle-solving and arcade action hooked nearly everyone who did get a chance to try it out." That same year, PC Gamer UK named it the 44th best computer game of all time, calling it the "best game of its type on the PC."
- "Review Crew: D/Generation". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 55. Sendai Publishing. February 1994. p. 42.
- Amiga Power magazine issue 64, Future Publishing, August 1996
- Staff (August 1994). "PC Gamer Top 40: The Best Games of All Time". PC Gamer US (3): 32–42.
- Staff (April 1994). "The PC Gamer Top 50 PC Games of All Time". PC Gamer UK (5): 43–56.