Every time United Kingdom native Alan Bradford puts up information on a relatively-unknown title for the Philips CD-i, I cannot resist checking out what all he has to show and talk about. Alan has put a lot of work in his Facebook group called The Philips CD-i Zone and it shows every time he posts something like this.
Alan’s latest “review” is of a special disc from 1993 called “Follow Your Dreams,” which essentially is a music CD with a special track that can be read by a CD-i player to play a little outdoors adventure game. The disc seems to have been produced by Marlboro, back in a time when a cigarette company promoting itself and sponsoring sporting events and the like was totally cool.
So, head on over to CD-i Zone to check out this latest review!
I know I talked about this site a while back, but it has come a long way since it opened its doors over a year ago! The Philips CD-i Zone is an awesome website (technically a FaceBook group) dedicated to providing tons of information, pictures, and interviews relating to all things CD-i. The site is managed completely by Alan Bradford, an awesome fellow from the United Kingdom.
The Philips CD-i is a piece of hardware that had a lot to offer when it came out, but it honestly existed outside the bounds of its market. In fact, it often seemed like Philips themselves didn’t even know exactly how to brand the machine. Was it a device for playing music CDs and VCDs? Should it have been branded as an educational tool? Was it meant to be a gaming device? Problematically, this led to issues not only in how to market the device to reach the right audience, but it led to stores not even being sure where to stock this unique player. So, the device quickly fell by the wayside as the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation made it onto the scene in 1994.
Alan has done some great work documenting rare and unreleased titles as well as putting up many interesting reviews and interviews. Here are some small samples:
An Interview with Gary Drucker
Review of “Making the Grade”
Review of “The Crow” (Unreleased) + Interview with Dana Hanna
“Golgo 13” Review
“The Smurfs” Review
So, be sure to check out his site and learn about a device and games you may never have heard of!
A good friend of mine from the UK, Alan (@Alan_Bradford on Twitter), apparently decided to send me a random gift in the mail. I wasn’t sure what it was that he was going to send once he told me he had something on its way, but as it turns out he sent me some really nice collectible CD-i goodies! Indeed, the package came with a product guide from 1994-95, the second issue of the UK CD-i Magazine (featuring a preview of “The Seventh Guest,” one of my favorite point-and-click games of the era and a game I have a CD-i prototype of!), and a special photo-CD from a photographer.
While all of that is neat, I think my absolute favorite part of it all is a toss-up between the article about “The Seventh Guest” and the reviews of “Link: The Faces of Evil” (1993) and “Zelda: Wand of Gamelon” (1993). Both of those games are almost-universally panned by critics and players alike, especially those that are fans of the Nintendo franchise, but interestingly enough these games scored a 65/100 and a 75/100 respectively in this issue. It’s obvious that the magazine was written by CD-i enthusiasts (potentially who did not know much about the original series) and may have been highly-influenced by Philips at the time, yet even so, it’s neat to see a review from people who didn’t absolutely hate those two titles.
Now, I cannot help but wonder what they thought of the 1994 follow-up “Zelda’s Adventure.”
I must thank Alan for his awesome gift. You may recall that I mentioned that he had a special CD-i fan-page, and so if you have not checked it out yet, you really should!
Here are three more images to enjoy (be sure to view the full-sized pics if you want!):
The Philips CD-i is a console that has become infamous for games like “Hotel Mario” and the three Legend of Zelda titles that appeared on it, but a lot of this negative attention is unfairly due. For its time the console was very innovative and featured some really neat games, yet due to the system’s relative unpopularity amongst most gamers, many titles have fallen into relative obscurity.
One man, Alan Bradford (@Alan_Bradford on Twitter), has set out on a quest to locate all known (and unknown!) games for the console and has created a special Facebook group to discuss this journey at while bringing other CD-i fans together. Even if you don’t use Facebook you can still check out his site, look at all the pictures, and read the comments that others have shared there.
So, if you ever wanted to find out more about the CD-i or even ask questions of someone who may know more about the system than the Philips company, here’s your chance!